Undergraduate MEng (Hons)

Aeronautical Engineering

School of Computing, Science & Engineering


With placement


Four year

Five year


September 2019

Next enrolment

In a nutshell

Aeronautical engineering is the application of scientific and technological methods to research, design, develop, maintain and performance test civil and military aircraft. You'll look to improve fuel efficiency and flight safety, using technology to find solutions.

Salford is a leading UK centre for aeronautics. A gateway to professional status, our integrated masters Aeronautical Engineering course is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), so you'll be educated to the highest industry standards.

You will:
  • Complete experiments and projects in aeronautical laboratories, using our flight simulators to enter national competitions, which Salford has won twice
  • Specialise in propulsion, computational fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, materials and structures
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the theory of statics and dynamics and flight control as related to the dynamic behaviour of an aircraft
  • Learn about aircraft design, including detailed refinement of component design and major interactions that have a crucial influence on the overall design effectiveness
  • Assess aircraft performance by modelling aerodynamic loads and propulsion system performance, leading to key results in both steady and accelerated flight
  • Have the opportunity to take a placement year in industry, which means you will graduate with 'with professional experience' in your title

students accepted

This is for you if...


Have a keen interest in aerospace and desire a future career in this field


You enjoy using technology to find solutions to challenges


You enjoyed mathematics or physics at college


You want a degree with professional status


You want to take your studies to postgraduate level

Course details

All about the course

Our accredited engineering degree is designed to equip you with technical and commercial leadership and a commitment to maintaining the highest professional standards expected by society, the profession and the environment.

In year one, essential modules explore engineering in relation to mathematics, electrical systems, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, structures and dynamics.

During year two, the course will progress you to look at elements of aircraft design, including aircraft structures, flight systems, navigation, aerodynamics and performance.

In year three, you'll cover advanced flight systems, the aerodynamics of high-speed vehicles, and structural analysis using finite element methods. You'll complete experiments and project work, culminating in your individual project.

In your final year, you will take your studies to postgraduate level, completing modules in aerodynamics, engineering computation and aerospace system design.

Prior to the final year, you'll have the opportunity to experience a flight test course delivered at Cranfield University’s National Flying Laboratory Centre using specially instrumented Jetstream 31 aircraft. During the flight, the aircraft will conduct specific manoeuvres during which flight data is gathered for you to analyse.

Industrial Placement Year 

If you are studying full-time, you'll have the option to take an industrial placement year between years two and three. Although you will be responsible for securing your own placement, we will assign you a placement tutor to monitor your progress and assess your final placement report. By competing a placement year, you can add 'with professional experience' to your degree award.

Year one

Engineering Materials and Electrical Systems

You will develop an understanding of the basic properties and applications of materials and of the principles of electronic and electrical engineering. This will include learning about the relationship between micro-structure and mechanical properties of materials, mechanisms of corrosion and corrosion protection, the principles of electronic and electrical engineering, and the response of electrical elements in circuits to AC or DC supplies.

Engineering Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics

In this module, you will be given an understanding of the internal combustion engine and the gas turbine and an introduction to refrigeration cycles. You will also expand your knowledge of heat transfer processes, fluid mechanics to viscous flows by examination of the Navier-Stokes equations, and compressible flow analysis to one and two dimensional flows.

Engineering Mathematics

You will build on the engineering mathematics module from your first year by developing advanced knowledge and skills in mathematical analysis. This will enable you to tackle more advanced engineering problems. Subjects covered include partial differentiation, determinants and matrices, vector analysis, Laplace transforms and functions of a complex variable.

Engineering Structures and Engineering Dynamics

This module will develop your knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of structural behaviour and the nature of stress and strain and provide you with a foundation in engineering dynamics, allowing you to tackle simple engineering problems, and preparing you for subsequent modules.

Project and Risk Management

You'll be  introduced to project management techniques, particularly in project planning, organisation and control. You will develop an understanding of project timings and resource allocation and a broad understanding of quantitative methods used for decision making in industry. You will gain experience in the interactive nature of engineering, including business and commercial influences, and effectively communicate the outcome using computer software and presentations.

Aviation Business Enterprise

This is your introduction to the history of air transport systems leading to the current state of the aviation business.

You will study topics such as the:

  • Evolution of surface transportation systems – roadways, railways and waterways
  • Beginnings of air transport – first generation airships and winged flying machines
  • Development of technologies relating to improvements in civilian and military aircraft designs
  • Passenger facility enhancements such as in-flight catering, conveniences and entertainment
  • Birth of the modern airliner leading to the demise of the airships and the ocean liners.
Year two

Aerodynamics 2 Aircraft

Topics and concepts covered in this module include fluid mechanics, boundary layer theory, sources of drag in particular aircraft drag, thin aerofoil theory, lifting line theory as it applies to the aerodynamic analysis of unswept wings in low speed flow. In addition to the apparatus used and techniques employed in wind tunnel testing.

Aircraft Structures

On completion of this module you will be able to establish the integrity of typical basic structural aircraft components and explain the process of material selection for the structural items of an aircraft.

Aircraft Design Enterprise (yr 2)

You'll learn about the interactive nature of aircraft design, including business and commercial influences, and to report outcomes effectively. You will also gain an appreciation of market requirements in the design process.

Engineering Mathematics 2

Develop more advanced knowledge and skills in mathematical analysis relevant to engineering applications. Gain the confidence to apply your skills to tackle advanced engineering challenges.

Flight Systems (Year 2)

You'll learn the basic principles and theory of statics and dynamics as related to the static and dynamic behaviour of an aircraft and the theory of flight control as related to the dynamic behaviour of an aircraft.

Navigation Systems and Aircraft Performance

This module introduces the basic concepts of aircraft performance by modelling aerodynamic loads and propulsion system performance, leading to key results in both steady and accelerated flight. You will be taught how to calculate and assimilate performance in cruise, climb and glide, and how to link the predictive methods to design issues. You will also cover the operating principles and performance analysis of major aircraft navigation systems, with emphasis on inertial navigation systems and the Navastar global positioning system.

Year three

Aerodynamics 3

This module is concerned with the analysis of gas turbine engines as used in aircraft propulsion and high speed aerodynamics. Emphasis is placed on the aerodynamic and thermodynamic aspects which influence the performance of a given engine design. Wherever possible, data for actual aircraft engines is used to support the analysis.

Aircraft Design Enterprise (yr 3)

You'll learn about aircraft design, including detailed refinement of component design and major interactions that have a crucial influence on the overall effectiveness of the design. You will study the interactive nature of aircraft design, including business and commercial influences, and be able to report outcomes effectively. On completion you should also have an appreciation of market requirements in the design process.

Finite Element Analysis and Structural Mechanics

Explore finite element analysis as a tool for the solution of practical engineering problems. You will become aware of the principles of finite element analysis, learn how to construct an appropriate finite element model of a physical system, and know how to interpret the results of the analysis.

Flight Systems (year 3)

Following on from Flight Systems module in your second year, you will develop a deeper understanding of the theory of statics and dynamics and flight control as related to the dynamic behaviour of an aircraft.

Industrial Management and Project Preparation

This module has two main components. Industrial management in which you will be introduced to the commercial issues which must be addressed by engineering businesses, and the principles of quality management systems; and project preparation which will develop your ability to work independently, become competent in analysing and assessing the value of information, and develop effective communication skills both written and orally.

Final Year Project

The final year project is your opportunity to demonstrate your understanding and application of the knowledge you have acquired on the course. The project topic chosen will be on an agreed subject related to audio or acoustics and you have the option to work within a group or as an individual with regular supervision.

Year four

Aerodynamics MEng

This module introduces you to Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) methods for the numerical prediction of aerodynamic flows. You will study finite-difference and finite-volume techniques, the vortex-lattice method, the modern CFD method for the prediction of transonic aerofoil flows and be given an introduction to the requirements for turbulence modelling and review classes of turbulence models.

Engineering Computation

This module provides a systematic understanding of knowledge on finite element analysis as a tool for the solution of practical engineering problems. You will develop a comprehensive understanding of the development of appropriate finite element models of physical systems, and how to interpret the results of the analysis. The module also covers advanced aspects of finite element analysis including harmonic vibration analysis and will give practical instruction in the use of an industry-standard finite element analysis program.

Aerospace System Design

In this module you will develop an in-depth knowledge of design of unmanned aerial vehicles and their associated systems. You will develop a critical understanding of aerospace system developments for future system requirements.

Plus one option from:

Aerospace Assembly

This module looks at the processes associated with the assembly of large aircraft structures, including the techniques of forming, joining and fixturing. You will learn about the relevant regulatory and design standards that must be met and the processes used to ensure conformity with these standards.

Flight Dynamics and Control

This module provides a comprehensive and systematic understanding of the analysis of flight dynamics and the design of flight control systems.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What Will I be Doing?






Lab activities

You will develop your knowledge and skills through a blend of theoretical, collaborative and practical methods. 

The School of Computing, Science & Engineering

The School of Computing, Science & Engineering (CSE) seeks to improve lives through proactive collaboration with industry and society. Our stimulating, industry-accredited courses and research programmes explore engineering, physics, acoustics, computing, mathematics and robotics. Through our award-winning lecturers, world-class facilities and research-led teaching, CSE produces highly employable graduates ready for the challenges of today and tomorrow.


Mechanical Lab – This lab is used to understand material behaviour under different loading conditions and contains a tensile test machine and static loading experiments. Typical laboratory sessions would include tensile testing of materials and investigation into the bending and buckling behaviour of beams.

Aerodynamics Lab – Contains low speed and supersonic wind tunnels. Typical laboratory experiments would include determining the aerodynamic properties of an aerofoil section and influence of wing sweep on the lift and drag characteristics of a tapered wing section.

Composite Material Lab – This lab contains wet lay-up and pre-preg facilities for fabrication of composite material test sections. The facility is particularly utilised for final year project work.

Control and Dynamics Lab – Contains flight simulators and programmable control experiments. Typical laboratory sessions will include studying the effects of damping and short period oscillation analysis, forced vibration due to rotating imbalance, and understanding the design and performance of proportional and integral controllers.

Merlin MP520-T Engineering Flight Simulator

This simulator supports the engineering design modules involving aerodynamics and control systems, by giving a more practical experience of aircraft design. You'll design and input your own aircraft parameters into the simulator before then assessing the flight characteristics.

The simulator is a fully-enclosed single seat capsule mounted on a moving 2-degree of freedom platform which incorporates cockpit controls, integrated main head-up display and two secondary instrumentation display panels.

An external instructor console accompanies the simulator and is equipped with a comprehensive set of displays, override facilities and a two-way voice link to the pilot.

Elite Flight Training System

The Elite is a fixed base Piper PA-34 Seneca III aircraft simulator used for flight operations training and is certified by the CAA as a FNPT II-MCC Multi-Crew Cockpit training environment. It has two seats, each with a full set of instrumentation and controls, and European Visuals, so you see a projection of the terrain that you're flying through, based on real geographic models of general terrain and specific airports in Europe.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

As the course meets the exemplifying academic benchmark for registration as Incorporated Engineer (IEng) requirement in full, you will enhance your career prospects through professional registration and institution memberships.

Career opportunities exist in the design, manufacture and operation of aerospace vehicles. Opportunities are found in companies involved in designing and manufacturing major sub-units of aeroplanes and related aerospace vehicles such as engines, structural parts, avionics or environmental control systems. Other possibilities exist in technical engineering specialisms or general business management.

Previous aeronautical engineering graduates have gained employment with leading companies such as Airbus, BAE Systems, Roll-Royce, Thales and the Royal Air Force.

A taste of what you could become

A Systems Engineer

A Structures Engineer

An Aviation Consultant

A Pilot

A Market Analyst

Career Links

Industry placements can form a key part of your studies and provide a structured link between study and exposure to professional practice, and allow you to enhance your development in an industrial setting.

The course team has a wide range of long-standing and professional relationships with the aviation industry in the North West and beyond.

External validation of the course content recognises that it meets both UK and international standards required by the engineering profession. Professional registration and Institution membership will enhance your career in the following ways:

  • Access to continuous professional development
  • Careers advice
  • Increased earning potential
  • International recognition of your qualifications, skills and experience
  • Evidence of your motivation, drive and commitment to the profession
  • Networking opportunities

What you need to know

This course has been awarded accredited status by both the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) as meeting the exemplifying academic benchmark for registration as Incorporated Engineer (IEng) requirement in full, and the Chartered Engineer (CEng) requirement in part.

Provides access to rewarding professional careers with excellent opportunities Industrial placement year option, International students can apply.

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 with no band below 5.5 is proof of this.

Applicant Profile 

The type of person who would be interested in this course would ideally have studied mathematics or physics based subjects at college and would like to gain a deeper knowledge in these and other related subjects with particular bias towards aeronautical applications. You would ideally already have a keen interest in aerospace related matters and desire a future career in this field

Standard entry

UCAS tariff points

128 - 136 points

GCE A level

128 - 136 points Mathematics at grade B and Numerate Science at grade B. A Pass in the Practical Element of Science A levels must be achieved.

BTEC National Diploma

DDM including Engineering or Science - must include Distinctions in Maths modules.

Scottish Highers

128 - 136 points; Advanced Higher Mathematics at grade B and Numerate Science at grade B.

Irish Leaving Certificate

128 points including A1 in Higher Level Mathematics and Numerate Science.

International Baccalaureate

35 Grade 6 in Numerate Science and Maths at Higher Level.

Access to HE

A minimum of 45 credits at level 3, 60 credits overall. Pass with 128 to 136 UCAS points achieved. Distinctions in numerate modules required.

Alternative Entry

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme

We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to successfully pursue a programme of study in higher education. Students who do not have formal entry qualifications are required to sit a written assessment to measure their suitability. 

How Much?

You should consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2019 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2019 £14,400per year
Part-time 2020 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarship Opportunity

Thanks to the generosity of the Mason Family, applicants for this course can qualify to apply for one of five Gerry Mason Engineering Scholarships. Each scholarship is worth a total of £9,000, paid as two cash award instalments of £1,500 each per annum for a maximum of three years.

The scholarships aim to ensure that talented students starting their first year are not deterred from studying at the University of Salford for financial reasons.  Qualifying students will be encouraged to apply following registration and enrolment in September 2019. Priority will be given to students who:

  • Can demonstrate the scholarship will provide the necessary support during their studies;
  • Would otherwise be deterred from an undergraduate degree by tuition fees and associated living costs; 
  • Live in the North West; 
  • Have at least 112 UCAS points or equivalent. 
Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2019

September 2020

UCAS information

Course ID H404

Institution S03