Undergraduate BEng (Hons)

Aeronautical Engineering with Foundation Year

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 popular 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.

This foundation year course will prepare your knowledge and skillset, so you are ready to study our full BEng Aeronautical Engineering degree.

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 undertake a placement year in industry, meaning you will graduate with 'with professional experience' in your title

options available

This is for you if...


you have a keen interest in aeronautics and aviation


you are seeking a change of direction into engineering, or are a mature student with workplace experience


you enjoy using technology to find solutions to challenges


you enjoyed mathematics or physics at school and college


you want a degree that leads to professional engineering status


you desire a future career in the aviation industry

Course details

All about the course

Our foundation year is an effective bridging programme for applicants who do not meet the entry requirements for the BEng degree. You will complete a range of modules to develop your maths and physics knowledge to the academic level required for further study.

You will gain awareness of social, legal and environmental issues that are associated with the role of a senior engineer. You will study a broad range of engineering subjects to prepare you for a wide variety of careers.

Taught on campus by our academic staff, the foundation year will give you the capabilities to take your passion for engineering further. A key course benefit is your seamless entry to our BEng Aeronautical Engineering degree.

Foundation Year

Engineering Methodology (semesters one and two)

An understanding and ability to use mathematics are essential skills for success in engineering. These modules will provide an introduction to mathematics and review the following subjects: algebra, trigonometry, functions, geometry, vectors, complex numbers and calculus, with some emphasis on their applications to engineering.

Power and Energy

Engineering projects have a lot in common with other engineering disciplines such as mechanical engineering. This module, introduce some of the properties of material including fluids and provide the necessary information on energy transfer using mathematics and physics.

Mechanical Systems

You will develop an ability to analyse basic structures using the main laws of physics. Simple introductory examples are used to extend your knowledge of analysis of basic structural elements. In addition you will also be able to analyse dynamical system performance in the cases of both constant acceleration and variable acceleration.

Study Skills

Study skills are the skills you need to enable you to study and learn efficiently – they are an important set of transferable life skills. This module will help you to develop your own study skill to suit your learning style. In addition, Information technologies are also developed. In this module you will be introduced to some of the elements of information technologies which will  provide you with the necessary skills to use in future (including writing reports and presentations).

Experimental Methods (Aeronautical Engineering)

This course covers the fundamental principles guiding the design of engineering experiments, including the methodology of physical experiments, as well as statistical issues inherent to the design of experiments. It also provides an introduction to the standard statistical tools used in the analysis of experimental results.

Year One Undergraduate

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 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.

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.

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 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.

Product Engineering - Aeronautics Yr 1

This module will give you an insight into the complete process for the design or engineering of products and services. On completion of the module you will have basic marketing techniques and have an understanding of how to present information using both written and oral techniques. You will also be able to read and interpret engineering drawings, with particular reference to BS 308 and be taught skills in basic manufacturing processes and be able to create 2-dimensional orthographic engineering drawings. Your experience and learning are enhanced by the use of 3D CAD models viewed as projected images as well as ‘printed’ physical models.

Year Two Undergraduate

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Year Three Undergraduate

Finite Element Analysis and Aircraft Structures

You'll be introduced to finite element analysis as a tool for the solution of practical engineering problems. The finite element method is based on the premise that a complex structure can be broken down into finitely many smaller pieces (elements), the behaviour of which is known or can be predicted. These elements can then be assembled to model the behaviour of the full structure.

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 aim of the Final Year Project is to develop your ability to work with a significant degree of independence on a structured programme of activity. You should demonstrate your competency in analysing and assessing the value of information derived from the programme, be able to communicate effectively (both through written reports and orally) the details of the programme and conclusions that can be drawn together with suggestions of further work.

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.

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.

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?


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

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Practical activities


You will be assessed through a combination of formats:

  • Lab exercises
  • Examinations


We’ve recently invested £160million in our buildings, facilities and industry-standard equipment, so you can get to grips with the practical concepts that you’ll be faced with in your career.

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.

Further study

We offer a range of specialist postgraduate study paths to help you take your career even further. We offer a fee discount to our graduates and alumni.

A taste of what you could become

A systems engineer

A structures engineer

An aviation consultant

A pilot

A market analyst

And more...

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 see 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, ensuring that you will have extensive industry contact throughout your studies.

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

Applicant Profile

We are looking for students who have a keen desire to follow a career in aeronautical engineering. Good interpersonal skills and a strong work ethic are desirable. You should have a good understanding of linking theory to real life applications and an attention to detail.

English Language Requirements

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

Standard Entry

UCAS tariff points

64 points

GCE A level

64 points including Maths

BTEC National Diploma

MPP including engineering and science, with Merit in maths modules

Scottish Highers

64 Points to include Maths

Irish Leaving Certificate

64 points to include Higher Level Maths and Physics

Alternative Entry

Salford Alternative Entry System (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2019 £8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.
Additional costs

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

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2019

September 2020

UCAS information

Course ID H415

Institution S03