The Race Car Aerodynamics masters degree is now recognised as a world-leading course for those wanting to enter Formula One as aerodynamicists and CFD engineers. The theme emphasises the fundamentals of aerodynamics as a subject by focusing on analysis, computation and measurement of turbulent flows associated with high performance race cars. It will suit graduates or similarly qualified individuals from engineering, scientific and mathematical backgrounds, with some experience of fluid dynamics who are aiming for advanced specialisation in aerodynamics.
This postgraduate masters course emphasises the fundamentals of aerodynamics as a subject by focusing on analysis, computation and measurement of turbulent flows associated with high performance race cars. It will suit graduates or similarly qualified individuals from engineering, scientific and mathematical backgrounds, with some experience of fluid dynamics who are aiming for advanced specialisation in aerodynamics.
Design is a central theme on this course. You will take part in individual and group practical work to detail your insight of race car design and learn to evaluate and apply experimental aerodynamic concepts. You will also learn advanced computational fluid dynamics and numerical procedures to counteract problems in the design process.
The year is divided into two semesters. Each semester, you will have the option to further your understanding by selecting from a range of modules, from Systems Reliability to Automotive Propulsion.
The final four months will hone in on research. You will have access to our world-class facilities, including the RJ Mitchell wind tunnel as used by F1 teams, America's Cup yacht teams and Olympic athletes. As part of the learning process, you will engage in experimental and practical study and complete a critical research project.
You can apply through the University of Southampton's online postgraduate application system. For more background and detailed information, see how to apply.
The deadline for new applications to this course is the 31st July each year.
Accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements.
The MSc course lasts for 12 months. The first 8 months are normally spent mainly on the taught component, with lectures divided into two 12-week periods (semesters 1 and 2), and with exams at the end of each semester. The final 4 months are spent full-time on a research project, for which some preparation is done in semester 2.
The taught component comprises a number of modules totalling 120 credit points. Among these, 90 credit points are compulsory, and the rest can be selected from the given list in the modules section. Suitable alternative modules, perhaps from other programmes, may be substituted at the discretion of the Course Organiser.
The taught component of the MSc course is assessed independently of the research project component. Progression to the research project depends on successful completion of the taught component. The MSc award depends on passing the examinations and on successful completion of a dissertation on the project. The possible exit points are:
We only accept applications to the 180 Credit MSc course. The PG Diploma and PG Certificate are exit points only and are not standalone qualifications.
Southampton’s RJ Mitchell wind tunnel is used by F1 teams, America's Cup yacht teams and Olympic athletes.
Adrian Newey is a Southampton graduate in Aeronautics & Astronautics, 1980. He has worked as F1 McLaren designer, and now Chief Technical Officer of Red Bull Formula One racing team.
Typical entry requirements
Upper second class honours degree (2:1 or equivalent) in Engineering, Mathematics, Physical Sciences or a related subject; please note that this specialist course recruits a small number of students who must have a specific background at first degree level in fluid dynamics/ aerodynamics. Those candidates with relevant employment experience will be considered if they do not meet the requirements. Applications are assessed individually, and any candidates who do not match the standard profile but who have appropriate academic qualifications and/or industry experience are encouraged to apply.
Relevant employment experience would be considered if a candidate does not meet the formal qualifications requirements. We are always happy to receive applications from candidates with equivalent qualifications. If you are unsure about our entry criteria, please contact our admissions staff who would be happy to provide advice in advance of your application.
English Language requirements
If your first language is not English, we need to ensure that your listening, written and spoken English skills would enable you to enjoy the full benefit of your studies. For entry onto our courses, you will need an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.5 or an equivalent qualification.
Intake: 8 students per year
All individuals are selected and treated on their relative merits and abilities in line with the University’s Equal Opportunities Policy. Disabled applicants will be treated according to the same procedures as any other applicant with the added involvement of the Disability Office to assess their needs. The course may require adaptation for students with disabilities (e.g. hearing impairment, visual impairment, mobility difficulties, dyslexia), particularly the practical laboratory sessions, and we will attempt to accommodate students wherever possible.
You will study a number of core and optional subjects during both semesters. These provide sound preparation for the final part of the degree, the Research Project.
The first 8 months are normally spent mainly on the taught component, with lectures divided into two 12-week periods (semesters 1 and 2), and with exams at the end of each semester. You will select a total of 30 credit points from the list below. The final 4 months are spent full-time on a research project.
Additionally to the compulsory modules, you normally take 1 or 2 optional modules in semester 1.
Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical
student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided.
More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).
Learning & Assessment
Teaching and learning
The range of subject matter covered in the modules calls for varied teaching and learning techniques. These will include lectures, tutorials, individual and group planning exercises and practical work. You will be encouraged to openly communicate your professional experiences, exchange ideas and knowledge share. One-to-one tutorials are also arranged to cater for individual learning differences.
Your education will be timely and relevant while you are taught by our world-leading academics who are at the forefront of their field. This is especially important in engineering where technology is advancing rapidly. We also have a global network of companies, shared facilities and expertise to draw on to advance your learning curve.
Candidates wishing to obtain an MSc will carry out a research project and complete a dissertation. Research projects may concern any of the areas covered by the course. The research project will bring together all the acquired skills learnt on the course, and demonstrate in-depth knowledge of one or more of the subject areas studied. It will involve sourcing and gathering information, critical analysis, and evaluation and presentation skills. The project should contain your own original ideas. It should also exceed the existing standard of technical design, and address a novel problem that requires the application of new research.
Assessment and examinations
Testing is conducted through a combination of unseen written examinations and assessed coursework in the form of problem solving exercises, laboratory reports, design exercises, essays, and individual and group projects. Experimental, research and design skills are assessed through laboratory reports, coursework exercises and oral presentations.
Every student is assigned a personal tutor from the start of their degree.
We have our own team of administrators who act as a point of contact for day-to-day advice and information for postgraduate students. They are also responsible for collecting assignments and issuing the documents and forms which are required during your period of study.
Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.
There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:
Approved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
You will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
Where a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source.
Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Design equipment and materials: Standard construction/modelling materials will be provided where appropriate, unless otherwise specified in a module profile.
For customisation of designs/models calling for material other than standard construction/ modelling materials, students will bear the costs of such alternatives.
Field equipment and materials: A number of essential items will be provided to you e.g.: field notebook(s); compass-clinometer; geological hammer; steel tape measure; map case; pocket lens (x 10); safety helmet; safety goggles; bottle of dilute hydrochloric acid.
However, you will need provide yourselves with a ruler; a pair of compasses; set squares; protractor; pencils (including coloured); eraser; calculator, penknife. These can be purchased from any source.
Field course clothing: You will need to wear suitable clothing when attending field courses, e.g. waterproofs, walking boots. You can purchase these from any source.
Printing and copying
In some cases, coursework and/or projects may be submitted electronically. Where it is not possible to submit electronically students will be liable for printing costs, which are detailed in the individual module profile.
Optional visits: Some modules may include additional optional visits. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.
In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.