H491 MEng Aeronautics & Astronautics / Airvehicle Systems Design (4 yrs)
A four-year programme designed to provide you with an aeronautical focus to your study. It covers helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, engine design and avionics.
This programme focuses on aeronautical topics with a particular emphasis on helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, engine design and avionics. Using a complete vehicle systems approach, you will also learn about modern design, search and optimisation techniques.
The first two years of the course are identical to the BEng and MEng in Aeronautics & Astronautics (H422, H401). In years three and four you will study specialist modules such as Aerospace Design, Aircraft Dynamics, Aircraft Propulsion, Applied Aerodynamics, Structural Design, Avionics, Design, Search & Optimisation, Powered Lift and Management.
All undergraduate applications should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Click on the How to Apply tab of the navigation menu on this page for detailed information on how to apply and further details about UCAS' website, phone and contact details. Specific application deadlines are available on the UCAS website.
- Royal Aeronautical Society
- MEng accredited for registration as a Chartered Engineer for graduates with a 2:2 and above
- BEng (Honours) accredited for registration as a Chartered Engineer subject to the completion of approved additional learning
The teaching is structured on a semester pattern. You study modules comprising 120 credits in each of Parts I (level C), II (level I) and III (level H), and 150 credits in Part IV (level M).
There are two degree possibilities in the programme of study:
- Three years full-time, leading to a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng).
- Four years full-time, leading to a Master of Engineering (MEng) in one of several specialist themes.
In addition there are the following exit points:
- Certificate of Higher education, following successful completion of Part I.
- Diploma of Higher education, following successful completion of Part II.
- Ordinary Degree of Bachelor of Engineering BEng (Ordinary), following successful completion of at least 300 credit points, including 60 points at level H.
A University credit is the equivalent of 10 notional study hours. Each module is a self-contained part of the programme of study and carries a credit rating. The duration of all the programmes may be extended by one year through enrolment on the Engineering Foundation Year.
Number 1 in Guardian University Guide for Mechanical Engineering which includes our Aerospace programmes
95% of our students said they were in a professional/ managerial job at six months after graduation
BAE SYSTEMS preferred course, preferred academic supplier to Airbus and an academic partner of Agusta Westland.
One of only six universities providing undergraduate training for the Armed Forces through the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme (DTUS).
- This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. It is also subject to the University's disclaimer notice
Jon Viner, Chief Technical Officer | BMAA
“The reputation and content of my degree gave me a fantastic foundation for my future career. After graduating, I worked for Airbus before moving on to work at the British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA), where I’m Chief Technical Officer. I am involved in all aspects of aircraft design, approval and continuing airworthiness, including flight testing and accident investigation. Many of my course notes are on the shelf by my desk and are frequently consulted.”
Typical entry requirements
|GCSE||English Language, at Grade C or above|
A levels: A*AA, including mathematics and physics (A* in either). General studies, critical thinking and use of maths not accepted
|International Baccalaureate||38 points overall (18 at Higher Level to include Mathematics and Physics, Standard Level 5 English)|
|European Baccalaureate||85% overall; 85% in Mathematics (Level5) and Physics; 70% English|
|French Baccalaureate||15/20 overall; 15/20 Mathematics; 15/20 Physics; 14/20 English|
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 programmes, you will need an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.5 or an equivalent qualification.
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.
Intake: Intake 95-100 (total part 1 Aeronautics & Astronautics cohort)
Average applicants per place: 8
While the average level entry onto our degree programmes is among the highest in the UK, we always look carefully at each individual application. In addition to your examination grades, we also take into account your personal statement and references. These give us an indication of your personal attributes and your enthusiasm for your chosen area of study.
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 programme 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.
Typical course content
Whichever programme you choose, you will study a number of core subjects during the first two years. These provide sound preparation for the final part of the degree. You will concentrate on the fundamentals of engineering and gain the skills and understanding required to use information technology in an engineering context.
In Year 3, you will have the opportunity to specialise or retain a broad-based study path through a wide selection of subject modules. You will also undertake an individual project that usually takes the form of a design or research exercise, and involves the production of a formal report. A group aircraft (or spacecraft) design exercise is completed in Year 3.
In Year 4, MEng students participate in a Group Design Project (GDP). These projects are often linked to current research activities or topics that have practical relevance to industry.
Special Requirements - All Courses
Students are expected to take an exciting one-week practical course in Flight Testing following Semester 2 examinations. The course is usually arranged for candidates in their second year and is held at Southampton International Airport. The fees for this course are covered by the University, in normal circumstances.
Visits to industry and research establishments are organised for Part I and Part II candidates in the summer term. Candidates are required to attend the Part I Workshop Training Course unless exemption is given by the School.
Candidates are required to attend the Part II course in Library Search Techniques. This is normally held after the Semester 2 examinations. Assignments set in this course will be formally assessed as part of their examination requirements
The first year provides a background in engineering science, emphasising aerospace aspects. One example is mechanics of flight, involving the performance of an aircraft acted upon by aerodynamic, thrust and gravitational forces.
All modules below are compulsory. No optional modules to be undertaken in Year 1
All modules below are compulsory. No optional modules to be undertaken in Year 1
The second year covers the main aerospace engineering subjects. Towards the end of this year you will take a short course in flight testing, in which experiments are performed on board a Jetstream aircraft. A total of 120 credits across two semesters.
All modules below are compulsory. No optional modules to be undertaken in Year 2
- Systems Design and Computing
- Engineering Management and Law
- Mathematics for Engineering and the Environment Part II
In the third year the course includes an individual project. This theme (H491) does not allow students to undertake any of our specialist modules in aerodynamics, astronautics, materials, etc.
No optional modules can be taken this year.
In the fourth year the course includes a Group Design Project, and allows students to undertake between Semester 1 and Semester 2 up to 50 credits from our wide range of modules: 20 credit points must come from the level M option list below; 30 further credit points can be selected from either the level H or the level M option lists.
- Avionics I
- Powered Lift
- Group Design Project (GDP)
- Design Search & Optimisation 1: Principles, methods and parameterizations
- Compressible Flow
- Turbulence: Physics and Measurement
- Flow Control
- Spacecraft Engineering Design
- Race Car Aerodynamics
- Spacecraft Structural Design
- Materials in Transport
- Surface Engineering
- Microstructural Characterisation
- Composites Engineering
- Advanced Computational Methods in Engineering
- Fuel Cells, batteries and photovoltaic systems I
- Renewable Energy from the Environment
SESS6061 not available for students who have already taken SESS3010.
- Hypersonic & High Temperature Gas Dynamics
- Aerospace CFD
- Turbulence II: Computation and Modelling
- Biological Flows
- Spacecraft Engineering Design
- Spacecraft Instrumentation
- Aircraft Structures
- Advanced Digital Control
- Failure of Materials
- Design Search & Optimisation 2 – Case Studies
- Microstructural Characterisation
- Automotive Propulsion
- Advanced Orthopaedic Biomechanics
- Advanced Finite Element Analysis
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).
Learning and assessment
Educational aims of the programme
The aims of the programme are to:
- provide you with a sound understanding of the fundamental principles, methods, analysis and synthesis in engineering design and applications appropriate to the Aeronautics, Astronautics and Space Systems disciplines that comprise Aerospace Engineering
- provide you with a range of specialist modules integrated within the structured learning environment, reflecting the internationally-renowned research expertise within Engineering Sciences, in order to broaden and deepen your educational experience
- train you to enable you to become professional aerospace engineers that meet the requirements of the Engineering Council (i.e. UK-SPEC), and to have a broad range of knowledge and skills (including IT and communication) capable of meeting the present and future demands of industry and commerce
- offer you a degree structure that is relevant to industry and responsive to changes in technology and the needs of the community
- provide you with a supportive and intellectually stimulating environment that encourages an attitude of independent learning and enquiry, and fosters an ethos of lifetime learning and professional development
- offer you individual and group projects and assignments which are supported by the research activities within Engineering Sciences and stimulate individual innovation, selfassessment and teamwork skills required in engineering design
Teaching and learning methods
Knowledge and understanding
Knowledge and understanding is gained through a combination of formal and special lectures, tutorials (small group teaching), example classes, laboratory experiments, coursework and individual and group projects at all levels. Throughout the programme you are encouraged to use additional recommended reading material for private study to consolidate the formal learning process, and to broaden and deepen your understanding. You are encouraged to become student members of the professional institution, to use their libraries and resources, and attend meetings.
These are developed through the teaching and learning activities. Analysis and problem solving skills are further developed through regular problem sheets issued by module lecturers and through small group teaching. Experimental, research and design skills are further developed through coursework exercises, laboratory, and design and research projects. Individual feedback is provided on all work submitted. Appreciation of the practical applications of these skills is provided by interaction with industry through visiting lectures and industrial visits.
Testing of the knowledge base is 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.
Analysis and problem solving skills are assessed through unseen written examinations and problem based exercises. Experimental, research and design skills are assessed through laboratory reports, coursework exercises, project reports and oral presentations.
The tutorial system
Every student is assigned a personal tutor when they start their university degree. Your course tutor changes every semester, but your personal tutor will stay the same throughout your time here. Your personal tutor will meet you when you enrol, and you will see him/her three or four times a term in the first year, for academic as well as pastoral support. She or he is accessible throughout your time in Southampton.
Our research is relevant to your undergraduate course because you will be taught by people who are experts in their area of research. This is especially important for science subjects, where knowledge is advancing rapidly. This is particularly true for your final year. In your third year, you have the opportunity to do an individual research project.
We have our own team of administrators who act as a point of contact for day-to-day advice and information for undergraduate students. They are also responsible for collecting assignments and issuing the documents and forms which are required during your period of study.
Our Aeronautics and Astronautics degrees open up a wide range of exciting career opportunities. Previous graduate jobs have included aerospace engineer, pilot, race car designer, IT and management consultant, software and systems engineer, as well as roles in research and postgraduate study.
If you are considering a career in the armed forces, Southampton is one of the universities designated for the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme, which provides sponsored places to students on specific courses, including Aeronautics and Astronautics, and has active Army, Navy and Air Force units.
Among our many successful Aeronautics and Astronautics graduates is Adrian Newey, who has worked as an F1 designer for Williams and Mclaren, and is now the chief technical officer of the Red Bull F1 racing team. Top motor racing teams look to Southampton for the best new aerodynamics talent for the future.