Engineering and the Environment

H491 MEng Aeronautics & Astronautics / Airvehicle Systems Design (4 yrs)

Air vehicles are increasingly under pressure to meet specification requirements. This four-year integrated masters course focuses on air vehicles and the design and optimisation of avionic systems.

Programme Overview

You will explore helicopter, fixed-wing aircraft, engine design and avionics and learn to apply design and modelling techniques.

The first two years will enhance your core knowledge of engineering science.  They are identical to the first two years of the BEng and MEng in Aeronautics and Astronautics. You will also take a practical week-long course in flight testing, where experiments are performed on board a Jetstream aircraft.

Design is a recurring theme on the course. In years three and four, you will bring conceptual designs to life through individual and group design projects. Previous projects include the design and build of an unmanned air vehicle. In your final year, you have the option to specialise in advanced air vehicle systems and design modules or select from a range of interdisciplinary modules.

View the specification document for this course

To Apply

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.


  • Engineering Council

Accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

Key facts

    • Number 4 in Guardian University Guide 2016 for Mechanical Engineering which includes our Aerospace degree courses.
    • 90% of our students said they were in a professional job 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).
Test piloting designs

Students can test their designs using one of our flight simulators

Test piloting designs

National Student Survey 2015

National Student Survey 2015

MEng Aeronautics & Astronautics is also taught at our Malaysia campus

MEng Aeronautics & Astronautics is also taught at our Malaysia campus

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:

A levels: A*AA, including mathematics and physics (A* in either). General Studies, Critical Thinking, Use of Maths, Thinking Skills not accepted


38 points overall, 18 at higher level including 6 in both Higher Mathematics and Higher Physics 

GCSE requirements

English Language, at Grade C or above

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.

Equivalent Qualifications

Qualification Entry criteria
Scottish Advanced Highers AAA including Mathematics and Physics
Welsh Baccalaureate (2014) + A Levels Pass in Core, A*A in Mathematics and Physics
Cambridge Pre-U D2D3D3 including Mathematics and Physics
D*DD overall and distinctions in Analytical Methods and Further Analytical Methods
Access to HE Diploma Not acceptable – refer to Engineering Foundation Year
European Baccalaureate 85% overall, minimum of 85% in Mathematics (level 5 or Advanced) and Physics
Irish Leaving Certificate AAAAA including Mathematics and Physics
French Baccalaureate 15/20 overall, Minimum of 15/20 in Mathematics and Physics

Selection process:

Intake: Intake 95-100 (total part 1 Aeronautics & Astronautics cohort)
Average applicants per place: 8

While the average level entry onto our degree courses 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 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.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.


Typical course content

Whichever course 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.


Year 1

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.

Semester One

All modules below are compulsory. No optional modules to be undertaken in Year 1


Semester Two

All modules below are compulsory. No optional modules to be undertaken in Year 1


Year 2

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.

Semester One

All modules below are compulsory. No optional modules to be undertaken in Year 2


Semester Two

All modules below are compulsory. No optional modules to be undertaken in Year 2


Year 3

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.

Year 4

In the fourth year the course includes a Group Design Project, and allows students to undertake between Semester 1  and Semester 2 105 credits including 60 credits of theme specific modules, up to 30 credits from level 6 modules and up to 45 credits from level 7 modules.

Learning and assessment

Default Learning and Teaching content

Career Opportunities