About this course
Learn about the design and manufacture of aircraft, avionics, race cars and rockets, and spend a semester studying overseas. This course examines many aspects of aerospace engineering, including the design and manufacture of fast-moving aircraft and spacecraft, before specialising in more focused topics in the last 2 years.
Aeronautics and Astronautics look at the science, engineering and manufacture of aircraft and spacecraft. You'll learn how they operate within our atmosphere and in space.
You’ll study the principles of aerospace engineering and in year 3 you’ll spend either semester abroad. You’ll enrich your skills and experience a new culture at one of our partner universities in:
In year 3 you will also complete an individual research project and in year 4 you’ll participate in a group design project.
You’ll have access to our extensive facilities, which include:
the largest wind tunnel in any UK university
state-of-the-art jet engine and space propulsion facilities
professional manufacturing centre
As part of this course you can:
showcase your work in our annual Engineering Design Show
attend site visits to experience engineering in practice
apply your engineering knowledge to solve a real-world problem
You can download the course details, including modules, in the programme specificationPDF opens in a new window (PDF, 647.17 KB).
Location and awarding body
International Baccalaureate Career Programme (IBCP) offer
Please see the University of Southampton International Baccalaureate Career-Related Programme (IBCP) StatementPDF opens in a new window (PDF, 62.17 KB) for further information.
Applicants are advised to contact their Faculty Admissions Office for more information.
Scottish Qualification offers
Offers will be based on exams being taken at the end of S6. Subjects taken and qualifications achieved in S5 will be reviewed. Careful consideration will be given to an individual’s academic achievement, taking in to account the context and circumstances of their pre-university education. Please see the University of Southampton’s Curriculum for Excellence Scotland Statement (PDF, 111.01 KB) for further information. Applicants are advised to contact their Faculty Admissions Office for more information.
Find a list of accepted international qualifications listed by country.
This is a list of the international qualifications that are recognised by the University of Southampton. If you are not sure that your qualifications meet the requirements of this course please contact our Admissions Teams.
Foundation year for Engineering, Physics, Maths and Geophysics
If you don’t have the right qualifications for direct entry into this course, you may still be able to enrol by taking our Foundation Year. This intensive, one-year course will give you the background skills and knowledge to enter into any undergraduate degree in engineering, physics, mathematics or geophysics.
Contact us if you have a question about what qualifications you have or might need.
Other ways to qualify
You might meet our criteria in other ways if you do not have the qualifications we need. Find out more about:
our Access to Southampton scheme for students living permanently in the UK (including residential summer school, application support and scholarship)
skills you might have gained through work or other life experiences (otherwise known as recognition of prior learning)
Find out more about our Admissions Policy.
The first 2 years are the same across our Aeronautics and Astronautics degrees. They focus on core engineering science. The modules that you take in your third year will differ depending on whether you spend the first or second semester abroad, and at which partner university you study.
This is a very practical course, with many opportunities for practical engineering experience.
You will visit industry and research establishments and learn workshop training and research techniques.
You'll take an induction programme with all our Aeronautics and Astronautics students. This will give you your first practical experience and the opportunity to get to know your fellow students.
We'll develop your design and programming skills and teach you to build and test engineering systems, components and mechanisms.
You'll also learn manufacturing skills in our workshops so that you can make your ideas a reality.
Core modules include topics such as:
aircraft operations and flight mechanics
design and computing
electrical and electronic systems
You'll build on your core knowledge from the first year, and increases your focus on Aeronautics and Astronautics disciplines. Compulsory modules include:
mechanics of flight
These modules feature hands-on teaching, using facilities such as our wind tunnels, turbojet and rocket engine.
You’ll take a systems design and computing module, and participate in a team project to design, create and test a robot, drone, responsive system or other device.
At the end of the second semester you’ll take a flight test course, in which experiments are performed on board a Jetstream aircraft.
You can spend either the first or second semester abroad. These compulsory modules will either be taken at the University of Southampton or our partner institution:
aircraft structural design
aerospace control design
Introduction to aircraft design
You'll choose an optional module from topics including:
experimental methods for aerodynamics
heat transfer and applications
You'll carry out an individual research project using many of the concepts that you've learnt over the previous 2 years. For example, students have investigated how to deflect asteroids, or use 3D-printed, metal jet engines.
You can tailor your degree by selecting advanced modules from a wide range of fields, such as:
race car aerodynamics
spacecraft structural design
advanced computational methods
failure of materials and components
You’ll participate in a group design project - a chance to apply your conceptual engineering and scientific knowledge to an engineering design problem.
Previous projects include the design and development of a hybrid, tail-sitter aircraft for humanitarian aid missions and a fuel-efficient ion thruster for spacecraft. These projects are often linked to current research or supported by industry, like Airbus or the European Space Agency.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
Modules year 1
You must study and pass these core modules in year 1:
Modules year 2
You must take the following compulsory modules in year 2:
Modules year 3
You must study and pass these core modules in year 3:
You must take the following compulsory modules in year 3:
Modules year 4
Learning and assessment
The learning activities for this course include the following:
- classes and tutorials
- individual and group projects
- independent learning (studying on your own)
Support for your studies
You'll be supported by a personal academic tutor and have access to a senior tutor.
David Angland is the course leader.
How we’ll assess you
We’ll assess you using:
- oral presentations
- written and practical exams
- written exams
This degree will open the door to many exciting career opportunities in the space industry, engineering and beyond, including:
IT and management consultant
race car designer
software and systems engineer
It also provides a great launch pad for further studies at PhD level.
Recent graduates have gone on to work at organisations like:
European Space Agency
Formula 1 teams
Jaguar Land Rover
Surrey Satellite Technology Limited
We are also a designated university for the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme.
You can also join the Southampton University Air Squadron for possible flying opportunities.
Careers services at Southampton
We are a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
work experience schemes
CV and interview skills and workshops
careers fairs attended by top employers
a wealth of volunteering opportunities
study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a vibrant entrepreneurship culture and our dedicated start-up supporter, Futureworlds, is open to every student.
Work in industry
This course is also available with an industrial placement year in an engineering organisation. During your placement, you can apply the knowledge and skills you’ve developed during your degree, and gain vital professional engineering experience.
Fees, costs and funding
You'll pay £9,250 in tuition fees for the academic year 2020 to 2021. This fee might change for further years of your course.
International student fees
You’ll pay £20,970 each year. This fee will stay the same throughout your studies.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fees pay for the full cost of tuition and all examinations.
Find out how to:
Extra costs you might have to pay
- Laboratory Equipment and Materials
- Design equipment and materials
- Field course clothing
- Approved Calculators
- Optional Visits (e.g. museums, galleries)
- Printing and Photocopying Costs
- Field Equipment and Materials
See the full list of extra items and costs in the programme specificationPDF opens in a new window 2020 to 2021 (PDF, 647.17 KB).
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
Bursaries, scholarships and other funding
If you're a UK or EU student and your household income is under £25,000 a year, you may be able to get a University of Southampton bursary to help with your living costs. Find out about bursaries and other funding we offer at Southampton.
If you're a care leaver or estranged from your parents, you may be able to get a specific bursary.
Get in touch for advice about student money matters.
Scholarships and grants
You may be able to get a scholarship or grant that's linked to your chosen subject area.
We award scholarships and grants for travel, academic excellence, or to students from underrepresented backgrounds.
Support during your course
The Student Services Centre offers support and advice on money to students. You may be able to access our Student Support fund and other sources of financial support during your course.
Funding for international students
Find out about funding you could get as an international student.
Life at Southampton
The University offers a friendly, diverse and welcoming home for you while you study. You'll work, live and socialise with students from more than 130 countries.
Clubs, societies and facilities
Our campuses have:
cafes and restaurants
a post office
Our sports facilities include a 25-metre swimming pool, a gym with 140 fitness stations, squash courts, a bouldering wall, outdoor pitches and much more. There are over 80 sports clubs you could join, and activity classes including yoga and spin.
We have an internationally known theatre, concert hall, art gallery and cinema showing everything from mainstream blockbusters to international arthouse classics. You could perform at a gig, concert or show, take part in an exhibition or join a writers’ workshop. Find out more about arts and culture at Southampton.
Whatever your passion or community, you can find like-minded people at one of the Students’ Union clubs and societies. There are more than 200 to join, and social activities in every hall of residence.
Support while you study
We aim to help you deal with any problems you might come across, so you can make the most of your time at university. We offer support with:
mental health, learning difficulties and disability
money and accommodation
computers and IT
How to apply
When you apply use:
UCAS Course Code: 39C5
UCAS Institution Code: S27
What happens after you apply
We will assess your application on the strength of your:
- predicted grades
- academic achievements
- personal statement
- academic reference
We aim to respond to you within 2 to 6 weeks with a decision about your application.
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.