About this course
Our unique MSc Race Car Aerodynamics degree is recognised as a world-leading course for those wanting to enter Formula 1 as aerodynamicists and computational fluid dynamics engineers. It will enhance your knowledge of the fundamentals of aerodynamics and your skills in the analysis, modelling and measurement of turbulent flows associated with high-performance race cars.
This course is ideal if you:
- are from an engineering, scientific or maths backgrounds
- have some experience of fluid dynamics
- want to specialise in aerodynamics for high-performance vehicles
You’ll take part in individual and group practical work as well as a critical research project, developing your expertise in race car design, and learn to evaluate and apply experimental aerodynamic concepts.
You’ll also learn advanced computational fluid dynamics and numerical procedures to counteract problems that may occur in the design process.
You’ll benefit from state-of-the-art facilities including high-performance computers and the RJ Mitchell Wind Tunnel, the largest university wind tunnel in the UK.
Recent graduates have gone on to work in Formula One teams such as Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport and Racing Point Force India.
This master's programme is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) as meeting the academic requirement for Further Learning for Chartered Engineer registration. Candidates must hold a BEng/BSc undergraduate first degree that is accredited for Chartered Engineer (CEng) registration to comply with full CEng registration requirements.
Your course leader is Dr Zhiwei Hu, Reginald Platt Lecturer in Civil Aviation within Engineering and Physical Sciences. His research interests include turbulence simulations, computational fluid dynamics and high-speed train aerodynamics. Visit Dr Hu's staff profile to read more about his work.
Download the programme specification
The programme specification sets out the learning outcomes of this course and details how the course is taught and assessed.
You’ll need a first class degree in engineering, maths, physical sciences or a related subject.
You must have studied fluid dynamics or aerodynamics at undergraduate level.
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need an overall score of 6.5 and the following scores for reading, writing, listening and speaking:
IELTS score requirements
We accept other English language tests. Find out which English language tests we accept.
Recognition of professional experience
If you don't have the exact entry requirements, but you have significant work experience in this sector we’ll assess your relevant professional experience, your subject knowledge and your aptitude for learning.
Your application will be considered on individual merit and you may be asked to attend an interview.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
This full-time master's course lasts for 12 months. You'll study from September to the following September.
For the first 8 months (semesters 1 and 2) you’ll focus on the taught part of the course. You'll sit exams at the end of each semester.
You'll spend the last 4 months of your course working full-time on your research project. You’ll be able to do some preparation for this in semester 2.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
For entry in Academic Year 2021-22
Year 1 modules
You must study the following modules:
You must also choose from the following modules:
Learning and assessment
You’ll learn by a variety of teaching and learning methods. These include:
- practical laboratory work
- individual and group projects
Your learning will be enhanced by our industry-standard facilities, including high-performance computers and the RJ Mitchell wind tunnel, which has been used by F1 teams, America's Cup yacht teams and Olympic athletes.
Assessment depends on the modules you take, but assessment methods may include:
- unseen written exams
- problem-solving exercises
- laboratory reports
- design exercises
- individual and group projects
You'll carry out a research project and complete a dissertation, focusing on any of the areas covered by the course. The project is a chance for you to demonstrate the skills and knowledge you've gained over the first 8 months.
Past topics include:
- the analysis of an aerodynamic upgrade of 2017 Formula One cars
- comparison of overtaking performance of Indycar Aero Kits
- the development of an aerodynamics package for a touring car
Projects are often linked to our current research activities or supported by industry.
You’ll be assigned a personal academic tutor at the start of your degree. They’ll provide you with personal support and advice during your time at the University.
One-to-one tutorials will cater for individual learning differences.
This degree will prepare you for a career in a research and development in the race car and high performance vehicles industries.
You'll also be in a great position to continue your studies at PhD level.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020). 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/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a thriving entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK students pay £9,250.
- EU and international students pay £26,850.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and any exams.
Find out how to pay your tuition fees.
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Funding your postgraduate studies
A variety of additional scholarships, grants and bursaries may be available to help you fund your master’s study, both from the University and from other organisations.
Funding for EU and international students
Find out about funding you could get as an international student.
How to apply
- Use the 'apply for this course' button on this page to take you to our online application form.
- Search for the course you want to apply for.
- Complete the application form and upload any supporting documents.
- Submit your application.
Applications must be received no later than 4 weeks before the start of the course. You must supply all supporting documentation at least 2 weeks before starting your course.
We recommend you apply at least 6 weeks before the start of the course to ensure you're able to meet our requirements and apply for a visa in time.
We cannot guarantee students who do not meet these deadlines will be able to begin their course.
Application assessment fee
We’ll ask you to pay a £50 application assessment fee if you’re applying for any postgraduate taught course that starts in or after September 2021.
This is an extra one-off charge which is separate to your tuition fees. It covers the work and time it takes us to assess your application. You’ll be prompted to pay when you submit your application which won’t progress until you've paid.
If you're a current or former University of Southampton student, or if you're applying for a Master of Research (MRes) degree, you will not need to pay the fee. Find out if you’re exempt on our terms and conditions page.
Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)
If you're an international student you'll need approval from the UK's Academic Approval Scheme before you can study this course.
The ATAS certificate is required for certain sensitive postgraduate subjects.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
Learn more about how to apply with our postgraduate application guide.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We'll assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We'll get back to you within 6 weeks with a decision about your application.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000