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Courses / Postgraduate / Unmanned Aircraft Systems Design (MSc)

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Design (MSc)

Master of Science
Typical Offer
2:1 degree View full entry requirements
1 year
Course Type
Highfield and Boldrewood
Next course starts
To be confirmed

COVID-19: this course is not running in the 2020/21 academic year

About this course

Our MSc Unmanned Aircraft Systems Design course provides graduate engineers with the skills and knowledge needed to design these sophisticated systems. You’ll focus on the design of the vehicle, including aerospace control systems and avionics. The course is supported by major UK companies such as Thales, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, QinetiQ and Cobham.

This master’s degree is ideal if you're an engineering, science or maths graduate and are looking to specialise in unmanned systems or to enter this fast-paced industry. If you don’t have a first degree in one of these subjects, we’ll take other experience into account. 

You’ll have the opportunity to design and build a sophisticated unmanned system, take part in individual and group work, and undertake a critical research project. 

Past students have undertaken research projects including: 

  • the development of an unmanned aerial vehicle hybrid power system 
  • a vehicle-launched vertical take-off and landing unmanned aerial vehicle for search and rescue operations 
  • investigations into the aerodynamic performance of bio-inspired morphing UAV wings 

You’ll benefit from world-class facilities, such as a sophisticated autopilot system, dedicated flying site, wind tunnels and rapid prototyping laboratories, to put your design through mission validation. 

You’ll also have the opportunity to study for a private pilot’s licence. Recent graduates have gone on to work at organisations such as the Royal Navy and the ULTRA large unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) project, as well as going into postgraduate research.


Course lead

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.

Course locations

This course is based at Highfield and Boldrewood.

Awarding body

This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.

Download the programme specification

The programme specification sets out the learning outcomes of this course and details how the course is taught and assessed.