Triangle Triangle

Course overview

Our BEng degree will provide you with the engineering knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the growing aerospace industry.

Links with giants such as Boeing, Rolls-Royce Aerospace and Airbus coupled with our aerospace teaching and research facilities and our program of industrial guest lecturers bring the industry to life for our undergraduate students.

This degree has three taught years and students following this route will probably need to complete some further study should they wish to become chartered engineers. For some students, especially those from overseas, the preferred route is to do our BEng course and then stay on to complete an MSc degree.

Years one and two

All students follow a common programme of study for the first two years, studying material that provides a comprehensive core expertise in aerospace engineering and aircraft technology. Topics include propulsion, aerodynamics and engineering design and analysis.

Year two builds on year one, adding more advanced content in all the key areas and developing more specialised topics, such as flight mechanics and aircraft electrical power systems.

Key to these first two years is a systems approach including an integrating design, make and test project along with laboratory and workshop elements. These enable students to not only gain a clear understanding of aerospace and engineering theory but also experience of their practical application.

Year three

In year three, students will complete an individual research project as well as undertaking core modules in Management, Professional Practice, certification, Safety and reliability; and Computer Modelling Techniques.

There are also a range of optional modules including Introduction to Space, Advanced Propulsion, Advanced Aerodynamics and compressible flow and More Electric Aircraft. The optional content gives you the chance to specialise and focus if you wish to.

More information

See also Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering and the Engineering and Science Foundation Year Programme.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2020 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level AAA-AAB
Required subjects

Maths is essential and physics is highly preferred; excluding General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies, CIE Global Perspectives and Research, CIE Thinking Skills.

A foundation year is available for those with BBB grades but not in the required subjects.

IB score 36-34 (6 in maths at Higher Level or 7 at Standard Level; plus preferably Physics at Higher or Standard Level) excluding Maths Studies.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

How you will be assessed


Aerospace Electrical and Electronic Engineering 1

This year-long module provides a basic introduction to electrical and electronic devices, power transmission and the distribution and utilisation of electrical energy in an Aerospace Engineering context.

Topics covered are:

  • Electrical circuits: Resistors and Kirchhoff’s Laws, superposition, Gauss and Ampere Laws, Transient analysis of circuits, capacitance and inductance, phasors, AC circuits, 3-phase AC systems
  • Communications: introduction to signals (analogue and digital), basic electronic components (diodes, transistors and operational-amplifiers)
  • Electrical systems: electrical machines, electrical power sources in aircraft, transformers, power distribution to aircraft electrical systems, introduction to electrical loads in aircraft
Aerospace Aerodynamics

This module will give you with the knowledge, concepts and principles of fluid mechanics and aerodynamics. You will complete this module over the course of a year.

Topics covered are:

  • atmospheric physics
  • standard atmosphere
  • static pressure
  • hydrostatics
  • inviscid flows – conservation of mass and momentum
  • Euler and Bernoulli equations
  • Introduction to compressible conservation of viscous flows
  • Introduction to shock waves lifting surfaces – aerofoil and wings
  • basic forces
  • pressure distributions
  • fluid structure interaction phenomena
Aerospace Statics and Dynamics

This year-long module introduces students on the Aerospace Engineering courses to the fundamental concepts and principles of solid mechanics and dynamics. It covers their application to simple engineering scenarios in an aerospace context.

Topics include:

  • Review of basic mechanics : vectors, units, forces and moments, Newton’s laws
  • Static equilibrium: force and moment analysis in design; frictional forces
  • Free body diagrams and Pin-jointed structures
  • Stress, strain and elasticity
  • Multi-axial stress-strain; thin walled vessels under pressure
  • Shear stress and torsion of shafts
  • Plane stress; Mohr's circle analysis
  • Beam bending: shear force & bending moment diagrams
  • 2nd moments of area of cross-sections
  • Bending stresses in beams
  • Linear and rotational motion: Displacement, velocity and acceleration
  • Relationship between angular and linear motion• Newton's Laws for linear & rotational motion
  • Linear and Angular Momentum, including conservation of momentum
  • Work, Energy & Power, including kinetic & potential energy
  • Geared systems
  • Drive systems, including tangential drives and vehicles
  • Load characteristics and steady-state characteristics
  • Flywheel design
  • Static and dynamic balancing
Aircraft Design and Performance

This year-long module introduces students on the Aerospace Engineering courses to the basic concepts and practices of aircraft design and flight mechanics. It covers the following topics:

  • Aircraft classification and configurations
  • Aircraft design procedures
  • Aircraft characteristics and performance
  • Preliminary aerodynamics analysis
  • Flight envelopes
  • Steady flight conditions
  • Static stability
Aerospace Design and Materials

This year long module introduces students on the Aerospace Engineering courses to the basic concepts and practices of design and manufacture in an aerospace context and includes the following topics:

  • The process of concept generation through to detail design in an aerospace context
  • The use of computer aided engineering tools in the design processes
  • Part and assembly design using CATIA
  • Basic machine elements and their function
  • How materials, stress analysis and manufacturing disciplines fit within the framework of design
  • Machining processes and metrology
  • Lab-based demonstration of manufacturing processes
  • Machine shop practical training
  • An appreciation of modern working practices - interaction with technical staff and conveying design intent
Professional Engineering and Project 1

This year-long module comprises a number of elements and these are:

  • Essential professional engineering elements:, report writing, information searching, data analysis
  • Essential engineering study support elements: Maths, MATLAB, Using MS Excel, Word, Powerpoint
  • Essential project skills: team working, project management, MS Project

These skills will be covered to a level appropriate to first year aerospace engineering students.

In addition the module includes a year-long integrating group project element that draws in technical elements from the other 5 modules running in the first year of the course. An output from the project is a model scale aircraft designed to meet the specification set.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Monday 21 September 2020.
Aerospace Propulsion

You will learn fundamental thermodynamics including key underlying equation sets such as the first and second law of thermodynamics, perfect gas relationships and analysis of relevant cycles for Aerospace propulsion such as the Brayton cycle. The principles of aircraft propulsion are further developed with a focus on:

  • jet engines including the principles of gas turbine engines
  • layout and the application of compressible flow and turbomachinery principles
  • Factors influencing design and choice of engine configuration are introduced
Airframe and Materials

This module extends and deepens your knowledge of materials, concentrating on the composites and alloys used in aerospace structures and engines. An overview of current aerospace research will be used to highlight likely future developments.

Topics include:

  • Introduction to airframe
  • shear stress beams
  • deflection and conditions
  • column buckling
  • thin-walled structures
  • semi-monocoque structures
  • web-boom idealisation
  • static indeterminate structures
  • bending & torsion of single
  • multi-celled thin-walled beams
  • shear center
  • static and fatigue failure
Dynamics and Flight Mechanics

This module introduces concepts of rigid body dynamics and vibrations and develops your ability to analyse aspects in simplified engineering situations, as well as in analysing rigid aircraft dynamics.

This module covers the dynamics of point masses and rigid bodies. It considers both motion in an inertia frame, as well as in a moving reference frame. The principals of linearization of a nonlinear dynamical system are demonstrated and basic characteristics of linear systems are introduced.

Flight mechanics is progressed through the development of equations of motion for rigid aircraft. Ideas of equilibrium and trim are captured by determining the steady control inputs needed to fly simple steady trajectories. Based on the nonlinear equations, linearization about a trimmed point are considered, as well as the linear dynamic response of an aircraft and basic flight control.

Control of Aerospace Systems

The aim of this module is to develop knowledge of the fundamental concepts of control systems and design approaches based on them.

This year-long module introduces key principles of aerospace systems control, focussing on examples relevant to aerospace applications. Topics covered are:

  • Introduction to control systems design in an aerospace context
  • Fundamentals of aerospace electrical and electronic systems including power generation and conversion, electric machines and drives, and flight control actuation systems
  • Digital and analogue control systems
Professional Engineering and Project 2

Within this module you will cover essential study skills, such as:

  • Maths
  • Report writing
  • Data analysis
  • Management

A year long group project will play a crucial role in your learning. The project will draw on learning from other modules within the year.

Aerospace Design 2

This year long foundational module is a direct continuation of first year aerospace design, incorporating new information and methods as well as enabling practice of previously learned concepts. The module includes the following topics:

  • Sustainability issues in design
  • Design for manufacture considerations and cost
  • Machine elements function and correct selection
  • CNC processes
  • Group design project with manufacture of the finished design in the January workshop slot
  • Individual design and analysis project
  • Machine shop practical training
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on


Individual Project

The project aims to give experience in the practice of engineering and scientific approaches at a professional level. It involves the planning, execution and reporting of a programme of work which will normally involve a mixture of experimental, and/or theoretical and and/or computational methods and analysis together with a detailed and critical review of relevant previous literature in the field. The detailed content and project balance relating to the extent of experimental/theoretical/computational/ design work is a matter for discussion between the student and his/her supervisor, factoring in the students course.

Management, Professional Practice, Certification, Safety and Reliability

This module covers management and professional practice elements essential to professional engineers. Included here are range of management techniques and tools including:

  • Life Cycle Costing
  • Project selection and evaluation including PERT
  • Financial evaluation
  • Risk Management; Evaluating risk, Risk contingency, Fault trees,
  • Failure Mode and Effect Analysis,
  • Programme Monitoring; Milestones, Earned Value Analysis, Cost and schedule performance indices,
  • Marketing; Marketing methods, Price and volume analysis, Customer evaluation, The power of brands,
  • Quality Management; Six-Sigma quality, Six-Sigma tools, Statistical process control,
  • An introduction to English Law; The origins or English law, The Legal Structure, Civil law, Criminal law, Contract law.Certification, safety and reliability in an aerospace context are covered. The underpinning legal framework is presented along with the relevant legal statutes such as rules of the air, airworthiness and pilot licensing. Case studies and guest lectures are used to support this element of the module.
Computer Modelling Techniques (autumn)

This module includes:

  • an introduction to numerical methods in engineering,
  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA) of structures,
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for thermo-fluids problems
  • Coursework on running FEA and CFD software


Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 3 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 15.00 Finite Element Analysis (FEA) of structures, Coursework 1
Coursework 2 15.00 Coursework 2 - Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) 2
Exam 70.00 2 hour exam


Advanced Aerodynamics

This module extends and deepens knowledge of students on the Aerospace Engineering courses in aerodynamics in an aerospace context. It covers the following topics:

  • Lifting wing theories
  • Compressible flow in nozzles and diffusers
  • Shock wave theory and aerothermodynamics
  • Transonic flow – supercritical aerofoils, swept wing theory, wave drag, area rule
  • Supersonic flow – double-wedge aerofoils, delta wings, slender wing theory
  • Hypersonic flow – a brief introduction
  • Low- and high-speed flow control and drag reduction
Advanced Propulsion

This module will build on the knowledge in H42AEP/MECH2028 and widen the context and application to include considerations of the propulsion requirements of light aircraft, military applications and supersonic flight.

Alternative propulsion units such as ramjets, scramjets and rockets will be evaluated.  Propeller design knowledge from H42AEP/MECH2028 will be extended and Helicopter propulsion introduced.  Future propulsion technologies, including electrification of propulsion, will be appraised. 

Throughout these topics factors influencing design and choice of engine configuration will be evaluated.At the end of the module student will have a wider and deeper knowledge relating to propulsion choices for aerospace applications and be in a position to design the key elements of these propulsion system.

Avionic Systems

This module introduces avionics, providing a detailed introduction to all the major avionic systems on current civil and military aircraft and spacecraft. To help in understanding the concepts, a number of application examples will be included throughout the classes.

Topics covered are:

  • History of avionics;
  • Aircraft control including fly-by-wire and autopilot
  • Displays and man-machine interaction
  • Avionic systems in navigation;
  • Sensors in avionics;
  • Radar technology;
  • Electronic warfare;
  • Avionics applications in current aircraft
Introduction to Space

The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to Space Missions elements such that the students will have a preliminary idea of what knowledge is required to design a space system. The main topics covered are:

  • A brief history of Space Conquest,
  • The Space Environment and its effects
  • Space Missions Elements and Design Phases
  • Orbital Mechanics and Orbital Transfer Overview
  • Spacecraft Elements ( Structure, EPS, OBDH, AODCS, TT&C, Thermal)
  • Space Debris

As part of the module students will use a range of software to design and analyse the performance of a space mission. The outcome of the study will be presented and assessed via a 5,000 word report.

Fibre Reinforced Composites Engineering (spring)

An introductory module on the design, manufacture and performance of fibre-reinforced composite materials. 

Constituent materials including fibres, resins and additives are described. Processing techniques and the relationships between process and design are highlighted. Design methodologies and computer-aided engineering techniques are demonstrated for component design. Case studies from a variety of industries including automotive and aerospace are presented.

Method and Frequency of Class:

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 12 weeks 1 week 2 hours

 Method of Assessment:

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Exam 1 100.00 2 hour exam
Manufacturing Automation

The aim of the module is to introduce students to the fundamental concepts of manufacturing automation, present key automation technologies in manufacturing and their advantages and limitations.

The module will introduce the relevant theoretical background and fundamental concepts of different automation approaches and technologies. The focus will be placed on the role of sensors, CNC machine tools, industrial robotics and programmable logic controllers within different manufacturing contexts. Methods and indicators for quantitative production performance and cost analysis will be covered as well.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

Fees and funding

UK students

Per year

International students

Per year
*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up-to-date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Faculty-specific funding

In addition to the above, students applying to the Faculty of Engineering may be eligible for faculty-specific or industry scholarships.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International students

We offer a range of international undergraduate scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

International scholarships


Professional recognition

These degrees have been accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and provide you with some or all of the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills for eventual registration as an Incorporated (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng).

Engineering Council accredited degree

Accreditation is a mark of assurance that the degree meets the standards set by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC). Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees, and an accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.

We are currently following the defined and recognised processes for becoming accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council.

Boost your earning potential

Which university courses boost graduate wages the most? Studying with us could help you to earn more.

  • We are second highest in the UK for female engineering graduate earnings, five years after graduation
  • We are second highest in the Midlands for male engineering graduate earnings, five years after graduation

(Source: Institute for Fiscal Studies data:

Average starting salary and career progression

83.2% of undergraduates from the Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £29,073.00.*

* HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

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Important information

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.