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Course overview

Are you interested in the science behind flying and want to learn more about aircraft design and manufacture? Our course will help you learn the skills and advanced knowledge needed to work in this exciting sector.

Our department has links with Airbus, Boeing and Rolls-Royce Aerospace. Our teaching, research facilities and regular guest lecturers give our students a fantastic insight into the growing aerospace industry.

Why choose this course?

  • Get hands-on with the latest aerospace equipment including wind tunnels, a flight simulator and experience flying with local flying lessons and flight laboratory in year 2
  • Benefit from great placement links with Airbus, BAE systems and Rolls-Royce Aerospace
  • Our courses are taught by leading researchers in aviation, composite materials and gas turbines
  • Courses at Nottingham integrate projects into your learning throughout the course

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level offer AAA-AAB (Maths (grade A) is essential and physics is highly preferred; excluding General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies, CIE Global Perspectives and Research, CIE Thinking Skills.)
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. We accept the following IB Mathematics courses; Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches - 6 at Higher Level or 7 at Standard Level, and Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation – 6 at Higher Level only.

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

Foundation progression options

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

 

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

Teaching methods

  • Group study
  • Independent study
  • Lab sessions
  • Lectures
  • Practical classes
  • Supervision
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

How you will be assessed

Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Examinations
  • Group coursework
  • Presentation
  • Research project
  • Practical assessment

Contact time and study hours

In a typical week, you will have up to 24 contact hours in year one and two. Combined with coursework and self-study, you may spend over 35 hours a week on your studies.

Study abroad

Explore the world, experience different cultures and gain valuable life skills by studying abroad.

As well as starting an international network of contacts, you will discover new strengths and abilities – helping to enhance your future employment prospects. 

See our study abroad pages for full information.

Year in industry

At the end of year three, there is the opportunity to spend a year in industry and we have a team of careers experts to support you in finding the right placement. During the placement, you are classed as an employee of the host company and will receive a salary.

Placements are usually undertaken in the UK, but can be anywhere in the world.

What if? Aerospace at Nottingham

Are you interested in the science behind flying and want to learn more about aircraft design and manufacture? Our course will help you learn the skills and advanced knowledge needed to work in this exciting career

Modules

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 year-long module introduces students on the Aerospace Engineering courses to the basic concepts and practices of aerodynamics in an aerospace context. It covers the following topics:

  • Atmospheric physics – standard atmosphere, static pressure, hydrostatics
  • Inviscid flows – conservation of mass and momentum, Euler and Bernoulli equations, introduction to compressible flow
  • Viscous flows – laminar and turbulent flows, boundary layer transition and separation, drag, introduction to shock waves
  • Lifting surfaces – aerofoil and wings, basic forces, pressure distributions, lift generation, stall, fluid-structure interaction phenomena
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 may change or be updated 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 the latest information on available modules.
Aerospace Propulsion

This module will cover 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.  This content will be linked to the Aerospace Aerodynamics from H41AAD to show how thermodynamics and aerodynamics are used jointly in the design of components and systems for aerospace propulsion. The principles of aircraft propulsion are further developed with a focus on jet engines including the principles of gas turbine engines, their layout and the application of compressible flow and turbomachinery principles. Factors influencing design and choice of engine configuration are introduced.

Airframe and Materials

Building on H41AM1 this module extends and deepens knowledge of materials, concentrating on the composites and alloys used in aerospace structures and engines. Material properties, manufacture, lifing, processing and testing will be considered with respect to aerospace examples. An overview of current aerospace research will be used to highlight likely future developments. Aircraft structure topics covered are: 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 and multi-celled thin-walled beams, shear centre. Both static and fatigue failure are covered. Links will be made between the effect of design decisions on material selection and vice versa.

Dynamics and Flight Mechanics

Building on H41DF1 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 6-DOF 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

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 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

This module encompasses essential professional engineering elements: maths, report writing, data analysis and management. Content is delivered through lectures and assessed in context. A significant element of the module is a year-long integrating group project that draws on elements from the other five modules running in this year of the course. The project goes through an entire project lifecycle from statement of requirements through concept, detail design, manufacture, test and evaluation. An output from the project is an aerospace relevant artefact that meets the specifications. Management elements included are: basic economics, essential requirements and aims of business, program management, innovation management, an introduction to risk.

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 may change or be updated 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 the latest information on available modules.

You will gain first hand experience of the exciting challenges that are faced by aerospace engineers, and will significantly enhance your technical and managerial engineering skills. During the placement, students are classed as employees of the host company, but also remain fully registered with the University and receive support from their tutor throughout the placement. The faculty has a dedicated Placements Team who work closely with our Careers and Employability Team to support you in finding the right placement. 

Core

Computer Modelling Techniques

This module aims to provide students with a basic knowledge and understanding of the main stream computer modelling techniques used in modern engineering practice, including Finite Element, Finite Difference and Finite Volume methods.

Individual Project

Engineers working in industry usually find that they become involved in extended practical or theoretical projects. This module provides an opportunity for you to work in a similar situation.

You’ll indicate your project preferences then work under the supervision of an expert member of staff to write a dissertation on your work and present it publicly. You’ll have weekly individual tutorial with your project supervisor, but otherwise you’ll be expected to work alone.

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.

Optional

Manufacturing Automation
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.

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
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
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
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 may change or be updated 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 the latest information on available modules.

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

To be confirmed in 2020*
Keep checking back for more information
*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 offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help:

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/EU students

We offer a range of Undergraduate Excellence Awards for high-achieving international and EU scholars from countries around the world, who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers. This includes our European Union Undergraduate Excellence Award for EU students and our UK International Undergraduate Excellence Award for international students based in the UK.

These scholarships cover a contribution towards tuition fees in the first year of your course. Candidates must apply for an undergraduate degree course and receive an offer before applying for scholarships. Check the links above for full scholarship details, application deadlines and how to apply.

Careers

During your degree, you will learn how to analyse and problem solve, work in a team and be creative with inventive thinking. Our teaching is based on research funded by Airbus, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce. These strong links with industry see our graduates go on to work for global companies across a range of technical and managerial jobs.

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).

Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS)

This degree has been accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and provides you with some or all of the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills for eventual registration as an Incorporated (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng).

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 (UKSPEC).

Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)

the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and provides you with some or all of the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills for eventual registration as an Incorporated (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng).

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 (UKSPEC).

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" In general, my placement gave me real world experience in my field of study and network opportunities within a global and well recognised company, as well as valuable and highly applicable skills that are not as easily found in a university environment. "
Alex Hyer talking about his placement at AIRBUS

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2017-18

Disclaimer

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.