Aeronautics with Spacecraft Engineering

Specialise in the design of space technologies in this professionally accredited, integrated Master’s degree.

Key information

Award

MEng

Duration

4 years

full-time

Typical offer

Three A-level offer: A*A*A

Four A-level offer: A*AAA–A*A*AA

See full entry requirements

Applications : admissions ratio

6.1 : 1

Based on 2015 application data

Professionally accredited

Read about this course's accreditation

  • UCAS course code: n/a*
  • ECTS: 240-242
  • Start date: October 2018

* Apply initially for MEng Aeronautical Engineering (H401)

Open days

Book your place now for 28 and 29 June 2017.

Overview

This professionally accredited course aims to provide you with a broad base of engineering, computational and analytical skills, alongside the specific knowledge required for careers in the aeronautical industry.

Joining this specialist spacecraft stream means you'll also be equipped with an analytical skillset appropriate to the design of spacecraft technologies and an understanding of the unique challenges when designing space systems for launch and operation.

All of our Aeronautical Engineering students cover the same core study programme for the first two years. This focuses on a broad base of physical and engineering subjects, including a strong emphasis on mathematics in the first year and an opportunity to attend a one-week flight testing course at the National Flying Laboratory Centre at Cranfield University in the second year.

Spacecraft engineering

The third year includes a mixture of core and optional modules, including a six-week group design project. Working in design teams, you are tasked with developing a particular design concept to the stage where feasibility has been fully explored. Projects in recent years have included a "flying wing" passenger aircraft, an advanced tactical stealth fighter, and an off-shore oil platform.

We also introduce more specialised space-related material, including core modules in spacecraft structures and spacecraft systems. A broad selection of optional modules gives you the chance to tap into cutting-edge aeronautics research activities being undertaken by internationally recognised experts within the Department.

Your study reaches Master’s level in the fourth year, with further core modules relating to the design of spacecraft technologies and a choice of research-led modules.

You also complete a four-month space-related research project, which gives you the chance to put your project management skills to the test. This can be carried out in the Department, in industry or at a research establishment, under the supervision of both College and industrial supervisors.

Students who have studied the appropriate foreign language also have the opportunity to undertake their project in Europe.

FacilitiesWind tunnel

Imperial’s Department of Aeronautics is at the cutting edge of aerospace teaching and research. Throughout the course you will benefit from access to our first class facilities, which include:

  • a Mach 9 hypersonic gun tunnel and a variable Mach supersonic wind tunnel
  • a range of low-speed wind tunnels for road vehicle studies
  • a large flight test arena for the development of next-generation aerial robots
  • a state-of-the-art flight simulator where you can test-fly your own aircraft designs

Transfer between courses

Students interested in this course should initially apply to our standard Aeronautical Engineering course (H401).

At the end of the second year, students who are on target to achieve a 2:1 or above may apply to transfer to this course, our Year Abroad course, or our Year in Industry course.

If you are an international student, transferring to a different course could have an impact on your Tier 4 visa. Please visit our International Student Support webpage for further information.

Structure

Please note that the curriculum of this course is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for 2018 entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.

Year 1

Core modules

  • Aircraft Performance
  • Computing
  • Engineering Design and CAD (inc Applications)
  • Engineering Ethics
  • Introduction to Aerodynamics
  • Introduction to Structural Analysis
  • Management and Business for Aeronautical Engineers
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanics
  • Properties of Materials
  • Thermodynamics

Year 2

Core modules

  • Aerodynamics
  • Circuits, Signals and Systems
  • Computing and Numerical Analysis
  • Manufacturing Processes (including Applications)
  • Materials
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanics of flight
  • Propulsion and Turbomachinery
  • Structural Mechanics and Dynamics

Optional modules

You choose one module from below.

  • Horizons (language modules only)
  • Managerial Economics

You will also have the opportunity to attend a flight testing course at Cranfield University.

Year 3

Core modules

  • Aerospace Vehicle Design
  • Aircraft Aerodynamics
  • Aircraft Structures
  • Airframe Design
  • Applications Exercise
  • Control Systems
  • Experimental Methods (5 Labs)
  • Finite Element
  • Group Design Project
  • Spacecraft Structures
  • Spacecraft Systems

Optional modules

You choose one module from below.

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Advanced Propulsion
  • Aircraft systems engineering and unmanned vehicle technologies
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Design Led Innovation and New Venture Creation
  • Emerging Technologies for Green Aviation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Helicopter Dynamics
  • High-Performance Computing
  • Imperial Horizons – offers a wide range of modules, including languages and humanities options, which are designed to broaden your education, inspire your creativity and enhance your professional impact
  • Innovation Management
  • Introduction to Turbulence and Turbulence Modelling
  • Materials in Action
  • Mathematics
  • Project Management

Year 4

Core modules

  • Aerothermodynamics of Launchers and Re-entry Vehicles
  • Four-month Individual Research Project and Laboratory Work
  • Structural Dynamics

Optional modules

You choose four modules from below.

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Applications of Fluid Dynamics
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Design Led Innovation & New Venture Creation
  • Emerging Technologies for Green Aviation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Helicopter Dynamics
  • Humanities Language
  • Innovation Management
  • Introduction to Turbulence and Turbulence Modelling
  • Materials in Action

Some of the modules above are available in other years, and it is not possible to take the same module again in this year.

Professional accreditation

This degree leads to a Master’s level qualification. It is accredited by the following organisations on behalf of the Engineering Council:

Achieving a professionally accredited degree demonstrates to employers that you have achieved an industry-recognised standard of competency.

It also provides you with a faster route to becoming a Chartered Engineer (CEng) in your chosen field by satisfying the educational requirements of this professional qualification. This means you won’t need to undertake any further academic study on your route to gaining Chartered status, though you will need to demonstrate your ability to meet competences described in the Engineering Council's UK-SPEC.

A CEng is a highly respected qualification earned by professionals working in engineering, which can lead to higher earning potential and better career prospects.

It also brings international recognition of your qualification, which is particularly useful for students preparing for a career abroad.

Our accreditation agreements with RAeS and IMechE are renewed every five years.

The current accreditation agreements are due to be renewed for students starting their studies in the 2020–21 academic year. The Department expects to be accredited into the future.


Associateship

As well as your main Imperial degree, you will also receive the award of the Associateship of the City and Guilds of London Institute (ACGI) on completion of this course.

The City and Guilds of London Institute is one of three historic Colleges that came together to form Imperial College London in 1907.

Find out more about our Associateships.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

You can expect to be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and problem sessions.

Assessment

Assessment varies between modules, but for the majority it involves a combination of written exams and continuous assessment of coursework and tutorial material. In the final years, interim and final oral presentations and progress reports are also assessed.

From the first year, you will take part in hands-on design exercises and laboratory tests using state-of-the-art equipment in the Department. This project work increases in complexity as you progress through the course.

Staff expertise

At Imperial, you will be taught by a range of teachers of all levels from Professors to PhD students, including some who undertake groundbreaking research and are regarded as experts in their field.

You may also experience peer teaching and be taught by specialists external to the College.

Compare this course

See how this course compares with similar courses at different institutions using the Unistats Key Information Set (KIS).

The KIS consists of official data which we provide about all of our undergraduate courses that have a UCAS code. This information is published by the Higher Education Funding Council on the Unistats website to help you compare similar courses at different institutions.

Because acceptance onto this course is via in-course transfer, it does not have its own KIS. However, there is a high degree of overlap with the main degree in this Department so we encourage you to use the KIS data for that degree for information on areas such as the proportion of time spent in timetabled teaching and independent study, how the course is assessed, student satisfaction and what our graduates are doing six months after completing the course.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis – see selection process below.

For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (see Contact us).

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. If the requirements for your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page for guidance on which qualifications we accept.

A-levels

Typical offer range

As a guide, here are the typical offers made in 2016 to at least 85% of applicants studying A-levels:

Three A-level offer: A*A*A

Four A-level offer: A*AAA–A*A*AA

Subject and grade requirements (2018 entry)

We expect applicants for 2018 entry to meet the following grade requirements in these subjects:

  • A* in Mathematics
  • A*/A in Physics (A* is required if applying with three A-levels. At least an A is required if applying with four A-levels)

Further Mathematics is strongly encouraged but not essential.

General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.

Practical endorsement (practical science assessment)

If you are made an offer you will be required to achieve a pass in the practical endorsement in all science subjects that form part of the offer.

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer range

As a guide, the typical offer made in 2016 to at least 85% of applicants studying IB was 40 points overall.

Subject and grade requirements (2018 entry)

We expect applicants for 2018 entry to meet the following grade requirements in these subjects:

  • 7 in Mathematics at higher level
  • 7 in Physics at higher level

Advanced Placements

Our minimum requirement for this course is grades 5, 5, 5, 5 to include:

  • 5 in Calculus BC
  • 5 in Physics
  • 5 in two other relevant subjects

Selection process

Assessing your application

Admissions Tutors consider all the evidence available during our rigorous selection process and the College flags key information providing assessors with a more complete picture of the educational and social circumstances relevant to the applicant.

Some applicants may be set lower offers and some more challenging ones. It is the College’s policy to not make offers below three A’s at A-level in relevant subjects, 38 IB points with at least a grade 6 at higher level in relevant subjects, or their equivalent.

A typical range of offers made by this Department in 2016 (encompassing at least 85% of applicants who studied A-level or IB) is shown above.

Post-application open day and interview

If your UCAS application indicates that you are likely to satisfy our requirements and you live within reasonable travelling distance of the College, you will be invited to visit the Department. The interview day consists of:

  • an interview with a member of staff
  • a 30 minute mathematics test
  • an opportunity to speak informally with students and lecturers
  • a tour of the Department and campus with current students

The interview aims to explore your interest in the subject, your technical ability and motivation to study aeronautics. You will also take a mathematics test, which is designed to evaluate your mathematical and problem-solving skills.

The interview provides an opportunity for you to ask for more detailed information about aspects of the course. You will also have an opportunity to meet other staff and students informally and will be invited to join a tour of the Department and the College.

We usually make offers of a place on the course within a month of your visit, although occasionally this may not be possible.

We also welcome applications for deferred entry if you want to spend a year gaining industrial experience before university.

There are alternative arrangements for applicants who do not live within reasonable travelling distance, which are either or both of the below:

  • a Skype interview
  • an open-ended technical question

English language qualifications (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for undergraduate applicants.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

An ATAS certificate is required for overseas students applying for this course.

Your Tier 4 visa application, or extension of stay, will automatically be refused if you need an ATAS certificate and cannot provide one.

For further guidance on obtaining an ATAS certificate please see the information on our International Student Support website.

Tuition fees and funding

We charge tuition fees for every year that your course lasts. The fee you will be charged is based on your fee status, which is determined by government regulations.

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2017 entry
£9,250 per year

The above fee applies to the academic year 2017–18 only. This is the maximum rate of tuition chargeable by institutions that achieved a ‘meet expectations’ award under the first year of the UK government’s new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

In its TEF: Year Two specification guidance document, the government confirmed that all institutions achieving a Bronze rating or higher in Year Two will be able to charge the maximum capped amount. These ratings will be announced in spring 2017.

You should expect the fee to increase for each year that your course lasts, subject to UK government regulations on fee increases.

We expect EU students will continue to pay the Home rate of tuition as long as the UK remains in the EU, and for the duration of their course, provided this remains lawful.

Government funding

If you're a Home student, you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the UK government to cover the entire cost of tuition for every year of your course. You can also apply for a means-tested Maintenance Loan to help towards your living costs.

The government has confirmed that EU students entering university in the UK in 2017 and 2018 also have access to the Tuition Fee Loan for the duration of their course. This will remain the case even if their course finishes after the UK's exit from the European Union.

Tuition fees (Islands and Overseas students)

2017 entry
£27,750 per year

The above fee applies to the academic year 2017–18 only. The fee for the 2018–19 academic fee has not yet been set by the College. We will update this page as soon as this fee information is available so please check back before submitting an application for 2018 entry.

Please note that the tuition fee amount you will pay may increase each year.

Additional course costs

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study which have to be budgeted for in addition to tuition fees and living expenses. This section provides examples of these and it is possible that all, or some, of these will be relevant to you.

Please note that the cost figures given are based on what such costs were in previous academic years and these are likely to change year to year. However, it is useful for you to be aware of the types of things you may have to pay for and their cost in previous years.

This section details whether the additional costs are essential or optional. Essential costs are highlighted as costs that you will need to pay to fully participate and complete your studies. Optional costs are not essential to your studies and you will be free to opt out of these.


Summary
DescriptionMandatory/optionalGuide to cost
Field trip (flight testing course) Optional £50
Personal Protective Equipment Mandatory Provided
Research project (at Imperial College) Mandatory Free
Research project (elsewhere in the UK) Varies
Research project (outside the UK)
 - return economy flight
Varies
 - Provided
Please review the information below for more information on the costs listed in the table.

Flight testing course

The Easter break of second year includes an optional flight testing course at the Cranfield Institute of Technology.

The cost of this trip to the Department in the 2016–17 academic year is £320 per student. Students wishing to take part will be asked to pay £50 towards this cost. Payment is required before the end of the spring term (March), via bank transfer.

Individual Research Project and Laboratory work

A four-month individual research project and laboratory work is a mandatory part of your final year assessment. You can choose to complete this in the Department, in industry, at a research establishment or at a different university either in the UK or overseas.

You should expect to budget for travel and/or accommodation costs if you choose to complete your project in industry, at a research establishment or at another university.

The Department will cover the cost of a return economy flight where the project is completed outside of the UK.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Wearing personal protective equipment is compulsory for some activities on this course. Where this applies, we will provide you with the necessary PPE free of charge.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

Over 90 per cent of Imperial undergraduates choose to live in our halls of residence in their first year. You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

Careers

All of our undergraduate courses lead to an integrated Master's degree, which includes study at postgraduate level. This makes our graduates highly sought after for a range of careers in the aerospace industry, manufacturing, consultancy, research and development, and in other fields as diverse as teaching or finance.

Recent graduates of the Department have become:

  • Simulation and Analytics Engineer, Red Bull Technology
  • Aerodynamist, McLaren
  • Technology Analyst, Goldman Sachs
  • Graduate Engineer, Airbus Defence and Space
  • Technical Service Engineer, Singapore Airlines

How to apply

UCAS key information

  • UCAS course code: n/a*
  • UCAS institution code: I50

UCAS Apply system

To apply to study at Imperial you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

* Apply initially for MEng Aeronautical Engineering (H401)

Application deadlines

All applications, other than those which include choices for medicine at Imperial, must be submitted to UCAS by 18.00 (UK time) on 15 January 2018 for entry in October 2018.

The deadline for medicine courses at Imperial starting in 2018 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2017.

Tracking your application

Once you’ve completed and submitted your application through UCAS’s online Apply service, you can use UCAS’ Track system to follow its progress and manage your choices.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

You may also be interested in the following related departments and the courses they offer:

Contact us

Aeronautics students

Got a question?

Dr Paul Bruce
T: +44 (0)20 7594 5048

E: 
aero.admissions@imperial.ac.uk

Read more on the Department of Aeronautics website.

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