BEng (Hons) Aerospace Engineering with Space Technology

Key information

Why choose this course?

  • Study at one of the largest engineering schools in the UK
  • Access fantastic facilities, from flight simulators to wind tunnels
  • Work for airlines or aerospace industries around the world
  • This is a BEng degree course in aerospace engineering with a focus on space technology
  • The University of Hertfordshire has produced aerospace engineers with practical experience of design and development for future aerospace systems
  • Aerospace students from the University of Hertfordshire have previously completed work placement years at companies including Airbus, Virgin Atlantic Engineering, and BAE Systems
  • You will have access to the best equipment: flight simulator, wind tunnels, specialist laboratories and CAE software
  • You will be offered a flying course at a local flying school with one-to-one instruction on both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters Our aerospace staff have a wealth of industrial experience which gives an applied approach to their teaching and their contacts prove invaluable to graduates seeking employment
  • Recent Aerospace Engineering graduates have gone on to work at organisations including Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, Martin-Baker Aircraft Company, and BAE Systems
  • We are members of the CDIO Initiative (Conceive Design Implement Operate), a worldwide network of academic professionals, industry representatives and engineering leaders who have a passion for engineering education and engineering leadership. The CDIO framework has been embedded into our undergraduate degree programme, ensuring you’ll put into practice what you learn through “Design and Build” projects during your studies.

What's the course about?

While much of this course is common with BEng (Hons) Aerospace Engineering, this degree specialises in the design of space vehicles, with a particular emphasis on rocket propulsion, space flight control and satellite communication systems. For many of our students, the highlights of the course are the group design projects in the Third / Final Year, where you join with other aerospace students to design a complete aircraft. You’ll also work with astrophysicists to design a space vehicle in conjunction with a major space industry employer.

Your main campus is College Lane

This is where the creative arts, science and health-related subjects are based. This means you’ll share the campus with future nurses, scientists, artists and more. You can use the common rooms to relax with friends, work out in the 24-hour gym or have a drink in our on-campus pub or cafes. We also have restaurants for you to eat in or grab something on the go. Our Learning Resources Centres are open 24/7, which means you can study whenever suits you best. Want to pop over to the other campus? You can take the free shuttle bus or walk there in just 15 minutes.    

What will I study?

The School has a reputation for innovation in teaching and learning with most modules delivered through a combination of traditional face to face teaching and distance learning through the university's StudyNet web based facility.

StudyNet allows students to access electronic learning resources, electronic discussion with staff and other students, and, for some modules, submit coursework 24/7 from anywhere in the world.

With a heavy emphasis on Computer Aided Engineering, the School has a policy of using industrial standard software wherever possible and operates an open-access laboratory policy of when possible students doing experiments in their own time.

What you will learn

In your first year, you will study the fundamental skills and knowledge required by a modern engineer including principles of flight and aircraft operations. In particular, you will be introduced to computer packages commonly used in aerospace industry.

In your second year, the first year core themes are developed for application in aerospace engineering. You will learn about the design process through both group design and detail design work, and expand your knowledge of aerodynamics, with wind tunnel experiments. You will also have the opportunity to fly at a local flying school.

You may take a placement year if you wish, where you will gain excellent work experience, and this will be followed by your fourth year where for many, the Aerospace Design group project is the climax of your course where they can use your engineering skills and ingenuity to design a complete aircraft in a competitive environment. For others the self-confidence developed during the Individual Major Project that challenges them to research an aerospace relevant topic entirely by themselves using either the University or industrial facilities is the most rewarding part of your degree and can lead to future employment. There is also the opportunity for flying lessons.

Student Blogs

Godson - Week at a glance

My week at a glance

At the start of the year, the weekly timetables for respective courses are released to students on Canvas (also check Studynet). This shows all lecture, tutorial, and practical times for the year. This information gives me an idea of what my weeks will typically look like during term time.

The approach I take to ensure I have a productive week involves mapping out the activities for the week on Sunday evening. These activities include attending lectures and equivalent tutorials and lab sessions, revising and working on assignments, meetings with academic and non-academic members of staff, extracurricular activities, and part-time work.

For most of the courses at the university, staff-student contact takes place between 09:00 and 19:00 on weekdays. As most of our lecture notes are released a few days before the timetabled session, reading them helps me gain some understanding of the topic before the lecture which also helps to answer some of my questions. Tutorials are a suitable time to ask any questions that I may have. There are usually breaks in the day between timetabled sessions, this time can be spent catching up on work in the Learning Resource Centre (LRC), working on assignments or simply grabbing a bite with classmates/friends.

There are many activities to get involved in outside of the academic side of the university. Some include formula student, clubs and societies, active students, and Herts Students’ Union events, and they are an effective way to unwind and have a healthy balance in my study and social while studying at university. Outside of academics, I work part-time and play sports for the university and the local St Albans rugby club.

I spend the weekend doing any extra bit of work I may have from the week. I also make sure to get enough rest.

I appreciate that different students have different methods of staying on top of their university work, and your typical week or day may be different from mine, having a schedule makes it easier to excel at university.

Student Blogs

Godson - Student Ambassador experience

Life as a Student Ambassador

Working as a student ambassador is a terrific way to improve personal and professional skills, be a part of a vibrant community of students and staff of the university who and earn money while you study.

The role is one of the most important jobs at the university because you are usually the first face prospective students and parents see when they visit the university when you visit their school or meet them at a recruitment event. This means that the first impression they have of the university will usually depend on how you communicate with them. Student ambassadors work at university Open days, where they help staff members by giving tours of the campus, accommodation, and subject facilities. There are also opportunities to give presentations about your experience as a student to visitors, talking about your subject at a subject stand, welcoming visitors and signing them into the event and many more.

Apart from the big open days, student ambassadors can work at mini open days, UCAS and higher education fairs, visit schools to give talks about life at university, and guide school students around campus on school visits. You can also help during different activities at your respective schools of study depending on demand from your lecturers.

As an ambassador, I have worked with the team in many events around the university, met many students and staff at the university, and have made many good memories. One of my favourite moments as an ambassador was giving a tour of the engineering facilities to alumni who were some of the first Aerospace engineering students of the university (back when it used to be Hatfield Polytechnic).

One of the best things about the ambassador job is that it is a zero-hour contract job. Which means that you only work when you want to work, apart from the compulsory Open days whose dates are announced well in advance (and they are usually on the weekends). I would 100% advice every student to be an ambassador while at university because I have enjoyed every moment of it and have no doubt you will too.

Student Blogs

Godson - Things you should know

Things to know before studying Aerospace Engineering at Herts

Progressing from sixth form college, or the equivalent in their country, into university can cause a lot of students to worry about how easy it is to adjust to their new course at university. I also had these worries when I was getting ready to come to university, so here is my guide on what to know before coming to study Aerospace Engineering at Herts.

The school of Engineering has a lot of facilities on-site to help students get the best of their time studying at Herts. The academic staff are also highly qualified and knowledgeable in the various fields of engineering taught at the university. There are also non-academic staff (lab technicians, admin team) that work to help students at the university.

Lectures, tutorials, and labs

There are typically between 15 to 20 hours of contact time each week, which include lectures, labs, and tutorials where applicable.

  • Lectures are taught to the whole class in person by the lecturers on-site, the notes presented in lectures are usually uploaded on Canvas/Studynet and are available to read and print if needed. They usually last between one and two hours and timings are shown in student timetables.
  • Tutorials are held in smaller groups, usually, in hour-long sessions, where you will be able to ask more questions you may have been unable to ask in the big lecture.
  • Labs are held for modules that need them and give students a hands-on experience on topics being studied in class, examples of which are the flight simulation labs, materials labs etc.

Outside of these times, students are always welcome to email lecturers with any questions they have with lecturers also having visiting hours where students can go to their offices with any questions.

Learning Resources

Students have access to lecture notes through Canvas. In addition to this, the College Lane Learning Resource Centre (LRC) has hardcopy materials for students’ reference. The university also offers online resources to students, so you will also be able to access books recommended by your lecturers online, in the absence of physical copies.

Extracurricular activities

Outside of lectures, labs and tutorials, engineering students can engage in extracurricular activities offered by the school. Some of them include Rocketry club, Formula Student and Royal aeronautical society. There are also activities outside of the school of engineering which students can take part in which are run by the Herts Students’ Union.

I have enjoyed studying Aerospace Engineering at the University of Hertfordshire, thanks to the academic and non-academic staff here.

Alumni headshot

Alumni Stories

Temitayo Adedipe

Meet Temitayo Adedipe who has followed her passion for aviation at Leonardo in the helicopters division

Read more stories Find out more about this course
Current job roleMechanical Engineering Graduate at Leonardo
Year of graduation2020
Course of studyBEng (Hons) Aerospace Engineering
Temitayo Adedipe

Temitayo graduated in 2020 and was able to secure a graduate role soon afterwards. She takes up the story,

‘I am a Mechanical Engineering Graduate at Leonardo in the helicopters division. My passion for the aviation sector has existed for as long as I can remember. My role is particularly exciting as I have the opportunity to explore many aspects of the business through a variety of placements which means I am able to encounter different challenges. It always leaves me thinking, what's next, and with the sector being so vast, there is always more to learn.’

Meeting challenges

It wasn’t a straightforward path for Temitayo as she felt that gaps in her learning would mean she would find it hard to realise her dreams of working in the aviation industry. However with the support of her lecturers she flourished academically.

‘When I received my A-Level results, I didn't think that any university would accept me. I naturally excelled in humanities subjects including English and Sociology but in Maths and Physics, both of which were crucial for my the path I had chosen, my performance was lacking.

Herts accepted me however and after completing my foundation year, my grades reflected a new person entirely and continued to do so over the years that followed.

I found the subjects challenging, but I was consistently supported by lecturers who were not only endowed with a wealth of knowledge and experience but also with a capacity to communicate and, where necessary, translate that knowledge in a way that I could not only understand but also apply to real world problems.’

The key to success

Temitayo feels that the different aspects of the course were key to her success and says,‘My course connected me with lecturers and gave me the resources that helped me get where I am today. I was able to develop and enhance my problem solving skills and teamwork efforts. Herts was also important in helping build my confidence in asking questions and viewing problems from different angles to arrive at the best possible solution.’

Why Herts

'I would love to say I chose Herts but instead I am honoured to be able to say that Herts chose me and looking back on the years I spent at the University and the years that have followed, where and who I am now, the opportunities and experiences, the friendships and connections, there is no place I would have rather spent those years.'

The future

Temitayo has clear ambitions and is very keen to remain in the industry she enjoys so much. 'I am excited for the future and I intend to remain curious. In doing so, I hope to take on key roles in helping achieve a greener, more sustainable aviation sector.'

Herts helped me to realise that giving up isn't an option, a different method, or approach will always get me where I want to be.

Alumni headshot

Alumni Stories

Kennedy Ameh

Meet Kennedy Ameh who has explored his passion for the aviation industry since graduating. He currently works as the Head of Operations Strategy at Collins Aerospace.

Read more stories Find out more about this course
Current job roleHead of Operations Strategy
Year of graduation2010
Course of studyBEng (Hons) Aerospace Engineering

Since graduating, Kennedy has gone on to work for Collins Aerospace, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. He currently holds the role Head of Operations Strategy within the organisations Mechanical Systems Business Unit. 'I joined through the graduate development programme, and I have held roles of increasing responsibility throughout my career here. In my role, I am responsible for creating, developing and executing manufacturing strategy across six global sites in Asia and Europe.' Kennedy credits being ‘results driven’ and always rising to the challenge as the driving factors that have gotten him to where he is today.

University experience and opportunities

Kennedy recognises the impact the University made on his career, having been exposed to many fantastic opportunities during his time as a student. He says, 'During my time at the University, I was exposed to a faculty of experts that drew from industry experience and transferred this knowledge to the classroom. I also acquired a plethora of information through the Learning Resources Centre during my placement year in the industry. During my studies, I was challenged to think differently, identifying solutions before problems. I was taught to use my initiative and leverage on teamwork.'

Diverse community

A key factor that made Kennedy choose the University was the diverse community. He says, 'As an international student, the vibrant international community at the University was important to me. However, the real attraction was the rich aviation heritage of the University of Hertfordshire.' Kennedy took advantage of the University’s industry connections to propel himself forward in the sector.

Aspirations for the future

Looking forward, Kennedy intends to stay at Collins Aerospace yet still remains ambitious. He says, 'I want to run an aviation business in the future and I am very conscious of the opportunities emerging in markets like Africa. I hope to be an employer on the continent to enhance, enable and empower young minds like mine to operate globally.'

The University of Hertfordshire truly shaped me personally as well as my career. I can guarantee that no other University would have provided me with the same opportunities they did and I can confidently say that if I had not studied here, I wouldn’t be as happy in my career as I am today.