BSc (Hons) Aerospace Technology with Pilot Studies

Study at one of the largest Engineering Schools in the UK
Study at one of the largest Engineering Schools in the UK
Use simulators, specialist laboratories, workshops & CAE software
Use simulators, specialist laboratories, workshops & CAE software
You can join this course without A-level maths or physics
You can join this course without A-level maths or physics

This course includes the options of:


Work placement*

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Study abroad*

*No fees are charged for this year

Why choose this course?

  • This is the ideal course if you are interested in a role that combines technical knowledge with piloting
  • The student with greatest flying performance is awarded a Scholarship, to extend their pilot training after graduation
  • You will have access to excellent equipment: flight simulator, wind tunnels, specialist laboratories and CAE software
  • Provides potential pilots with a high-level qualification for alternative employment in the aerospace sector
  • Our BSc Aerospace Technology with Pilot Studies students have previously completed work placement years at companies including: Inflite Services, Virgin Atlantic Engineering, and British Airways
  • Recent Aerospace Technology graduates have gone on to work at organisations including Airbus Defence and Space, Fujitsu, and Toyota
  • You can gain access to this course with a broad range of entry qualifications and an enthusiasm for flying
  • 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?

As with our aerospace technology with management degree, this broad-based aviation course has an emphasis on computer-aided engineering – including 3D modelling, computer-aided analysis, simulation and computer-aided manufacture. You’ll develop your practical skills in workshops and well-equipped laboratories, while your piloting skills are developed in the second half of the course through the University’s flight simulators and tuition at a nationally recognised flight centre in the UK or US, at an additional cost. You’ll also take part in group work, which will enable you to develop your team-working skills and improve your employability.

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. The School also operate an open access laboratory policy of when possible students doing experiments in their own time.

What you will learn

In common with our Aerospace Technology with Management degree, this course has an emphasis on computer-aided engineering including 3D modelling, computer-aided analysis simulation and computer-aided manufacture – combined with pilot studies.  Your practical skills are developed in workshops and well-equipped laboratories while your piloting skills are developed in the second half of the course through the use of the University’s flight simulators and tuition at a nationally recognised flight centre, either in the UK or USA.  There are additional fees for this but at a discounted rate. 

More about the Course

This programme develops a range of skills applicable in different branches of engineering, reinforcing them through practical experience as you work towards obtaining a UK National Private Pilot's Licence.  Flying lessons are offered by a nationally-recognised flight centre.  Whilst this is an additional expense for students on this course they will give University of Hertfordshire students an attractive discounted rate.

In the first year of your BSc Honours degree course in Aerospace Technology with Pilot Studies you will gain a broad grounding in engineering, focusing on technology, information technology and management, including a basic introduction to the aerospace industry.

In your second year you will build on your knowledge of core technologies, IT and management skills as they are applied within the aerospace industry. This includes studying aerodynamics with, wind tunnel testing, design of aircraft structures and components, using commercial standard software used within the aerospace industry. You will also study elements of the PPL ground school syllabus such as meteorology, human factors, air law and navigation topics.

In your final year you concentrate on the application of aerospace technology - including aircraft performance, propulsion, manufacturing, and avionic systems - and key business skills. A project to design a complete aircraft fosters teamwork capabilities where your skills as a pilot will be put to the test in validating the design through the use of a flight simulator. You will also develop specialist knowledge by undertaking a major project on a relevant topic, and have further opportunity for flying. A key element is undertaking all pilot training necessary to take the NPPL examinations at a local flying school.

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 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.

Alumni Stories

Jim Hammett

Meet Jim Hammett who landed his dream career in the aerospace industry. He currently works as a Chief Flying Instructor (Helicopters) at Bliss Aviation.

Read more stories Find out more about this course
Current job roleChief Flying Instructor (Helicopter)
Year of graduation2000
Course of studyBEng(Hons) Aerospace Engineering

Jim Hammett

Lifelong aspiration

Becoming a pilot was an aspiration for Jim as long as he could remember. At the age of 18, his passion led him to his first flight at the controls of a Cessna 152, a 2-seated aircraft primarily used for training and personal purposes.

While studying at the University he had the opportunity to have a subsidised trial lesson in a PA28 warrior followed by a short flight in an R22 at Elstree. He says, 'This first flight in a helicopter was like a lightning strike for me and changed what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I got my Private Pilots Licence PPL(H) in 2006 while working as a Project Engineer for an aerospace company.'

After saving for 3 years, Jim went to the USA to achieve a Commercial Pilot License (CLP (H)) and also managed to gain an American instructor rating. He explains, 'When I returned to the UK, I was sponsored to convert my US instructor rating to a European instructor rating. I then travelled the country looking for work as an instructor and was finally taken on by Airways Aviation in April 2012.'

Jim's determination over the years has paid off, from his initial training to his current position as Chief Flying Instructor. However, he explains that his degree still contributes to his current job role on a daily basis. He says, 'It [has given] me a deeper understanding of the principles of flight and general aircraft knowledge. It also made gaining my license easier as I felt I already knew some parts of the course.'

Helping future generations

As a Chief Flying Instructor, some of Jim's daily responsibilities include helping students to obtain their PPL(H), ensuring all training given is up to standard and writing and amending operations and training manuals. 'My day-to-day activities vary depending on bookings and the weather. Every day is different and you have to come to work ready for anything. My responsibilities don't change but the amount of work I do does.'

For those who are looking to get into a similar career, Jim stresses the importance of having a strong love for aviation as the sacrifices are not often reflected in the pay scale. He says, 'Should you achieve your goals, the view from the office is much better! Having a good backup career is also a fine plan if you lose your medical.'

Plans for the future

In the future Jim would like to branch out into other areas of commercial helicopter flying, possibly in other countries: 'I would like to take on pleasure flights, sling work and VIP Charter. It's also been an ambition of mine to start a flying school of my own one day.'

This first flight in a helicopter was like a lightning strike for me and changed what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.

Please note that some of the images and videos on our course pages may have been taken before social distancing rules in the UK came into force.