MEng (Hons) Aerospace Engineering

Key information

Why choose this course?

  • Study at one of the largest engineering schools in the UK
  • 1st in the East of England for Aeronautical & Aerospace Engineering (2023 Complete University Guide)
  • Work for airlines or aerospace industries around the world

Would you like to design aircraft? We’ll teach you how. We’ll train you up in everything you need to know, from aircraft structures and materials to aerodynamics. We’re passionate about aerospace, and it’s an important part of our institution’s history. It’s how we began. Working with the de Havilland Aircraft Corporation and BAE Systems, the first aerospace engineers started their training back in 1952. As a result, our degree has an excellent and well-established reputation within the aerospace industry.  

On this MEng course, you’ll follow the same pathway as the BEng programmes, but in your extra year you’ll deepen your knowledge and understanding of aerospace topics. You’ll also sharpen your business and management skills. University of Hertfordshire aerospace engineers graduate with practical experience of design and development for future aerospace systems. You’ll get hands-on with our flight simulators, wind tunnels, specialist laboratories and CAE software. We have an open-access laboratory policy for students doing experiments in their own time. With an emphasis on Computer Aided Engineering, you’ll be using industrial standard software wherever possible.  

We’re 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.

You’ll be taught by experienced aerospace staff, who’ll share their industry knowledge with you. There's plenty of support on offer to help you gain the skills you need to succeed. Plus, like the students before you, you’ll benefit from our strong links to industry. Our students have had work placements at companies such as Airbus, MBDA, Virgin Atlantic Engineering and BAE Systems, Marshall Aerospace and Rolls-Royce plc. Recent Aerospace Engineering graduates have gone on to work at organisations including Ministry of Defence, The Royal Air Force, Jaguar Land Rover, BAE Systems and Telefonica. 

What's the course about?

In your first year, you’ll learn the fundamental skills and knowledge required by a modern engineer, including principles of flight and aircraft operations. You’ll be introduced to Computer Aided Design package commonly used in the aerospace industry. You will also have an opportunity to take part in an exciting design project. Examples of previous projects are Ground Effect Vehicle made of balsa wood and laser cut mini–Mars Rover controlled by Arduino board. 

In your second year, the first-year core themes are further developed. You’ll learn about the design process through series of lectures and practical activities, and you will take part in another exciting group design project. You will expand your knowledge of aerodynamics, with wind tunnel experiments and you will learn about aerospace structures. You will be introduced to software commonly used in the aerospace industry for Finite Element Analysis and Computational Fluid Dynamics.  

Between your second and third year, you can choose to take a work placement or a study abroad year. Both are valuable experiences and something you can add to your CV to make you stand out. 

In your third, or fourth year if you have taken a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll work on two projects:  

  • The Aerospace Design group project - is where you’ll showcase your engineering skills. You will be allocated to a team to design a full-size aircraft and test fly it using our flight simulator. Every year the design task is different – in previous years, our students designed wide-body commercial airliners, heavy cargo aircraft, fire-fighting aircraft and even strategic bombers.  
  • The Individual Major Project - is where you’ll immerse yourself in an area of aerospace engineering, you’re passionate about, using either the University or industrial facilities. This is a rewarding part of your degree that can lead to future employment.  

In your final year, where you will study at a Masters level, you will further deepen your knowledge and understanding of aerospace topics as well as develop your business and management skills. The Team Project is multi-disciplinary and involves applying your skills to solve an unusual and challenging problem, for example the design of an autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for surveillance on Mars. You could also participate in competitions such as IMechE UAS Challenge, where you and your fellow students have the chance to design and build your own UAV and compete against teams from other universities. 

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?

Masters' programmes are structured into levels, 4, 5, 6 and 7.  These correspond to your first, second, third and fourth year of study. Below you can see what modules you’ll be studying in each. 

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

Pratham - A day in the life on my aerospace engineering course

Hello!

My name is Pratham Dharu and I am currently a Level 5 BEng Aerospace Engineering with Space Technology student at Herts.

I will be taking you through my average daily schedule on the most productive day of the week which would be Monday this semester 😀

A typical Monday

I usually start my day around 6am and wake up and start preparing all meals for the day. Once I am done cooking, I brew myself a cup of coffee and start walking towards The Oval for my morning gym session. After a sweaty session I go back to my room for a shower. After finishing my breakfast, I leave my flat at around 8.45am and go for my 9am Aerodynamics lecture. Aerodynamics is the study of objects under fluid flow - this module mainly covers fluid dynamics and mechanics. At Herts, we use multiple wind tunnels for aerodynamic testing such as CRM, Subsonic and Supersonic, also using industry-grade software such as CATIA and XFLR5 for computational simulations.

I always carry my charger and iPad with me so I can take notes and charge my phone anywhere on campus. After finishing the three-hour lecture, we get a one-hour break, after which I have my weekly appointment with my research mentor to discuss my progress in the research I am doing this year under the University’s undergraduate pathway research programme. After a great discussion with my mentor, I head back to my flat as it is already 1pm and I am hungry by this point in time 😋

After lunch, I clean my room and do my laundry then head to my 3pm practical session for Materials Science module - it's easy for me to get to the classes as it is just a five-minute walk from my flat. Materials is one of the most important topics for aerospace, as it deals with strength and testing different types of material for aircrafts and spacecrafts.

The University has various active student sessions suitable for both freshers and pro league players. The reason I go for active student sessions is not just the fitness, but the free merch you get for just participating in sports such as shirts and hoodies! After practice on my way back to College Lane on my bike, I stop at Aldi which is a two-minute walk from de Havilland Campus, pick up my weekly groceries and head back to my flat. I head to the LRC, which again is just a five-minute walk from my flat.

I finish my homework and work emails on the silent floor as I am the ‘do not disturb’ kind of person when it comes to work or academics. I complete all my work by 10pm and head back home.

This was a productive day in my weekly schedule but usually it is not this busy!

After hours

I enjoy going out with my friends to The Forum for Friday lights or karaoke nights on campus. I participate in a lot of active student and society events and am currently a committee member for four societies at Herts SU. I do occasionally spend my time on the Cessna 172 full scale flight simulators, especially a few days before when I must go for my flying classes so I can complete my 20 hours of flying before I graduate.

This was a typical day in the life of an average aerospace engineer 👨‍🎓

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.'

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.'