Course overview

Are you interested in the science behind flying? Maybe you are curious about aircraft design and manufacturing. Leading researchers in aviation teach our course to provide you with the skills and advanced knowledge needed to work in this exciting sector.

Our department has links with companies including:

  • Airbus
  • Boeing
  • Rolls-Royce Aerospace.

Industry links will provide you with placement opportunities for real world learning. Our teaching facilities and regular guest lecturers will give you a fantastic insight into the growing aerospace industry.

Learning on this course includes hands on integrating projects throughout your studies. Your learning will cover topics including:

  • Aerodynamics
  • Avionics
  • Flight mechanics
  • Human Factors

Your final year will allow you to tailor your learning through a variety of specialist modules.

Why choose this course?


Of graduates secured graduate-level entry within 15 months of graduation 

HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020


in the UK for Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering

Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021


in the UK for Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering

The Complete University Guide 2023


Accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society



With leading academics on industry-linked research projects

Aerospace focused

Study aerospace from the beginning of your programme - all course content is aerospace focused

Excellent facilities

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

Industry links

Benefit from great placement links with Airbus, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce Aerospace

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level AAB

Please note: Applicants whose backgrounds or personal circumstances have impacted their academic performance may receive a reduced offer. Please see our contextual admissions policy for more information.

Required subjects

AAB - A in Maths and either Physics (preferred) or Further Maths as a 2nd subject, or Maths with any two of the following: Chemistry, Biology, Design, Economics, Psychology, Electronics, Computer Science.

Excluding General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies, CIE Global Perspectives and Research, CIE Thinking Skills. Transfer to MEng is possible during the course subject to satisfactory progression.

IB score 34 including Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches - 6 at Higher Level or 7 at Standard Level or Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation – 6 at Higher Level only (plus Physics at Higher or Standard Level).

BTEC and Access considered for BEng on an individual basis.

Foundation progression options

You may access this course via an integrated honours foundation course with A level grades of BBB.


Mature Students

At the University of Nottingham, we have a valuable community of mature students and we appreciate their contribution to the wider student population. You can find lots of useful information on the mature students webpage.

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

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.

Find out where our students have been on placement in the past.

Study Abroad and the Year in Industry are subject to students meeting minimum academic requirements. Opportunities may change at any time for a number of reasons, including curriculum developments, changes to arrangements with partner universities, travel restrictions or other circumstances outside of the university’s control. Every effort will be made to update information as quickly as possible should a change occur.

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.


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 module will give you with the knowledge, concepts and principles of fluid mechanics and aerodynamics. You will complete this module over the course of a year.

Topics covered are:

  • atmospheric physics
  • standard atmosphere
  • static pressure
  • hydrostatics
  • inviscid flows – conservation of mass and momentum
  • Euler and Bernoulli equations
  • Introduction to compressible conservation of viscous flows
  • Introduction to shock waves lifting surfaces – aerofoil and wings
  • basic forces
  • pressure distributions
  • fluid structure interaction phenomena
Aerospace Statics and Dynamics

This year-long module introduces students on the Aerospace Engineering courses to the fundamental concepts and principles of solid mechanics and dynamics. It covers their application to simple engineering scenarios in an aerospace context.

Topics include:

  • Review of basic mechanics : vectors, units, forces and moments, Newton’s laws
  • Static equilibrium: force and moment analysis in design; frictional forces
  • Free body diagrams and Pin-jointed structures
  • Stress, strain and elasticity
  • Multi-axial stress-strain; thin walled vessels under pressure
  • Shear stress and torsion of shafts
  • Plane stress; Mohr's circle analysis
  • Beam bending: shear force & bending moment diagrams
  • 2nd moments of area of cross-sections
  • Bending stresses in beams
  • Linear and rotational motion: Displacement, velocity and acceleration
  • Relationship between angular and linear motion• Newton's Laws for linear & rotational motion
  • Linear and Angular Momentum, including conservation of momentum
  • Work, Energy & Power, including kinetic & potential energy
  • Geared systems
  • Drive systems, including tangential drives and vehicles
  • Load characteristics and steady-state characteristics
  • Flywheel design
  • Static and dynamic balancing
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 (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, 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 information on available modules. This content was last updated on Wednesday 17 August 2022.
Aerospace Propulsion

You will learn 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. The principles of aircraft propulsion are further developed with a focus on:

  • jet engines including the principles of gas turbine engines
  • layout and the application of compressible flow and turbomachinery principles
  • Factors influencing design and choice of engine configuration are introduced
Airframe and Materials

This module extends and deepens your knowledge of materials, concentrating on the composites and alloys used in aerospace structures and engines. An overview of current aerospace research will be used to highlight likely future developments.

Topics include:

  • 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
  • multi-celled thin-walled beams
  • shear center
  • static and fatigue failure
Dynamics and Flight Mechanics

This module introduces concepts of rigid body dynamics and vibrations and develops your ability to analyse aspects in simplified engineering situations, as well as in analysing rigid aircraft dynamics.

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 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, focusing on examples relevant to aerospace applications. Topics covered are:

  • Introduction to control systems design in aerospace context
  • Digital and analogue control systems
  • Fundamentals of aerospace electrical and electronic systems including
    • power generation and conversion
    • electric machines and drives
    • flight control actuation systems
Professional Engineering and Project 2

Within this module you will cover essential study skills, such as:

  • Maths
  • Report writing
  • Data analysis
  • Management

A year long group project will play a crucial role in your learning. The project will draw on learning from other modules within the year.

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 (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, 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 information on available modules. This content was last updated on


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.
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.

Topics covered will include:

  • Introduction to numerical methods in engineering
  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA) of structures
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for thermo-fluids problems
  • Coursework on running FEA and CFD software


Manufacturing Automation

The aim of the module is to introduce students to the fundamental concepts of manufacturing automation, present key automation technologies in manufacturing and their advantages and limitations.

The module will introduce the relevant theoretical background and fundamental concepts of different automation approaches and technologies. The focus will be placed on the role of sensors, CNC machine tools, industrial robotics and programmable logic controllers within different manufacturing contexts. Methods and indicators for quantitative production performance and cost analysis will be covered as well.

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
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 (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, 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 information on available modules. This content was last updated on

Fees and funding

UK students

Per year

International students

Per year

*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, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses:

  • Books - You can access all the essential course books through our libraries and there is usually no need to purchase your own copies. Should you wish to do so, these vary in cost but would be around £30-£80 per book depending upon whether you buy new or pre-owned, paper or electronic.
  • Printing – There is little need to print as coursework is submitted online and teaching materials provided electronically. If you do wish to print, black and white printing costs 4p per side.
  • Trips – The department covers the travel cost of compulsory field trips.
  • PPE – This course does not require PPE items to be bought. Workshop PPE is provided to you in the first year for the duration of your course. Any other essential requirements are met with no cost involved.
  • Year in Industry - If you do a work placement, any costs associated with travel or accommodation will need to be factored in as they are not covered by your fees.
  • Year abroad - If you study abroad, you will need to consider the travel and living costs for the country you choose. This could include visa costs and medical insurance.
  • Design Materials – Materials for use in design projects are supplied.
  • PC device – Although there are PCs available for your use on campus, you will need to purchase your own device, read more about our recommended specification.
  • Calculator - While the calculator you used for your former study is usually sufficient some students will choose to purchase a new calculator which will cost around £10.

Please note that these figures are approximate and subject to change.

There may also be costs issued by the university for replacement student ID cards, additional transcripts or certification letters, reassessments and library fines.

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 students

We offer a range of international undergraduate scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

International scholarships


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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" The highlight of my course has been the many opportunities that have been available to me such as becoming a flight simulator instructor and going up in a flying laboratory. "
Poppy Howe

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Important information

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.