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Aerospace Engineering MEng/BEng(Hons)

Qualification Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
MEng 4 years full time H425 2017
MEng 5 years full time including sandwich year H426 2017
BEng(Hons) 3 years full time H421 2017
BEng(Hons) 4 years full time including sandwich year H422 2017

Important: if you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you will need an ATAS certificate if you wish to apply for the Aerospace Engineering MEng course. Read more.

Once you have completed the Aerospace Engineering Foundation Year (UCAS code H408), you can transfer to Aerospace Engineering BEng(Hons)/BSc(Hons), dependent on satisfactory grades.

Why choose this course?

Kingston's degrees in aerospace engineering offer an innovative curriculum, excellent links with industry and cutting-edge facilities. Both the MEng and BEng(Hons) degrees are accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS). The MEng degree contains an extra year of advanced-level study and can provide a faster route to chartered engineer (CEng) status.

What you will study

Year 1 provides an introduction to aerospace engineering, and will underpin the skills and knowledge for further specialised study. You will study a mix of analytical subjects, such as mathematics, structures, dynamics, electronics, thermodynamics and engineering applications, alongside an introduction to the profession of engineering.

Year 2 will introduce you to specialised topics in aerospace engineering such as aerodynamics, propulsion, structures, dynamics and materials. It includes further study of mathematics, electronics, control and computing. A design-orientated module (Aerospace Engineering Design and Project Management) will apply the principles taught in the other modules to problems of aerospace design.

In Year 3, you will deepen your knowledge of specialised aerospace engineering subjects and will broaden your expertise in other areas of engineering. BEng students undertake a major group design project and an individual research project along with business studies and an option module. MEng students take specialist modules in computer-aided engineering, further mathematics, and materials for extreme conditions.

Year 4 of the MEng course will continue to deepen and broaden your expertise. It includes a multidisciplinary group design project that helps to integrate and apply your academic knowledge, develop your teamworking and communication skills, and increase your understanding of real-world engineering issues.

You can choose to take an optional  sandwich year between Years 2 and 3 (MEng and BEng(Hons) or between Years 3 and 4 (MEng only).

Read about Aidan Nicholls' project to design, develop and build a micro jet engine using design by analysis techniques and his placement at Airbus.

Accreditation for this course

Royal Aeronautical SocietyThe Aerospace Engineering MEng course is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society and satisfies, in full, the academic requirements for Chartered Engineer (CEng) and Incorporated Engineer (IEng) registration.

The Aerospace Engineering BEng(Hons) course is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society and satisfies, in part, the academic requirements for Chartered Engineer (CEng) registration and in full, Incorporated Engineer (IEng) registration.

Find out more about the full criteria and validity for Chartered Engineer (CEng) status and Incorporated Engineer (IEng) status.

Engineering Council logo

This degree has been accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council. 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 (UK-SPEC). An accredited degree will provide you with some or all of the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills for eventual registration as an Incorporated (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng). Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees, and an accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.

Please check the Engineering Council website for more information.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1

  • This module deals with basic aerodynamics, aircraft systems and propulsion using a Learjet aircraft (on site) to provide a frame of reference. An introduction to the essential differences between space engineering and its environment, and aircraft and aerospace engineering. This module covers the International Standard Atmosphere and basic aerodynamic terms, followed by basic discussion of the theory of flight, stability and lift augmentation. The ATA systems covering general construction, layout and operation of aircraft systems and components will be covered.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Demonstrate an understanding of the basic measuring, machining and fabrication processes and perform fundamental heat treatment and testing procedures on relevant engineering materials.
    • Describe the design, manufacture, testing and redesign of a prototype according to given specifications while following appropriate methods for the design and development of products.
    • Comprehend and apply the basic principles of safety within the workshop and laboratory and carry out a risk assessment on a suitable laboratory activity and location.
    • Using the general principles of the ATA 100, describe the layout and operation of aircraft major components and systems.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the aerospace industry, its regulatory framework and the terminology commonly used.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the unique demands of the aerospace environment.
  • This module introduces the fundamentals of thermofluids (thermodynamics and fluid mechanics) and solid mechanics (statics and dynamics). The thermofluids section covers the key concepts of system, work, heat and the main thermodynamics laws with special reference to their engineering applications. An introduction to main equations of fluid mechanics and dynamics, dimensional analysis, properties of fluids and their measurement methodology and units.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Describe the fundamental properties of a fluid, use correct unit, property tables and charts. State and apply the zeroth, first and second laws of thermodynamics to engineering problems.
    • State the basic equations of fluid mechanics, explain the concepts of pressure, temperature and measurements methods.
    • Describe laminar and turbulent flows and apply continuity, momentum and energy equations to fluid flow.
    • Determine the external and internal forces and moments in simple structures under equilibrium and carry out one-dimensional stress analysis of engineering components in tension, compression and bending modes.
    • Carry out kinematics and kinetics analysis of dynamic systems with constant and variable accelerations.
    • Apply Newton's laws and energy method to engineering components in motion modelled as particles and rigid bodies.
  • This module introduces the basic concepts from electrical and electronic engineering, using analytical methods. The module embeds a solid foundation in engineering mathematics which is then conceptualised to find solutions to engineering problems. An introduction to basic programming skills applied to engineering problems is also included.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Apply simple principles, laws and theorems to the analysis of electrical and electronic circuits.
    • Describe characteristics of electrical systems, electronic devices and electronic instruments including key concepts such as amplification.
    • Apply basic programming skills to simple engineering problems and demonstrate appreciation of importance of programming in engineering.
    • Perform calculations using matrix algebra, trigonometry and complex numbers.
    • Use calculus to solve engineering problems.
    • Use statistical methods, including probability to an engineering problem.
  • This module aims to develop competence in the application of the fundamentals of engineering design to a given specification including the manufacture and testing of that design. The module provides an understanding of the structure and synthesis of a broad range of engineering materials, their test methods, structure, implications for manufacture and the control of these structures to produce optimum performance in service. The design part of the module will develop skills in engineering drawings and computer aided design (CAD) and solid modelling together with an introduction to the fundamentals of material science.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Produce and interpret engineering drawings in accordance with international standards.
    • Demonstrate proficiency in the use of solid modelling technologies in the design and development of products.
    • Describe and apply the engineering design process from specification through to design optimisation.
    • Apply a knowledge of molecular structure, crystalline structure and phase transformation to identify different types of materials and to describe their range of properties and applications.
    • Describe the characteristics of a range of common engineering materials including the various failure modes and provide simple analysis using appropriate analytical tools such as the concept of fracture mechanics.
    • Identify and describe common engineering manufacturing processes.

Year 2

  • This module introduces the basics of aerodynamics and aerospace propulsion with the aim to be able to analyse, formulate and solve elementary problems. The mathematics is taught in the context of the solution of engineering problems. The module deals with potential flows, production of aerodynamic forces, wind tunnel testing, compressible flows, shock waves and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The propulsion aspect addresses conservation of energy and the laws of theormodynamics.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Analyse, formulate and solve elementary problems in aircraft aerodynamics.
    • Analyse, formulate and solve elementary problems in aerospace propulsion.
    • Apply techniques of differentiation and integration to engineering problems.
    • Solve first and second order ordinary differential equations.
    • Solve partial differential equations using various methods and techniques.
    • Use complex numbers, series expansions and matrices.
  • This module aims to develop an understanding of the fundamentals of aerospace engineering design and provide the skills necessary to undertake the group design project. The module brings together various elements of generic project engineering and management. Project planning and scheduling is covered in detail, including the use of project management software. Financial aspects as to discounted cash flow and budgeting and introduction to quality management is included.  

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Perform fundamental calculations appropriate to the design of aerospace vehicles.
    • Examine the trade-offs which arise in aerospace vehicle design and make appropriate design decisions.
    • Work in and lead a small team.
    • Communicate results of design investigations in design reports.
    • Apply project management techniques to simple projects including the use of appropriate software.
    • Carry out economic assessments using discounted cash flow methods and calculate project return rates.
  • This module deals in greater depth with statics, materials and dynamics and  topics of particular relevance to aerospace studies. The module includes further work on the analysis of beams, materials used in aerospace such as composites and develops the knowledge of vibration theory and application of dynamics of particles and rigid bodies in aerospace. Topics such as Bredt-Batho theory, aircraft dynamic performance and stability, finite element application in static and dynamic analysis of structures are also introduced.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Analyse problems related to direct stress utilising buckling analysis and asymmetric sections.
    • Apply flexural and torsional shear stress distributions thin-walled sections typically found in aerospace structures.
    • Derive and solve mathematical models for vibratory systems with one and more degree of freedom under free and forced conditions.
    • Describe and analyse problems related to the performance, stability and control of aircraft.
    • Measure strain, deflection and vibrations in components, analyse the results and write a technical report.
    • Describe and analyse the material properties used in aerospace and carry out finite element modelling (FEM/FEA) for validation, design and optimisation of structures.
  • This module deals with advanced electronic systems and concepts from classical control, including feedback control systems and analysis of their response and the effects of the feedback loop. A range of engineering programming tools are used to model and analyse the performance of engineering systems, enabling learning of the functionality of control analysis and design software.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Analyse a range of electronic systems including operational amplifiers based circuits and digital signal processing systems.
    • Design a modern digital system.
    • Construct models of engineering systems and design appropriate controllers and use formal methods to determine system performance (including step and frequency response analysis).
    • Employ computational methods in modelling and simulation of engineering control systems.
    • Design computing algorithms, implement and verify for accuracy and efficiency, using a high level computing language and use structural techniques that aid the understanding of given programming implementations.
    • Apply appropriate analytical techniques and methods to solve classical electronic and control problems.

Optional sandwich year: MEng and BEng(Hons)

Year 3/4

  • This module extends the analysis of aerodynamic and propulsive systems with a view to provide the ability to design and evaluate aerodynamic loadings on aerospace vehicles as well as propulsion systems. The module aims to extend the knowledge and skill base of solving aerospace engineering problems with advanced analytical approaches using computational fluid dynamics and Matlab programming.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Analyse, formulate and solve advanced problems in sub-sonic and supersonic aircraft aerodynamics.
    • Analyse, formulate and solve advanced problems in aerospace propulsion.
    • Develop mathematical model for aerospace engineering problems via 'formulation-analysis-interpretation-assessment' cycle approach.
    • Design and implement computer programmes and user graphic interface based on software platform to solve engineering problem.
    • Understand the principles of computational fluid dynamics and basic numerical techniques of solving partial differential equations.
    • Use CFD software to model and solve engineering flow problem related to aerospace such as aerodynamics, propulsion, heat transfer.
  • This module aims to extend knowledge of the analytical techniques applicable to aerospace structures and the function of structural components.

    The multifaceted discipline of materials technology with a focus on fracture and fatigue analysis is presented along with finite element analysis of typical aircraft structures. In addition, the module provide an understanding of aircraft dynamic stability, structural dynamics and aero-elasticity.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Analyse failure of materials using fracture mechanics.
    • Predict materials behaviour under fatigue loading.
    • Analyse aerospace structures using finite element methods.
    • Solve matrix equations for natural characteristics and forced response of structures. Apply modal testing and MATLAB to solve eigenvalues problems.
    • Determine the aircraft longitudinal and lateral dynamic stability modes of motion.
    • Evaluate static and dynamic aeroelsatic effects on typical aircraft structures.
  • This core module creates the opportunity to work as a member of a design team on an aerospace design project and develop a broader understanding of the business context of engineering activities.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Work effectively as part of an aerospace design team.
    • Communicate ideas in written and oral form a the level expected of a graduate engineer.
    • Demonstrate the competences in management and business required by professional engineers including basic accounting principles and performance measurement.
    • Analyse the domestic and international business environment including the driving forces that affect business growth.
    • Discuss the choices available in the pursuit of growth and success and the concept of strategic marketing.

    Examples of recent group design projects in space engineering include:

    • Optimisation of rocket propulsion pressurisation for a small launcher.
    • Investigation into re-entry probe decelerators.
    • Concept design of a low cost 50kg class satellite launcher.
    • Rapid prototyped CubeSat Satellite Structure.
    • Preliminary design of a hybrid engine powered sounding rocket.
  • This module further develops the ability to model engineering problems using advanced mathematical methods and broaden the understanding of the business context of engineering activities. The module provides advanced mathematical knowledge in real analysis, complex analysis, numerical analysis, vector analysis, special functions and statistics.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Apply techniques of real, complex and vector analysis.
    • Solve non-linear equations using a variety of methods.
    • Use statistical methods for hypothesis testing.
    • Demonstrate the competences in management and business required by professional engineers including basic accounting principles and performance measurement.
    • Analyse the domestic and international business environment including the driving forces that affect business growth.
    • Discuss the choices available in the pursuit of growth and success and the concept of strategic marketing.
  • This module is a core module in the Aerospace Engineering BEng programmes and forms a 'capstone' experience for the course. This major project is undertaken throughout the final year of the BEng programme, allowing the students to research and study in depth a topic in aerospace engineering which is of personal interest, allowing students to demonstrate the ability to analyse, evaluate, appraise, show organisational capability and communicate.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Initiate project work by conducting a critical literature survey and setting realistic project goals and milestones.
    • Conduct regular project meetings to discuss and evaluate new ideas and to review progress against deadlines.
    • Present information and defend arguments both orally and in the form of a poster-style display.
    • Structure a report in clear English providing a description of work undertaken, a synthesis of the data collected and present a logical discussion of the processes, results and conclusions.
    • Produce project work commensurate to a BEng standard always being aware of your personal and professional responsibilities.

    Recent project titles in space engineering have been:

    • Hybrid rocket lab operation and safety assessment.
    • Materials for Mars rovers.
    • Liquid oxygen hybrid rocket engine.
    • Design and build of a small bhipropellant rocket engine.
    • Development of a trajectory analysis tool for a small satellite launch vehicle.
    • Use of pressure sensitive paint for aerospace vehicle analysis.
    • Hypersonic Waverider aerodynamic investigation.
    • Measurement of thrust steering or vectoring in a small hybrid rocket engine.

Optional sandwich year: MEng

Year 4/5

  • The module is designed to provide you with the research skills and techniques necessary to select and justify a research topic, plan project execution, use various resources to carry out a literature search and successfully complete the project and other module assignments on the course. It further develops your knowledge and skills in business and management, with a particular focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. It supports you in producing proposals for enterprise ideas such as new products or services, or innovations in existing processes or organisations. Concepts of total quality management to enhance quality of products and processes in an industrial setting are presented and application of supporting quality tools and techniques are discussed.

  • This module incorporates a major project which aims to give experience working as a design team, researching and studying in depth an industrially relevant design task. The module provides a simulated experience of the difficulties and needs for team work within the modern engineering environment with the aim to develop project management skills, organisational and interpersonal skills.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Generate an industrially relevant design from initial specification through the detailed design stage, to the optimised solution.
    • Manage and participate in the design process, devising an effective plan of approach with appropriate time scheduling.
    • Participate in meetings as a team member, secretary or chairperson, produce minutes and keep a properly maintained log book
    • Effectively defend a technical design via a presentation to an industrial audience and produce a final technical report to a professional standard.

    Example recent project titles where mechanical, aerospace and astronauts and space technology students have worked together include:

    • Sounding rocket testbed for a small satellite launcher.
    • Pump feed system for a small satellite launcher.
    • Aerostructural design for a winged, reusable small satellite launcher.
  • This module applies a systems engineering approach to the analysis of aerospace systems with the aim to develop systems that are robust and respond to customer's needs. The module deals with the lifecycle of aerospace systems and the associated costs.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Identify and quantify system goals.
    • Create alternative design concepts.
    • Analyse design trade offs.
    • Select and implement the best design.
    • Evaluate system performance.
    • Evaluate and manage risk.
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics for Aerospace Applications
    This module is intended to extend the knowledge base of aerospace engineering students beyond the basic fluid mechanics/aerodynamics methods normally introduced at early undergraduate level and to provide a theoretical and practical introduction to computational fluid dynamics (CFD). In the practical sessions, emphasis is placed on the solution of aerodynamics problems in a realistic aerospace engineering context and on giving students the opportunity to develop awareness of the limitations of CFD software and to develop an understanding of good practice in their applications.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Define and analyse simple engineering fluid flow/aerodynamics problems using the Navier-Stokes equations. Identify flow problems and solve them exactly.
    • Construct appropriate solid models for CFD analysis, synthesise the solution domain and create suitable surface and volume grids via meshing tool
    • Identify both flow physics and mathematical properties of governing Navier-Stokes equations and define appropriate boundary conditions.
    • Apply CFD software to model flow problems of relevance to aerospace engineers. Analyse the CFD results and compare them with available data.

    Aerospace Stress Analysis and Advanced Materials
    This module builds on the prior knowledge gained in stress analysis and structure of aircraft materials and other properties or an equivalent course of study. It is designed to extend your knowledge of the analytical techniques of stress analysis, plasticity theory and the importance of modern materials in advanced manufacturing processes. Some of the more advanced theory behind finite element analysis is investigated.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Analyse engineering structures using finite element methods.
    • Evaluate stresses and deflections in engineering structures under complex loading.
    • Analyse post failure behaviour of engineering structures.
    • Demonstrate the ability to use finite element packages in the solution of time dependent problems eg creep and of non-linear problems, buckling, large deflections etc.
    • Develop extensive knowledge and understanding of aircraft structure, processes or products.

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Study abroad as part if your degreeMost of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

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