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Aviation Operations with Commercial Pilot Training BSc(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time H464 2018
4 years full time including sandwich year H465 2018

Important: This course is not available to international students requiring a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK.

Please be aware that the cost of the second year, which involves the integrated ATPL training, is approximately £70,000, in addition to university tuition fees.

Why choose this course?

This degree is designed for those with an ambition to become commercial airline pilots and who want to achieve an aviation degree in the process. Experience has shown that airlines desire pilots who have a wide knowledge of the industry so that they can appreciate future challenges facing the industry. This degree programme provides the additional knowledge that will set students apart at the interview stage.

Throughout the course you will be taught by academics and instructors who have many years of experience of working in the aviation industry. Teaching staff are equipped with the skills required to deliver an engaging and effective learning environment. Alongside formal lectures and tutorials, the technical theory is supplemented by practical learning in well-resourced laboratories. To ensure that the course content is aligned to the latest industry trends, visiting lecturers and guest speakers from the industry are invited to deliver some of the teaching.

The course has been designed to be flexible so that students can transfer to the Aviation Operations & Technology BSc(Hons) course at the end of the first year of the programme. By the end of the first year students are likely to have a better awareness of their skills and abilities, their ability to obtain a UK CAA medical certificate and their personal and financial circumstances.

What you will study

Years 1 and 3 of the course take place at Kingston University's Roehampton Vale campus. Year 2 takes place at Bournemouth Commercial Flight Training (BCFT), a privately owned flight training operator based at Hurn Airport in Dorset and is delivered by specialist flight instructors.

Year 1 introduces aviation and equips you with the maths and physics skills needed for Years 2 and 3. You are introduced to the theory of flight and the aircraft systems that enable aircraft to fly. You are also provided with the core communication skills required to become a pilot and a future leader.

In Year 2 you are taught the specialised topics required for pilot training. The content is aligned with the 14 theoretical knowledge subjects required to achieve an EASA ATPL(A) licence. You are encouraged to keep a reflective written log of your training. Please be aware that the cost of the second year is approximately £70,000 in addition to university fees.

In Year 3, the focus is on understanding the operational and commercial nature of the airline industry. You are given the opportunity to research a topic of your choice to enhance your independent learning skills. You will also carry out a group project on airline management.

As part of the course, you will embark on a 15-month integrated flight training course leading to a frozen Air Transport Pilots' Licence (ATPL). BCFT provide accommodation, transport and all the flying equipment required to achieve the ATPL. BCFT work in partnership with the Florida Institute of Technology in the USA and students on this pathway have the opportunity to conduct some practical flight training in Florida.

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.

    Read full module description

  • This core module aims to develop the knowledge and understanding of mathematics and physics required to successfully complete the programme and pass aviation authority engineering licence examinations at category B level, and to gain an understanding of key engineering principles with the ability to solve problems.

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

    • select and use the appropriate methods and/or formulae to solve mathematical problems;
    • define the terms and explain the principles and laws associated with fundamental physics;
    • select and use the appropriate methods and/or formulae to solve fundamental physics problems; and
    • demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the subject matter in the EASA Part-66 syllabus for Mathematics and Physics.

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  • This module is designed to help you transition from sixth-form and/or further education study to higher education (HE) study and to prepare you for the learning that lies ahead. The two learning environments, and what is expected of students in those two environments, are very different, and this needs to be clearly understood by students if they are to obtain the maximum benefit from their HE course of study.

    The module will explore the differences between the two environments, explain the professional skills and personal attributes needed to successfully complete an HE programme and lay foundations for second- and third-year modules and life after completion of the programme; be that employment or further study. Basic research, report writing, referencing, use of IT, maintaining digital records, the fundamentals of working in teams, maintaining a study journal, understanding and using feedback, reflection and professional development will all be covered in scheduled learning sessions that will comprise a mixture of presentation, lecture, discussion, workshop and tutorial. You will be expected to devote time outside the schedule sessions to prepare for discussions and workshops, to maintain a study journal and to produce a portfolio of evidence. The journal and the portfolio will be used for both summative and formative assessment of the module and will provide a record and examples of work that can be used at personal tutor meetings.

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  • 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.

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Year 2

  • Flight Operations and Meteorology
  • Aircraft Systems and Navigation
  • Instrumentation, Law and Operational Procedures
  • Professional Development for Commercial Airline Pilots

Year 3

  • This module aims to allow you to explore how employers within the air transport industry combines related areas such as aircraft design, maintenance, operations or repair and overhaul in order to make a profit. The module compares the operation of the air transport market with that in other sectors, in particular, looking at standard methods of recording and reporting financial performance.

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

    • Assess the potential impact of an airline's business strategy.
    • Discuss the major determinants of air transport supply, demand and cost.
    • Analyse business accounts and, thereby, be able to describe company performance.
    • By means of the appropriate planning and analysis, assess the options open to a business at any stage in its lifecycle.

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  • This module examines all the factors that involves creating an airline operational schedule. The module deals with how the route is selected and the appropriate fares determined.  Requirements for getting the aircraft airborne, from aircrew, operations and maintenance perspectives, as well as when there is adverse conditions and how the airline can recover from such disruption in the shortest possible time.

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

    • Contribute to the effective planning of airline operations.
    • Construct robust airline fleet assignment, maintenance and routing plans to meet a given schedule.
    • Describe how airlines recover their schedules following periods of irregular operations.
    • Detail the requirements and practices of effective revenue management.
    • Work as a member of a team to derive a solution to a specified air transport operational requirement.

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  • This module is designed to give a broad understanding of the operation of the major systems typically found on an aircraft. The module investigates from a systems engineering perspective with regard to the interaction of the systems. The module will also review the maintenance requirements of these systems and more generally how aircraft maintenance is planned, delivered and regulated.

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

    • Sketch a schematic diagram of typical aircraft electrical, hydraulic, air conditioning, propulsion and control systems and explain the operation of major components.
    • Apply the principles learned throughout the programme to evaluate the operation of aircraft systems.
    • Explain the maintenance requirements of major aircraft systems.
    • Describe the regulation of airworthiness and the licensing of aircraft maintenance personnel.
    • Assess the operation of maintenance production and aircraft maintenance schedules.

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

    • Investigate or review a specified topic according to given guidelines.
    • Organise and carry out any appropriate experimental work, questionnaires and/or surveys.
    • Collate data from experimental work or other sources and use appropriate statistical methods to analyse data.
    • Draw conclusions based on analysis of information/data and comment on them.
    • Present information and arguments orally and in the form of a poster-style display. Structure a report according to guidelines provided and write, in clear English, a description of the project and a logical discussion of the processes, results and conclusions.

    Read full module description


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.

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.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

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