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Aviation Operations with Commercial Pilot Training BSc(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time H464 2019
4 years full time including sandwich year H465 2019

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.

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

  • The module introduces the student to basic aerodynamics, aircraft systems and propulsion using the Kingston Learjet aircraft to provide a frame of reference. Students on the Aerospace, Astronautics and Space Technology routes (Astro students) will be introduced to the essential differences between space engineering and its environment, and aircraft and aerospace engineering.

    The module starts by introducing 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.

    The module then introduces typical Gas Turbine and associated system architecture before concluding with broad coverage of the Aerospace Industry, its Regulation, Licensing and Accreditation, while Astro students will be introduced to the space environment and history of spaceflight, illustrated with examples from UK, European and international space missions in place of certain aircraft specific (eg. ground handling) teaching.

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  • This module covers all of the topics in the EASA part-66 Mathematics and Physics syllabuses and provides knowledge and understanding sufficient for you to take the associated EASA category B licence examinations that must be passed in order to become an aircraft maintenance engineer. It also extends the mathematics knowledge to a level sufficient to underpin key engineering principles and prepare students for the mathematics in the level 6 modules of the programme and further study. To become a design engineer you would need to complete some additional mathematics and science study at level 5.

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  • This module introduces the students to the fundamentals of thermofluids (thermodynamics and fluid mechanics) and solid mechanics (statics and dynamics). The thermofluids section of the module covers the key concepts of system, work, heat and the main thermodynamics laws (zeroth, first and second laws) with special reference to their engineering applications. This section also introduces the main equations of fluid mechanics and dynamics, dimensional analysis, properties of fluids and their measurement methodology and units. The solid mechanics section provides an understanding of the behaviour of particles and rigid bodies whilst stationary and in motion. Bodies under equilibrium are studied and the external and internal parameters such as force, moment, stress, strain etc. are defined, derived and used for problems solving. This section also introduces kinematics and kinetics/dynamics of particles and rigid bodies with their engineering applications. The module is primarily delivered through lectures supported by tutorials sessions and laboratories. Course materials will be available on Canvas.

    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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  • This module is designed to help you transition from sixth-form and/or Further Education (FE) 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 you in those two environments, are very different, and this needs to be clearly understood by you if you are to obtain the maximum benefit from your 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.

    The skills gained in this module will be further developed and extended in AE5004 Professional Practice for Aircraft Engineers which is delivered in the second year of the programme. 

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Year 2

  • This module is designed to cover the syllabus required to pass the flight training theoretical knowledge topics covering Principles of Flight, Aircraft Performance, Flight Planning and Monitoring, Meteorology and Communications. These topics are considered to be the core subjects for flight operations and the content is designed and approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency. The assessment is conducted by BCFT and replicates the format and structure of the Theoretical Knowledge assessment of the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

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  • This module is designed to cover the syllabus required to pass the EASA flight training theoretical topics covering Aircraft General Knowledge - Airframe, Systems and Powerplant, General Navigation and Human Performance. These topics are considered to be the core subjects for flight operations and the content is designed and approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency. The assessment is conducted by BCFT and replicates the format and structure of the Theoretical Knowledge assessment of the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

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  • This module is designed to cover the syllabus required to pass the EASA flight training theoretical topics covering Aircraft General Knowledge-Instrumentation, Mass and Balance, Radio Navigation, Air Law and Operational Procedures. These topics are considered to be the core subjects for flight operations and the content is designed and approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency. The assessment is conducted by BCFT and replicates the format and structure of the Theoretical Knowledge assessment of the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

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  • This module is designed to support you in identifying the range of skills you have acquired over the course of your integrated pilot licence training and the first two years of your degree. The module is designed to prepare you for Level 6 study. In particular, it develops your ability to reflect on your learning, your critical thinking and communication skills.  It is delivered primarily through on-line individual tutor support.

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Year 3

  • Throughout the course of your studies, you will have so far studied material that has been focused on a specific role or roles within the air transport industry whether it be aircraft design, maintenance, operations or repair and overhaul.  The aim of this module is to take a step back and explore how employers within the various sectors of the air transport industry combine all these functions in order to make a profit. 

    In addition to looking in detail at the overall profit and loss equation:

    Traffic x Yield - Output x Cost = Profit or Loss

    The module also compares the operation of the air transport market with that in other sectors and, in more general terms, looks at what makes the industry tick. The standard method of recording and reporting financial performance is also considered. 

    On successful completion of this module, you will not only understand how your future role will contribute to your employer's success but, should you decide to move away from the air transport sector, you will have a firm grounding in the general economic principles by which all industries operate.

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  • It is only when an aircraft is flying en route carrying passengers or cargo that it will be earning money for its operator.  Ideally, that aircraft should spend as much time as possible in the air carrying a full load of passengers, all of whom have paid the highest possible fare.  In this module, you will examine all the factors that go together in the creation of an airline operational schedule.  You will explore how the route is selected and the appropriate fares determined.  You will examine all the requirements for getting that aircraft airborne from aircrew, operations and maintenance perspectives.  You will also look at what happens when it all goes wrong (through eg. inclement weather) and how the airline can recover from such disruption in the shortest possible time.

    In order to make the teaching in this module as relevant as possible, the majority of the formal lectures will be delivered by a team of external lecturers, all of whom are active consultants working in industry.

    All of the assessment will be derived from a group exercise in which you will have to derive a realistic schedule for yourselves; this will, however, contain some individual elements.  As you are unlikely, hitherto, to have received any formal group working or project management training, this will be provided as part of the module.

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  • This module is designed to give you a broad understanding of the operation of the major systems typically found on an aircraft. It will use a Systems Engineering perspective to look at the interaction of the systems. It will also review the maintenance requirements of these systems and more generally how aircraft maintenance is planned, delivered and regulated.

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  • The overarching aim of this individual project module is to provide you with the opportunity to impress.  Working on a topic of your own choosing, with minimal guidance from your supervisor, you should apply approximately 300 hours of individual effort into the analysis of the problem and determination of the best solution or course of action.  That analysis can take a variety of forms ranging from an in-depth comparison of a number of already documented potential solutions to the collection and comparison of experimental and theoretical data.  The topic investigated should ideally be of an aircraft operational or engineering nature, though other other topics may be permitted with the agreement of the module leader.

    By completing a capstone project of this nature, you are able to demonstrate that you can draw together the information from all the other  teaching and learning on the course and, through innovation and analysis, demonstrate that you truly are independent learners.

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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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