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Engineering Foundation with pathways in Aerospace, Civil, Mechanical Engineering: What our students say

Student profiles

Don't just take our word for it – here's what students say about what it's like to study at Kingston University.

Jack James

Name: Jack James
Courses: Aerospace Engineering Foundation Year and Aerospace Engineering, Astronautics & Space Technology BEng(Hons)

Read graduate Jack James' thoughts on why to study Aerospace Engineering, Astronautics & Space Technology BEng(Hons) and going through Clearing:

"I am just starting a PhD at Kingston researching rocket propulsion technologies having graduated with a first in Aerospace Engineering, Astronautics and Space Technology BEng(Hons). My progress into university was through Clearing, a process that can scare people and make them feel unhappy about going to university. I didn't have the required A-levels to get onto the course and had to get onto the foundation year. The Clearing process was really simple, made even easier by the helpful staff at Kingston who guide you through the whole process, right up to enrolment and induction.

I came through Clearing and found it to be an amazing choice, so don't be discouraged by clearing, it will not affect your quality of university experience.

So why do a degree in astronautics? Well, apart from being able to call yourself a rocket scientist you get to work closely with industry on amazing projects, for example rocket engines, orbit calculations, satellites and interplanetary missions. The course is very wide in scope as you cover many engineering disciplines, allowing you much flexibility when you are job hunting.

In your final year you need to carry out an individual project/dissertation. The topic will be specific and will be self-taught, allowing you to guide and steer your own project. I did mine on a rocket engine system which I designed and manufactured on site. You can read more about my rocket engine on the Faculty of Science and Engineering and Computing website or in a blog I wrote for the Ask Us website.

The University has many extensive facilities on site. Primarily there is a rocket propulsion lab that is for use of astronautic students only, allowing for controlled real rocket firings. This lab is the only one on site for a university in the UK, with a wide range of engines installed. Students are encouraged to interact with the lab to receive hands on experience with space propulsion, something which is attractive to potential employers. On campus there is a fully equipped machine workshop with a 3D printer, CNC machines, standard machining equipment and welding facilities. A wind tunnel is also present so you can generate aerodynamic data on your own models.

The course is fundamental if you want to pursue a career in space, with many companies having close links with Kingston and recruit periodically. I now have the opportunity to take my research further by pursuing a PhD in rocket engine systems, something that would have been unrealistic if not for this course."

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