Aircraft Engineering FdEng

Why choose this course?

This course is a progression programme and is specifically designed to help meet the growing need for skilled aircraft maintenance engineers. As part of the programme, you will gain the knowledge requirements for the EASA Part 66 B1.1 licence. You will also receive practical hand skills training in the purpose-built basic workshop facilities.

This course is designed to produce licensed aircraft maintenance engineers with the capacity to progress onto the BEng (Hons) top-up course, obtain an honours degree and become aircraft maintenance managers of the future.

The course introduces students to aircraft engineering hand and maintenance skills and provides them with opportunities to put the skills into practice. It also introduces the study skills necessary for successful completion of the course in the first year and develops and expands these skills in the second year to prepare the students for progression to the top-up.

This course is taught at Exeter College and awarded by Kingston University.

Where taught Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
Exeter college 2 years full time 2H60 2021
Location Exeter college

2020 entry

If you are planning to join this course in September 2020, please view the information about changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19.


Continuing students

Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2020/21 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2020/21. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas course page.

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This course provides students with the professional knowledge and skills that will enable them to manage their own and encourage them to be proactive in their personal and professional development.
  • The course introduces students to aircraft engineering hand and maintenance skills and provides them with opportunities to put the skills into practice.
  • The course gives you the skills and knowledge to progress onto the Aircraft Engineering Top-up course.

What you will study

The course is operated in accordance with the KU Undergraduate Regulations and modules are compulsory; there are no optional modules available. To be awarded an FdEng Aircraft Engineering, students must pass all 240 credits. A student is eligible for the award of a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) provided they successfully complete at least 120 credits of the programme at level 4 or above.

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list as these could change before your year of entry.

You can contact the Exeter College liaison officer for further details about Exeter College and the course.

Year 1

Year 2

Core modules

Mathematics and Physics for Practitioner Engineers

30 credits

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.

Electrical Engineering Fundamentals

30 credits

This module comprises both theory and practical. The theory is delivered in a series of lectures and the practical involves you completing a series of laboratory sessions designed to reinforce the knowledge gained in the lectures.

The module starts by looking at electrical charge and how electricity is created, before moving on to look at passive components such as resistors, capacitors and inductors and how they behave in simple direct current (d.c.) circuits. The study of inductors leads nicely into the topic of magnetism and then onto d.c. generators and motors which starts by exploring the fundamental principles of machines before moving on to look at various basic types.

The second part of the module focuses on alternating current (a.c.). Firstly passive components are revisited, this time in basic a.c. circuits. The relationship between: resistance, reactance and impedance; voltage, current and impedance; and reactive, true and apparent power are examined in the class and tutorial sessions whilst simple circuits containing combinations of resistors, capacitors and inductors are explored in the laboratory. Induction is then revisited for transformers before the final section which covers the theoretical aspects of a.c. generators and motors before looking at typical aircraft a.c. machines.

Aerodynamics and Aircraft Electronic and Digital Systems

30 credits

This module will initially establish the need for a standard atmosphere (ISA) and describe the properties of the atmosphere as applicable to aerodynamics. The module will investigate the airflow around a body and the generation of lift and drag.  Relevant terminology and formulae will be introduced and calculations performed.  The module will go on to discuss lift augmentation and stability; specifying design features affecting these. High speed flight is then discussed, including design features associated with critical Mach number. The module will conclude with a look at the characteristics of aerofoils at all speeds of flight.

This double module is a combination of electronics, digital techniques and aircraft digital systems. The electronics section starts by looking at the building block of semiconductor components: the P-N junction, this is followed by a look at the characteristics, uses, and basic testing of diodes and transistors. Basic logic gates are then introduced, and combinational and sequential logic circuits examined. Op amps are studied and basic AtoD and DtoA conversion techniques investigated. The section concludes with look at the transducers and synchronous data transmission systems found on aircraft. In digital techniques, computer terminology and the basic layout and operation of computers is studied before looking at the use of computer technology in aircraft.  Aircraft specific databus systems and displays techniques are also studied prior to moving onto the final section of the module: digital systems.  The last section involves investigating the layout, operation and built-in-test equipment (BITE) of a selection of electronic and digital aircraft systems including: Electronic Flight Instrument systems (EFIS), Electronic Centralised Aircraft Monitor system (ECAM), Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System (EICAS), Fly-by-Wire (FBW), Inertial Reference Systems (IRS), and the Flight Management System (FMS).

Aircraft Practical and HE Study Skills

30 credits

This module introduces and provides an opportunity for students to develop the academic skills needed to successfully complete a Higher Education (HE) programme and the basic practical skills needed to become an aircraft maintenance engineer.

The academic element of the module will cover basic research techniques, 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 personal development through a series of scheduled learning sessions that will comprise a mixture of presentation, lecture, discussion, workshop and tutorial. Students will maintain a study journal a portfolio of evidence that will be used for both formative and summative assessment purposes. The majority of the material needed for these two documents will be derived from work completed for the other modules in the year.

The aircraft element of the module will give students an opportunity to develop basic hand and aircraft maintenance skills. The module is not intended to turn the student into skilled experts; rather it is designed to provide a thorough introduction and solid grounding for further training, practice and development. The hand-skills experience will include: an introduction to the tools and materials that will be used, reading basic engineering drawings, marking out, cutting, filing, drilling, and thread cutting etc. When completing the initial tasks, students will be closely supported and guided; however the level of guidance will decrease as the module progresses and the tolerances to which the student work will be expected to increase. The maintenance skills will include: using maintenance manuals, following procedures, completing documentation and fundamental maintenance activities such as: identifying parts, wire-locking, panel removal and refitment and torque loading and assembly and disassembly techniques. Assessment of this element of the module will be through practical exercises and students will be expected to display maturity, integrity, good work practices and have a responsible attitude towards safety at all time throughout the module.

Core modules

Aircraft Material, Hardware and Maintenance

30 credits

This module comprises two parts; the first looks at aircraft materials and hardware and the second covers the theoretical aspects of aircraft maintenance practices. The practical work associated with this module takes place in other modules in the programme.

Part one of this module starts by exploring the characteristics, properties, applications and typical heat treatments of aircraft ferrous and non-ferrous metals before looking at the properties, characteristics and how to repair typical aircraft composite and non-metallic materials. The content of this element extends beyond the EASA syllabus and there will be a greater emphasis on the mechanical and physical characteristics of material, their time dependent behaviour, behaviour under various loading conditions and features related to the service environment. The module also looks at the selection and application of different types of materials in engineering applications. Where appropriate, state-of-the-art problems will be discussed to illustrate the structure-property relationship in materials. The final topic of this part covers aircraft hardware, here the properties, characteristics, uses and identification of fasteners, pipes, bearings, transmission systems, flying controls, and aircraft electrical cables and connectors are examined.

Part two provides students with the knowledge required to select and use the tools, materials, drawings and equipment necessary to perform aircraft maintenance tasks. It also provides them with the knowledge needed to enable them to work effectively and safely in an aircraft maintenance environment. Topics covered include: tools and equipment and their use, aircraft drawings and manuals, inspection and tolerance checking, electrical measurements, disassembly and reassembly, aircraft weighing and weight and balance calculations, aircraft handling; corrosion prevention removal, assessment and re-protection, non-destructive testing, aircraft storage and preservation and finally aircraft maintenance procedures.

Aircraft and their Systems

30 credits

This module first discusses the operation and effect of primary and secondary aircraft flight controls and aerodynamic devices before moving on to an in depth study of the basic construction of airframes which includes a look at the methods employed to check the accuracy of construction. This is followed by a detailed investigation of all of the aircraft mechanical and electrical systems including but not limited to: electrical power generation and management, flight controls, landing gear, fuel, hydraulic, pneumatics, ice and rain protection, pressurisation, air conditioning, fire and smoke, waste and water, and lighting.

In each case, the depth of study will be sufficient to enable you to describe the layout of each system, explain its operation and interaction with other aircraft systems and, given a period of time to gain some practical experience, determine the serviceability of the system and investigate and identify basic faults in it. Practical maintenance experience, fault-finding techniques and an understanding of maintenance procedures and the appropriate action to be taken in the event of finding defects will be gained from other modules in the programme

The module also examines aircraft instrument systems including: pitot-static for measuring airspeed and altitude, remote and direct reading compasses, gyroscopic flight instruments; and a number of avionic systems including: on-board maintenance, integrated modular avionics, cabin and information. 

Aircraft Maintenance & Professional Practice

30 credits

This module is a primarily about aircraft maintenance and the environment and legal framework within which aircraft maintenance engineers must work. However, it also contains an element of professional practice and a lot of opportunities for students to develop and extend the academic skills gained in the first year of the programme.

The subjects of aviation legislation and human factors will be delivered in a series of lectures and a number of short lectures will be used to present information on the engineering council, the professional engineering institutes and the requirements of registration; and to introduce the topics of ethics and sustainability.

The maintenance element of the module will be delivered entirely through practical exercises that students will complete in simulated and/or real maintenance environments or through research on aircraft maintenance activities. the theory to support this having been delivered in other modules. Whilst completing the practical phase of the module, students will be expected to display maturity, responsibility and integrity and demonstrate a responsible attitude towards safety and the airworthiness of aircraft.

Aircraft Propulsion Systems

30 credits

The basic principles of operation, construction and performance of gas turbine engines are discussed and the respective terminology introduced. This various component parts (stages) of the engine are examined in detail and the layout and operation of engine systems are studied: fuel, lubrication, air distribution, anti-icing, starting, ignition, power augmentation and fire systems. The material covered should enable the student to inspect the various engine components and systems and make independent decisions regarding serviceability. The module looks at engine monitoring, ground operation and storage of engines. The final part of this topic examines the construction and operation of engine measuring and indication systems.

The module follows with a look at the aerodynamics principles of propellers and their construction, before looking at propeller assemblies, including a detailed study of: propeller pitch control, over-speed mechanisms and protection devices. Finally the module provides an overview of the need for synchronising synchrophasing and an explanation of how this is achieved.

The depth of study is sufficient to enable system serviceability to be confirmed and basic faults to be investigated so that the action necessary to restore the system to a serviceable condition can be taken.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

A minimum of 64 UCAS tariff points from A levels in Mathematics and Physics at Grade C or above, a BTEC Extended National Diploma in Engineering at Grade Profile MPP or above, an Access to HE qualification in relevant science or engineering discipline or other qualifications deemed equivalent to the above. GCSE passes at Grade 4 and above in Mathematics, English and a science-based subject are also required.

Additional requirements

Applicants with military and/or civil aircraft maintenance engineering experience or who have completed vocational aircraft engineering courses will be considered on an individual basis.


This course only accepts UK applicants.

Teaching and assessment

The programme balances assignments and examinations in almost equal measure. You will undertake formal lectures and practical work. As a student you will complete a course of designed to meet the knowledge requirements to be eventually become a qualified Aircraft Technician with the option to complete a top up programme to a full Bachelor degree either one year full or two years part time with Kingston University. This programme is validated and awarded by Kingston University.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for final assignments. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Academic support

Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas.

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University.

Your workload

48% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 1
  • Scheduled teaching: 570 hours
  • Guided independent study: 630 hours
Year 2
  • Scheduled teaching: 570 hours
  • Guided independent study: 630 hours

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises exams (e.g. test or exam), practical (e.g. presentations, performance) and coursework (e.g. essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:

Year 1

Year 2

Year 1
  • Coursework: 40%
  • Exams: 60%
Year 2
  • Coursework: 28%
  • Exams: 64%
  • Practical: 8%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 6pm. For undergraduate students, Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Class sizes

You will be part of an intimate cohort of students which supports dedicated academic guidance and advice and the opportunity to build a life-long network of colleagues.

Who teaches this course?

The Aircraft Engineering FdEng course is awarded by Kingston University and taught at Exeter College.

Exeter College Facilties

A £8.3 million Technology Centre at Monkerton opened in September 2012. The centre combines the training and teaching of aerospace, engineering and automotive students with access to state of the art equipment within world class facilities.

Course fees and funding

2021/22 fees for this course

UK full time: £7,745

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Text books

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences.

Free wifi is available on each of the campuses.


In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.


Travel costs are not included but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.

Need to know more?

Our undergraduate fees and funding section provides information and advice on money matters.

After you graduate

Students who successfully complete the FdEng can progress onto the Aircraft Engineering BEng (Hons) and top-up their award to an honours degree with a further one-year of full-time or two-years of part-time study.


The programme is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society as partially satisfying the educational requirements for registration as an Incorporated Engineer.

Changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19

Changes detailed here are for students who will be starting the course in September 2020.

Course information (changes for 2020 entry)

Composition of the course

We do not anticipate making any changes to the composition of the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, as a result of the pandemic.

In order to safeguard our students' health and safety and to minimise the risk of disruption to their studies, the University has postponed all Study Abroad programmes for outgoing students in the first teaching block of 2020/21. The University will review this decision before the second teaching block and will take into account relevant government advice at that time.

Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.


We do not anticipate making any changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Length of course

We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.

In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed, e.g. re-sequencing those modules that can be delivered more effectively under the current restrictions with those which would be more difficult to deliver, such as practical modules and placements.

If the current pandemic situation continues into the next academic year and beyond, the University may be unable to offer suitable placements which may then impact the length of the course. In these circumstances the University will provide students with appropriate alternative options and ensure that support will be available to them so that they are able to make informed choices.

Entry requirements (changes for 2020 entry)

We have not changed entry requirements as a result of the pandemic. However, the range of accepted alternatives have increased as has the way in which we select students, which now includes virtual interviews and online portfolios.

Entry requirements for international students

We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a result of the pandemic. However, in response to the pandemic, we now accept a much broader list of English language exams for entry to the course; the level of these exams remain the same.

Teaching (changes for 2020 entry)

Changes to the way the course will be delivered

Due to the current pandemic the course's teaching and learning activities will be delivered through both online and on-campus methods (blended learning) in 2020/21. In order to provide all students with a comparable on-campus experience, the University has committed to ensuring that all courses provide at least 30% of their teaching and learning activities on-campus.

While physical distancing measures remain in place, you will receive your learning and teaching via a blend of on-campus and on-line activities. Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you will still be able to engage with your course in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, support will be available to consider what options are open to you.

Changes to teaching in the event of a further lockdown or adjustments in government advice

The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the current pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.

In the event that a further lockdown is enforced the University will aim to deliver the course fully online. This may require some additional changes being made to planned teaching and learning activities, including assessments. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised significantly, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered appropriately. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.

In the event that the current social distancing restrictions are fully lifted and the University is able to resume normal delivery of teaching and learning activities, courses will assess whether it is in the students' interest to resume normal delivery. In some cases it may be better to continue and complete modules under the planned blended delivery mode.

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for Year 1

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours will not be made as a result of the pandemic. However, it is possible that some adjustments might be made at module level, e.g. a few more scheduled activities, in order to help ensure student engagement with blended learning.

Any changes made to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

'Scheduled teaching' includes teaching that is online either live or recorded / on demand.


Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. up to December 2020) should be available by the end of August. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2021) will not be available until the autumn. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm. To accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing, we will need to maximise the time available for teaching. This means, we may have to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Class sizes

On-campus teaching may involve smaller class sizes in line with social distance requirements.

Assessment (changes for 2020 entry)

Changes can be made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area. Due to the current restrictions in place, i.e. social distancing, it is anticipated that many formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be replaced with alternative assessments which can be completed online. These changes will be considered and approved through the University's processes to ensure that student assessments will be able to demonstrate they have achieved the expected learning outcomes. The approval process will also assess whether the change impacts the status of any professional body accreditation the course benefits from.

Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for Year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Staff (changes for 2020 entry)

No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.

As a result of the social distancing restrictions in place, on-campus teaching activities may need to be split into smaller groups which may require the support of teaching assistants and student mentors, who will be managed by experienced staff.

Fees, funding and additional costs (changes for 2020 entry)

Tuition fees

There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2020/21.

Additional costs (e.g. field trips, materials, equipment, etc.)

As a result of the blended delivery of courses in 2020/21, where a significant proportion of the teaching will be done online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities will be restricted due to social distancing requirements.

The University is considering how best to provide support to students who do not have access to suitable hardware and software requirements and access to the internet. Identifying students who require this type of support is an important milestone for the University in our journey to ensure equity of access while we continue to deliver our blended approach. Information about the support that will be available will be provided to students during the induction period.


There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2020/21. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.

Fees and funding for international students

There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2020/21.

Work placements and field trips (changes for 2020 entry)

Placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead as planned. However, to ensure students are able to gain maximum value from these activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year, or to a different year when current restrictions have been lifted. We acknowledge that this year it may be more difficult for students to secure appropriate placements. In those situations, students will be guided and supported through the various options that will be available to them, including switching courses or interrupting their studies until a time when they can complete their placement.

Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through the University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered. Students will be advised of any changes that may become necessary and appropriate support will be available to guide them through the various options that may be available to them.

In the interest of the health and wellbeing of our students, the University will ensure that appropriate risk assessments are made before students are sent on a placement.

Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.

Voluntary placements or field trips may be rescheduled, or, as a last resort, cancelled if it becomes difficult to deliver them and doing so is in the interest of the health and safety of our staff and students.

Award, qualification and accreditation (changes for 2020 entry)


No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. BSc (Hons), as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.


During the pandemic, the University has been working closely with all its associated professional bodies to establish where flexibility/changes can be applied without undermining their professional standards. This will ensure that any changes made to courses which have professional, statutory or regulatory body (PSRB) accreditation do not negatively impact the accreditation status.

In the very exceptional circumstance that professional bodies do not agree with changes proposed, it may be necessary to defer relevant modules until those modules can be delivered as required. Students will be informed of this during the induction period and appropriately supported so that they can consider all options available to them.

Additional (changes for 2020 entry)

International students

International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.

Students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities

The University will ensure students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities are able to effectively engage with their studies remotely. For certain courses, an inability to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities may not be in the students' best interests, as it may impede their chances of succeeding in the course or lead to them receiving a poor learning experience. In such cases, students will be advised and guided through the various options available to them, such as deferring their studies until they can engage fully with the course.