Aeronautical and aerospace engineering is concerned with the development of aircraft and spacecraft – using science and engineering, computational and analytical skills to design vehicles and structures that interact with the earth’s atmosphere and beyond.
From choosing materials which maximise structural strength to optimising aerodynamics and fuel economy, today’s industry-leading aeronautical and aerospace engineers are developing new technologies for use in aviation, defence systems, and spacecraft.
Studying an aeronautical and aerospace engineering degree at Leeds will develop your abilities in mathematics, physics, materials and computer science, backed-up with a strong design philosophy – all of which will equip you to design, analyse, manufacture and operate aircraft and aerospace vehicles. You’ll be prepared to help meet the challenges facing the aerospace sector.
Our active Industrial Advisory Board helps inform the development of this course to ensure that it is up to date with industry developments and requirements. That’s one of the reasons why our graduates are so in demand from industry, and why our courses are accredited by the leading professional bodies.
Why study at Leeds:
- This course is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Royal Aeronautical Society.
- Get hands on with practical work in each year of study by putting into practice what you have learned by designing, manufacturing and assembling devices and testing their performance.
- This is a practical course, so you’ll benefit from specialist facilities including extensive lab space and equipment such as wind tunnels, our high-spec computer cluster for Computer-Aided Design (CAD) work and computational modelling, in aerodynamic analysis for example, and workshop facilities for various rapid prototyping systems.
- You’ll develop your programming skills in industry standard languages like Matlab and for microprocessor systems, giving you everything you need to get started on your career in engineering.
- Benefit from our globally recognised research that feeds directly into your course and shapes what you learn at Leeds with the latest thinking.
- Develop your experience and boost your career prospects with our industrial placement opportunities or study abroad programmes.
- At the end of your second year, there’s the possibility of transferring to the four-year integrated Masters (MEng, BEng).
- Make the most of your time at Leeds by joining our student society MechEngSoc. It’s a great opportunity for you to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds who share your passion for mechanical engineering.
Accreditation is the assurance that a university course meets the quality standards established by the profession for which it prepares its students.
This BEng degree is accredited as partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng).
The first two years of our degree courses in the School of Mechanical Engineering share the same set of compulsory modules, giving you the flexibility to switch between our different degrees. In year three you’ll take specialist modules in aerospace and aeronautical engineering.
You’ll also study engineering ethics throughout your course. You’ll be taught by academics from the Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre covering a wide range of topics such as professionalism and codes of conduct, corporate social responsibility, engineering and responsibility, ethics in innovation and research ethics.
The ethics training will advance your critical thinking, communication and creative problem-solving skills which are crucial to employers, but it will also help you identify and respond effectively to ethical dilemmas that you may encounter in your professional life in the engineering industry.
Each academic year, you'll take a total of 120 credits.
Years 1 and 2
You’ll study compulsory modules to establish the core mechanical engineering principles required by all branches of mechanical engineering. You’ll also undertake design and manufacture projects. In your first year, you’ll work in a team to design, build and test a small-scale wooden glider, and your second-year project will be to design, build and test a Mars Rover and controller under challenging terrain.
Since many mechanical engineers go on to positions where they have management responsibilities, you’ll also develop your knowledge of business practices by studying economics and management, taught by the Leeds University Business School.
You’ll study specialist aeronautical and aerospace modules. You’ll learn to apply design to different aspects of modern aerospace vehicles, leading to detailed design of different aerospace vehicle systems. You’ll understand the fundamental principles of flight mechanics, stability and control, orbital mechanics and space flight, aerodynamics and propulsion systems, finite element analysis and aerospace vehicle design.
To experience some of these aspects in practice, you’ll also attend a flight course where you’ll be a passenger in a small aircraft, taking measurements of its performance during a range of manoeuvres.
Your third-year project will be a large individual research project, where you can get involved in an area of current research and will be assigned an academic supervisor for guidance and support.
Recent level three projects have included:
- Design of Unmanned Air Vehicles for Volcano Plume Tracking
- Urban Building Surveillance
- Rainforest Fire Emergency Response
- Aeroelastic analysis of wings using low-fidelity modelling
One-year optional work placement or study abroad
During your course, you’ll be given the opportunity to advance your skill set and experience further. You can apply to either undertake a one-year industrial work placement or study abroad for a year, choosing from a selection of universities we’re in partnership with worldwide.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.
Year 1 compulsory modules
|Computers in Engineering Analysis||20|
|Design and Manufacture 1||20|
Year 2 compulsory modules
|Vibration and Control||20|
|Design and Manufacture 2||20|
|Economics and Management||20|
|Mechatronics and Measurement Systems||20|
Year 3 compulsory modules
|Aerospace Vehicle Design||20|
|Aerodynamics and Aerospace Propulsion||20|
|Aerospace Flight Mechanics||20|
|Individual Engineering Project||40|
|Finite Element Methods of Analysis||20|
Learning and teaching
You’ll benefit from our integrated style of learning and teaching. Laboratory classes, project work, and industry sponsored fieldwork allow you to gain hands-on experience investigating and applying material from your lectures and tutorials to real life work situations. We also organise industrial visits and offer additional seminars delivered by practising engineers and other professionals. Our close links with industry also mean that you’ll have direct contact with industry and potential employers from an early stage in your course.
You’ll have a designated personal tutor throughout your studies at Leeds, who will be an academic member of staff. You’ll have fortnightly academic tutorials with your tutor throughout your first two years, in your tutor group (of typically 5 students), as well as one-to-one meetings each semester. In addition, our excellent student support team is based close to where you’ll work and study to help with anything from academic advice to timetabling and project submission enquiries. You’ll also receive support from fellow students through our peer mentoring scheme.
Our Virtual Learning Environment will help to support your studies: it’s a central place where you can find all the information and resources for your programme and modules.
You can also benefit from support to develop your academic skills, within the curriculum and through online resources, workshops, one-to-one appointments and drop-in sessions.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
You’ll be assessed through a variety of assessment approaches to test different knowledge and skills. Assessments will enable you to demonstrate your competency in a particular skill, as well as measuring the extent of your knowledge and understanding. They are designed to be fair and inclusive.
We’ll use different forms of assessment including written examinations (held at the end of each semester) and coursework that also develops key transferable skills that will be relevant to your future professional practice, such as laboratory and project reports, teamworking and presentations.
Assessments will develop your ability to bring together evidence from a variety of sources and to critically understand and evaluate. You’ll also have frequent opportunities to develop your understanding of assessment and to improve your performance, for example through formative assessments with feedback, guided marking, peer review and opportunities to practise key assessment methods.
A-level: A*AA including Mathematics and either Physics or Chemistry, with the A* in Mathematics or Physics if presented.
Where an A-level Science subject is taken, we require a pass in the practical science element, alongside the achievement of the A-level at the stated grade.
Excludes A-level General Studies or Critical Thinking.
Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), International Project Qualification (IPQ) and Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (ASCC): Whilst we recognise the value of these qualifications and the effort and enthusiasm that applicants put into them, we do not currently include them as part of our offer-making. We do, however, encourage you to provide further information on your project in your personal statement.
GCSE: English Language at grade C (4) or above, or an appropriate English language qualification.
Access to HE Diploma
Pass 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3, with Distinction, to include Mathematics, Calculus, Further Calculus and Physics or Chemistry.
DDD (RQF) in an Engineering-related BTEC and a grade A in A Level Mathematics.
We cannot consider BTEC qualifications without A Level Mathematics and do not accept BTEC Maths units in lieu of this A Level requirement
Please note – there may be different requirements for the older QCF BTECs, please contact Admissions.
D2, D3, D3 including Mathematics and Physics or Chemistry, where the D2 must be in either Mathematics or Physics.
18 points at higher level to include 6 points in higher level Mathematics and Physics or Chemistry.
Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)
H1 H1 H2 H2 H2 H2, including Mathematics and Physics or Chemistry where a H1 must be in either Mathematics or Physics.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
AA at Advanced Higher level including Mathematics and Physics or Chemistry, and AAAAA at Higher level.
Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.
Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.
Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.
Typical Access to Leeds A Level offer: AAB including Mathematics and either Physics or Chemistry, with an A in Mathematics or Physics if presented.
Please note that the Access to Leeds offer is dependant on sucessful completion of the Access to Leeds Scheme.
For alternative qualification offers please contact the admissions team.
If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, you may be able to progress through a foundation year. We offer a Studies in Science with Foundation Year BSc for students without a science background at A-level and an Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc for applicants who meet specific widening participation criteria.
International Foundation Year
International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each section. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
UK: £9,250 (per year)
International: £30,250 (per year)
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.
Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.
Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.
Read more about paying fees and charges.
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.
Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.
We may consider applications submitted after the deadline. Availability of courses in UCAS Extra will be detailed on UCAS at the appropriate stage in the cycle.
Read our admissions guidance about applying and writing your personal statement.
International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
This course is taught by
School of Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Admissions
The employment opportunities in the field of aeronautical and aerospace engineering are far-reaching, with the potential to take you all over the world.
Plus, University of Leeds students are among the top 10 most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2023, High Fliers Research, meaning our graduates are highly sought after by some of the most reputable companies in the field.
Qualifying with a degree in aeronautical and aerospace engineering from Leeds will set you up with the core foundations you need to pursue an exciting career across a wide range of industries, including:
- Armed forces
The breadth of knowledge and experience, along with the teamwork, problem solving, engineering ethics, numeracy and analysis skills taught on the course are widely transferable and desirable to a whole host of employers.
Here’s an insight into the job roles some of our most recent graduates have obtained:
- Project Engineer, Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing
- Flight Physics Engineer, Airbus
- Research Engineer, AMRC
- Gas Turbines Design Engineer, Assystem UK
- Avionics Technical Engineer, British Airways
- Nuclear Engineer, EDF Energy
- Helicopter Pilot & Licensed Engineer, Heli-Jet Aviation
- Test Engineer, Jaguar Land Rover
- RAF Officer, RAF
- Manufacturing Engineer, Rolls-Royce Plc
Read our alumni profiles to find out more about where our students are working.
At Leeds we help you to prepare for your future from day one. Our Leeds for Life initiative is designed to help you develop and demonstrate the skills and experience you need for when you graduate. We will help you to access opportunities across the University and record your key achievements so you are able to articulate them clearly and confidently.
You’ll be supported throughout your studies by our dedicated Employability team, who will provide you with specialist support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and industrial placements, as well as graduate positions. You’ll benefit from timetabled employability sessions, support during internships and placements, and presentations and workshops delivered by employers.
You’ll also have full access to the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country.
Study abroad and work placements
Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to explore the world, whilst gaining invaluable skills and experience that could enhance your future employability and career prospects too.
From Europe to Asia, the USA to Australasia, we have many University partners worldwide you can apply to, spanning across some of the most popular destinations for students.
This programme offers you the option to spend time abroad as an extra academic year and will extend your studies by 12 months.
Once you’ve successfully completed your year abroad, you'll be awarded the ‘international’ variant in your degree title upon completion which demonstrates your added experience to future employers.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
An industrial placement year is a great way to help you decide on a career path when you graduate. You’ll develop your skills and gain a real insight into working life in a particular company or sector. It will also help you to stand out in a competitive graduate jobs market and improve your chances of securing the career you want.
On this course, you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.
Benefits of a work placement year:
- 100+ organisations to choose from, both in the UK and overseas
- Build industry contacts within your chosen field
- Our close industry links mean you’ll be in direct contact with potential employers
- Advance your experience and skills by putting the course teachings into practice
- Gain invaluable insight into working as a professional in this industry
- Improve your employability
If you decide to undertake a placement year, this will extend your period of study by 12 months and, on successful completion, you’ll be awarded the ‘industrial’ variant in your degree title to demonstrate your added experience to future employers.
With the help and support of our dedicated Employability team, you can find the right placement to suit you and your future career goals.
Here are some examples of placements our students have recently completed:
- Industrial Placement, Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Limited
- Intern within Defence Aerospace, Rolls-Royce
- Supplier technical assistance, Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains
- Nuclear Science & Engineering Placement, EDF Energy
- Test Engineer Intern, Siemens Industry Software Limited
Find out more about Industrial placements.
Student profile: Dhanika Kapoor
It was the warmth and sense of support I felt every time I visited, the strong emphasis on social aspects of the university, the engineering department’s renowned strength and the stunning city!Find out more about Dhanika Kapoor's time at Leeds