Aerospace Engineering MSc

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in aeronautical/ aerospace, mechanical, civil or general engineering. Successful applicants will have strong grades in relevant modules including advanced mathematics, strength of materials, dynamics and basic fluid mechanics.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
£13,750 (Total)
International fees
£31,000 (Total)

Course overview

A photography of a student holding a model helicopter.

Demand for aerospace engineering graduates is rising, both in the UK and overseas. In fact, the UK aerospace industry is the second biggest in the world after the USA, home to leading aerospace companies such as Airbus, Astrium, BAE Systems, GKN, Leonardo and Rolls-Royce. That’s why specialising in this field could open a lot of doors in terms of career opportunities when you graduate.

You’ll study aerospace structures and systems engineering, along with optional, specialist modules that'll help you hone your skills in an area that interests you. Our School’s Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) is actively engaged in ensuring this course meets the needs of industry and reflects trends in the sector. IAB members also contribute to talks that feed into our taught modules and project work, ensuring the curriculum is challenging and relevant.

This means that, once you graduate, you’ll be fully equipped with the most up-to-date practices and industry-relevant knowledge to pursue an exciting career in this area.

Why study at Leeds:

  • This Masters degree is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Royal Aeronautical Society.
  • Our globally-renowned research conducted right here on campus feeds directly into the course, shaping your learning with the latest thinking.
  • Tailor the degree to suit your specific interests with a broad selection of optional modules to choose from, including everything from rotary wing aircraft to aerodynamics and aerospace propulsion – plus many more.
  • Build industry experience, conducting a team design project and an individual professional project, using multidisciplinary approaches to achieve a solution to a programme-specific and industry-relevant design problem.
  • Access our School’s impressive range of specialist facilities including industry-standard software and CAD facilities.
  • Experience expert theoretical and practical teaching delivered by a programme team made up of academics and researchers who work within the School’s research institutes and groups.
  • Enhance your career prospects by taking advantage of our strong links with industry which give you the chance to connect with our industry contacts and potential employers through talks and networking sessions.
  • Secure the career you want and join our successful alumni who now work for many excellent organisations like BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar Land Rover, British Airways and Airbus.


Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)

Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS)

Accreditation is the assurance that a university course meets the quality standards established by the profession for which it prepares its students.

This course is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) on behalf of the Engineering Council.

This Masters degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning to Masters Level for registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng)*.

*It should be noted that candidates completing the MSc who hold an underpinning accredited IEng degree or a non-accredited bachelor degree will need to apply for an academic assessment to determine whether they will meet the educational base for CEng registration.

Course details

You’ll take core modules in advanced engineering skills such as experimental methods and computational modelling, introducing you to a range of fundamental methods, and laying the groundwork for the rest of your studies including your individual research project.

You’ll also take a compulsory module in aerospace structures and, depending on your background, you’ll select from a range of optional modules allowing you to pursue the topics that appeal to your interests or suit your future career plans. You could gain sophisticated knowledge in areas such as rotary wing aircraft, the theory behind structural analysis, systems engineering and understanding how engineering psychology and human factors influence aircraft design. You’ll develop and apply your knowledge to solving real-world problems and situations.

You’ll also take part in a team design project, working with peers to a specific design brief and taking into consideration factors such as environmental impact, regulatory requirements, cost implications and more.

Project work

Throughout the course you’ll complete your professional project – an independent piece of research on a topic within aerospace engineering that allows you to demonstrate your knowledge and skills.

In the second semester you’ll review the literature around your topic and plan the project, before completing the design, analysis, computation, experimentation and writing up in the summer months.

The professional project allows you to apply what you’ve learned to a piece of research focusing on a real-world problem, and it can be used to explore and develop your specific interests.

Past projects have included:

  • Design of a stiffened titanium aircraft structural component for additive manufacturing.
  • Development of software based on Swarm Intelligence Methodologies for Structural Optimisation.
  • Circulation control using air jets to improve the performance of aircraft wings and wind turbines.
  • Design and optimisation of a Flexible Structural Support for a Mars Rover Umbilical Release Mechanism.
  • Aerodynamic analysis of the Bloodhound supersonic car using Computational Fluid Dynamics.
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics modelling of turbulent combustion processes.
  • The control of flow separation using vortex generators.

A proportion of projects are formally linked to industry and can include spending time at the collaborator’s site over the summer.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Aerospace Engineering MSc in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Advanced Aerodynamics 15
Aerospace Structures 10
Professional Project 60
Team Design Project 15

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis 15
Engineering Computational Methods 15
Fundamentals of Tribology 15
Surface Engineering and Coatings 15
Experimental Methods and Analysis 15
Engineering Psychology and Human Factors 15
Advanced Finite Element Analysis 15
Aerospace Systems Engineering 15
Rotary Wing Aircraft 10
Advanced Manufacturing 15
Design Optimisation 15
Spacecraft Dynamics and Control 15

Learning and teaching

Our groundbreaking research feeds directly into teaching, and you could have the opportunity to be taught by academics who are at the forefront of their disciplines. You’ll have regular contact with staff through lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group work and project meetings.

Independent study is also important to the programme, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge.

Active research environment

Specialising in engineering systems and design, thermofluids, surfaces and interfaces, medical devices and regenerative medicine, our School is at the heart of solving real world problems through high-quality research.

Throughout your degree you’ll be taught by experts who are leaders in their fields and be directly engaged with their cutting-edge research.

Industry links

During this course you could have the chance to meet employers from organisations operating within this sector through seminars and talks and by attending our careers fair. In previous years there have been talks from colleagues at Airbus, Astrium, BAE Systems, Leonardo, Rolls-Royce to provide additional industrial perspectives to the course and career guidance to students.

We also have an Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering Industrial Advisory Board which was established as part of the accreditation requirements set by the Royal Aeronautical Society and Institution of Mechanical Engineers for aerospace specific taught degree programmes in the School of Mechanical Engineering. The board meets twice annually with the School's aerospace specific staff members to develop student education, transfer knowledge, and participate in research activities ensuring that course content is up-to-date and industry relevant.

Student projects are co-supervised by Board Members who provide valuable formative feedback at these meetings. This also generates other ongoing opportunities for students including placements, internships, and exposure graduate employers.

Specialist facilities

In addition to our advanced CAD facilities for design work, we have the latest industry-standard software for computational fluid dynamics and finite element modelling, programming and structural and multidisciplinary optimisation.

You may also make use of the School's wind tunnels and other laboratories as well as manufacturing facilities including 3D printing and machine tools such as lathes and CNC machines in our new integrated workshop for students taking the Advanced Manufacturing module. These facilities are also available for those students that have selected a lab based project, or need to manufacture components for their project.

Programme team

The Programme Leader, Dr Bilal Kaddouh, has a wealth of experience in autonomous UAS development and operation and has been involved in numerous flight tests. He is also a member of the University’s Institute of Design, Robotics and Optimisation.

The wider programme team is made up of academics and researchers from across the School of Mechanical Engineering, who work within the School’s research institutes and groups.

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 will 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 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 will 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.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in aeronautical/ aerospace, mechanical, civil or general engineering. Successful applicants will have strong grades in relevant modules including advanced mathematics, strength of materials, dynamics and basic fluid mechanics. We may ask for further detailed module information if these are not clear on your transcript.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information please contact the Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Engineering (6 weeks) and Language for Science: Engineering (10 weeks)

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Application deadlines

Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

31 July 2024 – International applicants

8 September 2024 – UK applicants

Click below to access the University’s online application system and find out more about the application process.

If you're still unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

The UK Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) operates a scheme called the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS). If you are an international (non-EU/EEA or Swiss citizen) applicant and require a student visa to study in the UK then you will need an ATAS certificate to study this course at the University of Leeds.

To apply for an ATAS certificate online, you will need your programme details and the relevant Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) code and descriptor. For this course, the CAH code is: CAH10-01-04 and the descriptor is Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering. Your supervisor will be Andrew Shires.

More information and details on how to apply for your ATAS certificate can be found at

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.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Mechanical Engineering

Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions Team



UK: £13,750 (Total)

International: £31,000 (Total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

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 on our living costs and budgeting page.

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 may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Career opportunities

The aerospace industry is one of the most successful parts of UK engineering and is truly global in nature.

You’ll be able apply the skills you gain from this course to numerous areas of the aerospace industry, such as aerospace fundamental research, airline management and operations, satellite operations, aerospace design and manufacture in both the civil and military environments as well as motorsport racing.

By taking this MSc, you’ll develop skills that will allow you to enjoy a rewarding and challenging career, whether you choose to join an aerospace company in the UK – such as Airbus, BAE Systems or Rolls-Royce – or elsewhere in the world.

Plus, the University of Leeds is in the top 5 most targeted universities in the UK by graduate recruiters, according to High Fliers’ The Graduate Market in 2024 report.

Here’s an insight into jobs and organisations graduates in aerospace engineering have secured:

  • Flight Physics Engineer, Airbus
  • Design Engineer, Electroimpact UK Ltd
  • Graduate Engineer Trainee, Rolls-Royce
  • Graduate Engineer, British Airways
  • Engineer, Expert Tooling and Automation Ltd.
  • Graduate Engineer, Jaguar Land Rover
  • Graduate Engineer, BAE Systems
  • Pilot, RAF
  • Strategy Manager, BAE Systems
  • Graduate Engineer, GKN Aerospace
  • Product Development Engineer, Jaguar Land Rover
  • Flight Physics Engineer, QinetiQ

Careers support

At Leeds, we help you to prepare for your future from day one. We have a wide range of careers resources — including our award-winning Employability team who are in contact with many employers around the country and advertise placements and jobs. They are also on hand to provide guidance and support, ensuring you are prepared to take your next steps after graduation and get you where you want to be.

  • Links with industry — we have close working relationships with a number of large organisations in the aerospace industry and beyond who you can meet and connect with at talks and networking events.
  • Employability events — we run a full range of events including careers fairs in specialist areas and across broader industries — all with employers who are actively recruiting for roles.
  • MyCareer system — on your course and after you graduate, you’ll have access to a dedicated careers portal where you can book appointments with our team, get information on careers and see job vacancies and upcoming events.
  • Qualified careers consultants — gain guidance, support and information to help you choose a career path. You’ll have access to 1-2-1 meetings and events to learn how to find employers to target, write your CV and cover letter, research before interviews and brush up on your interview skills.
  • Opportunities at Leeds — there are plenty of exciting opportunities offered by our Leeds University Union, including volunteering and over 300 clubs and societies to get involved in.

Find out more about career support.