Aerospace Engineering MSc

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2023
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
£13,000 (total)
International fees
£28,000 (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, and it’s home to some of the world’s 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 Aerospace Engineering Industrial Advisory Board is actively engaged in ensuring this course meets the needs of industry and reflects trends in the sector.

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:

  • Learn the latest innovations in engineering from our world-leading research conducted right here on campus that feeds directly into the course.
  • Tailor the degree to suit your specific interests with a broad selection of optional modules to choose from, with everything from rotary wing aircraft to aerodynamics and aerospace propulsion – plus many more.
  • Put theory into practice and conduct a team design project and an individual professional project, using interdisciplinary 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 are making breakthroughs in their fields and 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)

This course is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council.

Course details

You’ll take specific compulsory modules on advanced topics, from aerospace structures and the theory behind structural analysis, to systems engineering and understanding how engineering psychology and human factors influence aircraft design. You’ll also develop and apply your knowledge to solving real-world problems and situations.

This will inform the rest of your studies where, 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 aerodynamics and aerospace propulsion, rotary wing aircraft, computational methods (CFD and advanced FEA) or materials failure analysis.

Throughout the programme, you’ll complete a team-based design project in semester one, and a professional project in semester two– an independent piece of research on a topic within aerospace engineering that allows you to demonstrate your knowledge and skills. 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.

Typical projects could include:

  • 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
Aerospace Structures 15
Professional Project 60
Team Design Project 15

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

Module Name Credits
Design Optimisation - MSc 15
Aerodynamics and Aerospace Propulsion 20
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 15
Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis 15
Advanced Manufacturing 15
Spacecraft Dynamics and Control 15

Want to find out more about your modules?

Take a look our Aerospace Engineering module descriptions for more detail on what you’ll study.

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.

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 of material stress analysis, programming and structural and multidisciplinary optimisation.

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 the School, 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.

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.

Programme team

The Programme Manager, 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 using a range of techniques including case studies, technical reports, presentations, assignments and exams. Optional modules may also use alternative 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. You could study a part-time online course starting in January, or a full-time course in summer. Find out more about online pre-sessionals.

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.

30 June 2023 – International applicants

10 September 2023 – UK applicants

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're 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 Bilal Kaddouh.

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 Taught Admissions Policy 2023

This course is taught by

School of Mechanical Engineering

Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions Team



UK: £13,000 (total)

International: £28,000 (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 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 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 the 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 five most targeted universities in the UK by graduate recruiters, according to High Fliers’ The Graduate Market in 2022 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. Our wide range of careers resources — including our award-winning Employability team — are on hand to offer 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, 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.