Taught course

Aerospace Engineering

Brunel University, London · Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering

Entry requirements

A UK first or second class Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification usually in engineering; science; technology; or a related discipline. Other qualifications and relevant experience will be assessed on an individual basis.

Months of entry


Course content

This specialist course has been developed to equip graduate engineers with the skills required of a highly demanding aerospace industry. Students will be actively involved in learning such topics as: aircraft design; advanced aerodynamics; space mechanics; spacecraft design; propulsion systems; and the role of flight simulation in aerospace.


Although the course has a distinct specialist and technical flavour, the MSc also seeks to provide graduates with a raft of non-technical skills to enable them to realise their professional potential to its fullest.

To this end, the course provides modules that cover topics in strategic management, enterprise, research and innovation, as well as exploring issues that are of special importance to the future of the aerospace industry, such as safety, security, and sustainability.

MSc Aerospace Engineering is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). This will provide a route to Chartered Engineer status in the UK.

Course Content

The MSc Aerospace Engineering course consists of five taught modules, a group project, and an individual project and dissertation

Design and Analysis of Aerospace Vehicles

  • Part A – Aerospace Vehicles
    Introduction to spacecraft design: types, roles, systems, operating environment; Introduction to helicopter design: configurations, roles, design problems, operating environment, sizing and performance estimation; other aerospace vehicles: UAVs, MAVs, GEVs, spaceplanes, microlights, parachutes.
  • Part B – Aircraft design and systems analysis
    Fixed-wing aircraft conceptual design, parametric studies, preliminary design, detailed design. Airframe structure, aerodynamics, propulsion, use of materials, and mission requirements. Aircraft cost, aircraft reliability and maintainability predictions. Use of aircraft design data and design formulae. Application of specialist performance analysis software to the conceptual aircraft design process.

Advanced Aerodynamics, Propulsion Systems, and Space Mechanics

Incompressible flow over airfoil and finite wings: Classical airfoil theory, vortex panel numerical method, Biot-Savart law, Helmholtz's theorem, Prantdl's classical lifting-line theory, lifting-surface theory, vortex lattice numerical method, the delta wing. Compressible flow: flow about bodies and shock formation, compressible flow relations, flow through nozzles, shock interactions and reflections, hypersonic flows.

Application of numerical codes: CFD, Euler solvers. Spacecraft trajectories. Multistage rockets. Escape velocity. Elliptical and circular orbits. Orbital manoeuvres. Atmospheric re-entry and atmospheric heating. Axial aircraft compressors. Radial equilibrium theory for axial machines. Axial aircraft turbines. Aircraft combustion chamber design. Ramjet.

Current Topics in Aerospace

Airport design, air traffic control and management; aircraft and airport security; safety measures in aircraft; environmental pollution and noise; history and statistics of air accidents; passenger and luggage handling; catering services; role of flight simulators; future for aerospace industry and air traffic growth.

Strategic Management Innovation and Enterprise

  • Financial ownership issues: financial implications, sources of finance, raising capital, venture finance, merchant banks, mergers, take-overs, business restructuring.
  • Human resources management: key theories of motivation in workplace, leadership, incentivisation, managing a unionised workforce, employment legislation in UK, EU and worldwide. Organisation of a business: organisation theory, organisational strategy and culture, integration of functions, forces for change and continuous improvement.
  • Marketing concept: Customer orientation; market segmentation and analysis
  • Ethical business: Moral codes; legal frameworks; industry regulations; local and global trade. Marketing Communications: market research, marketing mix, branding, advertising and sponsorship.

Research Methodology and Sustainable Engineering

  • Practical research issues: research processes and strategies; researcher/supervisor roles and relationships; writing, communicating and disseminating research; principles of good research practice.
  • Information retrieval: objectives; sampling methods; data analysis; when and how to apply statistics; statistical methods; preparing and sorting data; parametric and non-parametric tests; computer software for statistical analysis.
  • Risk management: Risk analysis and decision support, financial indicators
  • Innovation: Brainstorming, value engineering, intellectual property protection.

Group Project in Aerospace Engineering

Students work nominally in groups of five or six to prepare a novel design for a particular engineering system or product. They will be required to work from an initial design brief to produce the product design specification and the necessary planning and management strategies.

  • you will learn and apply techniques and skills to carry out the design of a multidisciplinary or cross-disciplinary system or product.
  • you will be required to produce a final technical specification including cost justification.
  • you will also be expected to provide performance justification, the specification of appropriate manufacturing techniques and provision for accommodating environmental effects.


Students will work independently on a project within given resources and time constraints. Students often choose project topics from a list provided by the module co-ordinator or after having discussions with academic members of staff.

  • Some projects may be part of the research activities undertaken by various research groups within the College.
  • Some project topics may be initiated by organisations external to Brunel, though supervision from within Brunel is necessary in all cases.
  • The nature of projects may be predominantly design, experimental, computing and/or analysis, or sometimes a critical literature survey. Many projects combine several of these aspects.

Information for international students

English Language Requirements IELTS: 6 (min 5.5 in all areas) TOEFL Paper test: 550 (TWE 4) TOEFL Internet test: 79 (R18, L17, S20, W17) Pearson: 51 (51 in all subscores)

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

You will probably need to finance your own study. You may be eligible for Brunel bursaries, as well as external funding and other support.

Overseas students often obtain external funding, and may be eligible for Brunel bursaries studentships and scholarships and prizes and other support.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Marketing and Recruitment Office
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+44 (0)1895 269 878