Air Transport Management MSc
Coventry University (Coventry)
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
2 years full-time with work placement
Study level: Postgraduate
This MSc course seeks to prepare students to be successful senior managers and leaders in the highly competitive international air transport industry.
- The programme aims to foster an analytical understanding of the holistic nature of aviation management, together with a comprehensive knowledge of the functional nature of the business of air transportation, including the objectives, physical and human requirements needed to facilitate high quality and seamless transportation of people, products and services throughout the world.
- Referring to current developments in international and national aviation businesses, we can teach you to systematically and creatively evaluate all aspects of air transport management (ATM) to improve business and management practice.
- The subject range is vast and diverse, incorporating, for example, aspects of marketing and product development, such as how to create an effective brand and inflight experience for a modern airline or how to influence consumer choices, as well as how human factors impact safety culture.
- Particular attention is given to the tools and techniques used to establish the best combination of people and technology, including project management, logistics, production management and many more practices promoted by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT).
- You will have the option to apply for a ‘work placement’ opportunity2, designed to further develop your skills and knowledge with the aim of maximising your employability prospects. See modules for more information.
Global readyAn international outlook, with global opportunities
Teaching excellenceTaught by lecturers who are experts in their field
EmployabilityCareer ready graduates, with the skills to succeed
Wh you should study this course
This course has been designed to offer two alternative pathways.
- The ‘Business Management’ pathway is for graduates of any discipline, wishing to acquire and develop high-level skills central to the application of a sustainable, analytical and problem-solving approach to Air Transport Management.
- This pathway provides an opportunity for graduates in any discipline with an interest in aviation to re-orientate their studies and prepare for management roles in the air transport sector.
- This pathway can set you on course to achieve exemption from the academic requirement for Membership of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT).
- The ‘Leading Change’ pathway is designed specifically for graduates who have already studied Aviation or Air Transport Management at undergraduate level and who are seeking to extend and deepen their learning and capabilities in the field.
- This pathway introduces advanced concepts such as alternative views of strategy, change and project management not usually covered in undergraduate aviation management courses.
- Students on this pathway are also challenged to develop their leadership capabilities with the goal of being ready to challenge convention and identify potentially disruptive and sustainable solutions to management problems in the sector.
Accreditation & Professional Recognition
This course is accredited1 and recognised by the following bodies:
The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT)
The Business Management pathway on this course is currently accredited by The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) up to and including the September 2023 intake and offers full exemption from the educational requirements for Chartered Membership (subject to the student achieving a minimum overall pass mark of 50%).
Accreditation for the ‘Leading Change’ pathway is being sought.
Chartered Management Institute
As part of this course, you will undertake a professional development module which is currently accredited by the Chartered Management Institute for the 2022-23 intake. Upon successful completion of this module, you will gain the CMI Level 7 Certificate in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice at no additional cost. Further details can be found on the Professional Development module.
Coventry University’s accreditation with CMI is currently ongoing for the relevant modules and is regularly reviewed and monitored by the CMI through their quality systems.
What you'll study
In Semester One, students on both pathways are introduced to the financial and economic concepts that underpin strategic decision making in the aviation industry. While Business Management pathway students are introduced to the policy, regulatory and marketing theory and practices within the sector, Leading Change pathway students explore advanced strategic concepts and issues which are shaping the industry’s future alongside advanced change or project management.
Semester Two allows students on both pathways to develop their critical appreciation of aviation operations management, including the use of simulation as a problem-solving tool and research methods. Business Management pathway students explore the practicalities of safety and security and project management. Leading Change pathway students will apply their learning in a strategic group project and continue to develop advanced practices in change and project management.
After successful completion of the taught component, you will be required to undertake an air transport focused research thesis, demonstrating the skills and knowledge you have gained during the course. Live client-based projects are encouraged. Past students have considered the future of aircraft cabin design, examined several strategy and marketing related issues and looked at human factors in relation to runway incursion among others. This course may be delivered using short blocks, where the classroom teaching for each taught module is focused over a consecutive five-day period.
Aviation Finance, Economics and Business Decision Analysis – 15 credits
Drawing upon concepts of strategic management and competitive analysis in the air transport sector, this module examines how strategic and tactical decisions of various players in the air transport industry are related to financial and economic variables.
Aviation Operations Management – 15 credits
The aim of this module is to enable you to effectively analyse, evaluate and improve the management of operations and scheduling with the dynamic air transport operational environment. Various factors that affect the strategic and day-to-day operations management of international and regional airlines and airports will be explored.
Research Methods and Project Introduction – 15 credits
This module provides the background in study skills and research methods to enable you to carry out assignments and taught master’s projects.
Master’s Dissertation – 50 credits
The project will provide you with the demonstrable competences in applying the concepts and skills acquired during the taught part of the course. The project may be a solution to a practical Industry problem/requirement or focus on a research topic and will culminate in a comprehensive, thorough, and professional report documenting the conduct, approach and outcomes of the project. It is intended that the module gives you an opportunity to ‘specialise’ in an area of interest that is relevant to prospects and career development.
Leading Strategic Change through Creativity and Innovation – 10 credits
This module aims to provide you with a framework of knowledge and understanding of how to manage change using creativity and innovation in different types of organisational scenarios. You will critically assess strategies for change and change management and explore the leadership skills required to lead such successfully.
Business Management pathway
Air Transport Policy, Regulation and Global Issues - 15 credits
This module aims to develop your understanding of global and regional air transport policy and regulation and examines its influence on the growth and structure of the aviation industry. Current issues which impact on the industry globally are also introduced and discussed.
Air Transport Planning and Design - 15 credits
This module introduces you to a range of principles and strategies and that underpin the planning and design of the aviation operational environment. The module seeks to analyse and evaluate potential growth options within aviation and apply appropriate planning and design principles to promote a sustainable development of the industry.
Air Transport Marketing and Customer Behaviour - 15 credits
This module introduces you to the theory and practice of strategic marketing management within the air transport industry. It seeks to develop the ability to identify various opportunities and threats that influence product and service development and marketing decisions in aviation businesses, using various analytical tools common to the discipline.
Aviation Safety, Security and Business Resilience - 15 credits
This module aims to introduce you to the critical business functions of safety, security and business resilience within air transportation. You will be introduced to the safety and security regulatory requirements of the industry and given the opportunity to develop competence in navigating and applying them to relevant contexts.
Principles of Project Management - 15 credits
This module introduces you to the principles of project management and its role in supporting organisational change. It aims to develop your understanding and skills in the use of project management tools and techniques, and to apply them in a relevant case study scenario.
Leading Change pathway
Strategic Perspectives in Aviation - 15 credits
The module aims to expand your knowledge and critical appreciation of strategic thinking as applied to a range of current and emerging issues in commercial aviation. You will be introduced to theories of strategy beyond what would usually be covered in undergraduate programmes in this field and then encouraged to engage with a range of topics and current research to consider implications for industry managers.
Project Management Frameworks - 15 credits
The aim of this module is to actively engage you in the thorough understanding of approaches to managing projects within engineering organisations. These approaches are based on Project Management Methodologies with emphasis on “Best Practices” in engineering project environment.
Business Continuity and Crisis Management - 15 credits
This module aims to provide you with the necessary evaluative skills to assess internal and external risk contexts and apply appropriate approaches for managing risks within organisations. Incidents, disruptions, and crises introduce high degrees of uncertainty coupled with time bound complex challenges to the normal functioning of systems.
Strategic Aviation Group Project - 15 credits
This module aims to enable students, working together, to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to air transport management problems. You will be encouraged to use your industry knowledge and deploy appropriate behaviours, capabilities and skills to solve real challenges facing organisations in the air transport sector.
Change Management - 15 credits
This module evaluates the importance of change management in contemporary organisations in the private and public sector, and its significance in terms of the design and delivery of successful change in small and large-sized programmes and projects.
With work placement pathway
The ‘With work placement’ opportunity2 enables you to apply in semester 1 for an optional work placement of up to 12 months, extending the duration of your master’s to 24 months. The placement provides an opportunity for you to develop expertise and experience in your chosen field with the aim of enhancing your employability upon graduation. The work placement would take place in semesters 3, 4 and 5.
Please note that the optional placement modules incur an additional tuition fee of £4,000. Placement opportunities may also be subject to additional costs, visa requirements being met, subject to availability and/or competitive application. Work placements are not guaranteed but you will benefit from the support of our Talent Team in trying to find and secure an opportunity. Please note that the optional placement modules incur an additional fee of £4,000. Find out more about the work placement option.
We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.
How you'll learn
Teaching and learning include:
- Group projects
- Practical laboratory sessions
We use several real-life case studies drawn from the current fast-moving global airline scene. For example, how Middle Eastern Carriers have challenged and changed the wider global airline operating environment or how Low-Cost Carriers are evolving to meet increasing competition and increasing customer expectations.
We aim to run an inspiring programme of guest speakers (subject to availability), which in the past has featured: an airline start-up guru and chief operating officer; a security manager; chief fire officer; highly experienced airline scheduling expert; professional and personal development expert; a vice-president of airline route development and Ryanair’s former head of new routes; and the chief operating officer at Birmingham Airport.
We may also organise an exciting programme of field trips2, which have in the past included visits to DHL Air Cargo Hub at East Midlands Airport and the British Airways Emergency Coordination Centre at Heathrow, Heathrow Terminals 2 and 3 and Birmingham Airport. Where possible, you will also be given opportunities to attend conferences organised by Routes and the Royal Aeronautical Society. The university regularly hosts an IATA training seminar and students are invited to attend.
This course can be studied on a full-time or part-time basis. Whilst we would like to give you all the information about our part-time offering here, it is tailored for each course each year depending on the number of part-time applicants. Therefore, the part-time teaching arrangements vary. Please request information about studying this course part-time.
Teaching contact hours
The number of contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, it is likely to be around 12 contact hours per week in the taught semesters. Your project-based semester will be supervisor supported, self-directed study in the region of 38 hours per week as well as supervisor meetings around 1 hour per week and optional workshops supporting your project, which can add up to 10 additional hours across your project semester.
Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 35 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.
This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which could vary depending upon the module. We utilise diversified assessments such as reports, essays, presentations, group work and in-class tests to provide opportunities for learners to apply skills learnt on the course to solve real-world aviation industry problems. We embed our module delivery with formative sessions so that learners can independently achieve the intended outcomes of the summative assessment.
The Coventry University assessment strategy aims to ensure that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.
International experience opportunities
Air transport management is a global business and to increase your employability, the course content reflects this. We benefit from strong relationships with air transport and aviation management programmes through Europe, in the United States the Middle East, ASEAN and East Asia, including Purdue University, Emirates Aviation University, City University of Hong Kong and University of Indonesia. There may be opportunities2 for you to complete international study or work placements as part of your course.
Applicants are expected to have one of the following qualifications:
For the Business Management Pathway
- a minimum of a Second-class Upper Division (2:1) honour's degree in any subject;
- a relevant professional qualification of an equivalent level;
- a lower qualification plus appropriate and relevant working experience at a professional level.
For the Leading Change Pathway
- a minimum of a Second-class honour's degree in Aviation or Air Transport Management;
- a relevant professional qualification of an equivalent level;
- a lower qualification plus appropriate and relevant working experience at a professional level in the air transport sector.
Each application will be considered on its merits and the final decision will be made by the course director.
We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.
Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:
You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.
Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.
English language requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5
If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.
Fees and funding
2022/23 Tuition fees
|Student||Full time||Part time|
|UK||£10,600 | £4,000 (Work placement option additional fee) per year||Not available|
|International||£18,250 | £4,000 (Work placement option additional fee) per year||Not available|
For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Postgraduate Finance page.
We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.
Our aim is to offer you sector-leading facilities4:
Our simulators create an exciting way to learn, with 61 channels of flight data which can be analysed to assess the accuracy of a students’ own design. The simulators are incorporated into an air traffic control environment. .
Our Harrier T4 allows you to gain hands-on experience with the parts, tools and mechanical aspects of a real aircraft. It is used by many engineering disciplines to learn how an aircraft works and how to maintain it.
Built and tested by the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Formula One team, our open jet single return wind tunnel is used for teaching aerodynamics. You can also test your project work, such as wings, plane tails or full aircraft models.
Careers and opportunities
On successful completion, you will be able to:
- Select and apply appropriate systematic methods of analysis to critically evaluate and solve complex air transport management problems.
- Critically evaluate and synthesise appropriate theory and practice underpinning the strategic management of aviation, including legal and regulatory requirements.
- Critically analyse current challenges in global aviation and propose innovative or disruptive operational solutions, based on technical, environmental, economic and social criteria.
- Make and justify decisions for selecting, developing and optimising appropriate systems and processes to ensure aviation safety and security; efficient operational management and the establishment of effective business continuity planning.
- Demonstrate the application of regulatory and ethical principles associated with financial, marketing and other aspects of strategic management in the air transport sector.
- Apply the necessary study and research skills to support the analytical, critical and reflective requirements of written, oral and group assignments.
- Demonstrate knowledge, understanding and application of the skills required to deliver effective project planning, resourcing and scheduling, individually and as part of a team.
- Clearly communicate research concepts, solutions and recommendations and demonstrate a professional approach to written and / or oral presentation.
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the principles of entrepreneurial practice and the theories and practices of leadership.
Air transport is one of the world’s growth industries and is projected to continue to experience ongoing growth until at least 2050. This growth brings significant challenges in recruitment of suitable personnel at all levels, including management.
This programme is designed with the aim of developing the strategic managerial skills necessary to meet the challenges currently facing the air transport industry today. You should also develop a wide range of transferrable professional skills during your studies, including the ability to produce written reports and deliver oral presentations, engage in self-directed study, operate as part of a team, demonstrate a critical awareness of professional, legal, social and ethical issues.
As such, it aims to equip you with the skills and expertise required to pursue a successful career in various sectors of the air transport industry, such as airlines, air navigation service providers, airport companies and authorities, civil aviation departments, air transport consultancies and aerospace companies.
Where our graduates work
Previous graduates are now following management careers with airlines and airport operators, regulatory and industry representative bodies and consultancy in the UK and around the world.
How to apply
Full-time and part-time students applying to start in September should apply directly to the university. Read our application pages to find out your next steps to apply.
For further support or more information about your course get in touch with us today.
Full-time international students applying to start in September should apply directly to the university. Read our application pages to find out your next steps to apply.How to apply
For further support for international applicants applying for postgraduate degree view our International hub.
You can also download our International guide which contains lots of useful information about our courses, accommodation and tips for travel.
Get in touch with us today for further advice and guidance.
The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.
2UK and international opportunities
Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.
The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For Home Students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.
For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.
Facilities are subject to availability. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.
By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. The 2022/23 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.