Air Transport Management MSc

Study level: Postgraduate
Plane taking off on runway

This MSc course seeks to prepare students to be successful senior managers and leaders in the highly competitive international air transport industry.

Year of entry



Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode



1 year full-time
2 years part-time
2 years sandwich

Course code


Start date

September 2024

Course overview

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.
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Why you should study this course

  • The course is designed 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.
  • The course allows graduates of aviation or air transport related courses to deepen their learning in selected areas of interest and to apply learning to new contexts.
  • You will be challenged to develop your leadership capabilities with the goal of being ready to challenge convention and identify potentially disruptive and sustainable solutions to management problems in the 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).

Accreditation and professional recognition

This course is accredited1 and recognised by the following bodies:

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT)

This course is currently being reaccredited as part of the standard CILT review process. We expect reaccreditation to be confirmed in early 2024.

Chartered Management Institute

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 2024-25 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 there is a focus on the acquisition of core knowledge and understanding of how the industry operates. You will be introduced to the financial and economic concepts that underpin strategic decision making in the aviation industry alongside the policy, regulatory and marketing theory and practices within the sector.

Semester two allows you to apply the learning from semester one and develop your critical appreciation of aviation operations management, including the use of simulation as a problem-solving tool and research methods while exploring the practicalities of safety, security, business resilience 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • This module provides the background in study skills and research methods to enable you to carry out assignments and taught master’s projects.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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. 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 may include:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Presentations
  • Group projects
  • Workshops
  • 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 loyalty expert; an airline safety and emergency planning manager; 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 industry and academic conferences2. The university also organises industry engagement events where students can meet potential employers and engage with industry practitioners (subject to availability).

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. Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 35 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.

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.

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


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.

Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2024/25 entry.

Applicants are expected to have one of the following qualifications:

  • a minimum of a 2:2 degree in Aviation or Tourism Management or a cognate degree with a transport or management focus.
  • a minimum of a 2:1 degree in any other discipline.
  • a relevant professional qualification of an equivalent level.
  • a lower qualification plus appropriate and relevant working experience at a professional level.

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.

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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.

If you do not have the typical entry requirements, you may want to consider studying this course with an international pre-master's. Upon successful completion our International Pre-Master's - Business, International Pre-Master's - Engineering or International Pre-Master's - Engineering Management will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to progress onto this postgraduate degree.

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.

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Fees and funding

2024/25 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £11,200 | £4,000 (Work placement option additional fee)   Request fee information
EU £11,200 | £4,000 (Work placement option additional fee) per year with EU support bursary**
£18,600 | £4,000 (Work placement option additional fee) per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International £18,600 | £4,000 (Work placement option additional fee)   Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Postgraduate Finance page and see the university's Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU Support Bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.


Our aim is to offer you sector-leading facilities4.

Student looking at monitors analysing flight navigation

Flight Simulators

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.

Students working on the harrier jet

Harrier Jet

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.

Stduent testing a model car in the wind tunnel

Wind Tunnel

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 2040. 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

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London, Coventry University Wrocław, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough, and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the University) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.


    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 unpaid and/or 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, public authority guidance, decisions or orders and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand any visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    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 UK (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. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the current 2024/2025 contract is available on the website. 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.