Aerospace Systems Engineering MEng/BEng (Hons) with foundation year

Study level: Undergraduate
Person holding up a model aeroplane in silhouette

Our Aerospace Systems Engineering courses develop the skills and knowledge required by graduate engineers to join the teams of aerospace systems engineers worldwide, designing and developing systems for the next generation of aircraft.

Course option

Year of entry

Location

CU Coventry (Coventry) and
Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode

Full-time
Sandwich

Duration

BEng
4 years full-time
5 years sandwich

UCAS codes

H1DF

Start date

September 2024
November 2024


Course overview

Our degree with foundation year could be the stepping stone you need to achieve your goals. The foundation year aims to prepare you for degree-level study and is a great way to build the confidence, skills and knowledge needed to succeed on your degree course. The degree with foundation year is only available for the BEng option.

Foundation year

This foundation year aims to provide you with the fundamental knowledge and skills needed in mathematics, as well as the theories and concepts of electrical, electronic and mechanical engineering.

Degree

The programme aims to enable you to develop a thorough understanding of the fundamental principles of systems engineering and how this knowledge is applied in the Aerospace Industry.

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Joint Top Modern University for Career Prospects

Guardian University Guide 2021 and 2022

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5 QS Stars for Teaching and Facilities

QS Stars University Ratings

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Top 5 UK Student City (Coventry)

QS Best Student Cities Index 2023

Why you should study this course

Foundation year

  • Supports you to gain the academic skills required for degree-level study
  • Provides a grounding in key areas of engineering and mathematics.

Degree

  • The course helps you develop a thorough, integrated understanding of mechanical, electrical and systems engineering and how this knowledge is applied in the aerospace industry. and you will have the opportunity to learn to apply your knowledge using industry standard tools and practices.
  • You will be taught by staff with industrial experience, having worked extensively in the sector (staff may be subject to change). Their research expertise ranges from aerodynamics, flight dynamics, aircraft structural analysis, crashworthiness modelling and avionics to human factors in aviation and is utilised both within the research-informed teaching on the course, and in the final year project.
  • Strong professional skills focus.
  • The combined theoretical and practical focus of the programme concentrates on engineering mathematics, mechanical, electrical and thermodynamic design, system simulation and modelling, control systems, aerodynamics, aircraft structures and manufacturing - all of which gives successful graduates a strong base from which to start your professional work in aerospace design.
9th

Coventry University ranked 9th for Aerospace Engineering

Guardian University Guide 2023

Accreditation and professional recognition

The degree is accredited1 and recognised by the following bodies:

Royal Aeronautical Society

Royal Aeronautical Society

Aerospace Systems Engineering BEng (Hons) is accredited1 by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), as fully meeting the educational requirements for Incorporated Engineer (IEng) registration (subject to additional costs) and partially satisfying the educational requirements for Chartered Engineer (CEng) registration (subject to additional costs).


More than just a degree

During my time at Coventry University my life has changed in countless positive ways and I feel like my course has enhanced me with enough experiences to make a difference in the future. As far as engineering goes, the university has done an admirable job of preparing us for the highly competitive market awaiting us.

Marius Dorobantu, Aerospace Systems Engineering BEng (Hons), December 2020
Male student in front of a jet plane using a measurement tool

What you'll study

This course has a common first year.

In the first year, the curriculum is shared across related courses allowing you to gain a broad grounding in the discipline before going on, in the second and third years, to specialist modules in your chosen field.

We want your degree to fit around you, so upon successful completion of your first year, you could swap degrees with another course in your common first year (subject to meeting progression requirements).

Common first-year courses

  • Aerospace Technology BEng (Hons)

In the first year, the curriculum is shared across related courses allowing you to gain a broad grounding in the discipline before going on, in the second and third years, to specialist modules in your chosen field.

Modules

  • This covers the essentials of fluid mechanics and aerodynamics and an introduction to MATLAB programming to enable solving of simple engineering problems.

    Compulsory

  • This module teaches the fundamental principles behind mechanics and thermodynamics which underpin many engineering disciplines.

    Compulsory

  • Aims to develop your competence in mathematical methods relevant to engineering whilst emphasising fundamental concepts which the engineer needs to understand in order to produce a mathematical formulation of a problem.

    Compulsory

  • Covers the basic concepts and principles used in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, focussing on steady state DC circuit analysis and AC circuit analysis.

    Compulsory

  • This module covers the creation and development of a viable product, process or system to meet a defined need through a structured approach to the design process, design management, and creative problem solving.

    Compulsory

  • This multi-disciplinary module builds upon and reinforces the technical content across the first year of the Aerospace Cluster courses. It develops engineering practice, software and programming skills that are crucial attributes expected of a professional engineer.

    Compulsory

In year two, you will develop more advanced knowledge and skills to do with aerospace systems engineering and avionics systems, amongst others.

Modules

  • The module aims to develop key capabilities required in the design of aerospace components and subsystems. Specifically, these key capabilities include: design, analysis, synthesis, and the application of information technology tools.

    Compulsory

  • The module emphasises the fundamental concepts that an engineer needs to understand in order to formulate and analyse practical problems.

    Compulsory

  • The aim of this module is to present the concepts of signal acquisition and processing required as part of the study of avionic systems.

    Compulsory

  • The aim of this module is to give you a solid theoretical foundation for understanding feedback control system analysis, design and application and its applications towards the dynamics of an aircraft in flight.

    Compulsory

  • This module builds upon the fundamental Thermofluid principles covered in year one and includes the 2nd law of thermodynamics as well as differential and integral methods for analysing fluid systems.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to broaden your knowledge and understanding of rigid body mechanics and stress analysis from the 1st year. This is achieved through the teaching of fundamental solid mechanics and dynamics for simple structures under complex loading.

    Compulsory

There’s no better way to find out what you love doing than trying it out for yourself, which is why a work placement2 can often be beneficial. Work placements usually occur between your second and final year of study. They’re a great way to help you explore your potential career path and gain valuable work experience, whilst developing transferable skills for the future.

If you choose to do a work placement year, you will pay a reduced tuition fee3 of £1,250. For more information, please go to the fees and funding section. During this time you will receive guidance from your employer or partner institution, along with your assigned academic mentor who will ensure you have the support you need to complete your placement.

Modules

  • This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved placement undertaken during your programme. A placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.

    Optional

  • This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved international study/work placement undertaken during your programme. A work/study placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.

    Optional

In year three, you will develop more advanced knowledge and skills to do with propulsion systems design and supersonic aerodynamics, amongst others.

Modules

  • The module aims to enhance the key capabilities required in the design of a complex aerospace system by taking you through the conceptual, preliminary and detailed design reviews of a typical aerospace system that would be conducted in industry.

    Compulsory

  • The aim of this module is to develop your knowledge and understanding of aerospace propulsion system design and aerodynamics.

    Compulsory

  • The module provides a framework which should enable you to integrate your skills and knowledge developed throughout the course to undertake a substantial research project.

    Compulsory

  • The module builds on the Aerospace Systems Design Module to enhance the key capabilities required in the design and validation of a complex aerospace system. Specifically these key capabilities include: development, analysis and validation of an aerospace system within both the virtual and physical environment.

    Compulsory

  • The aim of this module is to develop the introductory knowledge acquired from Avionics Systems I regarding initial system design and requirements to complete sub-system design, verification and testing.

    Compulsory

  • The aim of this module is to provide an opportunity to research, design, implement and critically evaluate a functional or simulated system, object or concept and to acquire deeper knowledge of a specialist technical area.

    Compulsory

If you meet the criteria, you could choose to take an additional fourth-year master's option, which will deepen your knowledge and expertise.

Modules

  • This module is designed to extend students' existing knowledge of Computational Fluid Dynamics. This will be achieved through the analysis and evaluation of practical aerospace configurations. Underpinned by an in-depth understanding of the finite volume method and aerodynamics principles.

    Compulsory

  • The aim of this module is to develop a broad understanding of modern approaches for design and analysis of aerospace structures. This is achieved through a deeper understanding of the design challenges in materials, structures, manufacturing, durability and light-weighting.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to introduce the student to the various elements that make up the system integration skills necessary in the aerospace industry. The module provides the student with the opportunity to develop an appreciation of the importance of selecting appropriate hardware, software, strategies and integration standards.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to develop the student’s critical analysis skills in the detailed aero-mechanical design of gas turbine engines and electric propulsion systems.

    Compulsory

  • The aim of this module is to cement the student’s critical integration skills through a complex design, make, test, evaluate group project for an aerospace systems integration application. The project application will require the integration of a new aerospace systems package onto an existing complex platform.

    Compulsory

  • This module is designed to provide students with the ability to develop and implement business innovation practices within the appropriate frameworks to comply with current and future requirements for sustainability.

    Compulsory

The foundation year offers an introduction to your chosen subject and supports you to develop the skills required for degree-level study.

Modules

  • This module aims to provide you with the fundamental mathematical knowledge and skills required to solve relevant problems while developing analytical and problem-solving skills. You should also be equipped to turn real-world problems into mathematical problems and present mathematical and logical arguments. Concepts covered include basic algebraic properties, trigonometry, computation of areas and volumes of basic shapes, an introduction to Calculus including computation of limits derivatives and integrals. Upon successful completion of the module, you will have an awareness of many of the mathematical techniques required to tackle everyday problems in related disciplines.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to provide you with fundamental mathematical knowledge and skills required to solve relevant problems while developing analytical and problem-solving skills. You should also be equipped to turn real-world problems into mathematical problems and present mathematical and logical arguments. Concepts covered include computation of areas and volumes of basic shapes, complex numbers, application of matrices and determinant, application of vectors, application of differentiation and integration, and use of a computer software to solve a scientific problem. Upon successful completion of the module, you will have an awareness of many of the mathematical techniques required to tackle everyday problems in related disciplines.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to introduce you to the basic analysis and design of electric circuits using DC and AC power sources. To prepare you for this we will discuss the laws of electric circuits and electrical engineering.

    Assisted by our professional academics, you’ll have the opportunity to work with industry-standard software to analyse techniques and identify and solve problems on electrical circuits. You’ll also learn the basic laws of magnetism as applied to electrical circuits.

    Compulsory

  • This module delves into the fundamental knowledge of mechanical engineering principles and concepts. Underpinned by the application of mathematics and physics, concepts covered include fundamentals of energy, design, manufacturing, materials and engineering mechanics. In addition, you’ll look to gain specific knowledge in mechanics, transport phenomena and thermodynamics.

    Compulsory

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

The foundation year programme is focused on applied learning geared to high-intensity teaching and study throughout the programme, requiring full commitment from students. The delivery of course content is a blend of lectures, tutorials and online learning.

There are no end of year exams. Instead, learning is assessed through coursework and phase tests, which is more reflective of a working environment. The learning outcomes of modules, assignments and projects will be clearly stated. Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve these learning outcomes and your final feedback will refer to each outcome, as well as providing an overall percentage grade.


Teaching contact hours

You can expect up to 20 hours of learning activities per week, made up of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, online classes and independent learning.

Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 30 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.


Assessment

Assessment methods vary and may include practical class and project performance, written practical reports, project thesis, oral presentations, tutorial tasks and assessments which generally take place at the end of each six-week block.

We encourage you to learn through stimulating activity, such as a project, problem, scenario, case study or enquiry in a classroom, laboratory or work setting. When considering avionic systems, for example, we study a number of real-life case studies, including the design and development of hands-on Arduino based projects for aircraft data logging and control.

We aim to present aerospace systems engineering knowledge in an integrated way to reflect the multiplicity and interaction between many types of scientific, commercial, manufacturing and managerial skills and knowledge, necessary to produce a successful engineering product or system.

You will have the opportunity to work with current staff on real-world problems from industry, commerce and research groups, as you would in professional practice; this means that you can develop all of the professional skills at the same time as learning the technical content of your degree.


Teaching contact hours

We understand that everyone learns differently, so each of our courses will consist of structured teaching sessions, which can include:

  • On campus lectures, seminars and workshops
  • Group work
  • Self-directed learning
  • Work placement opportunities2.

The number of contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, it is likely to be around 16 contact hours per week in the first year, reducing to around 15 contact hours per week in the second, third and MEng year as you become a more independent learner. In addition, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study approximately 16-20 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.

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.


Assessment

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module.

Assessment methods include:

  • Formal examinations
  • Phase tests
  • Essays
  • Group work
  • Presentations
  • Reports
  • Projects
  • Coursework
  • Exams
  • Individual Assignments
  • Laboratories

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.


International experience opportunities

The university is committed to providing a global educational experience and we encourage you to undertake a placement year or study year abroad after your second year of study. We will endeavour to support you in finding a placement anywhere in the world and in seeking financing for that experience.

The majority of work placements have been within the UK, but previous students have been placed in GKN Aerospace (Munich, Germany), Bertrandt (Hamburg, Germany) and Airbus (Toulouse, France). The majority of study abroad students have studied at high education institutions within Europe, including Aerospace Engineering at UPM, Spain.

Previous students on the programme have had the opportunity to gain experience of the industry first-hand through our exciting industry-focused field trips, which have previously included the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre in the US and Airbus (Toulouse), Airbus (Marseille) and Finmeccanica in Europe.

Please note that all UK and international experience opportunities may be subject to additional costs, competitive application, availability, and meeting applicable visa and travel requirements are therefore not guaranteed2.


Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2024/25 entry.

80 UCAS tariff points. All foundation courses require 5 GCSEs at A-C/4-9 including Maths and English, and at least one A2 level or a BTEC equivalent qualification.

If you don’t fulfil the entry criteria your application may be considered on an individual basis, taking into account any work experience, other qualifications and/or any training you have completed. Speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Are you eligible for the Fair Access Scheme?

We believe every student should have the opportunity to dream big, reach their potential and succeed, regardless of their background. Find out more about our Fair Access Scheme.

Got higher grades? Have you considered direct entry to the degree without foundation year?


Fees and funding

2024/25 tuition fees.

Foundation year

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £7,950 Not available
International/EU Not currently available*** Not available

Degree

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £9,250 per year Not available
International/EU Not currently available*** Not available

Please note: UK (home) tuition fees for the degree course years will be charged at the current Coventry University UK (home) degree fee level. This was set at £9,250 for the 23/24 academic year.

If you choose to do a work placement2, you should consider travel and living costs to cover this. There is also a tuition fee3 of £1,250 that will cover your academic support throughout your placement year.

For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see The University’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

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. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.

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.

**This course with foundation year is not currently available to international students

If you do not meet the entry requirements to directly join year 1 of the degree, please take a look at our International Pathways Programme for additional options.

  • We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.

    If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.


Facilities

Our foundation years are taught at CU Coventry’s Mile Lane building, a short walk from the city centre. You’re part of the university from day one, so during your foundation year you’ll have access to the wider facilities at Coventry University. Once you successfully complete your foundation year, you'll transfer over to studying your chosen degree at Coventry University, where you'll be taught on campus in the relevant academic buildings.

Located on our Mile Lane campus, you will have access to our Library and Learning Services (LLS), fully equipped seminar rooms and IT suites4. You can also take advantage of reading rights in Coventry University’s Lanchester Library, make use of sport centre facilities and receive full membership to Your Students' Union.

Two students walking outside with the CU Coventry building behind them.

Mile Lane

The campus is home to an on-site library with bookable one-to-one academic writing service and library support sessions, fully equipped seminar rooms, open-access study areas, a café and an IT suite. Our labs contain industry-standard equipment so that you learn using the same equipment as many industry professionals.

A student working in a booth in The Hub.

The Hub

At The Hub you'll find the Health and Wellbeing Centre, the Students’ Union and Square One which provide entertainment from quiz nights to live music, the Spirituality and Faith Centre, Tank Studio, Careers Office, Enterprise Hub and a fantastic food court.

 

 

External view of the Lanchester Library.

Lanchester Library

You will have full reading rights in Coventry University’s Lanchester Library. The library is open 24/7, 364 days a year and has many study spaces, including group and silent areas. It also currently offers touchdown computers and free-to-loan laptops.

 

 

All students have on and off-site access to, and receive training on, commercial engineering software, including 3D CAD, Finite Element Analysis, Computational Fluid Dynamics and Multibody Dynamic Systems for design, simulation and analysis.

Our excellent practical facilities include a full-size Harrier Jet (used for teaching), five full-scale flight simulators, wind tunnels, UAV workshop, flow and heat transfer labs, composites lab, metrology lab, electrical/electronics lab, fatigue and tensile testing (Instron), a range of CNC machinery, banks of 3D printers and a laser workshop4.

Flight Simulators

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.

Harrier Jet

Harrier Jet

Our Harrier T4 allows students 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.

Model Making Shop

Model Making Shop

Used by our aerospace students to build model aircrafts. The workshop includes laser cutting, wood working and foam cutting technology to help bring our students designs into the real world.


Careers and opportunities

The MEng and BEng Aerospace Systems Engineering courses are designed to provide students with the opportunity to acquire the vital skills required to join the teams of engineers designing and developing systems for the next generation of aircraft.

The course is centred upon systems for aerospace vehicles and the requirement to design total system solutions including both practical and virtual design skills. Previous graduates have obtained jobs as systems design engineers for large aircraft and propulsion manufacturers as well as systems suppliers to the aviation industry.

Aerospace Systems Engineering graduates seek not only employment within the aerospace industry, but their problem-solving skill sets can make them highly employable within a variety of industries.

This course aims to produce graduates with the skills to become successful system-design engineers and engineering managers, both in aerospace and the wider engineering context, in fields such as aircraft and components design and manufacture, maintenance and testing, propulsion systems, flight simulation, aviation, avionics, patent engineering, financial services and many more.

Where our graduates work

Previous graduates have obtained jobs as systems design engineers for large aircraft and propulsion manufacturers e.g. Airbus, BAE Systems, GE Aviation and Rolls Royce, as well as systems suppliers to the aviation industry including Meggitt, Goodrich, Moog and Collins Aerospace.

Further study

For those on the BEng course, a transfer to the MEng course may be possible after the second year of study subject to meeting the entry requirements.


How to apply

  • Study location

    The Foundation Year study route will be delivered by CU, part of the Coventry University Group, for and on behalf of Coventry University.

    If you choose to study at CU Coventry for your Foundation Year, then your learning will be based at CU Coventry. Mile Lane, Coventry. Subject to meeting requirements you will then transition to the relevant Coventry University subject faculty building for your progression degree.

    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. 

    1Accreditations

    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.

    4Facilities

    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 2023/2024 contract is available on the website for information purposes however the 2024/25 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.


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