BSc (Hons) Aircraft Engineering and Maintenance Systems (Including Foundation Year)

If you don’t have the right qualifications to start our BSc (Hons) Aircraft Engineering and Maintenance Systems degree, you could start your studies with a foundation year. The extra year will give you the best possible preparation for success on the degree programme.

The aviation sector has seen unprecedented growth in recent years and there is now a significant shortage of personnel qualified to work in the industry. This does not just apply to pilots, but to maintenance and support staff that keep these aircraft flying.

There is a growing market for maintenance, repair and overhaul of commercial aircraft that require expertise in the management, planning and organisation of maintenance scheduling.

The Aircraft Engineering and Maintenance Systems (Including Foundation Year) degree will qualify you to work in these areas while also giving you the option of studying towards an accelerated EASA Part-66 Basic Aircraft Maintenance Licence.

As USW is an approved EASA Part-147 organisation, upon graduation and providing you took the embedded educations requirements for the Part-66 licence, you will have completed a course accredited by the CAA, EASA and GCAA. This means you will have the necessary academic requirements and practical training to gain the full basic license with just two years of appropriate industrial experience instead of the usual five years. These multiple approvals from the governing regulatory authorities allow our students to embark on careers in Britain, Europe, and the UAE.

This aviation programme offers excellent career opportunities worldwide. This degree, will enable you to gain worldwide employment with manufacturing companies, commercial airlines, air-taxi operators, flying schools and the armed forces. 

2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
H400 Full-time 4 Years September Treforest A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
H400 Full-time 4 Years September Treforest A

The Foundation Year will give you a good understanding of our engineering courses and provide you with a good numerical background to support you throughout the remainder of the degree. Following your initial foundation year, you will progress onto the modules studied as part of the BSc (Hons) Aircraft Engineering and Maintenance Systems (Including Foundation Year).

Foundation Year: Aircraft Engineering and Maintenance Systems

The Foundation Year will give you a good understanding of our engineering courses and provide you with a good numerical background to support you throughout the remainder of the degree. Following your initial foundation year, you will progress onto the modules studied as part of your award.

  • Foundations of Mathematics
  • Application of Mathematical Skills
  • Essential Engineering Skills
  • Engineering Project
  • Foundation Engineering Principles
  • English for Engineering (optional)
  • Introduction to Aircraft Maintenance Academic Studies (optional)

Year One: Aircraft Engineering and Maintenance Systems

Aircraft are complex machines that incorporate a host of engineering disciplines. An understanding of general science, mathematics, and technology-based subjects are explored to provide the foundations necessary to progress on to the more complex subjects related to commercial aircraft. The modules studied during year 1 are:

  • Aerospace Mechanics
  • Electrical and Electronic Fundamentals for Maintenance Engineers
  • Aerospace Materials and Hardware
  • Professional Engineering Techniques
  • Analytical Methods for Engineers

This year of study will give students the opportunity of acquiring 6 of the 13 EASA modules required to obtain the EASA Part-66 Cat B1.1 qualification.

Students who meet the criteria set by the CAA can transfer to year 2 of the BSc (Hons) Aircraft Maintenance Engineering, which will allow you to complete this named award along with the remaining EASA modules under the University's CAA Part-147 approval. This route will enable students to apply for their EASA aircraft licence in just two years, which usually requires five years' professional experience. Additional costs are likely to apply to the required professional experience.*

Year Two: Aircraft Engineering and Maintenance Systems

This year will expose students to common mechanical and electronic systems found on aircraft. It also introduces them to Human Factors and Legislation incumbent within the aircraft maintenance industry. It also provides an underpinning knowledge of the business practices within the aviation industry. Modules include:

  • Fundamentals of Business Engineering and Management
  • Human Factor Analysis
  • Aviation Maintenance Legislation
  • Digital Fundamentals
  • Designing Hydraulic Control Systems
  • Group Project


Year Three: Aircraft Engineering and Maintenance Systems

The final year requires students to undertake a significant aviation maintenance related project which will draw on the previous study undertaken. It will also introduce the concept of new and emerging technologies in the aviation industry, alongside the planning and resource management of maintenance activities.

  • Individual Project
  • Engineering Project Management
  • Emerging Aerospace Technologies
  • Aviation Maintenance Resource and Planning Management 
  • Advances in Aerospace Propulsion 



Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, tutorials, demonstrations, practical classes and workshops and external visits, as well as both directed (including online learning) and independent study.

During the second year, all students will study approximately 27 hours per week. In the third and fourth years, it will be 12-14 hours unless students decide to follow, and continue to meet, the requirements of the CAA approved Aircraft Engineering and Maintenance Systems course. Students following the AME course will be required to study for 27 hours per week.


Students will be assessed through external MCQ examination, examinations, coursework and practical tasks.


To help prepare students for the working environment, students are encouraged to seek work experience within EASA Part-145 maintenance organisations for both Aircraft Maintenance Engineers and support/planning personnel who organise the maintenance activities.

Field Trips

Companies are keen to inspire our students to work for them and we have regular invitations to visit Maintenance Repair and Overall (MRO) organisations.

There may be additional costs associated with this course


The aerospace industry has become increasingly competitive and in recognising this, the University has recently invested another £3.3m into its existing aerospace facilities. A two-storey Aerospace Centre extension adds 1,000m2 of practical workshop and laboratory space for engineering students. This includes two aircraft hangars with civil and military aircraft and a MP521 engineering flight simulator.

The Aerospace Centre is home to a Jetstream 31 Twin Turboprop aircraft, assembled with Honeywell TPE331 Engines and Rockwell-Collins Proline II Avionics, alongside a Jet Provost T-Mk 3 military training jet.

The Centre also includes a gas turbine maintenance workshop, simulated aircraft shell riveting area, hand tools workshops and welding bay, plus clean and dirty composite workshops for specimens and repairs. Dedicated laboratory space for electronic practical tasks, avionics systems, hydraulics and pneumatics also feature providing you with hands-on practical experience.

Our sub-sonic wind tunnels are used for basic aerodynamic instruction, testing and demonstrations on various aerofoil shapes and configurations. Whilst our single-seater, full motion, three axes Merlin MP521 engineering flight simulator can be programmed and simulate any existing aircraft type.

The University has approved Maintenance Training Organisation status. This means that our Aerospace Centre on campus is treated as a live aircraft environment, and upholds the same commercial aviation quality control you would expect in the industry worldwide. This approach not only meets EASA regulations, but will also help you make the transition from the classroom into employment. You’ll also have the option to undertake on the job training all over the world with any University-approved PART 145 Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) organisation.


We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 3 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C/Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances

Typical A-Level Offer


Typical Welsh BACC Offer


Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Pass Pass Pass or BTEC Diploma Pass Pass

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to Higher Education Diploma

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

Find out how to pay your tuition fees in full or by payment plan.

This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.

International Scholarships are available for self-funding international students.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £13800 

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly. 

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU. 

Admissions statement

Engagement with aviation companies such as Ryanair, British Airways and JMC has produced a large number of employment opportunities for our students.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs. Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.