BSc (Hons) Aircraft Engineering and Maintenance Systems
Top in Wales for Aerospace Engineering Guardian University Guide 2023
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 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.
Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering students rated USW top 10 in the UK for academic support, and assessment and feedback (National Student Survey 2022)
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 content of this module will provide the essential underpinning to understand the aerodynamics and physics related to flight and the control mechanisms used to maintain altitude, speed and direction.
Electronic Fundamentals for Maintenance Engineers and Electrical Fundamentals for Maintenance Engineers
These modules will equip students with the foundations in Electrical and Electronic engineering required to progress onto more complex avionics systems.
Aerospace Materials and Hardware
By studying this module, students will gain a theoretical and practical understanding of the materials and hardware requirements necessary for the design, manufacture and maintenance of aircraft.
Professional Engineering Techniques
Students will investigate the soft skills that are a vital attribute of any future engineer, including communication skills, professional development planning and critical analysis.
Analytical Methods for Engineers
Students are required to have an understanding of the mathematical principles needed to underpin their studies. The focus is to ensure students have sufficient knowledge and understanding to apply appropriate mathematical solutions.
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.
Fundamentals of Business Engineering and Management
This module provides students with the knowledge and understanding of the challenges that airline companies face in maintaining and operating aircraft in a very competitive commercial environment.
Human Factors Analysis
Using historical case studies, students will be shown how the research into Human Factors (HF) has influenced and changed the processes and procedures that were once adopted as standard practices.
Aviation Maintenance Legislation
Aviation Maintenance Legislation covers the laws surrounding aircraft maintenance, and the expectations and responsibilities of individuals and organisations performing maintenance tasks.
Students will be exposed to a variety of digital systems, found on modern commercial aircraft. They will also participate in the design of a typical embedded system by undertaking a practical project.
Designing Hydraulic Control Systems
This module will provide students with the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to design and maintain aircraft hydraulic systems.
Focusing on the importance of teamwork in relation to aircraft maintenance practices, the project will exercise communication, leadership, standard practices and the general responsibilities of an aircraft maintenance engineer.
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.
Students will undertake a substantial project requiring them to carry out in-depth research or demonstrate appropriate problem solving skills related to an aircraft maintenance engineering problem.
Engineering Project Management
Students will gain the knowledge and understanding of managing aircraft maintenance projects using standardised models for project management.
Emerging Aerospace Technologies
Students will be given an insight into new and emerging technologies and have the ability to appraise these developments from an engineering perspective.
Aviation Maintenance Resource and Planning Management
During this academic session, students will be able to plan and evaluate maintenance schedules based on available resources in order to ensure the safe, efficient and financially viable aircraft maintenance operations.
Advances in Aerospace Propulsion
Students will be introduced to recent and forthcoming advances in aircraft propulsion technologies including the investigation of the driving factors behind these developments.
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 first year, all students will study approximately 27 hours per week. In the second and third years, it will be 12-14 hours unless students decide to follow, and continue to meet, the requirements of the CAA approved Aircraft Maintenance Engineering 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.
Companies are keen to inspire our students to work for them and we have regular invitations to visit Maintenance Repair and Overall (MRO) organisations.
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 students 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.
Our EASA-approved facilities have also been fully approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
Bethan Llewellyn - Course Leader
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.
The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. The University has a Contextual Admissions Policy, therefore, whilst most offers we make are at the top of the range, under the Policy we take certain aspects of an application into consideration and eligible UCAS applicants can receive a personalised offer or have results considered individually when you receive them. Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy Statement.
Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.
Typical A-Level Offer
BCC - CDD to include Mathematics or a numerate subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).
Typical Welsh BACC Offer
Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level to include Mathematics or a numerate subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff
Typical BTEC Offer
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant Maths, Science or Engineering subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).
Typical IB Offer
Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points from Higher Levels to include a numerate subject such as Mathematics, Physics or Chemistry
Typical Access to HE Offer
Pass an Access to HE Diploma in Maths/Science and obtain a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances.
International Entry Requirements
We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.
In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.
However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.
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.
August 2023 - July 2024 Fees
Full-time UK: TBC
Full-time International: TBC
August 2024 - July 2025 Fees
Full-time UK: TBC
Full-time International: TBC
At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.
Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.
As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.
Students who successfully secure on the job training in industry to work towards qualifying for the accelerated licence, would be expected to pay their own travel costs to and from the venue during the period of placement. The cost of this will of course vary and some students have chosen to pay for accommodation close to their place of work for the duration of their placement. Any other fees charged for the practical training will be at the discretion of the EASA Part-145 company and will be the responsibility of the student.
Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs
Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).
To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK 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 and EU students
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK.
Engagement with aviation companies such as Ryanair, British Airways and JMC has produced a large number of employment opportunities for our students.