Advanced Aerospace Technologies
Faculty of Engineering
Take your knowledge of aerospace engineering to the next level on this specialist one-year course.
Alongside traditional aeronautical subjects such as materials, structures, aerodynamics and propulsion, you will study concepts of systems integration and flight control, essential to the production of more efficient and environmentally-friendly aircraft and aerospace systems. You will get to choose the direction your studies take by specialising further in aeromechanics or avionics.
You will have the unique opportunity to work alongside professionals through our 12-week industrial training programme, as well as designing and building an unmanned air vehicle as part of the group design project.
The course draws upon expertise from six departments in the faculties of engineering and science, as well as the University’s management school. This breadth and depth of study will ensure you graduate as a highly knowledgeable aerospace engineering specialist.
- Aerospace Group Design Project: Design
The aim of this module is for you to solve a complex aerospace engineering design challenge. The project will be undertaken in groups and will require you to apply knowledge from your previous and current modules for the design on a unmanned aerial vehicle. You will also have to develop your project management and group working under realistic industrial conditions. You will apply systems engineering principles and your engineering knowledge and understanding to the design and development of an aircraft to meet client requirements. You will use industry related design tools (e.g. finite elements and computational fluid dynamics) to complete your designs. The module will be largely self directed and you will be expected to, at times, work outside of your current knowledge and understanding in solving this challenging engineering problem. Considerable independence, initiative and creative and critical thinking will be required.10 credits
- Aerospace Group Design Project: Build and Test
The aim of this module is for you to realise the designs that you have previously developed to produce an unmanned air vehicle to meet the requirements of a client. The module will consist of the continued10 credits
evaluation of the design, the realisation of the air vehicle and its subsequent testing, followed by a review and proposals for design improvements. The module will be largely self-directed - you will be expected to work outside of your current knowledge and understanding in solving this challenging engineering problem so considerable independence, initiative and creative and critical thinking will be required.
- Aerospace Individual Investigative Project
The project is designed to develop your technical knowledge and understanding, technical and personal skills and an appreciation of the wider context of their studies. It gives you the opportunity to apply and develop further their knowledge and skills by applying them to a specific problem area. It is also intended to develop a greater level of your independence. The specific aims of the project are to:-provide you with the freedom to explore possible solutions to real engineering problems, allowing you to demonstrate your understanding of practical aerospace engineering.-enable you to exercise independent thought and judgement in conducting a technical investigation.60 credits
Industrial Training Programme: Aeromechanics (details to be confirmed)
- Advanced Materials Manufacturing: Part I
This unit covers a range of advanced materials manufacturing techniques that are either widely used or emerging in industry. Techniques include Additive Layer Manufacturing, Electron Beam Welding, Superplastic Forming and advanced machining approaches. In addition, non-destructive evaluation techniques to ensure high levels of manufacturing integrity will be described.10 credits
- Design and Manufacture of Composites
This module is designed to provide students with an understanding of both the design and manufacture of polymer composites and is presented in two sections. First, design of composites is taught via tutorials and practicals on classical laminate theory and ESAComp software. An extended series of worked examples provides students with the basic tools they need to design effective composite parts. Second, manufacture of composites is taught via lectures. Students will learn multiple routes for making composite parts alongside practical issues such as defects, machining/joints, failure, testing and NDT, repair and SMART composites.10 credits
- Finite Element Techniques
The module aims to give students a thorough knowledge and understanding of the principles of the Finite Element Method, an understanding of the various modelling strategies within the method, an appreciation of its scope of application, and the ability to interpret the results of a finite element calculation. Theoretical foundations of the method in the context of linear elastic structural analysis will be covered, as well as practical aspects of its implementation. The assessment is by coursework only. Lectures will be supplemented by surgeries and computer laboratory sessions, which will provide opportunities to further explore key concepts and to obtain further support for the assignment work.10 credits
- Computational Fluid Dynamics
The module introduces fundamental concepts of Computational Fluid Dynamics from the governing physical principles to their mathematical definition, approximation and numerical solution, with a particular focus on experimental and theoretical validation. The course explains the typical steps for a robust use of CFD analysis to predict the behaviour of complex fluid flows encountered in typical engineering applications, including turbulent flows. Students will consolidate their understanding by performing and critically assessing the results of a CFD analysis of a typical and industrially relevant fluid problem.10 credits
- Managing Innovation and Change in Engineering Contexts
This module introduces you to the importance of innovation in manufacturing and service organisations whose primary business activity is engineering and/or technology. Innovation management is introduced as the thoughtful combination of new product/process development and change management. Through case studies, theoretical frameworks, and tools you will come to understand innovation at multiple scales: international, national, regional, organisational and team, with particular emphasis on how organisations manage and exploit the commercial risks and opportunities inherent in innovation, and how project teams and engineers can respond to innovation challenges effectively. The module is aimed at engineering students of any discipline.15 credits
- Industrial Applications of Finite Element Analysis
The module aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of the principles of finite element modelling and its application to solve industrial engineering problems. A set of industry-relevant problems will be provided to students along with experimental results for model validation. Students will be allocated one of their preferred projects and will have to devise a modelling strategy to solve their particular problem. Knowledge will be drawn from lectures introducing the theory behind finite element modelling of dynamic problems for modal and transient analyses, non-linear problems including contact, material behaviour and large deformation as well as fracture.15 credits
- Advanced Engineering Fluid Dynamics
The module introduces advanced subjects in fluid mechanics and focuses on the theory and applications of the fundamental physical laws governing Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluid flows. The Navier-Stokes and continuity equations are revisited and the Energy and the general Scalar Transport Equations for compressible and multi-species mixture fluid flows will be derived. A key skill developed is problem solving in the area of advanced fluid mechanics through how equations, models and boundary conditions may be adapted and simplified to describe a wide variety of engineering flows such as creeping flows, laminar, turbulent, incompressible and compressible flows.15 credits
- Advanced Dynamics
In this module we will explore how linear/nonlinear structures vibrate and how we can model them in order to understand and optimise their complex behaviour both analytically and numerically. We will uncover the behaviour of theoretical nonlinear models and we will explore and evaluate the fascinating world of advanced dynamics, random vibration, nonlinear systems and chaos through lectures and dedicated reading. We link advanced engineering with concepts from physics and maths that are of core importance in the new era of engineering, considering structures from light aerospace structures to offshore wind turbines and space shuttles. Furthermore, we will discover the world of Hamiltonian mechanics by capturing its fundamental physics. The learning will be supported by dedicated tutorial sessions.15 credits
- Aviation Safety and Aeroelasticity
This module covers the area of engineering related to safety in the aerospace sector by means of analytical techniques and study cases. The students will: develop a fundamental knowledge of the requirements for aviation safety in aircraft design and operation, learn about airworthiness and crashworthiness evaluate aircraft loading; be able to analyse different manoeuvres using heave/pitch aircraft models; and be able to calculate internal loads for steady and dynamic manoeuvres. The course will provide students with an understanding of aeroelastic phenomena including flutter. This course provides the methodology and techniques for prediction/detection of a number of aeroelastic effects.15 credits
- Advanced Aerospace Propulsion Technology
This module enhances students' foundational knowledge by introducing a more specialist Level 7 understanding of major aero propulsion devices. For example, the rocket design will be mastered from the design lessons and innovations of the rockets of historical importance. The more in depth analysis of the alternative air breathing engines such as ramjet, scramjet, and synergistic air-breathing rocket engine will be investigated. Then the advanced gas turbine off-design performance will be analysed. The advanced gas turbine combustion will also be investigated. Finally, the recent explosive development of electric/hybrid propulsion and aircraft will be examined.15 credits
- Industrial training programme (ITP) in Avionics
This unit will provide an insight into the avionics, data processing and autonomous systems. This will be collaboration with GE Aviation Systems (Cheltenham). GE Aviation Systems will set a real technical challenge and small group sizes will undertake experimental work and present a report that will require an in-depth literature review. To supplement the main technical challenge there will be focussed technical seminars on relevant topics. These topics will be provided by both academics and industry engineers. In addition, GE Aviation will provide seminars on employability skills, data handling, quality and safety in the aerospace materials sector.15 credits
- Hardware-in-the-Loop & Rapid Control Prototyping
This course represents an opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience of designing and implementing advanced controllers upon a challenging, real-world control problem. Uniquely, each student will be issued with their own, portable control hardware for the duration of the course. Students will learn how to interface such a system to industry standard software using a data acquisition device, before developing their own simulation models of the hardware. These models will be used to synthesise a feedback controller, and verified in simulation before being implemented upon the hardware. The resultant controller will then be refined in a cycle of rapid control prototyping.10 credits
- Advanced Control
The aim of this module is to provide you with an introduction to some of the advanced control techniques used in modern control engineering research and industrial applications. The module will cover both theory and practice, involving analysis and design.15 credits
Different control techniques and applications may be covered in different years. In all cases, the basic principles and concepts of a particular control technique will be introduced, and comparisons and contrasts will be made with other techniques. Subsequently, the design, analysis and implementation of advanced controllers or control laws will be covered, starting from the requirements of the basic control problem for the application at hand (i.e. stability in the presence of constraints; disturbance and noise rejection). Controller design will be illustrated by industrially-relevant case studies.
- Mobile Robotics and Autonomous Systems
Robotics and autonomous systems are having an increasing impact on society and the way we live. From advanced manufacturing and surgical robots to unmanned aerial systems and driverless cars, this exciting area is presenting increasing technological challenges. This module provides you with the advanced knowledge and understanding to apply control and systems engineering concepts to the closely related disciplines of robotics and autonomous systems. The module covers theoretical and technical analysis, and design aspects of mobile and manipulator robots with reference to their applications. The module further covers advanced techniques in autonomous decision making for robots and autonomous vehicles.15 credits
- Multisensor and Decision Systems
The ability to use data and information from multiple sources and make informed decisions based on that data is key to many applications, e.g. manufacturing, aerospace, robotics, finance and healthcare. Through effective use of multisensory data and decision making we can reduce uncertainty, improve robustness and reliability, enhance efficiency and ultimately improve the performance of systems. In this module you will develop an in depth knowledge and understanding of multisensor and decision systems and the underlying mathematics and algorithms. You will develop your confidence in solving complex problems requiring the application of multisensory and decision techniques to a wide variety of applications.15 credits
- Advanced Space Systems and Space Weather
The module provides you with an understanding of the concept advanced space systems, within the context of space weather and processes in the geo-space that can have hazardous effects on modern ground based and space based technological systems. It covers knowledge about susceptibility of services such as power supply, communications, transportation and navigation to space weather events, and introduces methodologies for space weather forecast based on systems engineering approaches from first principles. The module also provides knowledge of the requirements for transferring forecasting models into operational tools for space weather forecasting, before covering how space weather forecasting can assist in mitigating adverse effects of space weather.15 credits
- Real-Time Embedded Systems
Many systems, for example; a control system, fault detection system or health monitoring system are required to work in real-time. Such systems can be developed and implemented using a CPU and external devices in an embedded system application/device to perform the desired tasks in the “real” world. This module covers the hardware associated with building an embedded system and how the desired functionality and thus real-time operation of an embedded system can be realised through software/hardware.15 credits
- Modern Control & System Identification
This module introduces you to advanced state-space control systems analysis and design methods for multivariable systems. The focus is linear time-invariant (LTI) systems in the continuous-time domain, although an introduction is also provided to discrete-time cases and nonlinear cases. You will also be introduced to system identification techniques. System identification uses observations of inputs and outputs from physical systems and estimates dynamical models directly. The theoretical framework and the computational algorithms are explored using synthetic and real problems to show how models can be estimated and validated for future use.15 credits
- Theory of Distributed Systems
The aim of this module is to set out a strong theoretical basis for the analysis and design of concurrent, distributed and mobile systems. We will use the process calculi to model and reason about complex systems, studying both its formal semantics and its many uses, via a number of examples. You should be aware there are limited places on this course.15 credits
- Testing and Verification in Safety-Critical Systems
This module provides an introduction to the processes and problems of building complex software such as for use in aerospace applications. Topics covered can be split into four major groups: safety, specification languages, concepts of software engineering, different methods of software testing. A substantial amount of time will be spent on the ideas of software testing and specific testing techniques.15 credits
1. Safety includes software and systems safety, methods of performing hazard analysis, human factors and the IEC 61508 standard.
2. Specification languages such as Statecharts.
3.Software engineering concepts focus on the software lifecycle, safe language subsets, software testing and maintenance.
4.The software testing part is concerned with advanced approaches to generating software tests.Students should be aware that there are limited places available on this course.
- Antennas, Radar and Navigation
This module is about understanding the fundamentals and common applications of antennas and radar systems. The basic characteristics of some of the commonly used antennas, and antenna systems, will be examined in the context of practical design and application. The radar part of the module will introduce the basic concepts of radar and examine various types of commercial and military radar system in common use. The application of radar and other methods in airborne navigation and landing systems will be discussed. Throughout the module emphasis will be placed on 'first-order' analysis techniques in order to reduce the use of advanced mathematics.10 credits
- Energy Storage Management
This module looks at the storage and management of energy in electrical systems. It will consider:15 credits
(a) Fuel cells: the basic principles of hydrogen fuel cells, reaction
rate, cell interconnection, the bipolar plate, fuel cell types, ancillary components of a fuel cell system, advantages and disadvantages of fuel cell technologies.
(b) Batteries and supercapacitors: battery chemistries, energy/power densities of different batteries. Differences between electrochemical energy storage and electrical energy storage in supercapacitors, performance characteristics, charging, modelling, thermal effects, and measurement.
(c) Mechanical: Principles of mechanical energy storage, flywheels / compressed air. Mechanics of energy storage, precession torques and counter-rotating systems for vehicles. Energy management will include the ancillaries required to connect energy storage to the grid, including dc-dc and dc-ac inverters in addition to battery modelling approaches commonly used for state of charge and state of health monitoring.
- Motion Control and Servo Drives
This module investigates, in detail, the performance and operational characteristic of both modern a.c. and d.c. variable speed drives and actuation systems, as well as their applications in electric/hybrid vehicle traction.15 credits
- Electronic Communication Technologies
This module aims to provide you with a range of skills that are required when designing circuits and systems at high frequencies. Topics covered will include: electromagnetic interference mechanisms, circuit design techniques, filtering, screening, transmission lines, S-parameters, Smith charts, equivalent circuits for passive and active devices, radio frequency (RF) amplifier design, noise performance and nonlinearities of RF circuits and systems.15 credits
The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.
- Laboratory classes
- Tutorials and example classes
- Design classes
- Industrial and research seminars
- Group projects
We’re currently working on £40.4m of aerospace and defence-related research projects with companies such as Airbus, Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems.
Dr Martin Jackson
Director of Aerospace Engineering
- Coursework assignments
- Oral and poster presentations
- Class tests
1 year full-time
2:1 BEng in aerospace engineering.
BEng mechanical engineers who have taken significant aerospace modules will also be considered.
Overall IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component.
If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.
Fees and funding
You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.
+44 114 222 7837
Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.
Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.