MSc
2022 start September 

Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

A carefully designed conversion course for engineering graduates looking to specialise in aerospace.
Aerospace student using high-tech equipment

Course description

This is a fully immersive conversion course for engineering graduates, drawing upon expertise from six departments in the Faculties of Engineering and Science, as well as the University’s management school. There are close ties with some of the world’s leading aerospace companies.

Alongside traditional aeronautical subjects such as materials, structures, aerodynamics and propulsion necessary for the design of high-speed flight and lightweight aircraft, you will also study concepts of systems integration and flight control. These are essential to the production of more efficient and environmentally-friendly aircraft and aerospace systems.

You’ll have the opportunity to tailor your studies to suit your individual interests and career aspirations by specialising in either aeromechanics or avionics. Our innovative programme of study includes having the chance to design, build and fly an Unmanned Air Vehicle as part of the group design project. You’ll graduate as a highly knowledgeable Aerospace Engineering specialist.

Apply now

Modules

The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.

Core modules:

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 continued
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.

10 credits
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
Flight Dynamics and Control

The module provides students with an understanding of the principles of aircraft flight dynamics and the problems of controlling aircraft¿s motion. It introduces the equations of motion for a rigid body aircraft and the aerodynamic forces and moments are then determined. Static and dynamic stability, response characteristics are defined and methods for their analysis are next introduced. Flying and handling qualities of an aircraft, and disturbances affecting its motion, are developed. The fundamentals of aircraft feedback control system design and analysis are introduced together with stability augmentation and automatic flight control systems. The module provides knowledge for state-space approaches for aircraft control and guidance systems linked with airworthiness requirements for flying qualities and stability.

15 credits
Aerodynamic Design

This module aims to provide the students with a good understanding of basic theories in aerodynamics and its integration in the design process. It emphasises on the role that aerodynamics plays in engineering product design, where the forces exerted by the air flow around the geometries are crucial, e.g. for an aircraft or a racing car. The aerodynamic principles will be demonstrated through their roles in aeronautical and automotive vehicle designs. The students should be able to apply these basic principles to other areas of applications in broader engineering areas, such as the design of wind turbines, engine fans, buildings, sailing boats, etc.

10 credits
Aero Propulsion

The aim of this module is to provide the students with an understanding of principles of operation of gas turbines, as applied to aero propulsion and power generation.The module introduces the theory of gas turbines and how they should function. The study is based on fundamental thermodynamic and fluid mechanic analyses and introduces methods for improving efficiencies and increasing specific work output. The effect of simple thermodynamics of combustion, jet engine losses and efficiences are considered, together with an analysis of turbojet and turbofan designs.Website Version:This module provides students with an understanding of principles of operation of gas turbines, pulse-jets, RAM-jets and solid and liquid fuelled rocket engines as applied to aero propulsion. The understanding is built upon fundamental thermodynamic and fluid mechanic analyses of components and systems for each propulsion method. Methods for improving efficiencies and increasing specific work output of components are also introduced as well as an introduction to combustion, losses and efficiencies.

10 credits
Aircraft Design

This module is offered to all Aerospace Engineering courses in the third year. It provides a comprehensive knowledge about all elements of conceptual aircraft design and promotes the learning and application of the industrial procedure for designing an aircraft based on given requirements. Topics include ¿but not restricted to: conceptual design and sizing, preliminary design, matching plot, wing design, propulsion system selection, fuselage design, etc. The teaching will be based on constructive alignment by making use of specific active learning techniques (see below) during teaching sessions. Aim: The students will be able to design an aircraft concept from costumers and performance requirements.

10 credits

Optional modules:

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.

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.

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
Advanced Materials Manufacturing: Part I

This module 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, lithium battery manufacturing and advanced machining approaches. In addition, non-destructive evaluation techniques to ensure high levels of manufacturing integrity will be described. 

15 credits
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 modulet 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:

(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.

15 credits
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
Engineering Alloys

This module covers engineering metallic alloys ranging from alloy steels, stainless steels, light alloys (i.e. aluminium alloys and titanium alloys) and high temperature metallic systems (intermetallics and nickel superalloys). The module centres on the physical metallurgy of such engineering alloys to demonstrate the effect of alloying and implications for the processing, microstructure and performance of structural components in a range of industrial sectors, but predominantly the automotive and aerospace sectors.

15 credits
Design and Manufacture of Composites

This module is designed to provide you 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 you with the basic tools you need to design effective composite parts. Second, manufacture of composites is taught via lectures. You will learn multiple routes for making composite parts alongside practical issues such as defects, machining/joints, failure, testing and non destructive testing, repair and SMART composites. 

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

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.

Teaching

  • Lectures
  • Laboratory classes
  • Tutorials and example classes
  • Design classes
  • Industrial and research seminars
  • Group projects

Aerospace Engineering forms a large part of the research in the Faculty of Engineering with staff currently working on aerospace related research projects worth tens of millions of pounds with companies such as Airbus, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems many more.

Our graduating students have rated us number 1 in the Russell Group of top UK Universities for overall satisfaction in the last two years. One of the most important aspects of the Aerospace MSc is the design, build and test project where students design, build and test an air system – this year a quad copter. Sheffield Aerospace students learn by doing.

Dr Rob Howell
Head of Department, Interdisciplinary Programmes in Engineering

Assessment

  • Exams
  • Coursework assignments
  • Oral and poster presentations
  • Class tests

Duration

1 year full-time

Entry requirements

2:1 BEng degree in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Automatic Control Systems Engineering or Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Pathway programme for international students

If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for a pre-masters programme in Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Apply

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

Apply now

Contact

aerospace-admissions@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 7837

Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

Our student protection plan

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.

Explore this course:

    Aerospace Engineering forms a large part of the research in the Faculty of Engineering with staff currently working on aerospace related research projects worth tens of millions of pounds with companies such as Airbus, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems many more.

    Our graduating students have rated us number 1 in the Russell Group of top UK Universities for overall satisfaction in the last two years. One of the most important aspects of the Aerospace MSc is the design, build and test project where students design, build and test an air system – this year a quad copter. Sheffield Aerospace students learn by doing.

    Dr Rob Howell
    Head of Department, Interdisciplinary Programmes in Engineering
    AERT04 Off Off