Undergraduate study
Aeronautical Engineering (Top-up)

Aeronautical Engineering (Top-up)
BEng Tech (Hons)


Course overview

This top-up aeronautical engineering degree is ideal if you are currently qualified to QCF Level 5 and wish to qualify at degree level. Your previous study must be in the general area of aeronautical engineering or aerospace engineering.

You are taught by experienced staff from Teesside University and Hartlepool College of Further Education, many with backgrounds in either industry, Royal Air Force or Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm who bring real-life experience to the classroom. You have access to a range of well-equipped laboratories which include flight simulators, a wind tunnel, fixed and rotary wing aircraft and aircraft components.

This top-up degree offers two distinctive routes – one focused on aircraft maintenance and the second focuses on aircraft design and manufacturing. You can choose the group of options appropriate to your academic background (for example, units studied on HND) and career aspirations.

The programme deepens your knowledge of subject areas previously studied as part of your HND, foundation degree or equivalent to help improve your career prospects. You gain a rounded knowledge and understanding of engineering, and the skills to analyse complex engineering problems. This programme embraces a broad spectrum of subjects and includes transferable employability skills that employers view as important.

Our aeronautical and manufacturing engineering group of subjects are ranked 7th in the country for student satisfaction (The Complete University Guide 2018).


Course details

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Aircraft Maintenance Operations

The module provides you with an understanding of the requirements of safe operation in an aircraft maintenance environment. You examine the main features that are required for aircraft to fly safely by considering concepts of safety, compliance and air worthiness along with the management of aircraft maintenance.

You analyse the roles the overarching regulating bodies play in ensuring aircraft maintenance is performed as to ensure passenger safety is not compromised. You consider the concept of human factors in an engineering environment, reflecting on both consequences and preventative measures.

Learning and teaching take place through a variety of mechanisms including lectures, tutorials and practical. Topics are introduced in lectures and discussed through guided learning activities.

Aircraft Materials and Manufacturing Systems

The module provides you with an understanding of the material science and current manufacturing processes, promoting a deep understanding of technological factors and an awareness of working principles and capabilities. You examine traditional methods, such as casting and rolling, and state-of-the-art practices, such as powder metallurgy. Detailed study of selected manufacturing processes are combined with hands-on experience in laboratory-based practical sessions. You explore the suitability of manufacturing processes for applications using a framework which recognises the interrelationships of (manufacturing) process, (artefact) function, shape and materials. You learn how to select appropriate materials for the different parts of an aircraft structure and the manufacturing process associated to it.

This module is delivered through a series of lectures supported by tutorials and associated laboratory work.

Aircraft Systems

Aircraft systems can be seen as the major constituents of which the performance and safety of all modern aircraft are critically dependent. This module considers the development of the key systems which aircraft rely on. You consider the design and operational aspects of hydraulic systems, electrical systems, fuel systems, control systems as well as pneumatic and cabin control systems. The module develops your understanding of the engineering issues related to the specification, design and operation of aerospace systems and their overall performance and safe operation by providing an introduction to the types of systems found on aerospace vehicles and their main functions using standard engineering tools.

The module examines each system as a stand-alone system and then advances your engineering processes to identify how each system integrates with each other to enable an aircraft to operate safely and with optimum performance.

Computer Aided Analysis

In this module we develop your knowledge of advanced techniques for the computer based analysis of designs and to use commercial software to solve more complex engineering problems.

You gain a thorough understanding of computer methods for the analysis of detailed design.

Nodes, elements and meshing techniques for Finite Element Analysis (FEA) will be covered.

Types of boundary conditions such as loads and constraints are explained including how to apply them.

You learn how to solve FEA problems and analyse the results. The ability to animate dynamic assemblies is also covered.

You create joints and mechanisms and solve for kinematic motions.

The majority of the learning takes place while undertaking tutorials in computer laboratories.

Lecture time away from the computer room is used to provide background information, theoretical concepts and to discuss the application of the concepts being used in the software.

You are provided with support when undertaking the tutorials and assistance and feedback on your work is given as you progress.

In this module you learn how to:
>pre-process, process and post-process design data
>define meshes and boundary conditions for Finite Element Analyses
>undertake linear static analyses
>look for convergence of iterative solutions
>use programming methods to solve engineering problems
>compare finite difference methods with finite element methods
>elect appropriate methods for the solving of complex engineering problems
>evaluate and reflect on your work.

Project (BEng Tech)

This module advances the development of your independent learning skills by allowing you to investigate an area of engineering for an extended period. You are given training in writing technical reports for knowledgeable readers and you produce a report or dissertation of the work covered. You also give an oral presentation, a poster presentation or both. The topic can be in the form of a research project or a design project. You develop key skills in research, knowledge application and creation through keynote lectures where appropriate and self-managed independent study. You are supported through regular tutorial sessions and project supervision meetings.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

The programme comprises 120 credits accumulated from classroom-based modules, laboratory-based modules, a Group Design Project and an Individual Engineering Project.

The programme provides a number of contact teaching and assessment hours (lectures, tutorials, laboratories, projects, examinations). You are also expected to spend time on your own – this self-study time is to review lecture notes, prepare course work assignments, work on projects and revise for assessments. For example, each 20-credit module typically has around 200 hours of learning time. In most cases, around 60 hours is spent in lectures, tutorials and laboratories. The remaining learning time is for you to use to gain a deeper understanding of the subject. Each year of full-time study consists of modules totalling 120 credits, so, during one year of full-time study you can expect to have 1,200 hours of learning and assessment.

Some of the modules involve compulsory one-week block delivery periods (Monday – Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm). These are intensive problem-solving sessions to enhance teamwork and provide you with an opportunity to focus your attention on particular problems.
In addition to the structural, manufacturing, materials, flight simulation, jet engine and fluids laboratories at Teesside University you also have access to extensive aerospace engineering facilities at Hartlepool, which include an aerospace workshop, several fixed wing and helicopter aircraft, training rigs and equipment for aircraft systems (including modular radar), plus several engines including a Rolls Royce RB211 turbofan, a viper turbojet and a Turbomeca Astazou turboshaft engine. You have the opportunity to run a jet engine to record data and analyse its performance, including component and overall engine efficiencies and thrust.

Other facilities you use include a flight simulator system, subsonic wind tunnel and state-of-the-art IT and computing laboratories where you conduct aerospace modelling and simulation exercises.

You spend time studying at Teesside University’s main campus in Middlesbrough and at Hartlepool College of Further Education. Transport is provided free of charge between the University’s main campus and Hartlepool at pre-specified times each week – this enables you to use the laboratories and other teaching and learning facilities at both campuses.

How you are assessed

Modules are assessed by a variety of methods including examination and in-course assessment as well as group work and verbal or poster presentations.

Our Disability Services team helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Edexcel/BTEC Higher National Diplomas (HND), or equivalent in aeronautical engineering or closely related discipline.

International students must also provide evidence of English language skills equivalent to IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in each component. International students should also read the information on our international pages.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

As a graduate aeronautical engineer your work may be office-based or in a factory production hangar, aeronautical laboratory or aircraft maintenance facility. If you become involved in aircraft design work, you will use sophisticated computer visualisation tools and software.

The UK has an advanced aerospace industry and jobs are available in a number of UK locations. The main aerospace manufacturing and maintenance locations in the UK are the South West, Midlands, North West, Northern Ireland, South East, South West Scotland and Wales, but there are many companies in the manufacturing supply chain or involved in aircraft maintenance operating in other regions too, including the North East of England. There are many countries with an aerospace industry so job opportunities also exist overseas.

If you successfully complete this degree with at least 2.2 honours you are eligible to apply for a place on a postgraduate master's programme at Teesside University, further enhancing your job and career prospects.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

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Entry to 2019/20 academic year

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£11,825 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 1 year
  • UCAS code: H403 Tech/AE
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Successful completion of a Higher National Diploma, or equivalent, in an appropriate subject. Conditions on units studied may apply.

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



2019 entry

  • Length: 2 years
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 738800
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)



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