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Undergraduate study
Aeronautical Engineering

Aeronautical Engineering HNC

Aeronautical engineering is a broad discipline including fundamental aspects of mechanical engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, materials engineering and design, as well as specialist aerospace topics such as aerodynamics, aircraft and avionics systems, composite materials and rotary wing mechanical and flight systems.


Course overview

The broad content means that you have multiple career options in both aerospace and other engineering industries. We have extensive resources for delivering aeronautical engineering including an aerospace workshop with fixed wing and helicopter training aircraft, training rigs/equipment for aircraft systems such as an aircraft radar, and a range of piston and gas turbine engines including a Rolls Royce RB211 turbofan. Other facilities supporting your course include a flight simulator system, subsonic wind tunnel and aerospace simulation and modelling software. Tuition is provided by experienced engineering staff who have relevant industrial experience in the aeronautical engineering sector.

If you have a passion for aircraft, or you simply wish to develop into an engineer with wide and varied engineering skills applicable across a wide range of industries, then this course is right for you. This course is delivered at Hartlepool College of Further Education and leads to a Teesside University award.

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Course details

Course structure

Core modules

Aerodynamic Principles and Aircraft Design (HN)

You gain an understanding of aircraft flight principles, including the means by which aircraft are controlled, manoeuvred and stabilised, and examine the requirements of airworthiness. You look at the properties of air and how these relate to the behaviour of aircraft and then investigate the forces that act on an aircraft in flight such as lift, drag and thrust. You also examine the main features that are mandatory for aircraft to fly safely by considering the concept and compliance of airworthiness requirements including the management of aircraft maintenance.

Airframe Mechanical System Principles (HN)

You are introduced to the mechanics of various systems found within an aircraft. You consider the design and operation of airframe mechanical systems (hydraulic power, landing gear, flight control systems, environmental control systems, protection systems and airframe fuel systems) and how these systems contribute to the safety of personnel, the aircraft airframe and its engines. 

Composite Materials for Aerospace Applications (HN)

You examine the construction of a composite material and how the properties can be adjusted and amended to achieve the changes in properties and performance. You also look at manufacturing methods for aerospace composites and investigate the damage of composites and the various repair.  You gain and appreciation of the cost and performance benefits that the use of composites brings to the aerospace sector.

Engineering Design (HN)

You gain experience of carrying out a design project, giving you an appreciation of how design involves harmonising key parameters and blending them into the design solution, and to produce a design report. You cover each stage of the process, including: client brief, planning, design specification, design report and evaluation.

Engineering Maths (HN)

You develop the fundamental analytical knowledge and techniques needed to successfully complete the core modules of Higher National Engineering programmes. We provide you with the knowledge needed for further study of analytical methods and mathematics, required for more advanced option modules. You explore fundamental algebra, trigonometry, calculus, statistics and probability, for the analysis, modelling and solution of realistic engineering problems at Higher National level.

Engineering Science (HN)

You are introduced to the fundamental laws and applications of the physical sciences within engineering and how to apply this knowledge to find solutions to a variety of engineering problems.

You study international system of units, interpreting data, static and dynamic forces, fluid mechanics and thermodynamics, material properties and failure, and AC/DC circuit theories.

Managing a Professional Engineering Project (HN)

You are introduced to the techniques and best practices required to successfully manage an engineering project - from identifying a problem, through to finding a solution. You consider the role and function of engineering in our society, the professional duties and responsibilities expected of engineers together with the behaviours that accompany their actions.

You cover: roles, responsibilities and behaviours of a professional engineer, planning a project, project management stages, devising solutions, theories and calculations, management using a Gantt chart, evaluation techniques, communication skills, and the creation and presentation of a project report.

Turbine Rotary Wing Mechanical and Flight System (HN)

You explore the roles of individual mechanical and electrical rotary wing flight systems and their interrelationships in modern integrated flight controls. You are exposed to the need for Health and Usage Monitoring Systems (HUMS) and systems methods to overcome airframe fatigue failure.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

You gain knowledge and understanding of aeronautical engineering and the necessary skills to analyse problems and applications.

The programme employs a range of learning and teaching methods including:

• lectures
• seminars
• laboratory-based sessions
• practical sessions
• computer laboratory-based sessions
• group work
• projects.

Lectures cover core themes and explanations of difficult concepts, and set the scene for your independent learning. You are encouraged to develop skills in listening and selective note taking, to appreciate how information is structured and presented. The traditional format is enhanced by computer-based, or other audio-visual aids, and supported by interactive VLE-based provision of lecture notes.

Seminars provide a context for interactive learning and allow you to explore some of the more mathematical aspects of the modules in some depth. In addition, they help develop skills including problem solving and communication.

Laboratory-based sessions develop practical and design skills and reinforce knowledge taught in lecture sessions. You are required to test the measured data for consistency, evaluate the uncertainty and propose conclusions based upon critical evaluation of the measurements. These sessions are also one of the methods used to increase awareness of safety related issues. Safety instructions are given before commencement of laboratory activities and prior to using all specialist equipment. You may design/operate equipment and/or procedures under supervision, but are expected to work at a professional or equivalent level.

Practical sessions allow you to develop many of the skills needed by technicians in the industry. You work in small teams focusing your work around realistic industry-based problems.

Computer-based sessions give you the opportunity to use a range of software resources to test your designs or generate engineering drawings.

Group work encourages you to engage in group based industry-relevant case studies where appropriate.

The project is used to integrate the technical and design skills gained in the other modules, providing you with the opportunity to deal with many aspects of the design process and demonstrate the ability to operate ethically and with a degree of autonomy.

Each programme and module is supported by a specific VLE site containing all the information necessary for you to complete your studies. Sites include electronic versions of module handbook, learning materials, assessment, support materials, discussion forum, links to useful websites and contact links to tutors.

You are encouraged to read widely around the subject content to enhance your understanding and to further develop the context of your study. Textbooks are recommended for each module and many are now available through the library as e-books.

How you are assessed

The course assesses your subject knowledge, independent thought and skills acquisition through

• practical/laboratory reports
• technical reports
• simulation software for analysis and evaluation of designs
• time constrained in class assessment
• problem-solving exercises
• written examinations
• data interpretation exercises
• analysis of case-studies
• oral presentations
• planning, conducting and reporting of project work
• group work.

You are presented with an assessment schedule providing details of the submission deadlines for summative assessments. This is included in the programme handbook and individual module assessments are detailed in the module handbooks.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
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

64 points from any combination of acceptable Level 3 qualifications. Examples include A-level, BTEC, Access to HE Diplomas, Scottish and Irish Highers, T-Level, or the International Baccalaureate.

Find out how many points your qualifications are worth using the UCAS tariff calculator.

Subject Requirements:Level 3 Mathematics

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

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

There are many roles that HNC-qualified employees take on, with the vast majority being technician-level jobs in the aerospace/aeronautical industries or the Armed Forces

If you are aiming for a higher degree then by successfully completing your HNC Aeronautical Engineering you could seek direct entry to the second year of a BEng or MEng degree (with some additional study). Available progressions routes include:

BEng (Hons) Aerospace Engineering
MEng (Hons) Aerospace Engineering



Entry to 2022/23 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£6,150 a year

More details about our fees

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 1 year
  • UCAS code: H414 HNC/AE
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 64 tariff points

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



2022/23 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£4,500 (120 credits)

More details about our fees

  • Length: 2 years
  • Attendance: One day a week
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)


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