What A-Levels do you need?
Engineers of all stripes tend to be good with sums, and aerospace engineers are no exception – you’ll need an A-Level in maths to study aerospace engineering at university, as well physics or at least another science or engineering subject for most courses. Grade requirements are also usually quite high, ranging from A*AA at the University of Sheffield and AAA at the University of Bath to ABB at the University of Liverpool. Students with a BTEC in a related science or engineering subject can usually apply to study aerospace engineering at uni too, although you may also need an A-Level in maths, or to take an additional entrance exam.
What are your study options?
You can take a three year BEng in Aerospace Engineering, although it’s an increasingly common option to enrol on a four year course with a Master’s degree built in (though you might need higher grades for this option). You’ll also normally have the option to do a
sandwich year, also known as a year in industry – usually taken after your second year of study, you’ll get to spend a year working on a placement in your field, putting all the skills you’ve learned to practical use and getting some great experience to put on your CV.
Why study aerospace engineering?
Aside from impressing all your friends and family (not to mention any potential dates), aerospace engineering is a fascinating subject, which will allow you to work in a well-paid field with plenty of job opportunities. Even if you decide not to work in aerospace engineering after completing your degree, most employers will be bowled over by your qualifications and you’ll have tons of transferable skills, like advanced mathematical analysis and knowledge of IT, as well as being pretty nifty with your hands.
After your degree…
On an Aerospace Engineering course you’ll learn all about the two main branches of the field, aeronautical and astronautical engineering, leaving you free to work in either sector – so whether you’re into planes or rockets, there’ll be a job for you. If you choose not to become an aerospace engineer, you could work as a mechanical engineer, automotive engineer, production manager or quality control manager, or even use your knowledge of the equipment engineers use to go into technical sales. Your degree could see you working for the army, the government, a major airline or even for NASA! Whatever area appeals to you, you should be pleased to hear that two thirds of aerospace engineering graduates are in employment within six months of graduating, with another 16% in further education. If you don’t choose to study for a four-year MEng in aerospace engineering you can take a Master’s degree separately after finishing your Bachelor’s degree, and there are plenty of opportunities for further academic research with an MPhil or PhD. You can also take further exams to gain Chartered or Incorporated Engineer status.
Q&A with an aerospace engineering graduate….
Luke Saltmeris studied Aerospace Engineering at Kingston University…
Why did you choose to study aerospace engineering at university?
Because I wanted the chance to invent something new!
What was the most enjoyable aspect of your course?
I really enjoyed programming robots.
What was the least enjoyable aspect of your course?
Maths. I definitely didn’t enjoy all the maths.
How do you think an aerospace engineering degree will help graduates seeking employment?
It will definitely help you get a job in aerospace engineering, which is a well-paid and under-saturated market.
How did the course prepare you for your job?
It prepared me for life’s endless difficulties. It means I can fix my own boiler and I’m a quick problem solver.
What would you like to go on to do in your career in future?
Actually, I’d like to own a brewery!