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Aeronautical Engineering at Imperial College London

Imperial College London offers two undergraduate degree programmes. These two programmes lead to a Master's level qualification and the Associateship of the City and Guilds of London Institute (ACGI). The programmes follow a widely similar structure; however, students who are following the year in Europe programme shall spend their third year studying at another college in Germany or France.

The first year of this programme provides a solid introduction to broad-based engineering and physical subjects with more specialized aeronautical material introduced from the second year. Subjects studied in the first year include mathematics, materials, aircraft and thermodynamics performance. In the second year, subjects include mechanics of flight, aerodynamics, turbomachinery and propulsion. Second year students have an excellent opportunity to attend a flight testing course at Cranfield University.

In the third year, students who are studying in the UK shall study four core modules with a selection of optional modules. These optional modules are diverse and varied including subjects such as entrepreneurship, helicopter dynamics, project management and innovation management. Students who are studying abroad shall follow the programme offered by their host institution. However, they will have opportunity to take third year modules they have missed when they return in the fourth year.

In the fourth year, students shall study structural dynamics and wing design and they have a choice of optional modules. Students who are not doing the year abroad course shall have to undertake a four-month research project in industry, at a research establishment or in a university. This may be in the UK or overseas.

Course Structure

First Year

Lecture Courses

  • Aircraft Performance
  • Aeronautical General Lectures
  • Introduction to Languages or Management (Year Abroad only)
  • Introduction to Aerodynamics
  • Materials
  • Introduction to Structural Analysis
  • Mechanics
  • Mathematics
  • Thermodynamics


  • Computing
  • Applications
  • Laboratories
  • Engineering Design Lectures, CAD
  • Subject Tutorials

Second Year

Lecture Courses

  • Managerial Economics or Languages
  • Aerodynamics
  • Mathematics
  • Materials
  • Propulsion and Turbomachinery
  • Mechanics of Flight
  • Structural Mechanics and Dynamics
  • Circuits, Signals and Systems


  • Computing and Numerical Analysis
  • Applications Workshops
  • Manufacturing Processes
  • Laboratories
  • Subject Tutorials

Third Year

Compulsory Courses

  • Aircraft Structures
  • Aircraft Aerodynamics
  • Finite Elements
  • Control Systems

Optional Courses

Presently, the following courses are available and the selection can be altered to accommodate new courses.

  • Helicopter Dynamics
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Materials in Action
  • Languages
  • Mathematics
  • Materials Modelling
  • Advanced Propulsion
  • Advanced Mechanics of Flight
  • Finance and Financial Management
  • Project Management
  • Innovation Management
  • Entrepreneurship


  • Airframe Design
  • Aerospace Vehicle Design
  • Group Design Project
  • Applications
  • Subject Tutorials
  • Laboratories

Students who are on the year abroad course shall follow the classes and lectures of their host university.

Fourth Year

Compulsory Courses

  • Wing Design
  • Structural Dynamics

Optional Courses

  • A selection of the third year electives, plus:
  • Applications of Fluid Dynamics


  • Subject Tutorials
  • Project and Laboratory Work

Students on the year abroad course shall follow the above along with coursework in airframe design and aerospace vehicle design.

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