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University Fees and Pilot Training Costs

University Fees and Pilot Training Costs

Yes, people, I hear you. I have read your questions on the university’s online chats. And the answer is true unfortunately… the university does not provide funding for your flight training; you will have to pay for the flight training yourself. There, I said it…

It is not the ideal situation to be in, spending on top of university tuition fees. So now another question runs through your head. Why am I doing a degree alongside my pilot training when I can just go to a flight school instead? Well, there are many great reasons to do so, as explained by Fareeha in this blog.


Close up of an airplane cockpit

First… let’s talk university costs. For this degree you’ll be studying at the university for the first and third year, each costing the standard yearly fee. However, for the second year, you will be away from the university studying for your ATPL theory exams at your chosen flight school and will be charged around £2000 for the year. The tuition loan from student finance will cover these costs, and as a bonus you can still get the full £9250 from student finance. The remaining £7250 can be used to reimburse some training costs that you would have spent (for me, this covered the total of my ATPL theory course, ATPL theory exams, and night rating).

Do not forget to factor in costs such as accommodation, bills, food and drink, and other living expenses as well. Consider getting the maintenance loan and getting means assessed so that you can get as much funding as you can to help you during your time studying at the university and the flight schools.

Here comes the exciting part, flight training costs. The costs of flight training is something that we unfortunately cannot escape. But there is no need to fear, I have some helpful tips for you as described below…

Shop around

Modular flight training means that for each flight training stage you can afford to shop around for the best prices and go to different flight schools. It is advised, however, that you only stick to 1-3 flight schools throughout the duration of your training so that your records can be kept in check for your future employers. Over the last years there has never been comparison website for different flight schools around the UK and Europe, but now there is! Our friends at Pilot Network have an extensive list of flight schools with all of the course prices and duration of the courses.

plane about to land after being in flight

Train regularly

I started in September 2019 where I was only training once a week and there were weeks, I couldn’t fly due to the weather, meaning I had to backtrack on flight lessons because I needed to revise everything again. I also had to contend with changing schools and the Covid-19 pandemic. My best bit of advice is to choose a flight school with good availability (and one that you like) so you know you can fly more than once during the week as progression and mental capacity increases, and you can do your skills test as close to the minimum 45 hours as you can. This can save quite a bit of money. Make sure you study for your theory too, so you do not have to do resits.

Source: aviation simulator

Cost sharing

This is only useful during your hour building phase once you have your Private Pilot License. You will obviously want to take friends and family up in your small aircraft around the country but remember these are your expenses coming out of your pocket. Consider asking those that you fly with to donate towards the flight, as this can help reduce the costs of your training as other people are helping you towards your goals. I can guarantee you; they will be more than happy to split the costs. Remember though, as you just have a private pilot license you are not allowed to make a profit.

Student Jacob standing on the wing of a plane at airfield

And there you have it, just a few useful tips to help you reduce your costs of your flight training while studying for the degree! More information about course fees can be found on the website here and here.