- Study Mode: Full time
- Location: High Wycombe
- Duration: Three Years
- Start Date: September 2021
Do you want to become a commercial helicopter pilot? We can help you achieve your dream. This unique programme gives you the opportunity to obtain a university degree and a frozen Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) (H) in just three years of full-time study - and at a lower cost than doing them separately.
You’ll work with our UK-leading partner Heli Air towards your ATPL and we will help prepare you for a career in the exciting world of rotary wing aviation.
We understand that when it comes to deciding where you’d like to study, there are a lot of things to consider. Come along to our Open Day and discover why BNU could be the place for you. You can find out more about your course, meet the course team, and get all your questions answered.
For everything you need to know about applying, check out our Application Guide. You can find useful information for each stage of your application journey – from before you even apply to what to do if you receive an offer, and everything in between.
Why study this subject?
Flying a helicopter is an exciting experience. You can also turn your passion into your career. It can also lead to range of career options in business, leisure or emergency services. You could also choose to start your own business providing freight services or recreational flights. You may also choose to become a flying instructor. By combining a degree with helicopter pilot training, it can open up even more opportunities for you.
Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?
On our BSc (Hons) Air Transport with Helicopter Pilot Training degree, you’ll work with one of our UK-leading training partners towards your PPL or ATPL. Focused modules and study will develop your skills and prepare you for a successful career in rotary wing aviation.
We have been a leader in aviation degrees and pilot training for two decades, and you will be taught by academics and instructors who have experience of working in the aviation industry.
We have a strong focus on employability, and our professional connections and training partners give you the chance to fully immerse yourself in the industry.
We work with Heli Air Ltd , who operates one of the most modern and reliable fleets of training aircraft in the world.
The fleet includes the world's first Glass Cockpit Robinson R22, which features some systems similar to those found in modern large commercial helicopter flight decks, including EPIS, AHRS and GNSS instruments.
On successful completion of this course, and following completion of your external flight training, you will obtain a recognised UK Honours degree and qualify for a ‘frozen’ Airline Transport Pilot Licence. Once you have completed the required professional experiences, the frozen prefix will be dropped.
Bucks aviation students enjoy free membership of the Royal Aeronautical Society, the UK professional association dedicated to the aerospace and aviation industry. As a member, you will be able to participate in a number of exciting industry events, including conferences, guest talks, student competitions, and networking opportunities.
You can also be able to join the highly active Students’ Union Aviation Society. You’ll get to meet even more people who are passionate about the industry and guest speakers. The Society organises trips to places of interest, events and conferences to help you stand out when you graduate.
What facilities can I use?
We’ve invested in a range of state-of-the-art facilities across our campuses to support your learning.
Our library is the perfect place to find the resources you need and a quiet place to study, filled with four floors of books, journals, computer suites and study rooms. Or, if you’d rather work off campus, e-Journals and resources are only a few clicks away using our Virtual Learning Environment.
What will I study?
During this course you’ll study key modules in instruments, radio navigation, meteorology and operational procedures. You’ll also cover broader areas of air transportation such as aviation finance and economics, airport operations and airline management.
You’ll develop skills in leadership, adaptability and self-reliance. You’ll also study operational and sustainable management, strategic concepts and theories.
Our practical training partner Heli Air Ltd offers modular training, including the ATPL (H)/IR ground school, turbine ratings, twin turbine ratings and the flight instructor rating. Courses can be completed in 14 months, giving you the CPL(H) qualification. Additional fees are paid by module.
How will I be taught and assessed?
We look at trends in the industry to make sure your knowledge is up-to-date and regularly update our courses to reflect the most recent changes within the air transport industry.
You will benefit from the team’s connections and valuable networking opportunities. Industry-leading professionals often deliver talks and presentations, providing valuable insight into the profession.
BNU is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.
We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.
Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student, to increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.
What are the course entry requirements?
A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 96 - 120
You also need at least two A-levels and a GCSE Maths and English at grade C/4.
Mature students with non-standard qualifications will be considered on an individual basis.
All students will require at a minimum a Class II Medical in order to undertake their PPL solo, those students wishing to undertake Commercial training will need to gain a Class I Medical prior to enrolling with their selected ATO. Further information on the requirements of Class I and II Medicals, including approved AME's, can be found on the CAA website.
For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.
This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.
Year 1 Modules
Developments of the Air Transport Sector
Professional Skills and Development
Air Transport - Security and Safety
Management, Leadership and Change
Private Pilot Licence (PPL) Practical Training (H)
Private Pilot Licence (PPLH) Theory
Structure of the Air Transport Industry
Airline Crisis and Continuity Management
Year 2 Modules
Aircraft General Knowledge
Aircraft Performance and Planning
Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) (optional)
Human Performance and Limitations
Principles of Flight: Aeroplanes
Year 3 Modules
Aviation Finance and Economics
Aviation in the Global Context
Business and Enterprise (optional)
Human Factors as a Fundamental Concept in Aviation Safety
Research Project (optional)
How much does it cost
Home and EU
Home and EU, Academic Year 2021-2022
£9,250 per year
International, Academic Year 2021-2022
£13,750 per year
What are my career prospects?
Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.
Having finished this programme of study and all the associated air-training modules, you’ll be the proud owner of a Commercial Helicopter Pilot Licence and a frozen ATPL(H). You’ll be fully qualified to find employment as a helicopter pilot and once you meet the relevant professional experience criteria, the ‘frozen’ prefix will be dropped.
You’ll also have developed a wider understanding of the airline business and be able to pursue a variety of different careers within the aviation industry.
Graduates can also choose to stay at Bucks and study for a postgraduate course, such as our MSc Aviation Security, MSc International Aviation Regulation and Law, MSc Aviation Operations and Management, MSc International Aviation Regulation and Law or MSc Aviation Organisational Resilience.