- Study Mode: Full time
- Location: High Wycombe
- Duration: Three Years
- Start Date: September 2022
With over 20 years’ experience, get your career off to a flying start with our BSc (Hons) Air Transport with Private Pilot Training.
On this programme, you will gain the theoretical and practical pilot training knowledge to attain a Private Pilot's Licence (PPL), together with a university degree. This unique balance of practical and theoretical skills is highly sought-after by global aviation industry employers.
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?
The aviation industry is globally important and a career in aviation promises unique opportunities. By combining a degree with pilot training, it can open up a wealth of opportunities.
Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?
By studying this degree, you’ll graduate with more than just an aviation degree – you’ll have what you need to succeed in this dynamic sector.
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.
You will get all the benefits of a university degree while training for your pilot’s licence. You’ll usually be flying in Cessna, Piper or Diamond aircraft within the first few weeks of your studies. You’ll also get the chance to meet current first officers and captains, from airlines like British Airways and EasyJet, and learn from their experiences.
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’re located close to Heathrow and other major UK airports which - along with their suppliers - offer our students seasonal jobs and work placements.
BNU 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.
Some of our aviation students have produced an aviation-specific blog. Why not check it out! (Please note that the views expressed within the blog are the views and opinions of our aviation students and not those of the University.) Or why not read our blogs or watch vlogs by our student bloggers.
Top 5 tips
Before making an application, we recommend you consider the following:
- There are additional costs involved with this course, in addition to the University’s tuition fees. The University does not offer any loans as we are not a financial institution. Students often get funding from Private bank loans as well as student finance to pay for the tuition fees. Seek professional financial help to understand what it means for you.
- Talk to, and visit, the flight schools you are considering for most up-to-date pricing. We have included approximate costs for guidance on our approved training organisation factsheet.
- Make sure you understand the differences between a UK CAA Licence and an EASA Licence; your chosen flight school will be able to offer some guidance on this. You can find the contact details for our approved training organisations on our factsheet.
- Understand the UK CAA/EASA Class 1 (Commercial Pilots) or Class 2 (Private Pilots) medical requirements, and check that you can successfully hold such licenses, before committing to the flight training.
- Come along to an open day, talk to our current students and staff, and get all your questions answered.
What facilities can I use?
We’re one of the very few UK universities to have an FNPT II Flight Simulator, which you’ll use during the final year of your studies to gain vital experience.
Alongside this, our other specialised simulation facilities allow you to experience real-life airport scenarios, developing your abilities in airfield planning and operations, and crisis and emergency management.
What will I study?
Designed with input from a range of aviation professionals, this course focuses on current trends shaping the aviation industry.
In addition to your flying, you'll acquire specialist knowledge in airline and airport operations. You'll study modules in air cargo operations and ancillary revenue management, as well as aviation finance and economics.
The PPL qualification allows you to continue your flying studies at a later date, to achieve a Frozen Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL), the highest licence you can obtain as a pilot.
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 and globally.
As you’ll develop a deep understanding of the air transport industry, you'll finish this course well qualified to pursue a variety of different careers in this field.
How will I be taught and assessed?
Buckinghamshire New University has over 20 years’ experience in running this course and you will be taught by academics and instructors who have experience of working in the aviation industry.
You will also 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.
Flying and Theory
You will begin your Private Pilot Licence training. This will consist of a minimum of 45 hours flight training and also study for the PPL ground exams.
Ground exams common subjects
- 010 Air Law - Aeroplane and Helicopter
- 040 Human Performance - Aeroplane and Helicopter
- 050 Meteorology - Aeroplane and Helicopter
- 060 Navigation - Aeroplane and Helicopter
- 090 Communications - Aeroplane and Helicopter
- Exams specific to aircraft category (i.e. they are different for helicopter or aeroplane PPL)
- 020 Aircraft General Knowledge - Aeroplane OR Helicopter
- 030 Flight Performance and Planning - Aeroplane OR Helicopter
- 070 Operational Procedures - Aeroplane OR Helicopter
- 081 Principles of Flight - Aeroplane only
- 082 Principles of Flight - Helicopter only
These exams are taken through the CAA e-exam system. You will need to purchase a set of AFE PPL Theory books or similar. We use AFE PPL for our Theory.
You will need several additional personal items, which may include kneeboard, headset, facemask and some schools require uniform to be worn.
During this semester, you will be moving forward more quickly with your flight training. The PPL is just the beginning and, once you have completed this licence, you should consider further ratings. Some students may begin their PPL flying in Semester 2.
During the summer you can accelerate your training by completing the hours building required to undertake further ratings. You may wish to complete your Night Rating. Multi-Engine Rating and/or IR(R) during this time. Some of our students will complete hours building abroad, in California, France, Cyprus, Florida, Poland etc.
What are the course entry requirements?
A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 104 - 128
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
Private Pilot Licence (PPL) Theory
Private Pilot Licence (PPL) Practical Training
Structure of the Air Transport Industry
Air Transport - Security and Safety
Professional Skills and Development
Management, Leadership and Change
Airline Crisis and Continuity Management
Year 2 Modules
Ancillary Revenue Management
Employment Research and Planning
Human Resource Management
Air Cargo Operations
Airline and Airport Marketing
Introduction to Finance and Economics
Year 3 Modules
Research Project (optional)
Business and Enterprise (optional)
Aviation in the Global Context
Aviation Finance and Economics
The Future of the Air Transport Industry (optional)
Human Factors as a Fundamental Concept in Aviation Safety (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.
When you graduate, you’ll be qualified for jobs in the travel and tourism industry with a range of organisations, particularly those in the civil aviation sector.
Some of the larger airline and airport organisations offer a limited number of places on management trainee programmes, while others recruit directly for posts in marketing and operations.
Graduates can also choose to stay at BNU and study for a postgraduate course, such as our MSc Aviation Security, MSc International Aviation Regulation and Law, MSc Aviation Operations and Management or MSc Aviation Organisational Resilience.