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BSc (Hons) Air Transport with Private Pilot Training

TARIFF: 104 - 128
  • 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.
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95% of our graduates in work or study after 15 months after graduation, HESA 2022

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Open Days

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.

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Application Guide

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.   

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Students' Union

At BNU, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why we’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities through our SU – all to enrich your university experience. 

Why study this subject?

The aviation industry keeps the world moving and a career in this sector promises unique opportunities. This programme is aimed at those who wish to develop their air transport skills and knowledge, alongside training for a PPL. With the aviation industry everchanging, this programme is continuously adapted to meet these ongoing changes so you can be sure you’re receiving up-to-date knowledge.

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

We have been a leader in aviation degrees and pilot training for over 20 years. We have a strong focus on employability, and our training partners and professional connections give you the chance to immerse yourself in the industry. Our close proximity to Heathrow and other major UK airports – along with their suppliers – means you’re perfectly placed for networking, seasonal jobs and work placements that are available.

At BNU, you will learn from skilled lecturers within the School of Aviation and Security who have a high level of working knowledge, based on industry experience. Their teaching will allow you to gain a deep insight into the latest trends and requirements of air transport.

As well as receiving top-class lectures and seminars, students are also supported by personal tutors, module leaders and course leaders.

In addition, guest speakers often deliver sessions for students within the University to enrich their learning – previously we have welcomed speakers from TUI, British Airways, Ryanair and Gatwick Airport.

At BNU, we recognise roles in this field are hands-on – that’s why you’ll take part in simulated learning experiences throughout the course using our specialised facilities, including our FNPT II Flight Simulator. You’ll also be able to use our library to support your studies, whether you’re looking for the resources you need or just a quiet place to study.

As part of your studies, you’ll 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.

As a BNU student, you will automatically become a member of Bucks Students’ Union giving you access to a wide range of services that we offer for free. You’ll also be able to join the Aviation Society where you’ll have the ability to attend a variety events and experiences. Some examples of what we’ve done in the past include tours of NATS, a Boeing Flight Simulator experience at CAE and a tour at easyJet.

Check out our Approved Training Organisations Factsheet for contact details and approximate costs.

Find out more

Our top 5 tips before applying

Before you make 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.
Planes On Runway
Airport Lounge

What facilities can I use?

We’ve invested in a range of state-of-the-art facilities across our campuses to support your learning. We’re one of the very few UK universities to have an FNPT II Flight Simulator and as a student pilot you’ll have exclusive access and will be able to gain vital experience, without leaving the ground.

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.

On top of services that BNU provides, we are also members of or partner with a range of external organisations to bolster your industry knowledge:

  • We have access to subscription software packages including CAPA, FlightGlobal and The Fresh Connection, which will greatly assist you in your learning and in the completion of several assessments.
  • We are classed as an Educational Establishment with Airports Council International Europe through our membership, giving students free access to the latest aviation news and developments.
  • We’re part of the London Heathrow Skills Partnership – this means what you study is influenced by the UK’s largest airport and you’ll be one of the first to hear about opportunities. It also helps us give you an up-to-date picture of what is going on in the industry throughout your studies.

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.

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 professional pilots with many years’ worth of experience.

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.

Assessment Information
Theory-based assessments


Years 1 and 2

In years 1 and 2, a variety of assessment methods are used including:

  • group work
  • presentations
  • a case study based on fieldwork
  • written assignments (generally reports)
  • cumulative exercises
  • preparation of a handbook
  • a reflective journal
  • time-constrained assignments (TCAs).

Year 3

Year 3 assessment is geared to testing criticality; reflection; complex problem solving; and decision making. Methods include:

  • reports
  • business and research proposals
  • case study analysis
  • examinations
Practical-based assessments


Taking place in your first year, you will complete the below training and assessments with your flight school.

September – January

In the first semester, you will begin your Private Pilot Licence (PPL) training. This will consist of a minimum of 45 hours flight training, alongside studying for the PPL ground exams.

Ground exam common subjects include:

  • 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
  • 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 to support your studies (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.

February – June

During this semester, you will be moving forward more quickly with your flight training and some students may begin their PPL flying. The PPL is just the beginning and, once you have completed this licence, we encourage you to consider further ratings.

June – September

During the summer you can accelerate your training by completing the hours 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 abroad, in destinations such as California, Florida, France, Cyprus and Poland.

Placements Plus

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.

Useful Documents

BSc (Hons) Air Transport with Private Pilot Training Programme Specification

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 GCSE Maths and English at grade C/4. Additionally, some knowledge of science subjects would be an advantage. 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 Approved Training Organisation (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 provides a guide 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

Airport Operations

Professional Skills and Development

Airline Management

Management, Leadership and Change

Airline Crisis and Continuity Management

Year 2 Modules

Ancillary Revenue Management

Employment Research and Planning

Airport Management

Human Resource Management

Air Cargo Operations

Airline and Airport Marketing

Introduction to Finance and Economics

Research Methods

Year 3 Modules

Research Project (optional)

Business and Enterprise (optional)

Aviation in the Global Context

Aviation Finance and Economics

Sustainability Management

Strategic Management

The Future of the Air Transport Industry (optional)

Human Factors as a Fundamental Concept in Aviation Safety (optional)

What are the tuition fees


Home, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

£9,250 per year


Overseas/International, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

£14,250 per year

Additional costs

There are additional costs for your pilot training:

  • Helicopter pilots – around £20,000 - £22,000 to complete the degree
  • Aircraft pilots – around £14,000 to complete the degree

To complete to Airline Pilot/Commercial Helicopter Pilot (during/after degree):

  • Helicopter pilots – around an additional £33,000 to CPL(H) (so £55,000 total) – this is the basic rating to be able to earn money; helicopter type ratings are an additional cost.
  • Aircraft pilots – around an additional £59,000 required (so £73,000 total) to be "airline ready".

This course has additional costs. Please visit an open day or get in touch for more information You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:

0330 123 2023

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 and skilled leaders and support you in your search to find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.

On successful completion of this programme, you’ll be the proud owner of a PPL and be able to act as pilot in command in non-commercial operations. You’ll also be qualified for a variety of jobs in the travel and tourism industry, particularly those in civil aviation.

As you’ll have also developed a wider understanding of the airline business, you can also choose to pursue a variety of different careers within the aviation industry.

If you’re interested in undertaking further study or specialising in a certain field, you can choose to study one of our renowned postgraduate programmes, such as:


Course leader

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Tim Gibson FRAeS
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