Course Content (including module information)
The BEng degree provides a solid foundation in all the basic engineering technologies required by an aerospace engineer in the development of the next generation of aerospace products. The MEng extends study to in-depth specialist topics, with the aim of producing future engineering leaders.
Major study themes are:
Core to our degrees is the understanding of the aircraft development process, and students are guided through the development of the skills necessary to transform customer requirements into state-of-the-art aerospace technology.
Aerodynamics, Fluid Mechanics and Propulsion
The study of air flow around and through objects is key to understanding how forces such as lift, drag and thrust are generated. Modules in aerodynamics, fluid mechanics and propulsion explore these concepts in detail, developing both fundamental understanding and expertise in state-of-the-art computational simulation.
Flight Mechanics and Avionics
The motion of aircraft in 3D space is highly complex, and students are introduced to how aircraft handling and performance are linked to the many systems within an aircraft. Avionics demonstrates how instrumentation can be used for navigation and for understanding concepts such as GPS and communications systems.
Structural Design, Manufacturing and Materials
Structural strength and rigidity are vitally important for safe flight. Students combine an understanding of material properties and manufacturability with the use of sophisticated computational analysis and design methods to develop high-performance aerospace structures.
To understand the role of the engineer in society, technical modules are accompanied by professional studies such as accounting, economics, law and management.
Assessment & Feedback
Assessment (general): The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the learning objectives of each module. Most modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Some modules [e.g. final year Honours Project module (BBC3025)] are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
Feedback (general): As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and your peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
- Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that students, as individuals or as part of a group, have submitted.
- Face to face comment. This may include occasions when students make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help address a specific query.
- Placement employer comments or references.
- Online or emailed comment.
- General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
- Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which students can review in their own time.
- Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
- Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
Once students have reviewed their feedback, they are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of their work.
Learning and Teaching
The School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering plays a leading role in an international initiative to reform engineering education which involves over 50 universities worldwide. Support for participation in this initiative was secured through funding to set up a Centre of Excellence in Active and Interactive Learning at Queen's. As a result, our degree programmes have many innovative features that enhance student learning. For example, the first year includes an introductory course focussed on developing important professional engineering skills, built up around a series of team-based design and build projects. Students are not only provided with the opportunity to learn about engineering practice, but also to engage with the other students within their class, helping to develop a strong sense of identity and community within the student body. In subsequent years, engineering knowledge is further developed through structured project work – at Stage 2, the group design exercises allows students to demonstrate their technical ability in a team environment, while the individual research project in Stage 3 provides opportunities for in-depth study and engagement with Aerospace engineering design and development. Through the programme, there is an emphasis placed on the development of a balanced set of personal, interpersonal and professional skills.
The School offers extensive opportunities to gain valuable overseas experience, either during the summer vacation or by taking a year out from the degree programme. We participate in the IAESTE and Erasmus student exchange programmes, which enable students to obtain work experience in companies and universities throughout the world. In recent years students have worked in countries such as Brazil, Finland, USA, France, Iceland, Argentina, Uruguay, Japan, South Africa and Portugal. The Study USA Initiative offers pre-final year students the possibility of working for a year at a college in the USA, providing an excellent opportunity to gain familiarity with international business techniques. Our employability programme supports activities such as this, providing help and advice with preparation of CVs, interview skills and providing a point of contact for the duration of placements.
A range of various scholarships and awards are available. Applicants may be eligible for the University's Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Awards. Details of these and other University awards can be found on the Queen’s University website.
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential. Students studying for the MEng in Aerospace Engineering are provided with a broad range of learning experiences to enable them to develop as individuals, to engage with subject experts from both academia and industry, and to develop an enquiring mind to enhance their development as independent, lifelong learners. Access to industry standard engineering tools, a world class library facility and courses taught by industrial experts provides a breadth of opportunity to develop students’ interests in the aerospace sector, supported by formal lectures and tutorials. There are a wide range of learning opportunities, including:
- Lectures: Formal lectures are timetabled to introduce basic information and concepts about key topics and themes in Aerospace engineering, and to provide a starting point to guide further self-directed private study. This provides an invaluable opportunity to both engage with academic subject experts and also to gain feedback and advice. Through the degree course, a number of lectures are also given by industrial subject matter experts, to ensure that students have the opportunity to discuss the industrial applications.
- Tutorials: The majority of lectures are supported through tutorial sessions, providing opportunities for discussion about problems posed in accompanying lectures. Again, tutorials provide valuable opportunities to engage with academic staff to obtain help and feedback outside of the formal lecture environment.
- Practicals: A key aspect of any engineering degree is the ability to be able to competently transfer engineering scientific principles into practice. Students will be provided with numerous opportunities to develop core technical skills through practical laboratories and design exercises during your degree programme, and will become confident in the use of a wide range of industrial standard engineering design and analysis tools. For example, in Stage 1, students would be expected to attend 3 hours of laboratories per week, and in Stage 3, this will rise to 6 hours per week of practical design-build-fly activities.
- E-Learning technologies: The Queen’s Online Virtual Learning Environment provides access to a wealth of information and supporting learning information, including additional module resources, reading lists and message boards to communicate with class members.
- Self-directed study: This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
- Work placements: As part of our MEng sandwich programme, students may elect to take a work-placement after Stage 3. An employability programme provides support on application and CV completion, interviews and what to expect on placement, while our dedicated Placement Officer provides both information on current placement opportunities, and ‘on placement’ support.
- Field Trips: Northern Ireland has a vibrant Aerospace industry, and as part of the BEng Aerospace Engineering degree programme, students will undertake a number of visits to Aerospace companies across Northern Ireland to understand what the role of a practicing Aerospace Engineer is in industry, and to relate module content to a real-life work environment.
- Individual research projects: As part of the degree, students will undertake a research project in their final year in conjunction with an academic supervisor, looking in detail at a specialist topic in Aerospace Engineering. This will provide students the opportunity to engage with the aerospace engineering design and development process, while embedding core skills in project management, reporting and presentation skills.
- Personal Tutor: Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor who meets with them during the year to support their academic development.