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BEng (Hons)Avionic Systems with Year in Industry

Tuition fee To be confirmed
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Expenses, accommodation, working etc.



People of all ages often wonder what stops an aircraft from falling out of the sky. The fundamental reason is due to the aerodynamic lift acting on the wings but, for modern aircraft, there is more to it than that. Sophisticated electronics is another essential ingredient especially for aircraft that are inherently aerodynamically unstable, such as some fighter jets. Electronic systems associated with flight are known by the term ‘avionics’, derived from the expression ‘aviation electronics’. Avionics covers the internal sensors and control systems within aircraft: from airborne communication and navigation systems to ‘stealth’ aircraft design and flight control systems.

As aircraft get more sophisticated, the avionics becomes more and more important – such as in modern ‘fly-by-wire’ control systems. In fact the avionics in most aircraft will be upgraded several times during the life of the airframe. This makes avionics one of the most important sectors in the aerospace industry and it is a major employer in the UK.

This degree programme aims to provide you with all of the necessary technical knowledge to work in a variety of disciplines associated with avionic systems: radar systems, GPS/inertial navigation systems, guidance and control, and avionic systems design.

We have strong links with industry and a number of undergraduate projects have been generated from industrial projects undertaken by members of the Department. Examples include the development of infrared tracking algorithms for missile warning systems, antenna design for airborne communications and flight control systems for terrain avoidance in low-level flight.

The programme gives you the option to learn to fly and to build towards either a National Private Pilot’s Licence (NPPL) or a full JAA/PPL in the first year and the ‘frozen’ Air Transport Pilot’s Licence (fATPL) in the second year. If you are seeking a career as a commercial airline pilot it is possible to work towards the fATPL. Our flight training partners are based at Liverpool John Lennon Airport and time for flight training is provided in your timetable. Also, a particularly exciting experimental facility on the University campus is the Bibby Flight Simulation Laboratory featuring motion and visual cueing and a library of different aircraft types that students can ‘try their hands on’. A new two-seat motion simulator is used as support to our Pilot Studies programmes.

The programme starts by giving you a basic grounding in all of the necessary technical subjects in Year One, with modules in Electrical Circuits and Systems, Digital Electronics, Mathematics and an Introduction to Aerospace Engineering (which covers the principles of flight and terminology of aerospace engineering).

If you have chosen the option to learn to fly, Year One has a Pilot Studies module that supports the flying activities and the pilot ground school course for the private pilot’s licence (including meteorology, air navigation and air law) – and time is factored into the Year One timetable to enable you to acquire the flying time required by the ‘with Pilot Studies’ programmes.

In Year Two, Avionics is introduced through a dedicated module which covers everything from radar cross-sections of ‘stealth’ aircraft to airborne navigation using the Global Positioning System. Year Two also includes modules in Instrumentation (covering the electrical devices that are used to monitor and control the flight of aircraft) and other relevant subjects.

In Year Three, there is an opportunity to specialise in a particular area of avionics with individual project work and optional modules in antenna and radar systems, control systems or navigation. Throughout the programme, there is a strong multidisciplinary flavour to the subjects being studied, with common elements shared by mainstream aerospace engineering students and electrical engineers. However, the Avionics programme offers a range of avionics modules that will provide you with greater in-depth technical knowledge than is offered by either of the mainstream subject areas.

On H432, students spend their third year of study on industrial placement.

An additional fee of approximately £3,400 is required to cover the costs of the mandatory 20 hours pilot training that is required for all students working towards the NPPL, JAA/PPL and fATPL.

Programme structure

Programme Year One

Digital and Integrated Electronics Design
Electrical Circuits and Systems
Experimental Skills/Engineering Skills
Electronic Circuits
C Programming
Electromechanics and Electromagnetism
Aerospace Engineering

For the optional ‘with Pilot Studies’ time is factored into the timetable to enable you to acquire the flying time. If you are not sure if you wish to take a BEng (Hons) or an MEng (Hons) degree then we advise that you apply for the MEng and make a final decision at the end of Year Two.

Programme Year Two

Signals and Systems
Electronic Circuits and Systems
Instrumentation and Control
Digital Electronics and Microprocessor System
Applied Design/Project
Electrical Circuits and Power System
Field Theory
Aircraft Performance
Avionic and Communication Systems

If you are not sure whether you wish to take a BEng (Hons) or an MEng (Hons) degree then we advise that you apply for the MEng and make a final decision at the end of Year Two.

Programme Year Three

This is the placement year during which you will spend time working in an engineering company. This is an excellent opportunity to gain practical engineering experience which will boost your CV. Many placement students continue their relationship with the placement provider by undertaking relevant projects when they return to the University and may ultimately return to work for the company when they graduate. The placement is assessed by two reports, a poster and an oral presentation.

Preparation for the placement is provided by the University’s Careers and Employability Services (CES) who will assist to finding a placement, help you prepare a professional looking CV and prepare you for your placement interview. Placements can be near or far in the UK, Europe and China. For example placements have been offered by the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory which is based on the University campus. CES is active in finding placements with companies based on Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) in China. Students who take up a placement on SIP are offered accommodation at our partner University, Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University, based in Suzhou and they have access to all the facilities on the XJTLU campus.

Programme Year Four

You undertake an extended individual project in the area of Avionics.

Image Processing
RF Engineering and Applied Electromagnetics
Electronics for Instrumentation and Communication
Flight Dynamics and Control
Avionic Systems Design

Career opportunities

Our degrees have excellent career prospects: 90% of graduates go on to graduate level jobs. Graduate employers include Siemens, BAE Systems, BT and Guardian Media Group. Careers are many and varied and include Design Engineer, Systems Engineer, Medical Physicist, Postdoctoral Research Scientist and Radio Frequency Scientist. Some of our graduates go on to work in the industrial sector, in government and in education, whilst others enter non-technical professions such as banking, accountancy, management and law.

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States