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Best Universities In The UK To Study Aviation Management

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The aviation industry is booming. Not only are there a wide variety of jobs in the industry, but it has also become a somewhat ‘sexy’ course among prospective students. Whilst I think we would all acknowledge that choosing the best university is an important and often difficult decision, for those wishing to study aviation management it can be even more of a mind field.

Aviation management league tables

League tables are one of the most important factors relating to decision-making when doing a degree-level course. However, whilst these may provide sufficient indication of the quality of an institution and its courses in many of the traditional subjects – the sciences, English, business studies etc – there is less guidance for those wanting to study areas that are of a more niche nature.

Aviation management courses have been popping up in universities all over the country at a rapid rate in recent years. This is no surprise given the substantial growth in the industry! These have, however, been coordinated differently in different universities; some aviation management courses sit within the tourism department, others sit within engineering or business. This makes comparison within league tables difficult as they do not tend to be broken down to this level of detail. You can read more about the best universities to study travel and tourism here. 

Things to consider before choosing a degree course

Before we move on to look at the best places to study aviation management, let me first give you a few tips and things that you should consider before committing to a degree-level course.

Identify your interests and passions

Before choosing a degree program, take the time to identify what subjects or fields you are truly interested in. Consider your hobbies, personal experiences, and career aspirations to help guide your decision.

Research career prospects

Look into the job market and potential career paths related to the degree programs you are considering. Consider factors such as demand, salary, and growth potential.

Consider your lifestyle

Think about what type of lifestyle you want to lead after graduation. Some careers may require long hours, travel, or frequent relocation, while others may offer more flexibility and work-life balance. This is particularly relevant in the aviation industry.

Factor in the cost

University is expensive, so it’s important to factor in the cost of tuition, fees, housing, and other expenses. Look into financial aid options and scholarships and consider ways to save money such as attending a community college for the first two years.

Develop money management skills

As a student, it’s important to learn how to manage your money effectively. Consider setting a budget, tracking your expenses, and opening a student checking account or student credit card. However, be careful when using credit cards and make sure to pay off the balance in full each month to avoid accruing high interest charges.

Why study aviation management?

There are several reasons why a student may choose to study aviation management:

  1. Growing industry: The aviation industry is rapidly expanding, with more people traveling by air than ever before. This growth has created a demand for professionals who can manage and operate airports, airlines, and other aviation-related businesses.
  2. Diverse career opportunities: Aviation management offers a wide range of career opportunities, including airport operations, air traffic control, airline management, aviation consulting, and more.
  3. High earning potential: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for airline and commercial pilots was $130,440 in May 2020, while the median annual wage for transportation, storage, and distribution managers was $105,620. While earning potential will depend on a variety of factors, including job title, experience, and location, a career in aviation management can be financially rewarding.
  4. Dynamic and challenging field: Aviation management requires individuals who are able to think critically, solve problems, and adapt to changes quickly. It’s a challenging and dynamic field that offers opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  5. Global industry: The aviation industry is a global one, with airlines, airports, and aviation-related businesses operating in countries around the world. This creates opportunities for individuals who are interested in working internationally or traveling frequently for work.

What will I study on an aviation management course?

An aviation management course typically covers a wide range of topics related to the aviation industry. Here are some common subjects you may study:

  1. Aviation Operations Management: This course covers the principles of aviation operations management, including airport and airline management, air traffic control, and safety management systems.
  2. Airline Management: This course focuses on the management and operations of airlines, including topics such as airline economics, marketing, and customer service.
  3. Aviation Law and Regulations: This course covers the legal and regulatory framework that governs the aviation industry, including international and national laws, regulations, and standards.
  4. Aviation Safety and Security: This course focuses on the safety and security issues related to the aviation industry, including risk management, emergency response, and security procedures.
  5. Aircraft Maintenance: This course covers the principles of aircraft maintenance and repair, including maintenance schedules, inspections, and repairs.
  6. Aviation Finance and Economics: This course covers the financial aspects of the aviation industry, including aircraft leasing, financing, and investment.
  7. Aviation Marketing and Sales: This course covers marketing strategies and techniques for airlines and other aviation-related businesses, including pricing, advertising, and distribution channels.
  8. Airport Planning and Management: This course covers the principles of airport planning and management, including airport design, capacity planning, and environmental considerations.

Overall, an aviation management course provides students with a broad understanding of the aviation industry, including its operations, management, and regulatory framework.

Aviation management degrees available in the UK

At the time of writing I have been unable to locate a definitive list whereby courses are ranked. However, here is a list of universities offering aviation management degrees, in no particular order. I recommend that you research the individual universities and relevant league tables in choosing the best option for you.

  • University of Bedfordshire
  • University College Birmingham
  • Buckinghamshire New University
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • Coventry University
  • Craven College
  • University of Hertfordshire
  • Leeds City College
  • University of Leeds
  • London Metropolitan University
  • Loughborough University
  • University of Manchester
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • University of Southampton
  • University of West London

Leicester’s DeMontfort University is also due to start a programme in Airline Management, start date to be confirmed. 

There are also those that only offer an MSc in it, e.g. Cranfield, City, Surrey, and Westminster. On top of that, there are those that also offer MScs alongside their undergraduate offerings, e.g. Coventry and Loughborough.

More details of these courses can be found on the UCAS website.

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