MEng Aerospace Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Introduction to Aerospace Engineering

Course unit fact file
Unit code AERO12001
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


Introduction to aerospace engineering introduces the student to the foundation level knowledge of the subject of aerospace engineering. Laying the groundwork for success in later aerospace specific units. Further, it provides an anchor point for the student to link scientific and discipline level topics, such as aerodynamics, mathematics, mechanics, etc, with the specific needs and issues of aerospace engineering. Additionally, the student will gain an appreciation for the unique aspects of aerospace engineering that set it apart from related disciplines. 



Introduce first year undergraduate students to the breadth of aerospace engineering. This includes
• History of aeronautics and astronautics,
• Basics of aircraft and spacecraft flight,
o Flight & orbital mechanics
o Aerodynamics
• Introduction to aerospace propulsion systems.


1. Introduction & What is Aerospace Engineering

     What is the unit?

     Why are we studying aerospace engineering?

     What do we actually mean by aerospace engineering?

2. Flight Environment

     Introduction to the atmosphere, its layers, properties and challenges

     Introduction to the deeper space environment, its properties and challenges

3. Basic orbital mechanics 

     Energy in orbits

     Conservation of momentum 

     Additional forces and Perturbations : Manoeuvres, Low earth orbits, drag

4. Space systems  

     Anatomy of spacecraft

     Spacecraft sub-systems

     Systems engineering

5. Aircraft systems

     Anatomy of an aircraft

     Aircraft subsystems


6.  History of Aerospace Engineering Industry :

Provides the student with a very brief history of the development of and developments within aerospace engineering. This includes key players, technical advancements and engineering artefacts. Includes a disputed list of the most significant aircraft a

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 50%
Written exam 50%

Other - online quiz

Feedback methods

Exam scripts marked, general feedback by question

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 11
Practical classes & workshops 19
Work based learning 3
Independent study hours
Independent study 65

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Katharine Smith Unit coordinator

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