• Aeronautical

    NC Aeronautical Engineering

  • SCQF Level

    Level 6

  • Attendance/Duration

    Full-time, one year

  • Start Date

    Aug 2023

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Aerospace is a high profile industry which focuses on the design and manufacture of a wide range of aircraft, systems and equipment. It also involves the maintenance and repair of aircraft products. Aerospace offers superb career opportunities for those who are technical, practical and genuinely fascinated by flight. It is a key sector within the Ayrshire economy and we work very closely with local employers, ensuring our courses offer the skills and training they look for in employees.

So if you love to fix things and are passionate about aircraft and aviation, this could be just the course for you. We're the only college in Scotland to offer it, plus you'll have the added benefits of learning in our purpose-built, state of the art Aeronautical Engineering Training Centre, and being taught by aviation industry experts.

For entry to this course you'll need:

• A real passion for aircraft and aviation• Four relevant National 5s or equivalent including Maths and Physics OR satisfactory completion of a relevant NC course at SCQF Level 5 or equivalent• An interview with us

If you don't have any formal qualifications, but have life experience, then we'll also consider you for a place, so please call us for a chat.

View the Skypath magazine here: Skypath Magazine

What's Involved

This course introduces you to the many different aspects of aeronautical engineering and how flight is achieved. It’s mainly a theory based course, although there are some practical modules too.

The course looks at the fundamentals of aeronautical engineering, including common aircraft types, aircraft assemblies, thrust production and the theory of flight.

You’ll explore the theory of flight in more detail, learning about the main forces and force balance on an aircraft, basic aerofoil sections and lift generation, drag forces and balance.

You’ll look at aircraft systems, including mechanical, fluid, electrical and avionic. You’ll learn about aircraft flight systems and the relationships between control surfaces, components in manual and automatic flight systems, and setting flight controls.

You’ll focus on engineering dynamics, and use Newton’s Laws to learn how to solve linear system problems and angular dynamic system problems. You’ll also look at engineering materials, and how their structure and material properties change with processes such as cold working and annealing.

You’ll develop your maths knowledge within an aeronautical engineering context, for example, to understand the stresses and strains experienced by an aircraft. You’ll also expand on your IT knowledge, learning how to use features of an operating system, word processing, spreadsheets and an engineering software package.

In the workshop, you’ll develop skills in basic aircraft maintenance operations and will learn to use documentation, tools and equipment correctly. You’ll also look at basic aviation workshop practices, such as health and safety, interpreting engineering drawings, and manufacturing or repairing a simple aircraft artefact.

Go Anywhere

In this course you will have built transferable Essential Skills in meaningful contexts to help you become more effective in life, learning, and work. This could be communication, numeracy, ICT, working with others, and problem solving.

When you successfully complete this course, you’ll have the choice of:

  • Moving on to HNC Aircraft Engineering (Level 7)
  • Seeking to start your career in aeronautical engineering, with a Modern Apprenticeship or employment in roles such as aircraft mechanic and sheet metal workers.

Local employers including Collins Aerospace, Spirit AeroSystems, Ryanair, GE Caledonian and British Airways Maintenance Glasgow (BAMG) often come to us to recruit students from this course as employees and/or apprentices.


  • Derek Diamond of Prestwick Aircraft Maintenance discusses what’s involved in being one of their apprentices. Click here to watch the video.
  • Abbie Robb explains what she does in her role as an apprentice with Prestwick Aircraft Maintenance. Click here to watch the video.
  • Engineering apprentice Abbie Robb gives an inspiring presentation to Ayrshire schools as part of the This Ayrshire Girl Can campaign. Click here to watch the video.
  • See more of Apprentice Abbie Robb at work. Click here to watch the video.
  • Official video for the This Ayrshire Girl Can campaign, which celebrates women’s success in traditionally male dominated careers. Click here to watch the video.

Places available



Start Date

Aug 2023

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