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Professional Doctorate in Air Transport Management - MSc

About This Professional Doctorate

Course Description

With the MSc Air Transport Management you can align, develop or transform your career. Study across several locations on this industry-accredited global programme.

Who is it for?

This programme is for those who have been working within the aviation industry (for at least two years). Current students include pilots, air traffic controllers, maintenance staff, engineers and the majority have a license/professional education. We also welcome students with a military background. This Air Transport Management MSc programme is tailored towards those working who cannot attend regular university schedules.

This course is compatible with The MoD's Enhanced Learning Credits Administration Service (ELCAS) - an initiative to promote lifelong learning amongst members of the UK Armed Forces. If you are/have been a member of the UK Armed Forces, you could be entitled to financial support to take this course.


Airlines, airports and other aviation companies are mostly led by license holders, pilots, aircraft engineers, air traffic controllers, dispatchers and many more. This means the demand for management knowledge is growing. Our programme gives students the opportunity to freshen their knowledge, learn the latest management techniques and build a lifelong network of peers.

With unexpected events affecting the aviation industry as well as increased competition and technological and regulatory changes, every organisation needs a core of up-to-date managers ready to succeed into leadership positions. The programme is designed to deliver individual success. First initiated by the Honourable Company of Airline Pilots (HCAP) to increase the career opportunities of aircrew, today the programme is recognised as a key resource within the aviation industry and as a benchmark for innovation.

Academic facilities

As a student you will benefit from learning within modern lecture theatres (equipped with the latest interactive AV systems) and modern IT laboratories.

A dynamic virtual learning environment (Moodle) gives you access to online assessment and communication tools as you study and you can work with specialist School facilities including:
-A flight deck and flight test course
-A320 procedure training
-Wind tunnels and micro turbines
-Optical compressors and fuel injection systems.

As part of the University of London you can also become a member of Senate House Library for free with your student ID card.

Teaching and learning

You will be taught by industry professionals and leaders in their field of expertise including the former British Airways human resources director in one module, and the industry’s crisis management expert in safety or the chief executive officer of a major maintenance facility in another.

Teaching takes place across global locations including London, Dubai and Frankfurt. Each module, including the Induction Workshop, is taught over a three day period.

This programme gives you a recognised industry qualification, control of your own career and the ability to contribute to air transport management. The programme is very flexible and you can study while you work.

At the end of the programme you will have improved your:
-Presentation/speaking skills - through regular opportunities within each module and the project.
-Report writing and analytical skills - through coursework and the project.
-Personal management skills - through the careful use of resources to complete assignments on time.

The successful MSc graduate will have:
-A good understanding of business analysis, finance, human motivation, and management of the air transport industry.
-A sound understanding for the national and international regulatory and commercial business environment and the ability to prepare a sound business case.
-Knowledge of aspects of fleet planning, route management, engineering and air traffic management issues.
-A proven ability to research and write a substantial analytical report.

These include:
-Being able to assimilate core themes from the talks given by a number of industry speakers, some of whom may have different positions.
-Being able to write succinct and clear English.
-Preparing a valid business case for a company and, at least as important, to know when a potential case is not viable.
-Having a wider knowledge of the interfaces of any single organisation with others in the industry.
-Being able to make a short verbal presentation and to defend a project under examination.


Each elective is assessed by two pieces of coursework, the core modules are assessed by one piece of coursework and an examination. Each module comprises:
-Part I: Prior reading before the module where appropriate.
-Part II: Attendance at City (or other locations) for the module over three days.
-Part III: Examinations are held on the third day of the core modules.
-Part IV: Coursework is due within six weeks from the last day of the module.


We explore air transport management from a broad perspective so you will be exposed to areas as diverse as human resources, regulation, and crisis management. The academic framework has been created by the industry for the industry. There is a high degree of flexibility in terms of sequence and time frame to suit students working in airlines, air traffic control, air forces and other organisations.

Students also take on a project/dissertation in an air transport related subject, which is usually completed within six to twelve months. From developing new safety measures to social media marketing in the aviation world, students choose their own research focus and often use the project as a way into a new career. Students who choose note to do the project, or are unable to complete the programme with the five years can receive a Postgraduate Certificate pending Programme Director approval.

We cover the full spectrum of a Master of Science education, adding Management modules for the future career in aviation. The dissertation at the end of the MSc programme gives each student the opportunity to demonstrate the new research and project management qualifications achieved through the programme.

The programme is based on the successful completion of the Induction Workshop which acts as an entry pathway to the MSc. The MSc consists of three core modules and 5 electives plus the project/dissertation. Each module is taught over a three day period across global locations including London, Dubai and Frankfurt.

The dissertation at the end of the MSc programme gives each student the opportunity to demonstrate the new research and project management qualifications achieved through the programme.

Students who choose not to do the project, or are unable to complete the programme within the five years, receive a Postgraduate Certificate on successful completion of four modules, including two core modules, or a Postgraduate Diploma on successful completion of eight modules. Core modules for the Air Transport MSc are airline business, airline operations and air transport economics.

Core modules
-Airline Operations (EPM825)
-Air Transport Economics (EPM823)
-Airline Business (EPM831)

To begin your MSc, you will be required to attend the Induction Workshop (IW), which gives you a thorough introduction into Higher Education and introduces all the tools and facilities available for your MSc. You will have to write a short essay after the IW, which will be your final assessment to be accepted into City, University of London.

Elective modules - you will choose five elective modules. Each elective module is worth 15 credits.
-Active Safety Management (EPM836)
-Crisis Management (EPM828)
-Safety Risk Management (EPM973)
-Human Resource Management (EPM822)
-Psychology in Aviation Management (EPM966)
-Marketing (EPM821)
-Airline Operational Regulatory Compliance (EPM825)
-Airline Fleet Planning (EPM829)
-Developing a Business Plan (EPM969)
-Financial Accounting (EPM824)
-Sustainable Aviation (EPM975)
-Airports and Ground Handling (EPM968)
-Airworthiness (EPM897)
-Airline Maintenance (EPM906)
-Airline Revenue Management and Finance (EPM972)
-Safety Management - Tools and Methods (EPM833)
-Air Accident Investigation (EPM970)
-Leadership in Organisations (EPM971)
-Aviation Law (EPM978)
-Future Aviation Challenges - from Unmanned to Spaceflight Vehicles (EPM980)
-Reviews of Quality, Safety and Aviation Business Functions (EPM976)

Dissertation - A dissertation related to experience in the industry is required. There is a high degree of flexibility in terms of sequence and time frame to suit students working in airlines, air traffic control, air forces and other organisations.

Career prospects

This is a professional programme recognised by the aviation industry and accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society. Airlines are increasingly expecting their managers to study the MSc from City, University of London, and our alumni network includes high-ranking individuals including the chief operating officer of Oman Air, the chief executive officer of Jet Time, the Safety Manager of Lufthansa, the Air Safety Director of ICAO and the vice president of Emirates Airbus Fleet.

Graduates may change or transform their careers as a result of the MSc. An RAF air traffic controller immediately moved into a senior training position at Eurocontrol in Brussels after completing the programme.

Visit the Air Transport Management - MSc page on the City, University of London website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A professional licence, for example an Air Transport Pilot’s Licence, Aircraft Engineer Licence, Air Traffic Controller Licence, or similar. To be employed in the aviation industry for at least two years. Successful completion of the Induction Workshop (IW). The mandatory IW to our MSc programmes must be passed and will assess the English capability and writing skills required for the MSc programme. You do not need a Bachelors degree to study this programme.

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