• Study mode: Full Time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Three Years
  • Start Date: September 2021

Course Overview

Do you want to become a commercial pilot? We can help you achieve your dream.

The aviation industry is globally important and a career in aviation promises unique opportunities. Boeing forecasts that between 2016 and 2035, Europe's commercial aviation industry will require approximately 104,000 new commercial airline pilots*.

We can help you achieve a degree and a ‘frozen’ Commercial Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL), in just three years, enabling you to become a confident and competent Pilot Manager. Air Transport with Commercial Pilot Training

You’ll become a student member of the Royal Aeronautical Society and obtain your Commercial Pilot’s Licence with Instrument Rating. After you graduate, and have completed all remaining elements of your ATPL, you’ll be able to apply for your first role.

You’ll usually be flying in Cessna, Piper or Diamond aircraft within the first few weeks of your studies. You’ll also get the chance to meet current first officers and captains, from airlines like British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, and learn from their experiences. You’ll benefit from the experience of our specialist staff and balance academic study with professional pilot training qualifications.

Aviation Accreditation logos

Commercial pilot training

An ATPL is the qualification that will allow you to act as the Pilot in Command (PIC), or captain, of a large transport aircraft. The licence is referred to as ‘frozen’ until all the flight experience requirements have been met.

Course Details


Throughout this programme you’ll study key modules in aviation law, meteorology and instruments alongside broader subjects such as global aviation and airport operations. You’ll take basic theoretical pilot training, while a range of practical and advanced theoretical training modules will be available through our ATOs. As a student pilot you’ll have exclusive access to our FNPT II Flight Simulator, which you will use, to help prepare you for various phases of your flight training.

Apart from the usual student fees, if you are successfully admitted on to this course you will be expected to find the additional fees for training to complete your Frozen ATPL with one of our accredited pilot training providers. This can cost up to £80,000 spread over the three years of this Degree.

What are the course entry requirements?

A typical offer will require a UCAS Tariff score between 96 - 120. You also need at least two A-levels and a GCSE Maths and English at grade C/4. Additionally some knowledge of science subjects would be an advantage.

Mature students with non-standard qualifications will be considered on an individual basis.

All students will require at a minimum a Class II Medical in order to undertake their PPL solo, those students wishing to undertake Commercial training will need to gain a Class I Medical prior to enrolling with their selected Approved Training Organisation (ATO).  Further information on the requirements of Class I and II Medicals, including approved AME's, can be found on the CAA website.

Every application is considered on an individual basis.

For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.

Course Modules

Module Map

This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

The modules available on this course are as follows:

Year 1 Modules

  • Professional Skills and Development
  • Air Transport - Security and Safety
  • Airline Management
  • Airport Operations
  • Management, Leadership and Change
  • Private Pilot Licence (PPL) Practical Training
  • Private Pilot Licence (PPL) Theory
  • Structure of the Air Transport Industry
  • Airline Crisis and Continuity Management

Year 2 Modules

  • Air Law
  • Aircraft General Knowledge
  • Communications
  • General Navigation
  • Human Performance and Limitations
  • Instruments
  • Meteorology
  • Operational Procedures
  • Principles of Flight: Aeroplanes
  • Radio Navigation

Year 3 Modules

  • Instrument Rating (IR) (optional)
  • Multi-Crew Co-operation (optional)
  • Aircraft Performance and Planning
  • Aviation Finance and Economics
  • Aviation in the Global Context
  • Business and Enterprise (optional)
  • Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) (optional)
  • Human Factors as a Fundamental Concept in Aviation Safety
  • Research Project (optional)
  • Strategic Management
  • Sustainability Management


How much does it cost

Full Time Home and EU, Academic Year 2021-2022: £9,250 per year

Full Time International, Academic Year 2021-2022: £13,750 per year

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:
0330 123 2023

How do I apply?

For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applying-to-bucks

Student Testimonials

Our students are our best ambassadors and their voices here will provide you with a clear sense of their Bucks experience.

Image of Edgar Woodhead

Edgar Woodhead

I am finding the course very rewarding and informative. It will give me a greater understanding of the aviation industry, which will give me an advantage in securing a position as a commercial pilot. In a constantly changing industry awareness of the industry is key and the course gives us that knowledge.

The highlights so far have, of course, been flying, and I also pay tribute to the Aviation Society, which has enabled me to attend many industry-related events and build my connections with professionals.

Image of Tai Tanweer

Tai Tanweer

The transferrable skills learnt in my degree have helped me enormously in my career.

The degree is well structured. Generally when a person reads or hears Air Transport with Commercial Pilot Training on the degree the focus is put on Commercial Pilot. However, the course integrates with other programmes such as Airline and Airport Management, which is crucial for flight crew.

For example, fuel consumption is studied from a technical perspective for pilot but attending the Airline and Airport Management lectures also provides a different perspective into airline operating costs and how the airlines actually buy/hedge fuel.

I also made a lot of friends who I still visit and who work for major airlines and airports globally.


What are my career prospects

Boeing forecasts that between 2016 and 2035, Europe's commercial aviation industry will require approximately 104,000 new commercial airline pilots*, so your skills will be in demand. When you have finished this course, and completed all the flight-training modules, you’ll be the proud owner of a Commercial Pilot Licence with instrument rating and a frozen ATPL. This will enable you to apply for First Officer positions with airlines. Our graduates have gone on to become First Officers with a range of airlines including British Airways, Ryanair, easyJet, Cathay Pacific and Jet 2.

You’ll also have developed a wider understanding of the airline business and be able to pursue a variety of different careers within the aviation industry.

*Boeing Forecasts

How will you help me prepare for my future?

Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. Our modules and teaching expertise will help you become more independent as a learner and more certain of your discipline expertise.

We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.

Aviation-specific blog

Some of our aviation students have produced an aviation-specific blog. Why not check it out! Please note that the views expressed within the blog are the views and opinions of our aviation students and not those of the University.

The Big Deal

At Bucks, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why our Students’ Union have developed our exclusive ‘Big Deal’ package. We’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities – all to enrich the university experience.

We offer FREE events and entertainment, additional skills workshops, sports, recreational activities, societies and paid student rep schemes. All at one of the top 10 Students’ Unions in the UK.  It’s a big deal!

We are proud that our exciting and dynamic students’ union is ranked in the top three in the UK for representing student’s academic interests (NSS 2020). It’s a big deal!

Want to find out more? Visit our Students’ Union page or watch our video.