BA (Hons) Airline and Airport Management

Course summary

two people standing in an airport looking out the window
Get a flying start to your career! This exciting course is designed to build the skills and experience you need to work in management positions in the aviation industry. Accredited by the Institute of Travel and Tourism and taught by experienced academics, this is truly vocationally-focused course to launch your career.

Why choose this course?
You will be positioned just 12 kilometres from London Heathrow, one of the world's busiest international airports. Our strong links with Heathrow Airport Limited and other aviation companies enables us to arrange guest lecturers from leading industry practitioners. This helps develop your understanding of the field of aviation and exposes you to the diversity of the industry.

In your final year of study, you will undertake a research project of your own choosing related to the aviation industry, putting into practice the academic theory you have obtained and your workplace experience.

Career and study progression
Your degree can take you anywhere, but some of the most popular careers for graduates include a range of management roles within aviation and tourism.

You may also wish to undertake postgraduate study to specialise in a subject you've already studied, or to explore something new.

For more details please see the Career and study progression section.


Course detail

Level 4 modules

  • The Aviation Experience
  • Principles of Management and Leadership
  • Introduction to Airline and Airport Management
  • Academic Development and Employability
  • Aviation Travel Geography
  • Introduction to Accounting and Finance.

Level 5 modules

  • Managing Human Resources
  • Airline and Airport Operations Management
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Aviation Law for Managers
  • Research Methods for Managers.

Plus one option from:

  • Human Factors in Aviation
  • Air Cargo Operations.

Level 6 modules

  • Strategic Airport Planning and Development
  • Aviation Policy and Strategy
  • Air Route Planning
  • Service Industries Dissertation
  • Contemporary Aviation Issues and Management of Change.

Plus one option from:

  • Governance of Aviation
  • Sustainable Aviation Management.

Modules summaries

Level 4 modules

Introduction to Airline and Airport Management
This module aims to provide you with a basic understanding of the structure, nature and operating characteristics of the airline and airport industry. It will examine the key developments and component sectors that have helped shape the international aviation industry. Linked into these developments you will examine the roles and responsibilities of the major organisations associated with airline and airport operations and management.

Aviation Travel Geography
This module aims to explore the relationship between aviation, geography and tourism, focusing on the location of key gateway airports in Europe and worldwide together with an insight to the terminology associated with airport operations.  Students will also develop knowledge of the basic principles of aviation meteorology. The module continues by providing an overview of the European region and provides an insight about the geographical character that comprises the setting for tourism.

Principles of Management and Leadership
This module aims to provide you with the basic knowledge and understanding of the key theories, concepts and models in management and leadership. Effective management is essential to the success of today’s organisations in the hospitality and tourism industry.

This module will introduce you to principles of management in terms of management of organisations, people, systems and self for the delivery of quality of customer service. It also gives you an overview of leadership, in order to explore current thinking on leadership with the use of practical management and leadership tools and approaches. Finally, the module aims to develop your awareness of your own leadership traits and capabilities.

Academic Development and Employability
The aims of this module are to develop your critical approach and research skills and apply these to academic writing skills. In addition, the module aims to help you develop knowledge and understanding of employment in the sector as well as enhancing your employability.

The Aviation Experience
This module introduces knowledge and skills to develop your current understanding of the aviation industry. You will be informed about concepts and theories related to the aviation industry including The Customer Experience; Theory of flight; and Safety and Security.

Introduction to Accounting and Finance
This module provides a foundation programme of studies in accounting and statistics in an appropriate industrial context. The role of accounting and statistics in the decision making process is stressed. The module includes essential conceptual underpinning as well as practical applications and encourages an appropriately critical approach. The module also lays the foundations for level five studies in Financial Management for the Hospitality Industry.

Level 5 modules

Airline and Airport Operations Management
This module aims to introduce you to a range of skills, techniques and operations practices appropriate to the airline industry. The module will be multidisciplinary in its perspective, drawing upon a range of competencies developed both in the airline, airport and business core. You will learn how to manage the day-to-day running of an airline or airport, including the management of facilities and staff resources and operations and functions of airlines and airports.

Managing Human Resources
This module aims to enable participants to gain knowledge and understanding of the activities involved in effective human resource management within the aviation industry. The module focuses on practices and processes of how people are managed at work. In addition, it identifies the current trends in human resources management.

Aviation Law for Managers
This module will help you understand the relevance of law to airline and airport management, familiarising you with the law governing certain areas of aviation. This will prepare you to identify instances where legal counsel is indispensable before a managerial decision is taken.

Sales and Marketing
As a career choice, one of the major attractions of airline and airport operations is contact with people.  This module introduces you to the factors which influence consumer behaviour in this area, together with the concepts and principles of marketing management.

Research Methods for Managers
This module aims to provide you with broad knowledge and understanding of the principles and practices in conducting research. It focuses on the use of a range of different research methods in order to successfully undertake a dissertation or any research project. The module encompasses the understanding and application of appropriate research designs, research statistics, use of computers for data analysis, report writing and presentation.

Human Factors in Aviation
This module will introduce you to the essential knowledge and understanding required for the management of people in airline and airport organisations. The module covers key concerns for personnel and developments in the tourism industry concentrating on the main generic areas of resourcing, training and development, motivation and reward. These areas will be considered within the current legal and political environment of the UK.

Air Cargo Operations
Air cargo represents a relatively small percentage by volume of world trade, but its significance leaps by value. The air cargo industry serves as a key engine of economic growth and development. It supports trade and investment, promotes connectivity, and improves efficiency and competitiveness. The Air Cargo Operations module aims to explain the above principles to you. You are expected to understand the complex and changing issues required to maximize all aspects of the air cargo business and see all parts of commercial aviation operations.

Level 6 modules

Strategic Airport Planning and Development
Airport Planning and Development is essential for airport managers. As a future manager, you will need a strong understanding of the current situation and local constraints an airport can face. A clear roadmap for the development of airports and a comprehensive solution for the challenges they face are necessary. Focusing in those areas, this module will provide you with thorough understanding of the political, economic, regulatory and environmental context in which an airport operates. In addition it will enhance your critical thinking and decision making in terms of planning and development steps. Finally the Airport Planning and Development module will enhance your project management and construction supervision skills.

Aviation Policy and Strategy
This module aims to provide a dynamic introduction to the process by which aviation policy is formulated.

The module takes into account key factors in the political, economic, social and technological environment which influence aviation policy making. To this end the module will focus on the influence of tourism organisations e.g. IATA, CAA AEA et al, societal values, the role of special interest groups, aspects of political power and socio-economic global forces of change.

A dualistic framework for the study of how aviation policy is developed will be advanced focusing both on European civil airlines and airport providers. 

The relationship between research and policy making will also be considered. Here the use of a range of international case studies is used to explore the methods by which aviation policies can and have been prioritised and the success or failure of policy initiatives judged.

Contemporary Aviation Issues and Management of Change
This module aims to examine a range of contemporary issues appropriate to the aviation industry. The module reviews changing operational characteristics and procedures within the commercial aviation sector and the impact of new technologies and innovations. The perspectives included are wide ranging and vary from year to year depending on current and topical themes. 

The intention is that by utilising the knowledge and analytical skills you will have gained, you will increase your capability to reason from a multi-disciplinary perspective and will recognise that it is not practical for a manager to view issues in isolation.

Route Planning
The aim of this module is to introduce you to route planning and provide an understanding of the political, economic, regulatory and cultural environment of both origin and destination airport’s catchment area. Moreover Route Planning module aims to teach you the design of an airline’s network and develop your critical and analytical skills in analysing the profitability potential.

Service Industries Dissertation
The dissertation is an opportunity for you to study a topic of personal interest, developing your knowledge and skills of that topic and your research skills. This may be beneficial to your future career plans.  You will identify your area of research and develop research questions to be answered or hypotheses to be tested in the industry context relevant to the course of study.  The dissertation that results from this research will be a professionally presented piece of work that demonstrates your abilities in critical thinking and writing and your skills in completing an independent, self-managed piece of research.

Governance of Aviation
This module aims to examine the politics of aviation and tourism within a European framework. It examines how geo-political decision-making can influence national and trans-national decisions on the airline, airport and tourism sector. The module will particularly focus on the role of national governments and the European Union as legislators and ‘enablers’ of aviation and tourism. The module concludes by examining EU tourism policy as it applies to the commercial aviation sector.

Sustainable Aviation Management
The aim of this module is to establish an overview of the principles of sustainability and sustainable aviation management. It will cover the main theories in regulating environmental externalities and help you to assess and evaluate these policies and initiatives

Finally it aims to create a critical and collaborative learning environment that will manifest itself in reflecting on your contribution to corporate social responsibility and sustainability and taking your place as a responsible global citizen.

Entry requirements

You will need 112 UCAS tariff points from Level 3 qualifications. These can include:

  • A Levels at grade B, B and C, or above
  • BTEC Extended Diploma with Distinction, Merit, Merit
  • Access to HE Diploma

You also need GCSE English and Maths (grade A*-C) or Level 2 equivalents.

If you do not hold the above qualifications but possess relevant work experience, you are invited to apply. Your application will be considered on an individual basis.

Entry into Level 5
If you wish to enter directly at level 5 of this course you will be required to follow procedures in accordance with the university regulations. The demonstration of appropriate knowledge, competencies and relevant industrial experience is required and will be considered by the relevant university board.

Entry into Level 6
If you wish to enter directly at level 6 of this course you will be required to follow procedures in accordance with the university regulations. The demonstration of appropriate knowledge, competencies and relevant industrial experience is required and will be considered by the relevant university board. You are an ideal candidate for entry at this level if you:

  • have significant supervisory or management industrial experience and wish to enhance your skills, knowledge and expertise
  • have a Foundation Degree or HND in a related subject (or equivalent qualification).

International students need to meet our English language requirement at either IELTS at 6.0 or above and a minimum of 5.5 for each of the 4 individual components (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening).

In some countries where teaching is in English, we may accept local qualifications. Please visit to check for local equivalencies.

We offer pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet these requirements. Find out more about our English Language courses


Fees for home and EU students

Main fee

Fees for overseas students

Main fee
Find out if you are a home or overseas student.


Help with funding is available to a range of students, whether you are studying full or part-time, in your home country or overseas.

You may be eligible for a student loan to cover the cost of tuition fees or a maintenance loan to support you during your studies. Additional funding is available to some types of students, such as those with dependants, disabled students and more. Find out more about applying for student loans and other funding options.

We also offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help you. Scholarships in the 2017 - 18 academic year included:

  • Full Time Undergraduate Bursary: a £3,000 award for new undergraduate students.
  • Path to Success Scholarship: a £4,000 award for students on a four-year degree course with a foundation year. 

Other scholarships are also available, including awards for specific subjects. Find out more and check your eligibility.

* Please note that scholarships and bursaries described in the video above were available at the time of filming in autumn 2017. Full details of scholarships for the 2018 - 19 academic year will be published shortly.

Please note fees are paid for each year of study unless otherwise stated. You will be required to re-enrol and pay fees at the beginning of each academic year. Fees may be subject to government regulations on fee increases. Future inflationary increases will be applied to each subsequent year of the course, subject to government regulations on fee increases.

How to apply

On your application:

  1. explain why you are interested in a career in the airline industry
  2. highlight any travel you have undertaken to date and what you enjoyed most about the destinations you visited
  3. tell us about any relevant work experience you have, whether paid or voluntary work
  4. if you haven't yet had an opportunity to work directly in the airline and airport industry then tell us about any customer service experience you have
  5. let us know about any languages you speak in addition to English and about any vocational qualifications and skills you have that are relevant for your studies
  6. above all, demonstrate to us your interest in and enthusiasm for studying and working within this area.
Apply for this course

UK and EU students

You can apply to study this course using our online application system.  Simply click the red ‘apply now’ button above.

Your application will be dealt with by our Admissions team who will be in touch with you.

International students

Complete our online application form for international students or you can download the print version (Word, 186kb).

You can also review the relevant information about the qualifications we accept from your country and our English language requirements, as well as details about your visa application.

More about the application process for international students.

More about how to apply for undergraduate courses.

During the course

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Jobs and placements

Career and study progression

Our graduates go on to work for a wide range of international airlines, airports, aviation agencies, in-flight catering companies and international cargo organisations. These have included British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Lufthansa, London City Airport and London Heathrow.

Although this course is most suited to individuals pursuing a career in aviation, the management and professional skills you will gain on this course can be transferred to a range of other business contexts.

Study progression

Whilst studying, you may have discovered an area you want to learn more about. Postgraduate study enables you to specialise in the field you are passionate about.

Popular degrees after this course include:

  • MA International Tourism and Aviation Management
  • MA International Tourism and Aviation Management with Internship.

Whilst studying, you may have discovered an area you want to learn more about. Postgraduate study enables you to specialise in the field you are passionate about.

Careers support

Our degrees are designed to help you find the career that’s right for you. 97% of our graduates are in work within six months of graduating.

With our desirable West London location, we have strong links with many national and multinational organisations such as the InterContinental Hotels Group, The Savoy, Thomas Cook Travel, Cobra Beer, and the Royal Palaces. We have a strong track record of providing valuable work placements and we also provide hands-on experience at the University through our Student Ambassadors’ scheme.

Many of our staff have successful backgrounds in relevant industries and can advise you on how to kick-start your career. Our careers service will also help you realise your potential by offering specialist advice and guidance on a wide range of careers issues, including:

  • CVs
  • job hunting
  • recruitment and selection procedures
  • further study.

We are The Career University.