Requirements To Study Aeronautical Engineering In South Africa

What Is Aeronautical Engineering

The aeronautical engineer is involved in the design, development and modification of the components and systems of all types of flight vehicles – including fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, sail planes, airships and missiles. The Aeronautical Engineering course is  offered at  University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Entry Requirements To Study Aeronautical Engineering In South Africa

If you desire a career as an Aeronautical Engineering but you don’t know which colleges of universities that offer the programme in South Africa, this page give you the information needed.

Note: there is a different between a discipline called Aeronautical Engineering and Pilot. If you desire to pursue a career as a Pilot, you will have to go to Aviation College.

Aeronautical Engineering has to do with the design, repair, maintenance and manufacturing of aircraft or any flying machines which has it operation limited to within atmosphere.

Only two universities offer Aeronautical Engineering as a programme in South Africa and they are:

University of Witwatersrand and

University of Pretoria

These two universities run the programme at all degree level – Bachelor, Masters and Doctorate – and anybody is eligible to apply for the programme.

KwaZulu-Natal University is offering the programme but at postgraduate level. While the Stellenbosch University focus on the military aspect of the programme and that mean only members of the South Africa Armed Forces can study this course with them.

Entry Requirements

For a student to be considered for admission for the programme by any of the two universities mentioned above:

He must have completed grade 12

Have minimum of L5 in Mathematics, L5 in Physical Science and L5 in English Language

Students must also meet each universities Admission Point Score (APS). Stellenbosch University APS stand at 42+ while that of University of Pretoria is 30+

Live orientation is always not included when calculating APS

Student with Cambridge A/L with a D in the required subjects may be considered.

International student with equivalent grade 12 equivalent can apply and may be considered for admission if his scores meet the entry requirements.

Aeronautical Engineering at both universities is accredited by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA). This mean it meet the intra academic requirements of Sydney Accord. Graduates from both school can practice in any of the countries that form the Accord.

This also make the course at the two universities recognised by the Washington Accord. This Accord provide international recognition of the programme. The certificate awarded can be used in more than fifteen countries of the world which signed the accord.

Click here for more information about the programme at University of Pretoria

Click here for more information about the programme at university of Witwatersrand

What to expect from aeronautical engineering degrees

You’ll usually find aeronautical engineering degrees referred to as a BEng (Bachelor of Engineering) and MEng (Masters in Engineering). Aeronautical engineering degrees at the undergraduate level usually last three or four years, but many institutions allow students to progress directly into a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering, extending the course length by an additional year or two.

In such cases, BEng and MEng students take the same courses for the first two or three years, and suitably well-performing students then continue with the BEng for one more year or progress to the more advanced MEng for two years.

Some institutions may also allow for this transfer in the first or second year of the BEng degree program while others allow post-secondary candidates to enroll in a MEng straight away.

A few institutions also offer associate degree programs, but these usually are reserved for practicing engineering professionals who have already graduated in a related field, and want to change careers into aeronautical engineering.

Teaching is primarily lecture-based, with students also completing coursework and laboratory exercises, attending tutorials and participating in field trips. Group work and group design work may be an element, with independent study expected in all degree programs, and assessment divided between examinations and coursework projects.

Depending on your chosen institution’s facilities, you may be able to attend lectures given by experts in the aerospace industry, and even experience rides in a flight simulator.

Entry requirements for aeronautical engineering degrees

You’ll need to be highly competent in mathematics and physics in order to apply – expect your competency in these two subjects to be rigorously tested.

And, if your degree is taught in English and you are an international student, you may need to prove your proficiency through a standardized exam such as the IELTS or take an English language course prior to commencing your degree in order to obtain a student visa or entry into the program.

Key Skills

Common skills gained from an aeronautical engineering degree include:

High proficiency in research methodology, experiments and data collection

Excellent analytical and logical-thinking skills

Excellent knowledge of mathematics and physics

Interdisciplinary skills, including expertise in mechanics and engineering

Ability to identify and tackle complex technical challenges

Ability to work well in a team

A critical approach to problems

Good attention to detail

Good communication skills, both written and verbal and people from various backgrounds and with varying aeronautical knowledge

Good problem-solving skills

Ability to think creatively

Ability to adapt to changing needs/in response to findings from experiments

Awareness of commercial, industry-related and environmental issues

Schools Offering Course In South Africa

Aeronautical Engineering – Wits University

Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering | University of Pretoria

Department for Aeronautical Science – Stellenbosch University

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering – Monash University

University Of Cape Town Aeronautical engineering

Denel Technical Academy

What subjects do I need to study aeronautical engineering In South Africa?

What subjects are needed for aeronautical engineering? The subjects required for Aeronautical Engineering courses are Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics in 12th with Science stream.

What qualifications do you need to be an aeronautical engineer In South Africa?

You’ll need:

knowledge of engineering science and technology.

maths knowledge.

design skills and knowledge.

to be thorough and pay attention to detail.

excellent verbal communication skills.

science skills.

analytical thinking skills.

the ability to read English.

How long does it take to study aeronautical engineering in South Africa?


The Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Aeronautical Engineering (BScEng Aeronautical) is a four-year professional degree. You will share the first two years of study with the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering students to provide you with a firm foundation in the engineering sciences.

How many years does it take to become an aeronautical engineer In South Africa?

4 years

The Aeronautical Engineering course duration is of 4 years in which exams are conducted semester-wise in which students will accumulate great knowledge about the designing, manufacturing, and testing of aircrafts.

Is Aeronautical Engineering difficult In South Africa?

Aeronautical Engineering is not difficult. If the candidate has a dream to build a career in aviation engineering, then Aeronautical Engineering is the best career opportunity for him/ her. The duration of the course of Aeronautical Engineering is 4-years including 8 semesters.

How much does it cost to study aeronautical engineering In South Africa?

The average fees for aeronautical engineering in India are approx. INR 3 to 7 Lakhs Total Course Fees. The government is also offering scholarships to the candidates as per their state government policies. The meritorious student can also get up to 100% scholarship from AME CET based on their All India Rank (AIR).

Can an aeronautical engineer become a pilot In South Africa?

YES, an aeronautical engineer can become a pilot. One can become a pilot by taking the essential flying lessons from a flight school. You will require more time commitment for the commercial pilot license course.

Where is aeronautical engineering in South Africa?

University of the Witwatersrand

The Aeronautical Engineering course is offered at University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Is aeronautical engineering in demand in South Africa?

Although graduates with aeronautical engineering and chemical engineering degrees have high earning potential, they are definitely not the most in demand, according to Adzuna. Due to their nature, only 256 job ads across South Africa mention either of these subjects as a requirement to apply for the role.

How many semesters are there in aeronautical engineering In South Africa?

8 semesters

Aeronautical engineering is a 4-year course that includes 8 semesters. During these 8 semesters, the candidates will learn academic and theoretical knowledge about the designing, manufacturing, and testing of the aircraft.

Is chemistry required for aeronautical engineering In South Africa?

Students need to have Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics in class 12 to become aerospace engineer.