Aviation Management in the Digital Age - MSc

Add to my prospectus Why study this course? More about this course Our teaching plans for autumn 2021 Entry requirements Modular structure Where this course can take you How to apply

Why study this course?

This innovative master's programme focuses on e-commerce and e-strategies for managing the aviation system in the 21st century.

Our curriculum is designed to help you establish a career in civil aviation, so that with this degree you'll be one step ahead in the industry.

You'll learn about all the new systems and technologies of aviation, ensuring you have the most up-to-date knowledge, in a sector that's constantly evolving.

More about this course

This MSc provides a platform for you to launch your career. Studying at London Met, you'll have access to a uniquely focused programme.

Our specialised tutors will guide you through the course, offering research and careers advice to give you the best career prospects after graduating. We have an International Air Transport Association (IATA) approved lecturer as part of our established academic team.

You'll learn from case studies, simulation and guest lectures. This is enhanced by an active, student-led aviation society, where you can learn about all the latest news and trends of aviation, hear from expert workers in the industry and attend social events with your peers. 

There are also opportunities to take part in field courses in locations such as the USA, Dubai and Toulouse, to reinforce learning outcomes.

Your learning is supported by our library, which has relevant core textbooks and access to specialist databases and journals.

We have professional links to the Royal Aeronautical Society (REAS), Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, (CILT) and National Air Traffic Control Services (NATS). Such bodies offer an extensive coursework library section and careers information linked to our curriculum, as well as reading lists to ensure that they offer the full range of expected texts to support our courses.

Careers and advice sessions are offered by our academic staff with industry links supported by careers workshops and planning sessions from established industry working partners. Graduate careers could range from commercial route management, airline management, head of ground operations or business continuity management.


The formative assessment programme is designed to ensure tasks are aligned to modules learning outcomes.

You will be assessed via individual and group presentations, essays, case studies, reports, research proposals and a final project research report. It's expected that you'll have two assessments for each module, with the exception of the final project where just one assessment is expected.

Fees and key information

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Our teaching plans for autumn 2021

We are planning to return to our usual ways of teaching this autumn including on-campus activities for your course. However, it's still unclear what the government requirements on social distancing and other restrictions might be, so please keep an eye on our Covid-19 pages for further updates as we get closer to the start of the autumn term.

Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a minimum of a 2.2 (or equivalent) in a related subject discipline

The course is also open to professionals already working in the aviation industry who may not necessarily have an undergraduate degree. However, you must have a minimum of two years related work experience at managerial level within the industry. This will need to be confirmed by two letters of reference. You'll also need to submit a CV in support of your application.

If you have experience which falls outside of this specification and is non-standard, we'd like to invite you to interview/Skype interview for a more detailed discussion relating to your application.

A full university application form will need to be submitted, including a detailed statement to support your application to the course. You should also submit an up-to-date CV and copies of awards/professional qualifications.

Accreditation of Prior Learning

Any university-level qualifications or relevant experience you gain prior to starting university could count towards your course at London Met. Find out more about applying for Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).

English language requirements

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2021/22 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module builds on the module entitled Research Methods for Aviation Management, where students will have identified a suitable topic for research and produced a research proposal.

    Students will demonstrate an understanding the sector and the significance of issues within it via high level analysis, assimilation and interpretation of key information and statistics.

    Students are expected, via independent research, to develop an awareness of the importance of rigorous investigative techniques, standards of data collection and analysis in business decision making.

    Students are to produce a project based, consultative post-graduate report and a summary of the research undertaken. Both documents should be to a professional standard and suitable for both an academic and business audience.

    1. To undertake, with the necessary supervision, an independent, project based consultative report based on an agreed proposal. This should be an investigation into an organisational or sector issue with the aim of making strategically sound recommendations for the future of the organisation or sector.
    2. To foster a critical awareness and deep understanding of an aviation topic and to combine knowledge and analysis acquired in core MSc modules to explore that topic fully
    3. To enable students to communicate the purpose, method, findings and recommendations of the research in an accessible, engaging and professional manner both as a report and in summary form

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  • This module will focus on the concept of e-commerce within aviation management and the impact of the digital age will continue to have on the strategic activities of airlines and airports. The start of the e-commerce revolution was back in 1995 with the first innovators including Alaskan Airlines and British Midland developing their first web site booking engines. Since this time the global online travel sector has grown to generate more than half a trillion dollars in revenue.

    Airline e commerce in all its forms is projected to grow significantly as we move into the 21st century. The ‘e’ story is about the continuing evolution of internet-based technologies and the proliferation of new internet based applications. This development is shifting and enhancing the power of consumers and airlines to a more direct relationship and minimising the power of the power of the intermediaries (travel agents). A particular focus on the new types of airlines and airports that are exploiting the e commerce agenda and how the legacy carriers are having to adapt to these new sales and marketing dynamics.

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  • The future of the aviation industry is likely to be turbulent as a new wave of technological change and innovation unfolds. This module looks into some of the technologies that airlines are using in order to remain competitive. As social attitudes change and a new generation of travellers come online, there will be increased demands on airlines and airports to adapt their offerings. The module explores the need for collaboration between people and automated technologies to boost efficiency, effectiveness and enhancement of passenger experience. There is need for the workforce to be flexible and responsive to demands of the fast-changing business environment. There is no doubt that technology is driving the non-aeronautical revenues of airlines and airports.

    Like most emergent technologies, the constraints and hurdles will vary but there are issue around the implementation of technology into an existing infrastructure and existing human factors such as workplace procedures and cultures will also be explored.

    The module also looks into the increasing automation of the flight deck and the processes and challenges that this produces. The role of pilots is changing from flying aircraft to managing and supervising its systems. Aviation managers should look into ways in which they can use automation to improve safety and reduce costs.

    With advancements in technology and changes in learning styles of younger generation of aviation professionals, the design and delivering of training is rapidly changing. The module looks into how airlines and airports can make use of games and simulation to develop greater critical thinking and problem-solving skills of their employees.

    The module aims are therefore to evaluate how managers can make use of innovation and new technologies to improve productivity, customer service through digitalisation and also how training effectiveness and safety can be improved by technology. It will also look at how technology is providing airlines and airports with better control over the customer experience and service proposition.

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  • This module introduces the vital appreciation of the management of airline costs as a key management skill for commercial airline managers. The airline industry in particular is highly volatile because of the complex costs of production of the service and is subject to violent external shocks on a regular basis. A sound financial strategy is therefore vital to airline survival and the module introduces techniques and tools to assess the steps to take for long term profitability.

    The module takes an in-depth look at factors affecting costs, revenues and profitability at both airlines and airports and the ramifications of any such changes. Attention will also be given to forecasting for

    The module aims are therefore to evaluate the complex range of financial issues that airline managers have to address to ensure a sustainable business in the long term and how to manage the critical aspects of negative financial exposure that are common in the sector.

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  • The module is intended to prepare students to critically read and evaluate research within their chosen field of study and then to design a research proposal for their business research project.

    This module is core for all MSc Aviation programme students and will support students’ understanding of research-informed practice and research methods. It will prepare them to undertake and to communicate a business research project which links context with theory, evidence and practice.

    The module will provide a firm foundation in the philosophical and practical factors that characterise business research. It will provide the opportunity to critically analyse and evaluate recent research studies supporting the development of a research proposal.

    It seeks to introduce students to the part that research plays in business development, and the different skills involved, including rigorous investigative techniques, data collection and analysis and the communication methods that may be employed.

    Students are introduced to the choices and judgements that have to be made in crafting, executing and evaluating research which provides the essential link between theory and business practice.

    The aims of the module are:

    1. To introduce students to research philosophy, methodology and design and their application to researching business-related issues in diverse domestic and international contexts.
    2. To provide students with the practical skills necessary to design and undertake a postgraduate business research project in a subject of their own choosing
    3. To provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate understanding of research through the analysis and evaluation of research studies
    4. To formulate a coherent proposal with appropriate aims and objectives and a realistic plan of execution;
    5. To foster a critical awareness and deep interest in a management/business topic associated with their subject specialist area and to combine knowledge and analysis acquired in core MSc modules to explore that topic fully;

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  • This core module supports the development of the learner through their engagement with Leadership and Strategic Management theory and further develops their on-going leadership skills through the application of theory to practice. It will also prepare and develop them for an organisational leadership and/or management role. Key features of the module are an emphasis on effectiveness in a leadership role together with doing this in a socially and ethically responsible manner. The module draws on a wide-range of academic research and professional experience. It introduces core leadership and strategic management concepts and encourages students to develop a critical, analytical approach to solving work-based leadership/ management issues. Students will develop an awareness of different theoretical perspectives so that the complexity of managerial work is explored rigorously. The module explores a range of strategic and operational perspectives through academic research and an examination of work-based issues. It encourages students to adopt a reflective approach on current practice and critique academic theory in relation to their future leadership and management development. This module contains a strong experiential learning approach.

    This module aims to stimulate the student’s critical awareness and application of key leadership and strategic management theories to their own practice and develop their ability to evaluate current practice in the light of relevant academic theories. It is expected that students will develop an increased awareness of the impact and influence of leaders and their own leadership development.

    This module also introduces the student to an understanding of the role of commercial planning in a digital age as critical to profitable airline operations. Air routes are the life blood of airlines and assessing catchment areas and aircraft operations to satisfy demand is absolutely critical to airline and airport development.

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  • This module will address the critical issue of how current thinking on sustainability will impact on Aviation businesses and organisation. The need to create more sustainable organisations and businesses is fundamental to current and future organisational development strategies, and it is necessary for students to understand the growing influence of the sustainability agenda on industry. This influence takes on many forms, from government policies and international agreements to the measuring the impacts of organisational practices on the ecology and communities. It is clear that in the future, organisations, businesses, communities and individuals will be expected to understand and take responsibility for their economic, environmental and social impacts. This module will examine the current and future challenges, it will equip students with knowledge to deal with the challenge of creating sustainable forms of business that operate within ecological and socio-economic limits.

    It will explore the sustainability context, and how business practices will need to evolve to reflect the realities of operating within a globalised trading system that is striving to apply sustainability principles. This is an important area of increasing scrutiny for airlines and airports.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    This module will enable the student to understand the actual processes of the exchange of goods and services between partners in global trade, and the logistical arrangements within transnational corporations across state and regional boundaries. The focus will be on the economic imperatives which have influenced the development of global supply chain management, the micro-economic dynamics affecting the transport and logistics sector and the disruptive trends which are transforming the industry. It will include increasingly relevant concerns such as ethics and sustainability in global supply chains and the importance of understanding risk, especially in developing markets.
    The module aims to introduce students to the different theories, methodologies and data sources which will allow them to monitor and understand the logistical strategies developed by the major global producers and consumer goods intermediaries. These connections and processes are part of the development of global trade and economic growth, and have profound consequences for economic and social development.
    The aims of the module are:

    1 To provide students with an understanding of the nature of logistics studies.
    2 To ensure that the students are able to explain the different theories and techniques applied to the study of logistics
    3 To enable students to understand the types of logistics companies and the processes they use in moving goods around the world.
    4 To define and explain to the students supply chain management concepts, such as the trade-off between inventory and transport costs, which have influenced the production strategies of multinational enterprises.
    5 To outline the types of technologies used to provide visibility in the supply chain and increase efficiency.
    6 To provide an overview of the disruptive innovations which are being developed to make international logistics more efficient, and the impact these will have on supply chain strategy.
    7 To explain the increased level of risk, which has evolved through the relocation of production processes to developing countries and how multinational enterprises should deal with it. Global waste recycling issues.
    8 To provide a background to the increasingly important role which ethical and environmental factors play in the development of sustainable and economically viable supply chains. The circular economy.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday morning
    • spring semester - Tuesday afternoon

    Project management practice in the US and Europe is set out in a number of methods and bodies of knowledge (BOK) including the:
    • US Project Management Institute’s PMBOK
    • UK Association of Project Managers APMBOK
    • best practice guides published by the UK Government that have built on the PRINCE method and now include Programme Management, Risk Management and Agile,
    • Dynamic System Development Method (DSDM) Project Management developed by the Agile Business Consortium.

    This module deals with the core activities of project management as set out in the APM BOK version 7, making comparisons with the PMBOK and PRINCE. The focus is primarily on managing a highly predictive project where the output is clearly defined and understood, for example a building construction project. Consideration is also given to projects where the solution emerges in an iterative or evolutionary way and so Agile methods are also introduced.

    Students will develop the ability to create, manage and close projects effectively, and to make use of project management software. The module will introduce relevant theories and research in relation to projects as temporary social organisations, the categorisation of project types, the nature and management of risk, and the importance of stakeholder communication and management.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday evening
    • spring semester - Thursday evening

    This module aims to provide learners with a rigorous framework of knowledge and understanding concerning people management that they will need whatever the degree of specialism they choose within their careers in HRM/HRD. It seeks to familiarise learners with major contemporary research evidence on employment and effective approaches to HRM and HRD practice. Research focusing on the links between people management practices and positive organisational outcomes is covered as is research which highlights major contemporary changes and developments in practice. In addition the module introduces the major aims of HRM and HRD and explores how these are achieved in practice in different types of organisations. The module covers the CIPD module Leading, Managing and Developing People together with some of the content of CIPD’s HRM in Context (Contextualising Management).

    This module also addresses many of the skills areas required by CIPD in its module Developing Skills for Business Leadership, including encouraging learners to develop a strong sense of self-awareness and of their own strengths and weaknesses as managers and colleagues. Thus, the module is also concerned with developing understanding and skills in a number of areas that constitute effectiveness in management, and specifically the management of self and of others. In addition it seeks to help learners to develop and improve a range of definable skills which are pivotal to successful management practice and to effective leadership in particular. These include thinking and decision-making skills and a range of team working and interpersonal skills and others associated with developing personal effectiveness and credibility at work. Digital literacy is addressed in an integrated manner throughout the module.

    Finally, the module seeks to help learners make the most of their formal programmes of study with the inclusion of key post-graduate level study-skills and aids students in exploring the connection and the implications for - and applications in - professional practice through continuing professional development and personal development planning.

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  • This core module covers the major dimensions of marketing management, including marketing research, marketing strategy, marketing communications and operational management, and how they interrelate.

    The module culminates in bringing all the marketing dimensions together with a view to implementing them in a real business environment. This will support students’ learning of theoretical knowledge and practical skills to help them succeed in the modern business environment.

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Where this course can take you

Upon graduating, you'll have a variety of career routes available to you, both in the UK and internationally. You'll be equipped for management and leadership within the aviation sector, which ranges from operational management, strategic overview and planning, regulations and compliance and financial management.

As a postgraduate, you can develop an exciting career in PhD research, Aviation consultancies such as Mott Macdonald and major airlines and airports such as British Airways and London Heathrow respectively. Other career pathways include working for institutions such as National Air Traffic Control and the Civil Aviation Authority.

The areas of aviation management you could work in include:

  • Passenger handling management
  • Airline Operations management - under wing
  • Air cargo management
  • Airline sales management
  • Airline marketing management
  • Revenue management
  • Engineering management
  • Cabin crew management
  • Flight deck management

The specialist areas of aviation you could work in include:

  • Airline finance and procurement
  • Airline strategy
  • Airline branding
  • Airline IT support
  • Airline Corporate Legal services
  • Airline procurement 

Some of the positions our graduates have gone into include Easyjet route planning manager, National Air Traffic Services (NATS) head of environmental policy, TUI head of operations, London City - head of ground operations, London Gatwick Head of Infrastructure project, London Southend - Head of Customer Service.

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

If you require a Student visa and wish to study a postgraduate course on a part-time basis, please read our how to apply information for international students to ensure you have all the details you need about the application process.

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

To find out when teaching for this degree will begin, as well as welcome week and any induction activities, view our academic term dates.

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