Wings Alliance’s partnership with University of the West of England offers aviation degree with chance to train as a commercial pilot
The Wings Alliance and the University of the West of England (UWE) based in Bristol, UK, have joined forces to offer a course which allows students to simultaneously gain a degree in aviation and also qualify as a commercial pilot.
Students following the BEng Aerospace Engineering with Pilot Studies or MEng Aerospace Engineering with Pilot Studies will finish their course of studies with an aviation degree which incorporates a Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL), with the choice of also studying for the Airline Transport Pilot’s Licence (ATPL) theory and practical flight course. This option allows them to qualify as commercial pilots, opening up more employment opportunities.
Wings Alliance says that it offers students the chance to train as a commercial pilot at a lower than average cost without compromising on the highest professional standards. The not-for-profit body operates on ethical principles, it says, and offers its training in flight schools Europe-wide. Their programmes suit people with minimal experience of flying, or even none at all.
With the addition of this brand new degree course, Wings Alliance offers a total of three training programmes which it claims flex around students’ needs and commitments rather than the other way round.
Assessment is carried out before candidates embark on its courses to determine whether they are suited to them, and before they commit their time and money.
Speaking about the new degree, the founder of Wings Alliance Alex Whittingham said that it offers students choice and an attractive route to gaining employment in commercial aviation. He added that the modular courses the Alliance offers are less costly due to lower overheads and the fact that the Alliance is a not-for-profit organisation.
Former Wings Alliance student Hanna Kerr, who now works as a First Officer with Loganair, said that she opted to carry out her APS-MCC course through the Alliance believing that it offered the best training.
She added that as well as learning the practical skills needed to become a pilot, the course helped her gain an understanding of how they would be used on a daily basis at work. Hanna landed her first job seven weeks after graduating from Wings Alliance.
Alongside the degree programme, Wings Alliance also provides a flexible course which can be carried out either part- or full-time. It can be embarked upon at any stage of an individual’s training. Costs work out at approximately half of the more traditional non-modular courses and range from £50,000 to £60,000. Training can be completed in as short a time as 18 months.
As an example – the Bartolini Air flight school, based in Poland and a Wings Alliance member, offers a full-time course for cadets. They provide the flight training component while the Bristol Groundschool in the UK provides the accompanying aviation theory teaching.