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Buckinghamshire University

Old 10th Aug 2013, 13:54
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Buckinghamshire University

I'm thinking on applying for the Air Transport with Commercial Pilot Training at Buckinghamshire University (BA (Hons) Air Transport with Commercial Pilot Training) but am i better waiting until I'm 18 and applying for ATPL courses at CTC and OAA?
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Old 10th Aug 2013, 14:34
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I haven't been down the uni route and don't plan too. Much debate about it. Personally i think the course at Bucks doesn't hold the same value as a more technical degree such as engineering or a core science. But who am i to say!

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Old 10th Aug 2013, 15:09
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Yeh I've been told by some people its not best to go down the uni route as it could be a waste of 3/4 years? What did you do then when you left school?
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Old 10th Aug 2013, 18:44
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Well as you can see by my dam profile (which i'm trying to hide), i am only 18 so i have just finished my A levels.

I have been accepted on the Qatar wings MPL scheme so will most likely be enrolling on that some time this year. Probably September.

Yourself? Plans?
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Old 10th Aug 2013, 22:30
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Well done and lucky you getting into that!

What kind of grades did you get then and did you apply at 17 and 1/2 or 18?

Hoping to get into an ATPL course at OAA or CTC.

But not sure what to do in the time i have from when i leave school and being 18.
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Old 10th Aug 2013, 22:37
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Yeh I am very pleased to have this opportunity.

I actually don't get my results until next Thursday, but regardless it doesn't matter. So long as my grades are reputable.

Ah yes that is one way to do it. I don't think i would be up for risking my parents money without a high chance of employment but hey ho i guess there are different ways of doing it.

I go to Qatar for uniform measurements and stuff in the next couple of weeks so will let you know
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Old 10th Aug 2013, 23:45
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It's suggested to take a subject not related to aviation. I've applied for Computer Science and will be receiving my results on Thursday (A levels) which will decide whether or not I'm in.
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Old 11th Aug 2013, 00:23
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Yes I've been told that as well apply for the airlines first just depends if they are open when I am ready to apply.

You might know the answer but if it says age 18 does that mean you have to be age 18 at the time of applying or start of training, (what age were you when you applied for Qatar?)

Good Luck as well!!
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Old 11th Aug 2013, 09:37
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Could I offer a few thoughts from the perspective of somebody who has been around the houses a bit. For the record I have flying instructing and university teaching qualifications, and was involved in setting up one of the university "degree with flying" programmes, although not the one at Bucks New Uni. I've also worked within both the airline and military flying environments (although neither as a pilot).

For a Brit, there is no, repeat no, initial value in holding a degree in anything if you only want to be a civil pilot. Getting a degree is a lot of time and money, and requires an interest and passion for the subject or you're likely to fail - and you don't get the money back!

However, also, there are only limited and partial advantages in having been through one of the expensive integrated programmes such as OAT. It is true that some Big Airlines have a preference for integrated graduates, but equally a lot of smaller employers wouldn't touch an integrated graduate with a bargepole because they have virtually no hours and are perceived as having little understanding of flying beyond the narrow airline-centred training of the course. Integrated is also extremely expensive compared to self-managed modular training.

Now, to Bucks. They are a small university in a curious position - academically they are pretty much at the bottom of most UK league tables. Yet, they also are nearly at the top of the employabilty league table: presumably because of their historic concentration on vocational degree or sub-degree courses (HNCs, etc.). They are also in bed with what used to be Wycombe Air Centre and is now Booker Aviation. These chaps are a very good modular training provider with an excellent track record who have worked with several of universities on these "small i" (not really) integrated courses.

Now a comment on the long term. A degree, as I said, is of no value in the short term - it's all about hours and ratings, and of-course your personal attributes. In the long term whilst the qualification itself is of questionable value as a piece of paper, the skills and abilities learned in a well structured degree programme will be of value in developing a future professional flying career, potentially into management pilot roles or if (deities forbid) you fail a medical and need to move into, say, a non-flying aviation professional role.

So, in that light, I think that although it's a more expensive way of doing it than self managed modular, the BNU course is a very good thing. It provides a structured route to the fATPL that seems to be working well, from a well respected training provider, and in the longer term it provides a foundation that may well lead to a good onwards career. It may even be a better all-round route than the well known Integrated (big I) courses.



A further thought or three.

(1) As a degree course, the BNU course remains relatively lightweight. If you want to purse a "proper" graduate career - military officer, aerospace engineer, and so-on, go somewhere else. For example, Brunel University offers "Aviation Engineering with Pilot Studies" which is a serious high quality engineering degree, plus a PPL and further training opportunities (as it happens also with Booker), who have an excellent track record of sending students onto high flying professional engineering careers (the Chief Designer for the A380 is a Brunel graduate). These professional aerospace / aviation careers are every bit as rewarding as a piloting one, but clearly different.

(2) The "B" word hasn't been mentioned, but I'm sure it's in people's minds. A degree is not a "Backup", it's the start point for a future career. If you want a backup, get a (much cheaper and quicker to obtain) qualification which is some form of licence to practice. Whether that's as a lifeguard, aerobics instructor, or cook, all will provide a better backup than a degree.

(3) Before embarking upon any course into a professional flying career, GET SOME FLYING LESSONS. Learn, basically whether the airborne environment suits you and you suit it.

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Old 12th Aug 2013, 21:10
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Good post Ghengis. Only one caveat I'd say is the "financial stability" those providing the training. In the old days WAC were pretty stable providing a good service. Then they got involved with CABAIR, say no more! However more recently the aforesaid WAC went into administration on the 28th of June. Letters were apparently sent to clients explaining this was a "tactical" move because they owed 350k to creditors. Well whatever, and whoever, they were individuals and companies (many small) who went out of pocket and suffered a loss no matter how "tactical it was.
My only question is "does the leopard change it's spot's". Having learnt a trick or two from CABAIR, maybe the "tactical" targets may become the students in the future. In today's climate with schools going to the wall by the dozen, I'd be very cautious. As Ghengis says the degree is not much use in this industry, so I'd opt for a modular course and put little or no money up front or use a credit card. Beware especially of the "up front" money discounts as this is just a con! Why would anyone have any advantage with the so called up-front payments - just ask yourself, who benefits? Caveat Emptor!

Last edited by porridge; 12th Aug 2013 at 21:10.
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