Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    Alright, I don't know if there are any Pilots on this Forum (Highly unlikely), but I've always wanted to be one and I was wondering What A-levels would you need to pursue into the career?
    I understand there's no degree to become one and you should go straight to flight school, however I'm slightly unsure about the A-levels requirements (In general).
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    I'm not a pilot but I'm guessing, you should definitely do physics and maths at A level along with maybe another science.
    • Community Assistant
    • CV Helper
    Online

    19
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    CV Helper
    (Original post by Bulletzone)
    Alright, I don't know if there are any Pilots on this Forum (Highly unlikely), but I've always wanted to be one and I was wondering What A-levels would you need to pursue into the career?
    I understand there's no degree to become one and you should go straight to flight school, however I'm slightly unsure about the A-levels requirements (In general).
    There are no specific A levels required. However, being a pilot requires a reasonably high degree of competency and learning of maths, physics, engineering, meteorology, electronics, geometry etc. So taking A levels in Maths and Physics might put you in a stronger position that a series of arts subjects.

    Pilot training is very, very expensive, far more than most normal individuals can pay for themselves. So either you need to take a very long, slow route of building up hours yourself, while earning the money to do so in some other way, or you need to find someone to sponsor you. Sponsorship opportunities are therefore very, very competitive, and a strong academic background in maths and engineering can be advantageous.

    Flying is also very aptitude based and no amount of degrees in aeronautical engineering from Cambridge, Imperial etc will help if you don't have the aptitude. But you can be successful with a degree in Mediaeval English, if you have great aptitude.

    The best strategy is to do the subjects you will get the best grades in. That way you will have the best back-up route if Pilot doesn't work out, and the chances are very strongly stacked against it working out.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    I know three qualified commercial pilots and none of them have jobs.
    • TSR Support Team
    • Study Helper
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    Study Helper
    (Original post by Bulletzone)
    Alright, I don't know if there are any Pilots on this Forum (Highly unlikely), but I've always wanted to be one and I was wondering What A-levels would you need to pursue into the career?
    I understand there's no degree to become one and you should go straight to flight school, however I'm slightly unsure about the A-levels requirements (In general).
    A-levels best suited: Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering/Product Design, Mechanics A-level (sub-subject of Maths), Further Maths, Geography and maybe a Language would be beneficial to you.

    Good luck!
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    The pilot I know has a degree in English Literature. He also has debts of around £150,000 to his parents and others, on top of his student loan. He was determined and he finally qualified at 29 and has a job, but it will be a long time before he can pay these debts off. Just be very aware of what you are getting into.
    Offline

    5
    ReputationRep:
    Bulletzone
    Have you considered becoming a military pilot? That can be significantly more interesting than being a commercial pilot. Im sure that you've read a lot about the topic already, but it will take many years until you will be allowed to pilot a passenger or military aircraft.

    As far as academics, that completely depends on the airline you want to fly for! Different airlines have different requirements, but you will most certainly need a good understanding of math and more precisely physics. In fact, Lufthansa has a basic online self-test for people who are considering this career. I do believe it is in German however.

    As far as military piloting goes, you need to be able to endure high G-forces (will be tested in a centrifuge) and you'll need to be physically and mentally fit. I would have liked to be a military pilot but ended up going down a completely different route instead. Its still not too late, but if you're anything like me you might like the idea of piloting 5th / 4th generation jet aircraft.
    • Very Important Poster
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    PS Reviewer
    There are a handful of Aero Engineering/Mechanics degrees that include ground school for the PPL and in some cases flying lessons.

    https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/study/un...hons/overview/
    http://courses.uwe.ac.uk/H406/2016
    http://www.herts.ac.uk/courses/aeros...-pilot-studies
    https://engineering.leeds.ac.uk/cour...-pilot-studies
    http://www.salford.ac.uk/ug-courses/...-pilot-studies

    Some charge for the flying lessons - some charge discounted rates - Leeds include 10 hours free (but 10 hours isn't very much).
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Trinculo)
    I know three qualified commercial pilots and none of them have jobs.
    Low demand for commercial pilot'sat the moment.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Bulletzone)
    Alright, I don't know if there are any Pilots on this Forum (Highly unlikely), but I've always wanted to be one and I was wondering What A-levels would you need to pursue into the career?
    I understand there's no degree to become one and you should go straight to flight school, however I'm slightly unsure about the A-levels requirements (In general).
    I recommend the RAF as you get your at least any 2 A-Levels and you just need a C at GCSE math at the least and they train you into there role.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    Physics, maths, preferably another science or a language.

    If you don't want to go straight to flight school or don't have the money etc., a lot of unis offer physics with pilot studies or aeronautical engineering, worth taking a look at. Even qualified, pilot jobs are difficult to get and some of the smaller airlines pay typical graduate pay for newer pilots. I've heard some from Ryanair or other budget lines earn less than £25k for short haul. So it's nice to have a degree to fall back on
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
    The pilot I know has a degree in English Literature. He also has debts of around £150,000 to his parents and others, on top of his student loan. He was determined and he finally qualified at 29 and has a job, but it will be a long time before he can pay these debts off. Just be very aware of what you are getting into.
    I'm fully aware

    (Original post by Galaxie501)
    Bulletzone
    Have you considered becoming a military pilot? That can be significantly more interesting than being a commercial pilot. Im sure that you've read a lot about the topic already, but it will take many years until you will be allowed to pilot a passenger or military aircraft.

    As far as academics, that completely depends on the airline you want to fly for! Different airlines have different requirements, but you will most certainly need a good understanding of math and more precisely physics. In fact, Lufthansa has a basic online self-test for people who are considering this career. I do believe it is in German however.

    As far as military piloting goes, you need to be able to endure high G-forces (will be tested in a centrifuge) and you'll need to be physically and mentally fit. I would have liked to be a military pilot but ended up going down a completely different route instead. Its still not too late, but if you're anything like me you might like the idea of piloting 5th / 4th generation jet aircraft.
    (Original post by 2016_GCSE)
    I recommend the RAF as you get your at least any 2 A-Levels and you just need a C at GCSE math at the least and they train you into there role.
    I may consider the RAF.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Bulletzone...

    Firstly to whoever said there's a low demand for pilots at the moment, in the US - yes; In the UK? Maybe but I don't think so; In the world? Hell no there is not! There is an extremely high demand for pilots! it is one of the fastest growing industries and it is expected to need more pilots than are currently being trained at current rates. This is the main reason courses like the integrated ATPL and MPL exist - to fast-track cadets into the right hand seats! Anyway I digress...

    As a pilot in training, I assure you the qualification subject does not matter as much as the qualification itself. You can probably be a pilot even with A Levels such as Hair & Beauty (don't quote me) but if you don't have the A Levels then, obviously, you can't. So do the subjects that you enjoy, and that you are good at...because then you have a better chance of getting them! Of course if Maths and Physics are your strong points, take them. Maths is the best to take (mainly because if you're good at Maths you're less likely to make a critical mistake in your calculations) and a good understanding of Physics is very helpful too. Things like Chemistry, Geography and Languages aren't really going to help you that much to be honest (I did languages to degree level) and even engineering, which you'd think would help, doesn't help a lot. Maybe in one subject at ground school. But you want to fly the plane, not build it. But anyway, they're all good subjects. Just do the A-Levels you enjoy the most and think you can do best in. That's more important than anything else.

    As for a degree...it is true that it is becoming more common for cadets to go straight into training after their A-Levels. However a cadet with 3, or even 4 A-Levels will, 9 times out of 10, not be picked over someone with a degree, provided they have a similar flying background. A degree is preferential to most airlines, but like people have said above it is not compulsory. For some airlines it is. I think for easyJet, it might be compulsory to have one but I'm not 100% sure. By all means, apply after A-levels, I have friends here who did and are now on a sponsored scheme with me to work for a major Middle-Eastern Airline.

    Of course the other way to go is the RAF / Navy / AAC (Army Air Corps). I don't know about the Navy or AAC but I applied for the RAF and passed the tests to become a pilot...and then I found out from another RAF pilot friend of mine that it would take about 6 years or so training. I wanted to be on fast jets so...1 year basic training, 1 year Initial Officer training, 2 years basic flying training then specialisation, which was another year for helicopters and I think 2 years for transport or fast jets. Next thing he said was he was glad he got onto transport and not fast jets, because those guys are lucky if they fly twice a week! In comparison, I will have completed my training within 2 years of starting and be flying the A320. Granted, flying a fast jet would be more thrilling, but you'd definitely fly much less (more pilots than planes apparently).

    So I'm glad I didn't join the RAF - going to be able to afford a good living because of it! And I'll fly more than twice a week (which is what I want!), I took languages and did well in my A-levels and got a degree, which is not necessary, but helps.

    Anyway, whatever you decide, enjoy! You'll still have an office at 40,000 ft and you'll love it! All the best and if you want any more info, I'll do my best to help.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    did not realise how long that was...my bad guys
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by 2016_GCSE)
    I recommend the RAF as you get your at least any 2 A-Levels and you just need a C at GCSE math at the least and they train you into there role.
    Those are minimum requirements and not the only standards. Unless you have some pretty exceptional circumstances and are amazing at some other element of selection, you will get through you're scraping into selection with 2 A levels the basic GCSE grades. Becoming a pilot in the British military is arguably the hardest job in the country in terms of the numbers who get there.

    (Original post by Bulletzone)
    I may consider the RAF.
    Do not consider the RAF unless you want to be a military pilot, tied in to at least 12 years service and are willing to go through all the hoops. It is not the route into airlines that it used to be.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    As a route to becoming a pilot, would it be better to do the Kingston Uni BSc which also gives you a frozen ATPL, or a more superior Uni to do a BSc in Physics (and then get the ATPL separately later)... in your opinion...?
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by heleninfrance)
    As a route to becoming a pilot, would it be better to do the Kingston Uni BSc which also gives you a frozen ATPL, or a more superior Uni to do a BSc in Physics (and then get the ATPL separately later)... in your opinion...?
    Hi there,

    I personally would be very careful and research heavily the course that you are talking about.

    For the main reason: A frozen ATPL just means that you pass the 14 ATPL examinations - it does not mean you will have ANY flying hours (that's where the real costs come in!). So check to see whether the course offers hour building with the course and whether it would cost extra etc. So personally I would go for another degree, in your case Physics, at a Uni with a better reputation. But that's just my opinion.

    Also,I think that the examinations have an "expiry date" meaning that if you don't get the required flying hours to "unfreeze" your ATPL then your exams become invalid and you'll have to redo them...but not 100% sure on this, if anyone else can help out? I only say this because a degree that includes a fATPL sounds like it'll end up being a much more long-winded way to the right hand seat than going direct after uni. But again, not sure - I have never done that!

    It has to be said as well that (almost) any degree at a higher reputation university will be better received by potential employers than a specific degree at a second grade uni. Plus if you took the Physics degree you then have some sort of fallback / Plan B if Plan A did not work out. Some might not like that, but it's true.

    Whatever you decide, best of luck with it!
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by paddyd92)
    Hi there,

    I personally would be very careful and research heavily the course that you are talking about.

    For the main reason: A frozen ATPL just means that you pass the 14 ATPL examinations - it does not mean you will have ANY flying hours (that's where the real costs come in!). So check to see whether the course offers hour building with the course and whether it would cost extra etc. So personally I would go for another degree, in your case Physics, at a Uni with a better reputation. But that's just my opinion.

    Also,I think that the examinations have an "expiry date" meaning that if you don't get the required flying hours to "unfreeze" your ATPL then your exams become invalid and you'll have to redo them...but not 100% sure on this, if anyone else can help out? I only say this because a degree that includes a fATPL sounds like it'll end up being a much more long-winded way to the right hand seat than going direct after uni. But again, not sure - I have never done that!

    It has to be said as well that (almost) any degree at a higher reputation university will be better received by potential employers than a specific degree at a second grade uni. Plus if you took the Physics degree you then have some sort of fallback / Plan B if Plan A did not work out. Some might not like that, but it's true.

    Whatever you decide, best of luck with it!
    As I understand it (and I have a CPL(H) and ATPL exam pass) a frozen ATPL means you have completed all the requirements of the ATPL except the hours requirement, i.e. you have the ATPL exams done AND have your CPL & ME/IR.

    As for the question, from what I've seen none of the university courses for ATPL theory really offer any advantage over just doing the ATPL theory.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I got 1 GCSE. And that's engineering. Am i screwed in becoming a pilot?
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by _031_)
    I got 1 GCSE. And that's engineering. Am i screwed in becoming a pilot?
    Yes, you usually need GCSEs in English, Maths & Science.
 
 
 
Poll
Who is your favourite TV detective?
Help with your A-levels

All the essentials

The adventure begins mug

Student life: what to expect

What it's really like going to uni

Rosette

Essay expert

Learn to write like a pro with our ultimate essay guide.

Uni match

Uni match

Our tool will help you find the perfect course for you

Study planner

Create a study plan

Get your head around what you need to do and when with the study planner tool.

Study planner

Resources by subject

Everything from mind maps to class notes.

Hands typing

Degrees without fees

Discover more about degree-level apprenticeships.

A student doing homework

Study tips from A* students

Students who got top grades in their A-levels share their secrets

Study help links and info

Can you help? Study help unanswered threadsRules and posting guidelines

Sponsored content:

HEAR

HEAR

Find out how a Higher Education Achievement Report can help you prove your achievements.

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.