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Space Systems Engineering (Degree Apprenticeship) BEng (Hons)

Drive technological innovation for the modern world, and beyond. 

Key information

Typical offer:

104 -112 points from 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
Start date

Course information

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Overview

Develop your engineering role in the space or aerospace sector with this work-based degree, and help meet the challenges faced at the next frontier in technology. 

With this degree apprenticeship in space systems engineering, you'll develop skills in systems engineering, hardware design, coding and the commercial application of your new abilities. You'll be studying on day release, which means you'll be able to apply your new knowledge to your workplace throughout your study, giving you and your employer a toolkit to meet the skills gap identified by the UK Space Agency.

Significant numbers of sector companies [are] reporting skills gaps in their workforce, difficulties with recruitment, and retention issues inhibiting company growth, productivity, and quality.

Professor Anu Ohja, Director of Championing Space, UK Space Agency

Read Space Sector Skills Survey 2023

You'll learn practical methods to apply contemporary space engineering practice in your career, whether in spacecraft operation and aerospace design, or in earthbound fields that can benefit from innovation in technology. You'll also build your connections with commercial and academic operators in the sector, develop your understanding of industry's current state, and position yourself to steer a course through the possibilities of outer space. 

Contact information

Admissions

+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements

Typical offers

  • 104-112 points from 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, to include a relevant subject. (calculate your UCAS points
  • A Levels: BBC-BCC
  • BTEC: DMM
  • T Level: Merit
  • IB: 28-29

All applicants to the Degree Apprenticeship courses must have an acceptable Level 2 qualification in English and Mathematics. Acceptable qualifications include GCSE with grade C/4 or above and Functional Skills with Pass - please note that we are not able to accept all kinds of Level 2 qualifications, so if you are unsure whether you have a suitable qualification please get in touch. If you do not have an acceptable qualification you will be required to take an additional assessment during the application process.

Selection process

All applicants will be required to complete a Skills Gap Analysis before completing an application form.
All applicants will be invited to attend an academic interview and may be asked to submit a portfolio of work or undertake additional assessment.

Typical offers

  • 104-112 points from 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, to include a relevant subject. (calculate your UCAS points
  • A Levels: BBC-BCC
  • BTEC: DMM
  • T Level: Merit
  • IB: 28-29

You may need to have studied specific subjects or GCSEs - see full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept.

All applicants to the Degree Apprenticeship courses must have an acceptable Level 2 qualification in English and Mathematics. Acceptable qualifications include GCSE with grade C/4 or above and Functional Skills with Pass - please note that we are not able to accept all kinds of Level 2 qualifications, so if you are unsure whether you have a suitable qualification please get in touch. If you do not have an acceptable qualification you will be required to take an additional assessment during the application process.

Selection process

All applicants will be required to complete a Skills Gap Analysis before completing an application form.
All applicants will be invited to attend an academic interview and may be asked to submit a portfolio of work or undertake additional assessment.

Modules

What you'll study

In this module, you'll dive into the fundamental physics behind electrical components, before progressing to analyse and design simple analogue systems. Through project-based learning, you'll gain practical skills in circuit analysis, component selection, and system testing. By the end of the module, you'll be able to understand analogue circuits and communicate your observations - talents that are highly valued across technology and engineering.

You'll learn about material classification, properties, testing and selection for different applications. You'll also cover the capabilities, limitations and uses of manufacturing technologies. When you complete the module, you'll be able to show essential skills in materials science and manufacturing careers.

You'll formulate equations and models for engineering problems, and apply them to solve practical problems in stress, load balancing, and more.

In this module, you'll learn mathematical techniques that you can use for intricate engineering problems. Over a full year, you'll work through topics including algebra, calculus, matrices and complex numbers, learning to recognise when an engineering problem calls for a given method. You'll also learn efficient strategies for breaking down and solving multifaceted problems, applicable in both mathematical and engineering activity.

You'll approach practical engineering scenarios, using concepts and calculations from thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. On completion, you'll be set for further study in the modelling and optimisation of pumps, turbines, engines, and other key equipment.

In this team-based module, you'll work through the full product design process, considering economic, social and sustainability aspects at each stage. You'll learn how to adopt an inclusive approach, make group decisions, and report on your processes. You'll also identify and take up professional development opportunities to get yourself career-ready.

In this module, you'll analyse radio receivers and digital transmissions, with focuses on modulation schemes, thermal thresholds and line-of-sight communications. You'll evaluate and optimise the performance of existing communications systems, as you enhance your experience designing robust real-world telecommunication solutions.

In this module, you'll build your confidence in using computers for engineering activity, learning about their capabilities and limitations by producing components. You'll create and evaluate designs, demonstrate injection moulding processes, and use cross-disciplinary knowledge of economics, mathematics and science to inform your analysis of engineering solutions.

You'll analyse and develop complex, sequential systems to meet specified requirements, using microcontrollers, interfacing systems and programming skills. Through a module-long project, you'll explore the uses and limitations of sequential systems, apply your understanding in a design-led solution, and prepare for careers across digital electronics and computer engineering

In this module, you'll use models and computer aided engineering techniques to investigate problems in control engineering. You'll work with stability and performance analysis, Laplace transformations and time and frequency assessments. By designing control systems, you'll demonstrate the importance of feedback control systems for next-generation intelligent systems and processes.

Working independently, with guidance from your supervisor, you'll hone your project management abilities while analysing problems, producing solutions, and reflecting on your work through reports and presentations. On completion, you'll be able to demonstrate your professional capabilities in handling complex problems and technical uncertainty.

In this module you'll examine and develop applications to engineering problems involving solid mechanics, and be assessed through computer-based tests, a group technical report and a written exam. After this module you'll be able to analyse the theoretical bases of the Finite Element Formulation, and apply this to relevant problems in solid mechanics.

In this module, you'll consider national and international responses to global environmental issues, using perspectives drawn from risk management, life-cycle analysis and security frameworks. You'll appraise materials and processes, technical innovations and ethical behaviour, in preparation for careers that can drive positive change.

In this module, you'll model spacecraft performance using current engineering tools and software. Looking at dynamics and stability, you'll assess the results of spacecraft testing, and offer recommendations for improvement.

You'll design and implement a model of a spacecraft subsystem in this module, then apply numerical analysis techniques to assess its performance. You'll also simulate and analyse space mission designs using NASA-GMAT, and explore the limitations of modelling methods. 

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

The payment of the course fee is shared between the Government and some employers, meaning no cost to you as the degree apprentice. Total tuition fees are £27,000 paid over 4 years.

Please see our Degree Apprenticeships page, or contact us, for further information.

Tuition fees terms and conditions

The payment of the course fee is shared between the Government and some employers, meaning no cost to you as the degree apprentice. Total tuition fees are £27,000 paid over 4 years.

Please see our Degree Apprenticeships page, or contact us, for further information.

Tuition fees terms and conditions

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section show your accommodation options and highlight how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

 

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Apply

How you apply depends on whether you’re currently employed or not.

How to apply

You can apply to do a degree apprenticeship with your current employer, or a new employer if you're not employed full-time.

If you’re in full-time employment and would like to do a degree apprenticeship with your current employer, ask them to contact us so we can discuss with them how we can work together. 

You might find it useful to share our information for employers page with them.

If you’re not employed full-time or not working for a company that can fund and support your degree apprenticeship, you'll need to apply for a degree apprenticeship with a company that offers them.

You'll follow their standard recruitment process and we'll assess your academic suitability for the course once you've applied.

We can let you know when there are degree apprenticeship vacancies available with companies we work with – contact us to give us your details.

If you have questions about degree apprenticeships, please get in touch with us

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.