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  1. Postgraduate
    1. 2020
Study at City

MSc Airport Management

Entry Year:
Designed for current and future airport managers, this world-class academic postgraduate degree will provide you with the skills and knowledge to develop your career in today’s vibrant airport industry.

Key information

Start date

Flexible start: entry points for 2020-21 in September, November, February and May.

Applicants must first complete a mandatory induction workshop, held four times a year. View dates and apply.

Academic year dates


The programme can be completed within three years, however a fourth and fifth year are available at an additional fee. The project phase should begin before students complete the taught modules and is generally completed within six to twelve months.


Part-time: £21,000 (total cost for three years) plus £500/£800 for mandatory induction workshop


Part-time: £21,000 (total cost for three years) plus £500/£800 for mandatory induction workshop


Northampton Square, DIFC facility Dubai

Who is it for?

The MSc in Airport Management has been designed to provide you with a mid-career education. If you have been employed in the aviation industry for at least two years and have the desire to develop your career in the fast-growing airport industry, this programme is for you.

The knowledge you gain from the wide range of module topics will enable you to make a greater contribution to your organisation. A key feature of the course is the development of shared values, offering you an invaluable opportunity to meet and work with other professions within the aviation industry.

Ready for a career in airport management? Running an airport safely, satisfying both the environmental and economic goals successfully, is the aim of this new MSc programme. It offers you a truly exciting prospect to develop your career in a growing industry.

Captain Tilmann Gabriel, Programme Director.


The City, University of London Airport Management MSc will enable you to:

  • Develop your knowledge of the complex disciplines and various technical, operational and financial pressures impacting airport management and the various ground-handling areas
  • Evaluate and apply relevant theories within the airport domain
  • Understand the interaction of all the major components of the airport industry - from organisations, governments, airlines, alliances and airport regulatory authorities to suppliers, manufacturers, staff and unions
  • Discuss, examine, synthesise and apply a conceptual understanding and knowledge of the various processes within the airport domain
  • Prepare for a career in airport management.


Royal Aeronautical Society logo

The MSc is currently in the approval process with RAeS.

Supported by

This programme is supported by the Airports Council International (ACI) World. This means the course is recognised by the airport industry across the world.

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

To apply for this course, you should have at least two-year employment experience in the aviation industry. You do not necessarily need a bachelor's degree to enter this MSc programme, but you will need a professional licence, for example:

  • ACI Airport Finance Diploma
  • ACI Airport Security Diploma
  • ACI Global Safety Network Gold Diploma
  • Air Transport Pilot's Licence.
  • Aircraft Engineer Licence.
  • Air Traffic Controller Licence or similar.

The mandatory Induction Workshop to our MSc programmes must be passed and will assess the English capability and writing skills required for the MSc programme. Students must successfully pass the Induction Workshop before commencing with the MSc programme. The Induction Workshop is a short course offered every three months, which means you can apply to the MSc Air Safety Management at any point during the year.

English requirements

The mandatory Induction Workshop must be passed to ensure that you meet the English and writing skills requirements for this MSc programme.

Your English should be proficient as is required in the aviation industry and the ICAO English classification.

How to apply

Before applying for the MSc course, applicants must first complete a mandatory Induction Workshop which is held four times a year. Forthcoming Induction Workshop dates are as follows:

Please note that for further Induction Workshops beyond May 2020 (dates to be announced in due course) the fee will rise to £800.

Please ensure you provide the forms and documents requested on the application. If the requirements are met you will receive a conditional offer letter, valid for one year and be able to book onto the next suitable Induction Workshop and pay the fee.

Upon passing the Induction Workshop coursework you will receive an unconditional offer letter, again valid for one year, to register with City to begin the MSc course at an entry point of your choosing within the validity period. The MSc course has entry points in September, November, February and May of each academic year to allow a flexible start to your studies. If you register for an entry point in the following academic year, the tuition fees stated for that academic year will apply.

If you have any enquiries please contact the Programmes Office:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7040 8112

Postgraduate Courses Offices
School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering
City, University of London
Northampton Square

A world-class academic postgraduate degree in airport management.
Develop the skills and knowledge you need to progress your career in the growing airport industry.
During your course

More about fees

  • Split into three equal instalments spread over the duration of the programme (18 months to three years).
  • All students will also have to pay £500/£800 for the Induction Workshop (fee increase from £500 to £800 comes into effect from September 2020).
  • Students may continue their studies for up to five years in total but must pay an extra £1,000 for the fourth and for the fifth year.


Explore up-to-date information about funding options, available financial support and typical living costs.

The Honorary Company of Pilots (HCAP) offers a grant to four enrolled students every year (pilots are excluded).


Students on MSc Airport management may be eligible to apply for the City Star Scholarship.

The aviation industry

See how Airports Council International helps the world's airports.

Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, was founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward ensuring a global air transport system that is safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable. As of January 2018, ACI serves 641 members operating 1,953 airports in 176 countries.

Academic facilities

As a student, you will benefit from learning within modern lecture theatres (equipped with the latest interactive AV systems) and modern IT laboratories.

A dynamic virtual learning environment (Moodle) gives you access to online assessment and communication tools as you study and you can work with specialist facilities including:

  • A flight deck and flight test simulator
  • A320 cockpit procedure trainer
  • Wind tunnels and micro turbines
  • Optical compressors and fuel injection systems.

As part of the University of London you can also become a member of Senate House Library for free with your student ID card.


We offer a variety of accommodation options and support services for postgraduate students.

Read more about our postgraduate halls.

Our Accommodation Service can also help you find private accommodation.

Find out more about private accommodation.

Learn a language for free

We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

Find out how to apply


Course timetables are normally available from July and can be accessed from our timetabling pages. These pages also provide timetables for the current academic year, though this information should be viewed as indicative and details may vary from year to year.

View academic timetables

Please note that all academic timetables are subject to change.

Student support

We offer an extensive support network during your time here at City, University of London – from Learning Support (including disability support) and counselling to financial and career advice – leaving you free to enjoy every opportunity campus life has to offer.

Find out more about the different types of student support available.

Course content and assessment

Teaching and learning

The modules of this course involve a variety of teaching methods, including lectures and tutorials, requiring attendance, plus breakout sessions. These will involve group work and presentations. Case studies may be handed out for study in the evening and discussion the next day.

Leading academic staff and a number of specialist lecturers from the aviation industry teach each module over an intensive three-day period.

During each module, you are required to work in a small team to examine the relevant issues and to present results. Each module has been designed to develop a specific skill. There is a significant amount of independent study within each module for you to read literature related to the module you are studying. The online module page also provides blogs and forums, enabling you to interact with your lecturers and other students.


Assessment of the taught modules is undertaken through a combination of the following elements:

  • Written assignments: between 1,500 and 3,000 words per module, focusing on topics relevant to the individual modules (both elective and core modules).
  • Written exam: lasting 90 minutes. This occurs at the end of the last day of the core module delivery. The essay questions are only revealed 'on the day', which students must complete without the use of any reference materials during the assessment.


We explore airport management from a broad perspective so you will be exposed to areas as diverse as human resources, regulation, and crisis management. The academic framework has been created by the industry for the industry. There is a high degree of flexibility in terms of sequence and time frame to suit students working in airlines, air traffic control, air forces and other organisations.

If we have insufficient number of students interested in an elective module, this may not be offered. In rare cases, one or two elective modules may not run due to low interest or unanticipated changes in timetabling, including scheduling clashes, room and staff availability. If an elective module will not run, we will advise you at the beginning of every academic term or as soon as possible, and help you choose an alternative module.

Following the Induction Workshop, the programme is based on completing four core modules and four elective modules over one to five years, which are taught over three-day periods. Teaching takes place across global locations including London, Dubai and Frankfurt. Students also take on a project/dissertation in an airport management topic, which is usually completed within six to twelve months. Students choose their own research focus and often use the project as a way into a new career.

Students who choose not to do the project, or are unable to complete the programme within the five years, receive a Postgraduate Certificate on successful completion of four modules or a Postgraduate Diploma on successful completion of eight modules.

Core modules

To begin your MSc, you will first be required to complete the Induction Workshop, which gives you a thorough introduction into Higher Education and introduces all the tools and facilities available for your MSc. The Induction Workshop is assessed by a 2,500 to 3,000-word piece of individual coursework, which serves as the final assessment for acceptance into the MSc programme.

During your MSc you will take the following four core modules, each worth 15 credits:

  • Airport Strategy Management (EPM981): establishes the foundations of how an airport is managed from a strategic point of view
  • Airport Business Management (EPM979): gives an insight to the commercial considerations involved in managing an airport
  • Human Resource Management (EPM822): is a popular module, with detailed People Leadership examples in aviation
  • Sustainable Aviation (EPM975): handles all sustainability questions in aviation, looking far deeper than just fuel preservation

Elective modules

You will also choose any four of the following elective modules, each worth 15 credits:

  • Airline Marketing (EPM821): taught by one of the marketing experts in media and brand management
  • Airline Finance (EPM824): gives you the necessary tools for understanding aviation accounting and financial reports
  • Crisis Management (EPM828): taught by the leading British crisis management consultant looks at what to do in case of a crisis
  • Active Safety Management (EPM836): covers the latest trends in safety management in aviation
  • Airline Strategy and Business Planning (EPM969): provides a good preparation for the business cases needed in aviation management
  • Air Accident Investigation (EPM970): is an intro to what happens after an accident
  • Leadership in Organisations (EPM971): is a popular module for all leadership styles and questions
  • Safety Risk Management (EPM973): focuses on the new risk management of all airline operations
  • Aviation Law (EPM978): gives the aviation manager the other side of law, what every manager needs to know of business laws


The final project/dissertation is worth 60 credits, undertaken by all MSc students of the Airport Management programme and must focus on an airport management topic. This is a substantial piece of writing, deriving from academic research that you have undertaken. The dissertation is the result of your independent work carried out under the guidance of an appointed supervisor.

There is a high degree of flexibility in terms of sequence and time frame to suit students working in airlines, air traffic control, air forces and other organisations. We cover the full spectrum of a Master of Science education, adding Management modules for the future career in aviation and the dissertation gives each student the opportunity to demonstrate the new research and project management qualifications achieved through the programme.

The programme specification contains more information on how the course is organised, the requirements for progression for each part and credits required for awards.

After you graduate

Career prospects

This course has been developed to help you progress or pursue your career in airport management. As a vocational course, its success can be judged by the subsequent career progression of students and alumni from other aviation courses at City. Of our 1,400 alumni, many remain in contact with us to provide updates on their career development. Recent alumni updates include:

  • A 2012 graduate is now a member of the ICAO Safety Management Panel, representing all airports on the panel.
  • A 2010 graduate is now the Senior Vice President Safety and Quality of the Copenhagen Airport.
  • A former Emirates maintenance engineer is now managing the Emirates New York base, which turns around seven flights a day and deals with over one million passengers a year.
  • A 2002 graduate and former small regional airline captain has now set up his own airline, Jet Time, and is President and CEO.
  • A former check-in clerk at Gatwick is now a President and CEO of Estonian Airways.
  • A former First Officer (when enrolled in 2005) was the first UAE national sponsored on the programme to graduate and is now a Management Captain.
  • A former RAF pilot is now a Marketing Director for Bombardier, Eastern Europe and Russia.
  • A former RAF Air Traffic Controller immediately moved into a senior training position at Eurocontrol Brussels.
  • A former Emirates maintenance engineer is now managing the Emirates New York base, which turns around seven flights a day and deals with over one million passengers a year.
  • A former self-employed electronics engineer has now joined ICAO in a senior position in air traffic control in Montreal.

Contact details

Postgraduate Course Office

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