Aeronautical Engineering

Aeronautical Engineering is concerned with the design, development and modification of the components and systems of all types of flight vehicles, including fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, sailplanes, missiles and non-flying aerodynamic devices.


Design, develop and manufacture aerospace vehicles and component systems.

The Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Aeronautical Engineering (BScEng Aeronautical) is a four-year professional degree. You will share the first two years of study with the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering students to provide you with a firm foundation in the engineering sciences. From the third year, emphasis is placed on aeronautical design and on the study of aircraft behaviour. The practical aspects of your training are important and you will be required to complete project work during your vacations. Much of this project work is carried out in co-operation with the aircraft industry.

Why Wits?

Wits offers the only accredited undergraduate Aeronautical Engineering degree on the African continent. While there are other accredited degrees that describe themselves as Aeronautical, ours is the only degree which teaches aircraft design (the others only teach aerodynamics, or structures, or some other component of our full offering). Ours may also be the only undergraduate aircraft design degree in the Southern Hemisphere. Graduates of this degree programme have gone on to work at Rolls Royce Aero Engines (Justin Mills), Airbus Industrie (Byron Mansfield; Arne Schwarck), and NASA (Prinal Naidoo). Graduates have also started their own companies designing drones with innovative design (Matthew Whalley).

Career Opportunities

  • Aircraft Design Engineer
  • Aircraft Systems Design Engineer
  • Airline Manager
  • Automotive Aerodynamics Engineer
  • Research
  • Production Manager
  • Propulsion Engineer
  • Technical Director


A common first-year programme was introduced from 2019 across all professional engineering disciplines.

The academic curriculum is regularly modernised in order to ensure that it meets the highest professional and academic standards and that it simultaneously remains locally relevant and applicable.

Many engineering students entering the engineering programmes have limited knowledge of the different branches of engineering and only gain the knowledge to make an informed choice of the programme during their first year.

A first-year curriculum that is identical for all programmes allows students to amend their choice at the end of the first year.

  • Engineering Chemistry
  • Introduction to the Engineering Profession
  • Engineering Analysis and Design IA AND IB
  • Engineering Mathematics IA AND IB
  • Engineering Physics IA AND IB
  • Applied Physics I

AND, one of the following courses:

  • Elementary IsiZulu Language and Culture IA
  • Elementary Sesotho Language and Culture IA
  • The International Relations of South Africa and Africa
  • Introduction to Political Studies
  • Southern Africa in the Era of Globalisation
  • Identity and Society
  • Introduction to Ethics I
  • Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge and Reality
  • Global Encounters and Contemporary Realities IA
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mathematics II
  • Mechanical Engineering Laboratory I
  • Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering
  • Applied Mechanics A
  • Computing Skills and Software Development
  • Applied Mechanics B
  • Engineering Design
  • Machine Elements
  • Fluid Mechanics I
  • Engineering Thermodynamics
  • Mathematical Methods
  • Aeronautical Engineering Investigation
  • Aeronautical Engineering Design
  • Manufacturing Processes
  • Introduction to Aeronautics
  • Mechatronics I
  • Business Management
  • Mechanical Vibrations
  • Engineering in its Social Context
  • Numerical Methods and Statistics
  • Aircraft Structures
  • Incompressible Flows
  • Vacation Work I (Mechanical)
  • Design Project
  • Research Project
  • Systems Management and Integration
  • Gas Dynamics and Propulsion
  • Aerodynamics
  • Flight Dynamics
  • Aircraft Structures II
  • Mechatronics II
  • Engineering Professional Activity
  • Selected Topics in Social Science
  • Vacation Work II (Mechanical)

Entry Requirements

APS 42+

English Home Language OR First Additional Language
Level 5

Level 5

Physical Sciences
Level 5


Applicants with English, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at Level 5 will be wait-listed, subject to place availability. Generally, applicants who achieve Level 6 in English, Mathematics and Physical Sciences stand a greater chance of being accepted.

University Application Process

  • The Student Enrolment Centre at Wits handles all student applications.
  • Please click here for an overview of the application process. 
  • Check the admission requirements for your degree. Check if any additional selection requirements apply. 
  • Submit your application, required documentation and application fee before the closing date.
  • Once you have applied, an admissions consultant will be assigned to your application.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal.
  • If you are an international applicant and/or have a foreign qualification, please click here.

Compliance with the minimum requirements does not guarantee a place at the University. The University has a specific number of places for first year undergraduates, approved by the Department of Higher Education and Training. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

University Fees and Funding

Click here to see the current average tuition fees for the first year of study. The Fees website also provides information about the payment of fees and closing dates for fees payments. Once you have applied you will be able to access the fees estimator on the student self-service portal. 

The Financial aid office provides information on student funding and scholarships. University-funded Scholarships include Vice-Chancellor's Scholarships, University Entrance Scholarships, Equality Scholarships, Sports Scholarships and National Olympiad winner awards. For information about NSFAS funding, please visit the NSFAS websiteExternal bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.

Wits Plus applicants: terms of payment are in accordance with University regulations, and students are not eligible for University bursaries/NSFAS or residential accommodation.