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Bachelor's degree Aviation

“If you study Aviation, you don’t learn to fly - you learn to understand aviation in its complexity, which opens a range of additional opportunities.” 

Mathieu Wanner, graduate in aviation, pilot Swiss International Airlines

Graduate profile

Good reasons to study aviation:

Film about the Aviation Bachelor's degree programme

Curriculum structure aviation

In the field of aviation it is necessary to master a large number of different tasks within a short time. This requires from all participants comprehensive technical knowledge, a holistic way of thinking, team and communication skills and independence when working among the competing interests of humans, technology and the environment.

Security and economy are of central importance for the services provided daily in the highly technical and complex system of aviation. Ecological compatibility is vital in the long-term for the use of applied technologies. Aviation is a globally and intermodally linked division of the overall transport system. Professionals with a variety of training in the areas of process and system engineering find interesting fields of activity here. In-depth knowledge in the technical field and the ability to link ecological, economic and legal principles are essential for the competent completion of multi-faceted tasks.

Study models

The Bachelor programme is usually a full-time programme that takes three years to complete. We also offer the “Practice-Integrated Bachelor programme” for secondary-school gradu-ates that combines internships and lectures in a four-year model. 

The Bachelor programme can be completed with the International Profile, which involves attending English-language modules and an extended stay abroad. There are also further opportunities available, such as completing an exchange semester at a partner university during the Bachelor programme. International exposure as part of a study programme improves not only career prospects but also expands cultural horizons.

Internship before starting the Bachelor degree programme

Candidates holding a school leaving certificate must provide evidence of completing a professional internship of at least 12 months (at 100% employment) before starting the study programme. This can be completed with several employers. This internship should ideally be completed in an aviation field, such as Airline management and support areas (operations engineering, route support, operations control, network planning, ...), Employment as a crew member (e.g. flight attendant), Dispatch (check-in, ramp handling, ...), Servicing and maintenance companies, Company divisions of airports and air traffic control, Training organisations (e.g. flying schools) or Authorities (Federal Office of Civil Aviation FOCA).

Practical Experience

You will work on practical tasks as early as the first semester. In this process you will benefit from the close association of the Aviation study programme with the Centre for Aviation (ZAV) as well as with additional institutes and centres of the School of Engineering, which work together with industrial and economic partners to realise challenging projects. The results of this teamwork are directly incorporated into the teaching.

In numerous internships, you will work on projects and in teams. Following the second year of studies, you can do a 10-week internship in industry where you can gain professional experience, establish contacts and prepare your project work.

Practice-oriented modules

Aviation students at the ZHAW School of Engineering are given the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the working methods of flight-test engineers and test pilots during an aeronautics internship in Nordholz or look behind the scenes at air traffic control and observe the field of activity of air traffic controllers in Luxembourg.

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