First Batch of Aviation Graduates Hope to Pass with Flying Colours!


23rd January 2015

A pioneering pilot degree has been launched by Dundee-based flying school and aircraft engineering company Tayside Aviation in conjunction with Middlesex University and Aviation Skills Partnership.


The BSc (Hons) Professional Aviation Pilot Practice programme, the first of its kind available in Scotland, will greatly increase and accelerate students’ chances of gaining gaining employment as an airline pilot in what is a highly competitive industry.

Tayside Aviation have worked with the Aviation Skills Partnership, Middlesex University and Loganair to achieve validation for the work-based modular course, which will enhance students’ career progression within the industry and hopefully attract more females into the career who currently represent less than 10% of the UK’s commercial pilot cohort.

By embarking on the degree, students can also access funding to help with the often prohibitive costs of becoming a pilot.  This will reduce the cost of the training by one third and will include a Flying Instructor Rating. The three-year programme with Tayside Aviation includes structured hours building as well as the CPL, ME IR and MCC training.

The partnership will also involve partner airline Loganair who operate SAAB 340s, SAAB 2000s, Dornier 328s and the Twin Otter. Tayside Aviation has continued to supply Loganair with experienced pilots on their pilot placement programme over the past five years as “hands on” experience is essential for their activity.

Jim Watt, Managing Director, Tayside Aviation said, “This is a major step forward in flight training. Academic recognition for all of the hard work behind becoming an airline pilot is long overdue. This, together with the financial assistance available, is exactly what would-be pilots need. 

“It essentially integrates the modular route to an Airline Transport Pilot Licence and fills the gaps in-between the flying modules. With all the partners in this process, we had a common interest in our approach which was to reduce the cost of obtaining a licence and provide the best support to students in our care. I am delighted that we now have this programme airborne and the wheels are up - it’s a fantastic achievement!”

Simon Witts, Founder and Chief Executive of Aviation Skills Partnership added, “\'I am delighted that Tayside Aviation are now fully approved to deliver this unique work-based degree. When we set out to create this programme we were intent on an outcome that would transform recognition and improve access and I congratulate Tayside Aviation on the way that the team here have embraced the concept and launched the degree. They now join a small group of flight training organisations that are pioneering this new approach and it makes me immensely proud of the part that we have been able to play, with our partners.”

Meanwhile, Mick Betts, Programme Leader, Middlesex University added, “We are really pleased to be working in partnership with the excellent team at Tayside Aviation in developing and delivering this innovative new degree.  The programme is the first of its kind in Scotland and one of only three UK wide.  We believe it represents a step change in pilot education and are confident it will have major benefits for the graduate pilots it will produce, for the partners and for the wider aviation industry.”

Students embarking on the degree will not only require academic criteria similar to most degree courses but also a Private Pilot Licence (PPL), proving their aptitude, ability and work ethic from the outset.  The first batch of students began their course this week (w/c 12 January 2015), with new intakes every six months (April and October).


Tayside Aviation will be running monthly open days to provide information and course overviews. Please visit for more information, or telephone (01382) 644372.


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