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What is the Course about?

SETU Carlow has been proactive in the development of Aerospace programmes over the last two decades, attracting students from over 27 countries.  The BSc in Pilot Studies is a three-year programme that incorporates all the training required for a student to achieve an Air Transport Pilots Licence (ATPL). The programme is offered in conjunction with an EASA Approved Training Organisation.

Programme Structure

  • Year 1 of the programme is delivered at SETU Carlow.  It is a blend of Aerospace Engineering and Management modules. 
  • Years 2 and 3 of the programme are delivered at the EASA approved flight school. Here students will complete the theoretical exams required for an ATPL license and the necessary flight training.
  • In Year 3 students will also be required to complete a management module through distance learning and a dissertation.

Is this programme for you?

  • An English test should English not be your native language.
  • Theoretical tests covering: Numerical Reasoning, Numeracy, Maths & Physics and Verbal Reasoning.
  • A series of computer-based aptitude tests.
  • An interview.

The programme is a direct entry programme, so applications are processed initially by the flight school to ensure candidates are suitable for commercial pilot training, and then by SETU. The fees for the programme are significant and prospective students should check these before applying.

Flight Schools

SETU has a formal association with Flight Training Europe, Jerez (FTE Jerez) since 2014.

Special Features:

  • There is a strong mix of theory and practical classes. In year one, students can expect to be in labs or workshops for approximately 50% of the time.
  • The ATPL training meets all the requirements for graduates to be employed as first officers with a commercial airline.
  • Is compliant with the Bologna Framework (ECTS credits) and is a great starting point to an airline career for students who have just completed high school level studies.
  • Is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Application Process

As the course is a direct entry course (i.e. it is not on the CAO) , there is no financial assistance / scholarships, and there is no CAO points requirement. Instead, applicants under 23 years of age must meet the following criteria:

  1. Have successfully passed the FTEJerez Assessment. This involves:
    a) CUT-E (Pilot Aptitude Test)
    b) Written tests (Maths and Physics)
    c) Personal Interview 
    d) Group Exercise
    e) A class 1 Air Medical
  2. Irish Leaving Certificate or equivalent. (i.e. German Abitur, UK A-Levels, Spanish Bachillerato, French Baccalauréate, Italian Maturitá).
    Subjects required: 5 subjects at Ordinary Level Grade O6 or better, including English at Ordinary Level O6 or better and Mathematics at Ordinary Level O6 or better.
    For the IB diploma,  the requirements are:
    a) Candidates applying with the IB Diploma should have 24 points overall
    b) They should have 12 points from Higher Level subjects.
    c) They should have 9 points from Standard Level subjects.
    d) They need a minimum of a D grade in the Theory of Knowledge Essay.
  3. Have a visa to study in Ireland and Spain.
  4. Have English at IELTS Level 6.

The application process begins by first completing the FTE Jerez assessment.  

Those wishing to undertake the assessment, should contact the flight school (FTE Jerez), to ensure they meet their requirements (Age, Nationality etc etc) to become a student pilot. To book a preliminary assessment, simply apply via or you can speak directly to the assessment team on 0034 956 317 800, ext. 21003 or 21016.

Once the FTE Assessment is complete, the application will be sent to us at SETU for academic assessment.

Places are offered on a first come first served basis.

What follow-on study opportunities are available?

  • Graduates of the program have the option of an additional one year Level 8 BSc (Hons) in Pilot Studies.
  • Graduates with at least 3 years' experience are eligible to apply for the Master of Business Administration (MBA) at SETU Carlow.
  • Graduates from the programme have been accepted onto other Master’s Programmes in other Universities in Europe.

What exemptions will I receive?

Exemptions will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.


Programme Costs
Year 1: SETU Tuition fees 9900 Euro.
Years 2 and 3: Costs are set by the flight school and can be in the order of 120,000 Euro. Prospective students are strongly advised to check these costs before applying.

What will I be able to do when I finish the course?

Like any other program, job prospects will depend on the state of the industry, your attitude, aptitude, and training record.  Notwithstanding, the airline industry is a very resilient industry.

History has shown that despite significant challenges such as the COVID and SARS crises, and the financial crisis of 2008, the industry has always recovered.

The outlook from the industry is very positive.  It has been predicted that 40,000 new aircraft will be required world-wide by 2041 [1].  This is to cater for the demand of people to connect with loved ones, conduct business face to face, explore new parts of the world and support global supply chains.