Cheuk Man Sin, BSc Aviation Technology with Pilot Studies at the University of Leeds

Cheuk Man Sin

Why did you decide to study at the University of Leeds? 

My career aspiration is to be a pilot since I am at a young age. Therefore I would want to study a degree which is relevant to my career goal. Meanwhile, there are not so many universities in the UK that organise courses specifically about aviation and pilot studies. I then started to look for universities who have this course and found out the University of Leeds has an excellent public recognition and ranking as being in Russell Group universities, as I believe this will help me in planning my future career. As a result, the University of Leeds was the best choice for me.

What has been the best aspect of studying on your course and at the University and why?

I like the teaching quality of the lecturers. All my lecturers had a professional background in aviation; they are not only able to share their knowledge but also their working experience in the industry. As a result, I was able to learn much further from the books. The facilities in the university are fully equipped with consolidate our knowledge, like the FNPT II simulator and A320 simulator, where we practised on flying techniques. Last but not least, being on such a unique course gives me an incredible chance to study with a group of students who share similar aspirations, and develop bonds and friendships with them. 

Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed so far?

There were plenty of projects being undertaken during the first year, but the most exciting one was working on group research project by using one of the simulators. The objective was to study on one aircraft's designs, then run some experiments on the flight simulator by changing the flight model and analysing the changes. At the end of the project, we made a presentation on commenting the aircraft made by the manufacturer. This particular project was challenging because the time limit was very short: where there were plenty of work need to be done on both reports and presentation within two weeks. 

What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?

Leeds is a very vibrant city, which there are a variety of shopping malls, restaurants, and clubs that support students daily necessity and entertainment. With the university is right next to the city centre and good transportation system within the city, it is convenient and accessible for students. It is beneficial for international students who would like to explore different cities in the UK, as Leeds train station is one of the major hubs of the UK train system, allowing students to travel easily and discover the country. 

What are your ambitions for the future?

My ambition is to be a commercial pilot. At the time of writing, I am under the progress of flight training to attain my PPL. Once I have finished the flight training, I should have finished the university's ATPL study, which will enable me to complete ATPL exams at a certified ground school. Next year will be my last year in the university, so I am planning to start submitting applications for some of the airline cadet pilot program next year. 

What experiences at Leeds do you think will help you in your future career?

I did not only learn a broad aspect of knowledge but more importantly, the soft skills like communication, presentational, teamwork and leadership skills, which I developed throughout different assignments. These skills are critical for working in this industry, as it involves a lot of group work, no matter working in airport management or being pilots. Also, the university has an excellent alumni network with the past graduates who studied on the same degree; I had chances to communicate with them and understand their experience in getting a job in the industry. This will make me more prepared for planning my future career. 

What would you say to students coming to do the same course?

Those who join the course should take all the advantages of the opportunities, no matter in learning, or developing a network with alumni. They are precious opportunities as it is hard to find assistance in preparing the career in aviation industry outside of the university. Although there will be plenty of academic work need to be done throughout the course, please pay all your effort in learning to get everything out of the degree and what you will get after these three years is immeasurable.