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 has been to become a pilot ever since I was young. So I wanted to study a degree that was relevant to my career goal. There aren’t many universities in the UK that organise courses specifically about aviation and pilot studies, and the University of Leeds has an excellent reputation and ranking, as well as being in the Russell Group. As a result, the University of Leeds was the best choice for me.

What has been the best aspect of studying on your course?

I like the teaching quality of my lecturers – they all have 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 more than from just books. The facilities in the university are also fully equipped – like the FNPT II simulator and A320 simulator, where we practise 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 during my first year but the most exciting was working on a group research project on the simulators. The objective was to study an aircraft's designs, then run 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 our work. This particular project was challenging because the time limit was very short. 

What does the city of Leeds have to offer students?

Leeds is a very vibrant city, with a variety of shopping malls, restaurants and clubs that support students. Because the university is right next to the city centre, it is convenient and accessible for students. This is especially 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 you 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 Private Pilot’s License. Once I have finished the flight training, I should have finished the university's Airline Transport Pilot Licence (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 airline cadet pilot programmes next year. 

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

I have not only learned a broad aspect of knowledge but, more importantly, I’ve developed soft skills throughout the different assignments (like communication, presentation, teamwork and leadership skills). These skills are critical for working in this industry as it involves a lot of group work, whether you are in airport management or a pilot.

Additionally, the university has an excellent alumni network with the past graduates who studied on the same degree. I’ve 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 advantage of all the opportunities – whether that’s in learning or developing your network with alumni. They are precious opportunities because it is hard to find assistance in preparing for a career in the aviation industry.

Read more student and alumni profiles here.