What skills and knowledge do I need to train to become a pilot?

Modular Training

The entry requirements for a modular course will vary, depending on which phase of flight training you have already completed. All the prerequisites for our modular courses are available on the course page, please check the relevant module for specific entry requirements.

Integrated Flight Deck Programmes (option a & b)

If you would like to enrol on either Option A or B of our Integrated Flight Deck Programmes you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Possess at least 5 x GCSEs, to include Maths, English and Science (or equivalent), at grade 4 (C) or higher.
  • Preferably 2 x A levels or equivalent
  • Be aged 18 years or over
  • Have a valid EASA class 1 medical certificate - for a full list of medical test centres, further information and bookings, please visit: www.caa.co.uk

English Language Requirements

All students are expected to have a good level of English language, writing and comprehension. Overseas students must have English language competence of Level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference Languages (CEFR) or Level 4 of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

More information for students from an EU or EEA country can be found here.

How can I be sure I have what it takes to complete the training to become an airline pilot?

If you're not certain whether you will be able to complete your ATPL training and become an airline pilot, there are independent tests available.  The Honourable Company of Air Pilots offer an aptitude test for those who are unsure whether they have the potential to succeed in professional flying.

The pilot assessments are carried out at RAF Cranwell (in Lincolnshire) and are designed for those with little or no flying experience.  As part of the assessment, candidates have an individual debriefing to discuss the scores achieved and what they mean.  They also offer the opportunity to talk to current or former professional, pilots about a career in aviation.

Over 1400 candidates have taken these aptitude assessments which offer a very good indication of a candidate’s innate ability to become a successful pilot.

As anyone who has completed pilot training will tell you, the journey is not easy. It takes hard work and commitment to become an airline pilot but the rewards are there for those willing to invest the time and effort.

Further reading

We have lots of interesting articles, advice and interviews with pilots on our news page. Click here to read more >>