Aviation Finance

Programme Overview
The MSc in Aviation Finance aims to advance students' understanding of all aspects of aviation finance, with a specific focus on the practical features of global aviation markets. It encourages students to develop creative and analytical approaches to problem-solving in the aviation finance and leasing sphere and to enhance interpersonal and leadership skills.

It is the only MSc Aviation Finance Degree in Europe and is supported by leading aircraft leasing companies through internships, scholarships and research projects.

It is suitable for graduates from a wide variety of disciplines including business, economics, finance, engineering and science who want to pursue a career in the highly dynamic sector of aviation finance and leasing.

What will I learn?
You will acquire a detailed understanding of the financial processes and procedures associated with the aviation finance sector including suitable risk assessment and aircraft valuation, relevant accounting and taxation issues, leasing developments and insurance applications, and legal implications. You will also develop the knowledge and skills (both professional and personal) necessary for a career in the aircraft and airline financing industry.

Graduates also gain:
1) A comprehensive understanding of the airline industry and the tools used by the industry globally as well as a critical awareness of the operation and functions of aircraft management, leasing and insurance.

2) The Economics of the Air Travel Market and the issues and risks associated with aircraft ownership, valuation, leasing and financing

3) A range of entrepreneurial skills and a grasp of human, financial and technological capital management that will prepare graduates for work within a variety of different structures, from start-ups and SMEs through to large-scale multinational companies.

How will I benefit?
As the only Masters in Europe covering Aviation Finance, this programme offers an unrivalled level of specialisation in leasing and airline industry developments and significant career opportunities.

This course offers:
1. A strong emphasis on the development of interpersonal skills, leadership and problem-solving, as well as tracking recent developments, ensuring that graduates are well-informed on the aviation industry and well-equipped to enter it.
2. A summer term research project/internship option enables graduates to either deepen their conceptual understanding and analytical skills or put their learnings into immediate practice in the field

Vision/Values Statement
The MSc Aviation Finance programme is intended for students who wish to pursue a career in the area of aviation finance. The programme aims to provide students with the skills, knowledge and background to begin a career in aviation finance and progress quickly to leadership roles (Purpose).

The educational values of the programme are to provide students with the knowledge and skills to; appraise, evaluate and manage financial risk and return; make informed financial decisions under uncertainty; employ financial models to analyse the aviation industry: develop a deep understanding of the Economic underpinnings of the aviation industry; appreciate the legal, regulatory, accounting and taxation aspects of aviation finance; develop the cultural, negotiation and organisational expertise to operate in a truly global business; and communicate effectively with peers (Education and subject/discipline/professional values).

The learning environment combines theoretical knowledge with industry application. In many cases, the theory in lectures will be further enhanced by small group tutorials. Furthermore, industry leader will contribute to the programme through guest lectures and invited seminars. An internship option is further integrated into the programme (the nature of the learning environment for students). The programme uses multiple teaching, learning and assessment approaches. Modules will incorporate presentations delivered by practitioners with significant appropriate industry expertise. Industry experts in the area of aviation finance also contribute to the design, delivery, and evolution of the curriculum. Assessment strategies include traditional exams, case study presentations and written reports. Group projects and presentations are also a key feature of this programme (key approaches to teaching, learning and assessment).

Programme Outcomes
On successful completion of the programme students should be able to:

Programme Goal 1:
Subject Specific Knowledge: Our graduates will be current in their knowledge of the theory and practise behind the aviation finance and leasing industry, supported by a strong thought leadership and varied learning experience.

Programme Learning Outcomes
• Articulate and explain current theory and practice underpinning aviation finance.

• Analyse and model aspects of the aviation industry by drawing on a variety of frameworks, concepts and tools.

• Critically assess the functional aspects of aviation finance and leasing.

Programme Goal 2:
Critical and Analytical Judgement: Our graduates will be analytic and critical thinkers who will be able to make sound, socially responsible decisions.

Programme Learning Outcomes
• Decompose a problem to first principles in order to develop a general solution.

• Quantitatively assess the risk-return relationship underlying aviation finance.

• Qualitatively assess the legal, economic and accounting frameworks underlying aviation finance.

Programme Goal 3:
Communication: Our graduates will be effective communicators in aspects relating to aviation finance and aviation more generally.

Programme Learning Outcomes
• Synthesise and summarise data, information and results from financial models and professionally communicate outcomes of the analysis & their recommendations to key stakeholders.

• Select and use appropriate communication strategies (oral, written & visual) to effectively communicate to peers and effectively engage
and contribute in multicultural teams.

• Effectively negotiate contracts

Programme Goal 4:
Ambition for Action and Contribution: Our graduates will be able to talk about, apply and act upon what they know and have the ambition and courage to collaborate, solve problems and contribute to business and society.

Programme Learning Outcomes
• Identify ways to add value in industry, drawing on the broad skills developed while undertaking the programme

Entry requirements

An honours bachelors degree in:
a. Business/Commerce to include a number of quantitative subjects such as Economics or Finance

b. a Finance-related-area, Mathematical Finance, Economics, Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, Engineering or Physics

with a minimum 2.1 award at NFQ Level 8 (or international equivalent) in a. or b. above.

• Applicants should have demonstrated strong academic ability (a 1.1 or 2.1) in a number of quantitative modules in their degree, such as mathematics, statistics, or econometrics.

• Candidates may be asked to sit the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) subject to individual application.

• We can also consider candidates with an Honours 2.1 primary degree with a minimum of three years appropriate work experience in the aviation industry.

If English is not your first language, an English language qualification is required for admission to all of our programmes. the exception to this rule is if you have completed your primary degree or an entire third level qualification through English, in an English speaking country.

Some students might have to get a student visa in order to come and study in Ireland. Please check the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Services website to see if you require a visa.

Subjects taught

The one-year full-time and two-year part-time formats of this course comprise core modules covering many aspects of econometrics, finance management and asset assessment.

To complete the programme, students must complete eleven core modules. In the summer term students can complete a research project, two option modules or in a small number of cases, apply for a limited number of possible internships. With any possible internship opportunity students have to go through a competitive recruitment process, including interviews with employers, to be selected.

Autumn Trimester
• Quantitative Methods For Aviation Finance
• Accounting / Financial Statement Analysis for Aviation
• Aviation Finance I
• Capital Markets and Instruments
• Aviation Tax

Spring Trimester
• Aviation Finance II
• Aviation Economics
• Law of Aviation Finance
• Topics in Aviation Finance
• Doing Business Globally

Summer Trimester
• Ethics in Financial Services

Pathway A: choose 2 from the list
• Behavioural Finance
• Financial Technology
• Mergers and Acquisitions
• Advanced Treasury Management

Pathway B:
• Aviation Industry Internship

Pathway C:
• Aviation Finance Project

Note: Curriculum information is accurate for 19/20 but changes are expected for 20/21 academic year. They will be made available in the near future.


1 year full-time or 2 years part-time.


Fees Full-Time EU:
€18,205 (academic year 2020/2021)

Full-Time Non-EU:
€23,950 (academic year 2020/2021)

Fees Part-Time EU:
€9,105 per year (academic year 2020/2021)

Part-Time Non-EU:
€9,950 per year (academic year 2020/2021)

Important Note: Tuition fees and other charges are subject to change each year.

Enrolment dates

Starting: September 2020

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Career Opportunities
The MSc in Aviation Finance from the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School gives you the specialised skills and knowledge you need for a career in the aviation finance and leasing sector.

Potential careers for our graduates include:
• Credit Risk Analysis
• Pricing Analyst
• Financial Modelling
• Risk Management
• Aviation Leasing Marketing and Negotiations

Smurfit Career Development Centre
The UCD Smurfit Career Development Centre team will work with you to define your career path and support you in developing the career-related skills, know-how, and confidence to pursue your post-MSc career goals.

Our holistic programme is designed to support you at key points in your career development. Our programme is structured into three key stages, designed to support you in building and driving your own career.

A variety of workshops, events, one-to-one career appointments and access to a range of online tools and resources prepare you for future opportunities.

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    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

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