Aviation Finance

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:

Intercultural Development Programme (ICD)
Being the first and only programme of this kind in Ireland, ICD is an innovative research-driven and theory-based intercultural professional development training programme which aims to help you to stand out among the crowd by developing your Key 21st-Century Skills. These skills are valued by companies, NGOs and governments around the world who operate internationally, together with national companies and organisations who employ and serve an increasingly diverse population. The ICD programme will strengthen your CV and give you an edge over graduates from other Business programmes in the global job market.

Global Leadership Programme (GLP)
Our Global Leadership Programme (GLP) offers you a unique opportunity to engage in a diverse range of cocurricular activities i.e. development activities outside the modules you take on the Master's programme.

It's all about helping you become an impactful leader with a global mindset. This optional programme is designed to build your capacity for effective personal and organisational leadership. When it comes to seeking employment and attending job interviews, the GLP will help give you an edge over other similarly qualified candidates and will considerably strengthen your CV.

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.

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.

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

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 Finance
Corporate Finance for Aviation
Aviation Tax
Doing Business Globally
Applied Derivative Securities
Capital Markets & Instruments

Spring Trimester
Aviation Financing
Law of Aviation Finance
Aviation Asset Management
Aviation Economics

Summer Trimester
Aviation Credit Risk Analysis
Ethics in Financial Services
Pathway A: choose 2 from the list

Structured Finance
Financial Technology
Mergers and Acquisitions
Advanced Treasury Management
Pathway B:

Aviation Industry Internship
Pathway C:

Aviation Finance Project

This reflects the 2022/2023 curriculum structure and is subject to change each year. Please be advised that option modules listed are indicative of what has been delivered in previous years. Summer taught modules are delivered in blocks over one or two weeks.

Note that on-campus teaching is delivered under prevailing public health guidelines. In the event of a required change to planned delivery, further information about alternative delivery methods (including online delivery) will be confirmed with prospective and incoming students.

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.

Application dates

Step 1: Collating Documentation
The first step is to collate the required documentation needed to assess your application*.

These can include but are not limited to:
• Transcripts
• CV
• English Language Test
• References
• Additional Documentation

Step 2: The Application Process
Apply Online
Once you have collated the required documentation and reviewed the entry requirements for your programme of interest, you can now apply online.

You must apply online using our dedicated student information portal. You will be required to enter contact details, upload your documents and answer two essay questions (each approximately 300 words). We would ask that you seriously consider both essays and answer these in the context of the programme you are applying to. Try to not replicate your CV and demonstrate what makes you different from other applicants. There are no right or wrong ways to complete these essays.

Application Deadlines:
Applications are assessed on a rolling basis and courses will close once they are filled. We advise you to apply as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Please note certain scholarships may require you to apply before a certain date – please refer to our scholarship page here. If you have any questions in relation to deadlines or availability please email smurfit.admissions@ucd.ie.

Application Fee
You will then be asked to submit your application and pay the €50 application fee. No application can be assessed until the fee has been paid. You can apply for multiple programmes with the one application fee, but please be sure to mark your preferred course.

Application Review
Once submitted, it usually takes 2-3 weeks before a decision is made on fully completed applications. This time period can sometimes be longer and can vary at different times in the year and in different regions. We may offer you a conditional place based on the completion of a number of criteria, such as degree, English test, or another qualification. This reserves you a place on the course and once you have fulfilled this criteria we will issue you a full offer.

Acceptance is completed by paying a non-refundable deposit (varies from either €500 or €1000 depending on the programme. Most of our programmes require a €500 deposit). Your offer email will detail the exact deposit amount required. Once you have accepted you will then be supported by the Programme Office who will contact you with further course and start details.


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

Post Course Info

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.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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