When I finished my A Levels I wanted to undertake a degree in order to take my education to a higher level. My ultimate career aim was always to be a Commercial Airline Pilot and so I assumed I would apply for pilot training after my degree course. However, during my visits to the Open Days at CTC Aviation (now L3 Airline Academy) I was advised that a new degree - the BSc (Hons) in Professional Aviation Pilot Practice (PAPP) - was in development with the Aviation Skills Partnership and would be introduced shortly. The degree, to be made available through Middlesex University, was designed to be completed alongside the professional pilot training and examinations. This was just what I was looking for and so I waited until the degree commenced and I joined the very first group of students.

During the initial stages of commercial flight training all cadets must complete 14 ground school exams. The degree is designed in a way that fits very well into the flight training schedule. For example, during this extremely busy ground school stage there are no additional modules to complete for the degree.

The next stage of our flight training involved more 'downtime' between flights. Therefore it's during this time that we can start to concentrate on our degree modules. The modules themselves focus on reflective practice - learning to develop skills in reflecting on our performance and how we can ensure that we continually learn from our experiences. I've found this focus to be very useful and I now actively look for areas that I can improve on and I then plan accordingly.

The degree course qualifies students for a student loan, which helps towards the sizeable costs of commercial pilot training. I was very fortunate that during my final degree year I was actually employed as an airline pilot with easyJet, which also eased the financial pressures.

I am extremely pleased that I chose to do the Professional Aviation Pilot Practice degree as I feel I have gained invaluable skills. Not only has it taught me how to be a reflective practitioner, but I have gained valuable skills in report writing which are useful competences for any career.

I am also incredibly grateful to the Aviation Skills Partnership, Middlesex University, CTC Aviation and easyJet who have provided support and guidance throughout the degree."


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