How to study for your aircraft licence

Of course, we would hope that you choose us as your study provider, but there are others in the field you might like to use. Methods/providers include:

The above list is arranged in approximate cost order with (*) being the least expensive, followed by Distance Learning and, (**) being the most costly, but it is not as simple as that.


By yourself

You would be well advised to take some form of study programme from a provider but if you wish to study "by yourself" you will need to purchase (or get hold of) a copy of the syllabus.  Of course, you will need to study as many technical books as you can lay your hands on related to the subject matter of the licence you are going for.  There is no data available on the success rate of this method but it is generally considered to be poor.

Note our warning on using our old books. Most are out-of-date now and would not be appropriate for today's examinations.

Part-time courses at local colleges or schools

Some colleges/schools provide evening only courses/day release courses for people living within reasonable travel distances.

These courses are economic with quite good pass rates but few colleges offer them.

Distance learning (home study)

These are the most environmentally friendly learning systems available.  There is no travel involved, congestion, traffic jams etc.  There are no accommodation costs, nor the problems of living away from home.  For some people studying at home/domestic accommodation is the best way, for some it can be difficult and the only option is a classroom based learning system.

Success rates for students that complete a structured study programme are high.

On-line based courses

Some can be expensive and poor value for money.

Short full-time courses at local colleges or schools

Duration from 1 week to about 6 weeks depending on subject(s) covered.  Costs can be very high when accommodation, travel, loss of income (for self employed) etc is taken into account.  Success rates are high particularly if the student does pre-course study before the commencement of the course.  There are probably about 3 or 4 schools/colleges in the UK that provide these sort of courses.

2 or 4 year full-time courses at local colleges or schools

These are usually designed for the school leaver but not exclusively so.  They normally have an academic base with the successful student obtaining an OND/HND.  If the course is "approved" by the CAA, part exemption to the experience requirements and some of the examinations will be given to the successful student.  These courses tend to be very expensive.

On-site courses arranged by your company

Costs etc are irrelevant (to the student) as these are usually free to company employees. The warning on pre-course study applies, however, as mentioned in Short full-time courses above.

Which one?

Before deciding which provider to use check on the cost of the course and the reputation of the provider.  For some people the course will have to be classroom based, for others the convenience and economy of home study is what they want.

For a list of training providers contact the CAA at Aviation House, Gatwick Airport South, West Sussex, RH6 0YR, UK.  Tel: 01293 573700 or visit


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