MR TIMOTHY Seow’s passion for aviation was sparked when he joined Singapore Youth Flying Club in Secondary 1.

After graduating from Singapore Polytechnic with a diploma in mechanical engineering, Mr Seow decided to pursue a degree in aviation management at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University.

He chose RMIT as it “has been in this field for over 70 years and it is one of only four universities that offer the degree in Australia”.

Currently studying for a Bachelor of Applied Science in Aviation at RMIT, the 23-year-old will graduate in 2014 after spending three years gaining knowledge and picking up skills for a range of jobs, including air traffic control, fleet planning, as well as revenue and slot management in a world-class airline or airport.

Students at RMIT are taught by lecturers with working experience in aviation, and they also learn from prominent guest speakers in the industry.

Assignments for students must deliver feasible results for the constant changes and improvements in the aviation industry. Mr Seow has learnt, for example, that efficient aircraft design and engine technologies cut fuel consumption and carbon emissions. He also notes that airport design and location can reduce noise for residents living nearby.

Mr Seow, who expanded his network of friends in Australia through the RMIT Singapore Students Association, says that being around fellow Singaporeans made it a home away from home for him.

“Being able to converse in Singlish and bonding over a plate of Hokkien noodles are the little things that made my stay in Australia more enjoyable,” he says.

But potential candidates in Singapore who wish to take up the same programme will be happy to know that it debuts in Singapore soon.

New programme

SIM Global Education and RMIT launched the Bachelor of Applied Science in Aviation in Singapore, with applications open until Aug 31 this year. The part-time programme of 30 months for the RMIT degree helps to meet the growing demand for graduates at aviation companies.

It will be taught in conjunction with local industry experts helping to provide aviation staff or graduates of polytechnics here with knowledge and skills to upgrade and be supervisors and managers in the aviation industry.

They can be trained to perform supervisory and managerial roles in airlines, airports, and the aviation industry’s regulatory, maintenance, emergency services, catering, ground handling and training organisations.

“Growth of the aviation industry in Singapore will ensure that there is a demand for more highly trained industry professionals,” says Dr Graham Wild, the programme director and senior lecturer in aviation at RMIT School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.

Dr Wild says case studies in the RMIT aviation degree programme contexualises theoretical knowledge and offers a diverse range of teaching and assessment methods to facilitate learning.

Experts ensure that cutting edge learning materials are relevant to the aviation industry.

Examples from the industry supplement classroom activities for students using their knowledge and skills to investigate real problems in the industry.

It is sensible for RMIT to offer the programme in Singapore, which is a major aviation hub, Dr Wild says.

Qualifying criteria

Applicants with advanced standing should have diplomas in civil aviation, aviation management and services, aeronautical engineering and management studies from Republic Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic and SIM Global Education.

They can qualify for seven to 14 exemptions of the total of 24 modules, says SIM Global Education Director of Higher Education, Ms Mary Lee.

Other relevant qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis and the bridging module, starting in October, will be followed by the undergraduate modules from January next year, she adds.

The maximum fees are about $42,000 per person. According to Ms Lee, the total course fee may vary according to the exemptions granted and students can apply for the SIM Global Education scholarship and bursary or loans from local banks.