My name is Stephen Kennedy, and I am a DCU Graduate of Aviation Management with Pilot Studies and now a First Officer on the ATR72 with Emerald Airlines. I am delighted to take the opportunity to share my journey to the Flight Deck with you.

When I left Secondary School in 2012, I was very fortunate in having the knowledge of what I wanted to do.  However, I wasn’t exactly sure on the correct path to take in achieving this goal. Becoming a Commercial Pilot was always a dream of mine, but the cost of training at the time was unfortunately unaffordable and Ireland was also experiencing a deep recession with very few job prospects at the time. I decided to undertake the B.Sc. Aviation Management degree from DCU and this is where my journey began.

One of the most enjoyable and worthwhile aspects of the degree program is the opportunity to carry out an internship with an aviation company in year 3 as part of the INTRA internship program. I was fortunate to do my internship with Stobart Air, an Irish Regional Airline, which provided me with the necessary aviation experience and exposure to aid with my studies. I was also fortunate to gain full-time employment during my internship with Stobart Air and held various additional roles with them in customer care, operations, and supervisory roles after graduating from DCU.

I was delighted to be offered a position in 2018, on a Pilot mentored cadet program, in Atlantic Flight Training Academy in Cork. The initial training program allows you to gain a Private Pilot License (PPL), Commercial Pilot License (CPL), and Multi-Engine Rating as well as the associated instrument rating. At the time, I also had to undertake 14 theory examinations (ATPLs) as part of gaining my license.
I graduated from flight school in March 2020, which unfortunately was also the start of the Covid19 Pandemic which stalled my career. During the pandemic, I had the opportunity to move to Malta for 6 months where I worked with the Private Jet Operator, Vistajet, in their crewing department.

In January 2022, as the pandemic restrictions began to be lifted my aviation career began to take off again. I joined Ireland’s newest Airline Emerald Airlines and worked in helping establish the Operations Department prior to the airline’s first flight. Emerald Airlines is the exclusive operator of the Aer Lingus Regional Franchise with flights to destinations across Ireland, the UK, France, Channel Islands.
Finally, only a few short months later, I was offered the position of First Officer with Emerald Airlines, and so concluded a 10-year journey to the Flight Deck. As part of the initial training, I undertook a 6-week long type training course, learning to fly the ATR72-600 aircraft in a simulator. In January 2023, I flew the aircraft for the first time, completing 6 take off and landings without passengers, and finally one afternoon in February, I undertook my first passenger flight to Southampton.

The last few weeks have been quite busy and surreal in many ways, and full of pinch-myself moments. Making a dream become a reality, especially after so many hurdles has been quite rewarding and fulfilling in so many ways.  Some dreams and journeys take longer to become reality for others, but as Robert Frost said in “The Road not taken” – sometimes taking the road “less travelled by” can make “all the difference”.

Author: Stephen Kennedy, First Officer at Emerald Airlines

Graduate of BSc Aviation with Pilot Studies

09/11/2022:  A new collaboration will see academics and researchers in DCU work together with daa and Fingal County Council to develop practical and impactful solutions aimed at making aviation more sustainable and to reduce the environmental impact of the aviation sector on the Fingal region.

The partnership between the three organisations aims to advance research into sustainable aviation

The multi-year agreement will bring together the collective areas of expertise of all parties to develop innovative research projects that will provide societal, economic and environmental benefits.

DCU researchers will work with daa and Fingal County Council on areas of sustainability where real impact can be made, including:

  • Public transport connectivity to the airport from the Fingal area
  • Decarbonised energy sources

daa has set a range of corporate commitments in relation to environmental sustainability, including a goal to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. It is hoped that this research will contribute towards achieving, and potentially accelerating, this ambition.

Dublin City University is committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and has been ranked among the world’s leading universities for its impact in addressing inequality and reducing poverty.

Fingal County Council is working under its Climate Change Action Plan to improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make Fingal a climate-resilient region. The Council is also working with businesses under the Sustainable Fingal Initiative to encourage the adoption of sustainable business practices, and helping businesses become more resource efficient and promoting active travel measures to improve the health and wellbeing of citizens and to increase the attractiveness of the public realm.

Prof Daire Keogh, President of Dublin City University said:

“I warmly welcome this agreement with two of DCU’s key  regional stakeholders. By deepening our collaboration with daa and Fingal County Council, I am confident that we can make the Irish Aviation sector  more sustainable.”

Andrea Carroll, Head of Sustainability at the daa said:

“daa is delighted to be working with DCU and Fingal County Council on researching and identifying solutions which will help reduce the impact of the aviation sector on the Fingal region. Collaboration and innovation are key enablers of sustainability, and this partnership is a fantastic example of how organisations can work together to bring about changes that will benefit the communities in which we operate.

daa is excited about the long-term potential of this partnership and we look forward to working very closely with both Fingal County Council and DCU over the coming years.”

Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Howard Mahony, said

“The aviation sector has a key role in Fingal, particularly given the position that Dublin Airport plays as the nation’s gateway for people and businesses coming to Ireland. Whilst it is important for us to support and assist the growth of economic opportunities that come as part of that, so too is it imperative that we look to minimise the impact aviation can have on the environment around us.

To do that we need to better understand what can be done to protect the natural heritage of not only Fingal, but that which we have across the country. This MOU is an encouraging step forward which will allow us to explore technologies and initiatives that can make aviation a greener and cleaner option, and which I hope will help us bring about real change.”

For further information about Aviation programmes at DCU Business School please see the following links:

MSc in Aviation Leadership

Graduate Certificate in Aviation Sustainability, Leadership and Innovation

Avation Management/ with Pilot Studies / with Air Traffic Controller Studies

My name is Katie Walsh and I am an alumnus of the DCU B.Sc. in Aviation Management Class of 2015. I am currently coming to the end of my first year of the DCU Masters in Aviation Leadership while working full time for Elavon Financial Services.

I always knew I wanted to return to complete my masters in Aviation Leadership, I just didn’t know when would be the right time. After completing my under graduate degree in DCU, I worked within the industry for about eight years. I personally feel that gaining industry experience prior to undertaking the masters has been greatly beneficial to me.

Rewind to January 2020 and the news began emerging about a pandemic in China. People were asking could this affect my job and I remember thinking these people are mad, how would something in China affect my career. Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit with a bang and shook the industry. In June 2021, as a result of the pandemic my employer was forced to cease trading and my role as Compliance Monitoring Auditor came to an end.

During the previous few years, I got married and had two children. I enjoyed the lockdown as much as was possible but I knew that it was now time for me to return to my studies. When I saw the 30% Scholarship advertised, I applied and was successful. The 30% Scholarship really resonated with me. During my degree and time working within the industry women were always the minority. I feel that women in leadership is such an important issue that needs to be addressed especially within the aviation industry. On that first night in DCU last September, I again noticed a recurring theme, the majority of the class were male.

Initially, it definitely took a couple of lectures for the group to get to know each other. A few group exercises and a keen interest in aviation and the conversations began to flow. What struck me about this group was that everyone had their own story to share but that the many aspects of the industry had brought us all together. This I feel has proven to be valuable to each of us as everyone has brought something different to the group.

Throughout the year, the class support has been unbelievable. Everyone was so busy with their own lives but a weekly call was arranged to discuss any issues that we may have been having. The WhatsApp group was also invaluable as someone was always there with support and advice if needed.

Completing this masters while working full-time is not easy. However, the most important piece of advice that I would give to anyone considering completing this course would be to start working on your assignments immediately. It may seem that you have loads of time but between working and the daily life, the months will go by very fast. This is my advice that I will be bringing forward with me to the second year of my masters.

Author: Katie Walsh

Course Page:


A new partnership between DCU Business School and the National Flight Centre Pilot Academy (NFC) was launched at Weston Airport, Dublin today, by Simon Harris, T.D., Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. This collaboration will facilitate DCU students on the Aviation Management with Pilot Studies degree programme undertake their pilot training with the National Flight Centre.

Students choosing Pilot Studies as their preferred option on the course can now begin their pilot training at the commencement of year 3, which will allow them to complete their B.Sc. and Airline Transport Pilot training within a 4-year period.

Minister Simon Harris, T.D., said:

“This partnership is a shining example of universities and training centres working together to deliver for students and employers. Ireland’s pilots and aviation experts of the future will now have the chance to get a degree and complete flight training in a more integrated course of studies. They will have the opportunity for academic-based learning as well as hands-on experience.  I want to thank DCU and the National Flight Centre for partnering to deliver this for students and the aviation industry. This type of project is key to Ireland’s competitiveness and ability to attract investment in the future.”

DCU President Prof Daire Keogh said:

 “As Ireland’s University of Enterprise, DCU is delighted to collaborate with the NFC on this initiative. The partnership will offer world class opportunities to DCU students and support the development of talent in the aviation industry which is facing a global pilot shortage.”

National Flight Centre, Head of Training, Darragh Owens said:

“There is growing international recognition that degree-level studies, combined with professional pilot education and training, can contribute significantly to the quality of candidates entering the airline industry. University experience and qualifications develop analytical skills and encourage a broader personal outlook. These enhance longer-term career prospects for pilots as they transition into management and wider leadership roles, while enriching the contribution of skill and competence they can bring to employers. NFC is delighted to collaborate with DCU in facilitating these outcomes with our new collaboration.”

DCU B.Sc. in Aviation Management Programme Chair, Dr Cathal Guiomard said:

“A proportion of DCU aviation management students have always pursued pilot training and the link with NFC will make that easier in the future. In addition, trainee pilots of the NFC will be able to obtain a DCU degree in aviation management, so this partnership will benefit anyone looking for a combined pilot training and aviation management qualification.”

Find out more about studying the B.Sc. in Aviation Management programme at DCU Business School here:

The 2021 European Aviation Conference has concluded after detailed and intensive discussions,  involving some 200 delegates and more than twenty presenters, of actions needed this decade  for aviation to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Topics considered included the ways in which  aviation affects climate change, the scope for technologies to lessen emissions, the type of  policies & instruments to incentivise decarbonisation and finally the political-economy issue of  how to bring about the changes needed. 

Conference Chair, Professor Hans-Martin Niemeier, said he was pleased with the attendance and  the response to the conference sessions, which were hosted online by Dublin City University. 

“Our feedback to date is that the conference has been a great success, in terms of the number of  presentations, the clarification of what the issues really are, and the generation of frank and  productive discussions between industry participants, policy-makers and researchers”.  

In his keynote presentation, Sir Dieter Helm (Oxford University) warned about creating incentives  that only displace emissions (‘carbon leakage’) but do not reduce them. He argued that general  decarbonisation will be expensive and that the ordinary consumer such as airline passengers will  in the end bear that cost. Given these costs, policy should be set on an economy-wide and global  level rather than for each single sector which would make decarbonisation even more expensive. 

Henrik Hololei, (EU Director General, Transport and Mobility), argued that sustainable aviation  fuels, on a sufficient scale, could provide the bulk of the power required by aviation while  significantly reducing harmful emissions.  

In his keynote address, Brian Pearce (former Chief Economist, IATA) emphasized that the stock  of long-lived emissions from aviation, rather than the flow, is the problem to be addressed and  that economic analysis based on marginal effects may be ill-suited to address climate change  issues in aviation. He also highlighted the need for a meaningful carbon price.  

Major themes emerging in the conference discussions included the excessively low price  currently being attached to carbon, which will fail to create the necessary incentives to  decarbonize. Other themes included the low likelihood of hydrogen or electric propulsion  technologies helping aviation in the medium term, and a consequent reliance on sustainable  aviation fuels (SAFs), carbon taxation, airframe design, and operational (e.g. ATM) initiatives as the principal means of lowering aviation emissions during the next decade. Despite hope that  SAFs and synthetic fuels can deliver real climate benefits, the conference also heard that there  are significant challenges in the supply of biomass and green electricity required for their  production. Prof Ian Poll (Cranfield University) Prof Ulrich Schumann (German Aerospace  Center) and Dr. Sebastian Eastham (MIT) demanded that action must be taken immediately to  reduce the non-carbon emissions. While policy still claims that the effects of non-carbon emission  are too uncertain to allow for any policy measurers Professors Poll and Schumann argued that  the science of contrails is clear and well understood and that non-carbon emissions, which are as  important as carbon emissions can be reduced at a relatively lower cost.  

* * * 

Announcing EAC 2022: Nov 30 & Dec 1, Heilbronn, Germany 

Responding to the legacy of Covid-19: Aviation ownership, regulation and industry structure. 

Please join us for EAC 2022 in Heilbronn where we will consider the appropriate post-Covid  actions and policy frameworks to meet the challenges of the evolving aviation landscape in the  wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has reversed decades of progress towards a  more liberal aviation market, jeopardized improvements in industry efficiency, and led to large 

scale state aid, restrictions on international air travel, and added new procedural health checks  for aviation. Consequently, the 2022 conference will focus on the following crucial questions: 

  • Could the pandemic prompt a review of outdated ownership policies in aviation?
  • How should the charges of aviation service providers be set now, and how if at all  should industry losses from COVID-19 be treated? 
  • What is the best response to the distortions in airline competition due to state aid? 

As at all previous conferences, the goal of EAC 2022 is to bring together theory and practice,  academics and practitioners, in order to develop a practical and deliverable path to the  restoration of a healthy and stable air transport industry. 

* * * 

Look for more programme and registration information for EAC 2022


Known for its diversity and multiculturalism, DCU is a one-stop destination for international students looking to grow in their personal and professional lives. The inclusivity at DCU makes interaction with different races and cultures more interesting by organizing events such as movie nights, Arctic Disco, Christmas markets, and many more. The wide range of clubs and societies enables international students to connect with like-minded individuals who share the same interests. DCU has also designed an International Faith Centre for international students coming from different religions to get together and find solace within their surroundings. 

Here are some highlights of what a few International Students have to say when asked about their favourite thing about studying at DCU: 

One of my favourite things about DCU, coming from a non-English background is that I get to interact with my peers from all across the globe, which enables me to improve my spoken English, benefiting me in my future career. Students like me, for whom English is a second language, are taken into consideration by the professors to deliver the content of the class, making it easy for the non-local students to understand the content of the module. – Wen from China, pursuing Msc. in Strategy Management. 

My favourite thing about DCU is the vast and magnificent campus. The sports complex, the cafes on campus, the student restaurant, and Nubar are some of the treasured spots on campus. This has helped me get to know my peers outside of the classroom and build connections over and above the academics. After a long day, I love spending time with my friends in and around such a vibrant campus. – Shams from London, pursuing a PhD. In Computing. 

At DCU, there are many international students, and even though we come from different parts of the world, the one thing that connects us is that we are away from home. This brings us together, and in that process, we find our home on-campus. Interacting with so many talented individuals from different cultures has cherished my social life and grown me personally. – Mann Maheshwari from India, pursuing Msc. in Strategy Management. 

An interview with Romal Thakkar, one of our International students from Mumbai, India, pursuing an MSc. in Business Management, gave us quite an insight into the life of an International student at DCU. Let’s take a look at what he had to say. 

Q. What is your favourite thing about studying at DCU?

A. The ideal learning environment which DCU provides through its academic staff, facilities, classmates, and location. All of these make for a successful and memorable study experience.

Q. How easy/hard do you find getting around on campus?

A. Getting around the campus is intuitive and straightforward, as there are plenty of signs and indications on the campus and academic buildings. And if someone is still confused, you can always ask the friendly staff or students at DCU for directions. At various spots on-campus, there are maps displayed, which further aids in finding the way around the campus.

I can recall my first day at the campus; I was a bit nervous seeing how huge the campus was. I had come in 30 minutes before the lecture time, as I thought it would take some time to find my way around. However, on getting down at the Helix bus stop, I quickly found my way to the Business building easily.  

Q. What impact has DCU had on your social life?

A. Coming abroad to study at DCU for a Master’s study has been a significant decision. When I met my classmates and started socializing with them, they were bright, social, and intellectual. Socializing with them daily keeps me engaged and motivated. We meet a couple of times every week to discuss classwork and other topics. Moreover, being social and extroverted has helped me make plenty of friends and valuable connections. I have also joined various clubs and societies, like the Debate club, Enactus, and volunteering society, to connect with people having similar interests and hobbies. Thus, DCU has had a significant positive impact on my social life, and it has been incredibly active and exciting.

Q. Do you think professors are accessible? 

A. All the professors in my program are highly knowledgeable in their field and skilled at teaching. The lectures are interactive and engaging, and the professors encourage students to ask questions and doubts in class, irrespective of how big or small the question is. Apart from this, professors also make time after class for any queries or concerns, and they also have office hours every week for any questions or issues regarding the subject. Furthermore, the professors are also considerate, and some of them go out of their way to solve a student’s query. The majority of the professors in my program are very accessible and open to discussions with the students at any point during the semester.

Q. What does a typical day look like in your life?

A. A typical day during the semester at DCU involves waking up early morning, taking a bath, cooking breakfast and catching, a bus for the university. Most days consist of multiple lectures, one of them being in the early morning. After attending a two-hour morning lecture, I would usually head for lunch with friends at one of the delicious restaurants at DCU. After grabbing lunch, we would sit outdoors and finish up on our food while discussing the materials covered in class. Most of the days, there is a gap of an hour or two between lectures, which gives us time for lunch and to prepare for the following lecture. 

Q. Name the most special thing about DCU, which makes DCU stand out from other universities.

A. I feel multiple aspects make DCU stand out from the rest of the universities.

Firstly, the vast campus and a wide array of academic buildings, offering an extensive catalogue of courses across varied disciplines. Connecting with people from different courses and backgrounds makes for interesting conversations and a great network.

Secondly, DCU offers widely reputed and competitively ranked programs. It provides an ideal learning environment for students and suitably prepares them for research and industry. While studying, there are also ample opportunities for business internships and networking, thereby allowing students to gain professional experience alongside studying. 

Lastly, the diverse teaching, a network of peers from different walks of life, and varied experiences from an international business school would also help me for my future career progression.

These are some aspects, on top of my mind, that make DCU special.

Q. How would you describe your fellow students?

A. My classmates in the MSBM course are dedicated and hardworking. Networking with able, like-minded, and ambitious peers makes for successful academic life at the university. Many of the students in the class come from different educational backgrounds, which makes for a diverse experience. Academically, the majority of my classmates strive for high scores and work intensely towards achieving them. Socially, it has been a delight meeting and conversing with motivated & experienced classmates. Even when it comes to class participation, a very high proportion of students actively participate. Thus, my classmates are driven and high achievers.

Q. How has the academic life been treating you? Are you getting the required help with your assignments? 

A. Academic life at DCU has been going very well. The teachers are proficient, great at teaching, and always open to questions in person or email. The teaching assistants for various subjects have also been invaluable. They are guiding on assignments, providing feedback on projects & presentations, answering queries, and promptly uploading essential materials on Loop (student portal). Apart from the academic staff, other resources such as Library workshops, writing centre, and subject experts helping with assignments have also been of immense help. Career planning provided by experts at DCU has also been beneficial. I have utilized most of these resources and found them to be very resourceful.

Author:  , Current Student of the MSc Management Strategy

Check out our Postgraduate Offering:


Getting real about climate change & aviation: Economics & policy for this decade

The 9th European Aviation Conference will be hosted by DCU as an online event on December 1st and 2nd 2021.  Organised by DCU Business School, the conference offers a unique meeting place for industry stakeholders, researchers and government officials from across Europe and around the world to discuss timely, policy-relevant issues in aviation and to seek insights and practical solutions to challenges facing the aviation industry.

Researchers, industry practitioners and government representatives will come together in a virtual setting to share expertise on the conference theme, “Getting real about climate change and aviation: Economics and policy for this decade”.

The environmental impact of aviation provokes passionate responses, ranging from ‘flight shaming’ and calls for drastic unilateral reductions in air travel to beliefs that ‘technological innovations will save the day’ and calls for recognition that aviation is a necessary condition for a healthy economy.  Amid such debates, there is a need for frank, non-partisan analysis and discussion of whether air transport can continue to provide economic benefits while accepting responsibility for its environment impacts.

Keynote speakers this year include:

Henrik Hololei, Director-General, Mobility and Transport European Commission

Sir Dieter Helm, Professor of Economic Policy, Oxford University and Author of Net Zero

Brian Pearce, Former Chief Economist, IATA

Other panellists include Marylin Bastin, Eurocontrol, Marina Efthymiou, Dublin City University, Florian Allroggen, MIT; Aeronautics & Astronautics and Jagoda Egeland, OECD International Transport Forum.

“We are very pleased about this year’s keynote speakers and panelists,” says Dr. Hans Martin Niemeier, Chair of the Organizing Committee. “We will really push this year to investigate whether the combined efforts of industry, governments and researchers can result in a credible path towards a sustainable aviation sector.

“Sustainability plays a central role in our research and teaching here at Dublin City University.  We have been educating the future aviation leaders in our Aviation Bachelor and Masters degrees, and we produce impactful research in various areas, including sustainable aviation.  We are privileged to host for the second time the European Aviation Conference.  In this forum, policymakers, industry and academia meet to discuss important issues, like climate change.” says Dr Marina Efthymiou, EAC executive committee member and DCU MSc Aviation Leadership Programme Chair.

“The European Aviation Conference (EAC) returns this year to Ireland, an important centre of aspects of the global aviation industry, and to DCU, home to aviation programmes at both Bachelor and Masters levels.  No topic is more timely or more important than the relationship between the climate and aviation.  It is definitely a central issue for our aviation students who as future managers will help to steer the industry along a path that safeguards the environment and the international connectivity offered by air transport.”  says Cathal Guiomard, chair of the DCU BSc Aviation Management programme.

Further programme and registration information may be found at:

Media and industry enquiries:

Find out more about the BSc in Aviation Management here

Find out more about the MSc in Management (Aviation Leadership) here

Hello everyone, my name is Jack Kane and I am currently in my second year of the BSc in Aviation
Management. Aviation is an exciting, fast-paced environment and one that provides fulfilling careers
in a myriad of potential roles. The BSc in Aviation Management is the perfect course for those
seeking a career in aviation, be that as a manager, airline pilot or air traffic controller.
One of the great benefits of choosing this course is the variety of specialisation options available to
students in their final year. Students can opt to complete their final year in DCU, completing further
specialist modules in management and aviation, or decide to complete their commercial pilot
training at a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Approved Training Organisation (ATO) or
apply to become an air traffic controller with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA). Students opting to
pursue the pilot training or air traffic controller stream graduate with a BSc in Aviation Management
and a commercial pilot’s license or air traffic controller license.

Like many of my peers on the course, I have been fascinated by aviation for as long as I can
remember, and it has always been my goal to one day become an airline pilot. It is a job that covers
many interests of mine, ranging from the busy environment of the flight deck, focus on teamwork,
the technical aspect of actually flying the aircraft or just travelling the world. From flying lessons I
have completed in my own time, I can only express how exhilarating an experience it is to be in
control of an aircraft, and I know for sure that this is what I want my future career to be. Commercial
pilot training requires a significant commitment from the prospective student; ‘integrated’ training
programmes (courses that bring you from little to no flying experience to airline ready in the space of
14-18 months) involve costs upwards of €80,000 – €100,000, and also intense study for both the
theoretical and practical elements of programmes. Alternatives do exist, such as cadetships (both
civil and military) or airline mentored programmes, but are fiercely competing for a few coveted
places. The prevalence of these should increase as aviation and airlines recover from the pandemic.
DCU also recently announced a partnership with the National Flight Centre based at Weston Airport,
which will allow students to spread their training over the third and final year. Many students opt to
complete their final year in DCU and pursue flight training at a later stage, with the greater financial
ability and perhaps, maturity, under their belt. I would reinforce the message of “if there is a will,
there is a way”; students who are genuinely passionate about a career as an airline pilot and possess
the necessary skills and personality will eventually make it.

As a final note, I would urge prospective students not to be dissuaded by the effect of the pandemic
on aviation. Aviation has been particularly troubled by Covid, but with restrictions disappearing and
routes returning, the recovery of the industry is well underway. The recent reopening of transatlantic
travel will also aid the industry’s recovery. And while a return to 2019 levels of traffic may only
materialise in 2024 according to industry experts, prospective students starting in 2022 or later will
graduate after this, into a jobs market seeking young, fresh thinkers with relevant industry
experience and a passion for aviation. I would not hesitate in recommending this course to anyone
passionate about aviation or those seeking to work in one of the world’s most interesting and
globally important sectors.

Hello, my name is Katie Walsh, and I am currently in my first semester of my Masters in Aviation Leadership in DCU. Let me rewind and I will give you a better insight into my education and career to date.

From a young age, I have always been interested in travelling and the world of aviation. As a child, I would travel to Australia each year to visit family and I feel that this is where my love of aviation came from. I always said when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up that I wanted to work within the aviation industry and people were always surprised. It wasn’t as common several years ago, but I think in recent years the course in DCU has really promoted the aviation industry as a very attractive industry for people to work in. Coming up to my CAO application, I attended the RDS Career Expo and saw DCU advertising the Aviation Management with Pilot Studies (AMPS) course. I knew this was the course for me as aviation was the only career that I really wanted to pursue.

In 2011, I completed my Leaving Certificate and received enough points to be offered my first choice on the CAO. The course is a mixture of business and aviation and in the first two years gives a great basis in Business Studies along with Aviation specific modules.

During the course, I had some exceptional lecturers, some from academia in DCU and some aviation professionals. Both aspects combined I feel is what makes this course invaluable to students especially as they set out on undertaking their INTRA placements.

During my third year in DCU, I undertook a six-month INTRA placement in Aer Arann (Stobart Air), a regional airline based in Santry. During this placement, I received experience that I will take with me throughout my entire career. Learning the theory of aviation in DCU is extremely important but I can’t emphasise enough how invaluable hands on experience within the industry is. From my placement, I built up an amazing network of aviation professionals.

The main achievement in my degree was graduating top of my class and receiving an award from the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA). I feel that it is only after I graduated and entered the aviation industry full time that it became clear to me how much knowledge I had gained from my degree in DCU.

What I love about the industry is that it is so fast paced, and no day is the same. The aviation industry Is worldwide but what I have come to realise during my career to date is that the industry within Ireland is actually very small and you meet the same people throughout your career in all different positions. The industry is very comparable to a family unit where people have common goals and interests.

After graduating from DCU, I moved to a permanent position within the Safety and Compliance department of Stobart Air and spent eight years there holding several positions. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic Stobart Air went into liquidation and the company ceased trading. It was always my plan to go back to complete my MSc in Aviation Leadership in DCU but felt that I required a few years of experience within the industry first.

In September of this year, I was delighted to be awarded a scholarship from the 30% Club to return to DCU and complete my Masters in Aviation Leadership. I am currently halfway through my first semester and absolutely loving being back.

So, if a career within the Aviation industry excites you, the Aviation Management with Pilot Studies undergraduate course in DCU is the course for you.

Interested in pursuing our BSc Aviation Management with Pilot Studies:

Check out the scholarship offering at DCU:

A new partnership between DCU Business School and the National Flight Centre (NFC) will see DCU students on the Aviation Management with Pilot Studies degree programme be able to complete their professional pilot training with the National Flight Centre.   

Students choosing Pilot Studies as their preferred option on the course can now begin their pilot studies at the start of year 3, which will allow them to complete their B.Sc. and Airline Transport Pilot training within a 4-year period.

DCU Business School, Dr Cathal Guiomard commented“A proportion of DCU aviation management students have always pursued pilot training and the link with NFC will make that easier in the future. In addition, trainee pilots of the NFC will be able to obtain a DCU degree in aviation management, so this partnership will benefit anyone looking for a combined pilot training and aviation management qualification.”

 National Flight Centre, Head of Training, Darragh Owens commented “There is growing international recognition that degree-level studies, combined with professional pilot education and training, can contribute significantly to the quality of candidates entering the airline industry. University experience and qualifications develop analytical skills and encourage a broader personal outlook. These enhance longer-term career prospects for pilots as they transition into management and wider leadership roles, while enriching the contribution of skill and competence they can bring to employers.”


NFC, based at Weston Airport, Dublin, has had a long-standing collaboration with DCU and is one of Europe’s longest established flight training academies. NFC is approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and is regulated by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA). Further information is available at

Link to course page: