module specification

CA4004 - Introduction to the Aviation System (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Introduction to the Aviation System
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
140 hours Guided independent study
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
70 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Seen Examination 50%   E Portfolio compilation towards a seen final exam (2 hrs)
Group Presentation 25%   Group Presentation - group work on the role of SARPS(15 minutes)
Coursework 25%   A report of the types of airline/airport operators (1500 words)
Running in 2020/21

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

The module aims to introduce the students to the idea that aviation sector can best be understood as a system as so many parts of the industry are inter-dependant on each other and all stakeholders have an important role in the delivery of quality services.  The Civil Aviation Authority perspective of an ‘aviation system’ informs this with multiple stakeholders and the delivery of service requires all stakeholders to play their role in a professional manner.

The module will allow the students to explore the nature of the key ‘stakeholders; and the ‘system’ that they cooperate within.  This knowledge is fundamental to the relationship between services management and the aviation sector and understanding the key actors.  Aviation ranges from the highly technical jobs such as flying aircraft to the role of cabin crew in safety and security to people cleaning aircraft and a great deal in between.  It is vital that everyone knows how they ‘fit’ into the aviation system and how vital it is that they contribute to the safety and security to the system.


Included in the module are the following areas of study:

• An introduction to the structure and operating characteristics of the airline and airport industry and the system approach to aviation
• Key terms and definitions used in the air transport system for operators e.g. hub airports
• Review the major organisations and stakeholders associated with airline operations management e.g. unions for air transport workers LO1
• An introduction to basic air law for commercial aviation
• An introduction to the key aviation Conventions and their significance
• An introduction to Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS)
• An introduction the role of international co-operation and the role of ICAO
• An introduction to the role of the regulator e.g. CAA
• An introduction to key organisations that support the ‘aviation system’ e.g. IATA LO2
• A view of the various key jobs that support the aviation system e.g. engineering, pilots, cabin crew, security etc.
• Analysis of the spatial nature and characteristics of aviation
• An introduction to airline and airport business models
• Analysis of the components of airline service
• Analysis of the components of airport operation LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The formal delivery of the teaching and learning will be based on three-hour weekly workshops involving lecture/seminar periods, also including formal and guest lectures, case studies, panel discussions and debates, films and DVDs, and scenario-based activities.

Within the module, there is significant opportunity to participate in proactive learning activities via Weblearn (VLE) facilities, which promote inter-active discussions between both peers and lecturers and enables learners to share resources and access links to external journal articles, websites and other sources.

Discussion and debate are actively encouraged both within the classroom context and via Weblearn. Students participating in this degree come from a variety of backgrounds and often have a wealth of industry experience upon which to draw. It is useful to access this via proactive and inter-active classroom management. Students have a responsibility to prepare for forthcoming lectures to ensure that they fully understand the concepts discussed and, so as they can participate fully in debates and discussions.

Tutors will provide an indication of forthcoming lecture content at the end of each preceding lecture. The student should then research articles and textbooks as appropriate around these themes to contribute fully to discussions and inter-active Question and Answer sessions within the lecture.

Opportunities for reflective learning will be available throughout the module as students will consider their approach to tasks and discussions whilst simultaneously reflect upon informal feedback that from lecturers on ideas and concepts spoken in class, and on assessments submitted.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

• Identify the principles and concepts surrounding the co-operation between major stakeholders in the aviation system and how they inter-relate to ensure that there is seamless service (LO1)
• Understand how key International agreements and bodies (organisations) provide frameworks for standards and practices in the global aviation system (LO2)
• Differentiate the types of airline and airport operations, and how they are characterised and have evolved over time to reflect the demands of the sector (LO3)

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to enable students to demonstrate how they are making sense of the aviation system concepts the module introduces and how they recognise and explain their application in aviation environment.  

The module will be assessed using three elements including two pieces of coursework and an individual presentation:

• E-portfolio on the nature of the aviation system and the key stakeholders will be developed weekly and be taken into a seen exam
• Group presentation on the standards and acceptable practises of the industry
• Case study on the development of the types of airline and airport operations globally


Belobaba, P, Odoni, A. & Barnhart, C. (Eds.). (2015). The Global Airline Industry (2nd ed.). Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley Blackwell.

Budd, L. and Ison, S. (2017) (Eds.). Air Transport Management: an International Perspective. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Shaw, S. (2011). Airline Marketing and Management (7th ed.). Farnham: Ashgate.  

Wensveen, J. (2015/2016). Air Transportation: a Management Perspective. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.  [Hard copy print version (2015) / e-version (2016)].

Mintel Academic. (2016). (latest aviation market reports)
IATA:  International Air Transport Association:
ICAO: International Civil Aviation Organization