Course Overview

I just thought I’d give a basic course overview for the INTERGRATED ATPL course at Oxford Aviation Academy, I've tried to include all the tests you’ll have to do so you know just what you’re getting yourself in for. For more information on any aspect of the course I've written a blog post on here about my own experiences. There’s no replacement for a real life visit though so I’d definitely recommend one of our open days where you’ll discuss the course in much more detail and get to talk to real life students and staff.

Find out more here:

As always, I've tried to include pictures to make it fun (sorry that most of them are recycled!)


It’s changed since I did mine. The selection takes place over one day and includes:
  • ADAPT aptitude test
  • Basic Aviation knowledge test
  • Psychometric questionnaire (about 250 questions!)
  • Team Exercise
  • Personal interview
  • Debrief
  • Results are given on the day so you don’t have long to wait to find out if you've been successful J

Class 1 Medical

Full medical assessment given at Gatwick resulting in issue of medical certificate.
You’ll be tested for:
  • Medical history
  • Colour vision
  • Eyesight
  • Physical
  • Hearing
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Lung function test
  • Haemoglobin blood test
  • Cholesterol
  • Urine Sample
Find out more here:

You’ll need to renew your class 1 every year (we have an AME onsite at Oxford Airport) and then have a full assessment every 5 years.


Location: London Oxford Airport, UK (EGTK)

I started in September, 2014 on course AP365 and stuck with them the whole way. Your course are your moral support and I really love the structure they have here. You'll do 6 months of intensive classroom and computer based training to study for 14 EASA exams, split into 2 phases. First time passes are ideal but you can resit up to 7 exams

Phase 1 subjects:
  • Principles of Flight
  • Systems
  • Powerplant
  • Electrics 
(Systems, Powerplant and Electrics share one exam)
  • Instrumentation
  • Human Performance
  • Communications (split into IFR and VFR for 2 separate exams)
  • Meterology

Phase 2 subjects:
  • Air Law
  • Operations
  • Performance (PoF part 2)
  • Mass & Balance
  • Flight Planning
  • General Navigation
  • Radio Navigation (Instruments part 2)

Course Fancy dress on your last day of ground school is essential (We were Snow Whites. Just because)

First Officer Fundamentals Week: Mostly an introduction to safety

Basic Flying Phase

Location: Falcon Field, AZ (KFFZ)

4-6 months in the glorious Arizona weather, which guarantees flying all times of year. You’ll stay in flats with other members of your course and get travel to and from Falcon Field airport which is all included in the course cost. There is a week of ground school first with an introduction to American airspace and radio and general safety (wear sunscreen, scorpions are not friendly, got it!).

You'll be glad to know that you also do get some time off when you're not flying so you can explore the sunny USA. We went to LA, Phoenix, the grand canyon, Sedona, Flagstaff, Scottsdale & Vegas (being over 21 will be a huge advantage). 

PA28 (Piper Archer): you go from 0 experience to solo in 14 lessons and gain about 150. You’ll pick up radio and VFR navigation from your instructor and do simple instrument approaches and be introduced to holding. You’ll also do several land-aways at other airfields in the area (great opportunity for sampling American style breakfasts) and 5 hours of night flying! Being thrown into the pool after your first solo is something of a tradition out here. Mostly because we have a pool...
  • PT1
  • PT2
  • PT3
  • PT4
  • Solo cross-country qualifier
  • Optional: SEP rating

PA44 (Piper Seminole): Only 12 flights and a few sims on this twin-engine aircraft before taking your CPL skills test in the now familiar practice area.  You’ll cover asymmetric flight and general handling in your lessons which are really the only differences between this and the Archer.

  • CPL skills test
  • PT5 (usually done on your CPL test)
  • CPL written test (Seminole and general performance questions)
  • CPL partial panel/instrument test (in a PA44 simulator on site)
Upset Recovery training with APS

Location: Pheonix, Mesa Gateway Airport, AZ (KIWA)

Extra300LL: Sadly you only get 3 hours flying in this awesome little aerobat. This is the Upset Recovery part of the course and you’ll travel to Mesa Gateway airport to do this course which includes a few ground school sessions.

Small on line test with ground school questions (all covered on the APS course)

Instrument Rating Phase

Location: London Oxford Airport, UK (EGTK)

First Officer Fundamentals week: Information from working professionals about the role and some good interview techniques. There are additional optional interview workshops and CV sessions with the careers department that you can sign up for. You’ll also have a wings ceremony as you’re granted your pilot’s wings and two gold bars to wear to show you've completed your CPL.

PA34 (Piper Seneca): You’ll use this beautiful twin to develop your instrument flying skills in a simulated IFR environment (or sometimes for real in the unpredictable English weather). The course takes 3-5 months and is comprised of 30 sims and 20 hours flying, before you do your IR skills test.

  • IR skills test
  • VFR Radio License
  • PT6 (practice IR route)

MCC/JOC phase

Location: London Oxford Airport, UK (EGTK)

This stands for Multi-crew cooperation and jet orientation course. After a week of groundschool you’ll be using the fully motion 737-400 simulators based at Oxford airport and will do 20 hours as pilot flying and 20 hours as pilot monitoring, the latter being the most difficult role I found. I found these 2 weeks the most intense of the whole course, you literally live in the simulator or are practising your checks over and over with a partner. It was a lot of fun to be flying a jet though and there’s good news; no tests!

After the end of the course (total time is around 18 months) you’ll receive a final report from oxford which will have all your results and recommendations from your instructors, the MCC part of the report is included on your Pilot’s CV which is sent to airline’s as you job seek. You’ll also be granted a frozen ATPL license from the CAA, about 250 hours in your logbook and are set loose into the pilot job market.

Buck’s New University

Location: KFFZ & EGTK

There is an option to do a university degree alongside your flight training; a BSc in Airline transport management with credits from the course going towards the degree.  You’ll be introduced to this in your first FOF week and be set assignments throughout the basic flying and IR phase as well as attend lectures and give presentations. This gives you good background knowledge into the airline industry as a whole and gets you to do independent research; a good skill for anyone who hasn’t had the opportunity to go to uni before. You may also write a dissertation after finishing at Oxford to obtain the BSc (honours) degree.

Good luck!

Questions, probs, queries? Ask me anything and I'll try to answer as best I can from my own experiences :)