Basic Instrument Rating (BIR) Theory Course

ATPL Bristol Groundschool software ATPdigital
ATPdigital learning software displayed on a laptop and tablets

Our Basic Instrument Rating theory course is suitable for pilots that don’t have ambitions to fly commercially. It is applicable to fixed-wing (aeroplane) EASA licences only.

Bristol Groundschoool also has theory Instrument Rating courses for approved and non-approved Instrument Rating (IR) and Competency-Based Instrument Rating (CB-IR). If you are unsure which course you need, read our guide on explaining IR courses.

Basic Instrument Rating (BIR) Theory with Bristol Groundschool

Through our distance learning courses, you are able to study at your own pace utilizing our state-of-the-art computer program, ATPdigital, which is divided into three modules with exams following each module.

Through interactive diagrams, animations, and explainers, ATPdigital guides you through your course in bitesize stages, concluding each stage with a progress test.

You can also prepare for your exams with BGSonline question bank free for 12 months as part of our BIR course.

Learn from anywhere in the world, at your own pace.

Key features of our Basic Instrument Rating (BIR) course

ATPdigital: pioneering flight theory training software

Learning is more memorable when the course materials are engaging.

That’s why we pioneered a computer-based training system called ATPdigital: the first software of its kind in the industry.

It breaks your course into bitesize stages, guiding you through your studies with interactive diagrams, animations, and explainers.

Pass quizzes at the end of each section to progress with your studies. Watch your knowledge grow with a dashboard overview of your learning.

ATPdigital is available for Windows and Mac OS PCs and laptops. There’s also an iOS app available for iPad.

Once installed the software can also be used offline allowing you to study from any location with no internet connection.

ATPdigital also incorporates the same question bank as BGSonline, enabling you to carry out practice exams if you do not have access to the internet.

ATPdigital: pioneering flight theory training software


Free 12 Month Subscription to BGSonline Question Bank

BGS online question bank As a student studying with Bristol Groundschool, you will receive twelve months of access to BGSonline: a regularly updated database of exam-style questions.

With instant answers and detailed explanations, it’s the perfect resource for testing your knowledge and preparing for your exams.

Filter questions by topic or revisit questions you’ve got wrong in the past to make your learning targeted and effective.


How are Instrument Rating theory courses structured?

You have a total of 6 sittings to pass all the exams and no more than 4 attempts at any one subject, you need to pass all exams within 18 months from the date of your first sitting.

Maths and Physics
Before you start the IR study, there is a module on Maths and Physics. This is a refresher for you if you have not studied these subjects for a while. The Maths and Physics module is conducted in the CBT only and there are no EASA or UK CAA exams associated with it.


Instrument Rating Subjects and Exams

BIR uses three exams to examine the seven subjects. Below you can find the breakdown of each BIR module and theory exam.

Module 1 contains:

  • Aircraft General Knowledge – Instrumentation
  • Meteorology
  • Human Performance

Module 2 contains:

  • Radio Navigation
  • Flight Planning and Flight Monitoring
  • Air Law
  • Communications

Module 3 contains:

  • Air Law
  • Instrumentation
  • Flight Planning
  • Meteorology and Communications
Exam                      Time Allocation Number of Questions Subjects
BIR Module 1 1:20 40 Instrumentation, Human Performance & Meteorology
BIR Module 2 1:30 41 Air Law, Flight Planning, Meteorology & Radio Navigation
BIR Module 3 1:30 44 Air Law, Instrumentation, Flight Planning, Meteorology & Communications

When you have completed each module you may attempt the examinations at an EASA Examination Centre. You must register with your chosen authority once you are ready to book the exams, fees are payable at the time of booking.

EASA examine the BIR in a different way to other licenses and ratings. The exams are designed to coincide with the three flight training phases or modules. The theoretical exams need to be passed prior to taking the BIR practical skills test.

We are an EASA (Austro Control) examination centre so, subject to availability, you could sit your exams at our examination centre.


BIR Distance Learning Course Fees

To register for our BIR distance learning course, simply purchase online. You will have the option of paying for your course online by credit or debit card, by bank transfer, or with a card on the telephone.

Purchase our BIR Approved Course

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