Modular vs Integrated Pilot Training

Once you have decided you want to become a commercial pilot, your next question might be how to study? Integrated or modular? Both training routes have their advantages and disadvantages, choosing your route to the flight deck will depend on your situation, finance options and current commitments. If you already have a PPL licence, you might opt for modular pilot training as this is often a cheaper and more flexible route compared to integrated. However, if you want your training all done under one organisation on a full-time basis, you might opt for the integrated pilot training route.

We’ve pulled together this short guide to help you understand what integrated and modular pilot training routes consist of, what requirements you’ll need to start and some of the advantages and disadvantages to each training route.

Integrated Pilot TrainingIntegrated Pilot Training

Integrated training means you will carry out all of your commercial pilot training, full-time, at one approved training organisation. Students will first have to pass a selection process which will require a pilot aptitude test, group exercises, Maths and English test, and an interview.

Full-time integrated courses can take anywhere from 14-18 months and by the time you finish, you will hold a ‘frozen’ ATPL licence.


  • Previous flight experience is beneficial but not necessary, an integrated course can take you from zero hours of flight experience to a ‘frozen’ ATPL licence.
  • A good understanding of maths and physics.
  • Able to obtain a Class 1 Medical Certificate.
  • Possible visa requirements depending on the school’s location.

Benefits of Integrated Pilot Training

  • All of your training will be done under one organisation in a ‘campus’ environment
  • Integrated schools are often larger and more well know by the industry and airlines

Disadvantages of Integrated Pilot Training

  • The cost of an integrated course is considerably more expensive when compared to modular training. Often courses at an integrated school can cost anywhere from £80,000 to £100,000+.
  • You will be required to live in or near the school you are studying at.


Modular Pilot TrainingModular Pilot Training

Modular pilot training means carrying out your training at different organisations for each aspect of your training e.g using a particular flight school to build your flight hours and attending a ground school to study your ATPL theory. Modular training gives you the option to spread out your training and the cost of it. You can work modular training around a job and study/build your flight hours in your own time.


  • A PPL licence is required to start training for an ATPL. A PPL licence costs around £8,000 – £13,000 in the UK and can take around 6-12 months to complete.
  • A class 1 Medical Certificate.
  • A good understanding of maths and physics (GCSE level).

Benefits of Modular Pilot Training

  • The cost of modular study is significantly cheaper than going through an integrated school with the modular route costing around £50,000 – £70,000 depending on the schools you choose. 
  • You can complete your training at your own pace and study alongside a full, or part-time, job, thus reducing the burden of your training cost.
  • Take breaks if required. This is beneficial if there is a downturn in the aviation industry as you can place your training on hold and complete it at a later date.
  • Build your flight hours at a flight school near you. You can also complete your ground school theory online, such as Bristol Groundschool’s 100% online ATPL theory course.

Disadvantages Modular Pilot Training

  • Modular training can take longer to complete if you are studying part-time.
  • It can be difficult to maintain consistency if your training is completed at different organisations.


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