Higher Diploma in Science in Aviation Finance

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Structure
  • Career Opportunities
  • Fees
  • Next Steps

Aviation Finance



Demand for new aircraft continues to rise, with 17,000 aircraft estimated to be ordered globally over the next decade. This demand is being driven by passenger numbers that are predicted to double by 2030 to 73 million.  An increasing critical factor in growth of the aviation industry are the aircraft lessors who now owe over 40% of the world’s fleet (versus 25% in 2000).  Of the world’s top aircraft lessors, a remarkable 14 are based in Ireland.  It is estimated that an Irish leased aircraft takes off every two seconds somewhere in the world.

Whilst this dominant market share is underpinned by the business and tax environments, it is also highly dependent on talent.  As an industry focused educational institution, DBS sees itself as supporting the talent pillar of the Irish economy, and therefore Aviation Finance is a natural domain for the institution to explore the development of a new programme.

The Skills Strategy 2025 emphasises the ‘increasingly interdisciplinary nature of the world of work […] which overlaps in the skills required across different sectors and occupations’. Moreover, the Skills Strategy 2025 looks to transversal skills, basic, generic, core or practical skills as being the cornerstone for an individual’s personal development and the building blocks for the development of the hard, vocational or technical skills.

The Higher Diploma in Science in Aviation Finance, is underpinned by a strong foundation in leadership and emphasises the development of effective financial management skills to structure aviation leases, structured finance deals using Special Purpose Vehicles, managing aviation leases throughout the lease lifecycle, and being well positioned to contribute to the digital transformation of aviation leasing. The long-term career prospectus for those undertaking postgraduate studies in business, commerce or economics remain excellent with increasing numbers of undergraduates going onto further postgraduate studies.

Programme Aims and Objectives

The Higher Diploma in Science in Aviation Finance aims to provide learners with the relevant knowledge, skills and competence to engage in professional work in the aircraft leasing and securitisation industry.  It will also provide learners with the knowledge, skills and competence to operate in many areas of the finance or aviation industries.

This programme covers a wide range of Aviation Finance topics, whilst providing a focus on application and the regulation required in this area.  The programme focuses on practical, applied skills in core areas such as data and financial analytics, aviation finance, regulations, operations, Aviation Leasing - Tax and Insurance. Its aim is to create a competence of core financial technologies and financial operations while also enhancing the practical technical skills of the learners.

Aviation Finance can incorporate many different areas and is an evolving area.  Through the work of the Programme Team and in conjunction with the industry experts, Aviation Finance has been defined as a combination of financial systems, data management and technology including areas such as Project Management, Risk Management, Cyber Security, Law and Regulation, Information Technology, Aircraft Economics and Life Cycle Management and Aviation finance. The programme aims and learning outcomes have been designed to reflect these specific areas.

The programme incorporates a strong focus on so-called practical skills within modules to enhance learners’ employability, and to equip them to integrate seamlessly into an organisation by developing skills such as leadership, self‐management and teamwork that are essential in the Aviation Finance sector, which is a rapidly changing industry which requires motivated and flexible employees.  The Applied Project module requires students to identify a problem or issue in the Aviation Finance domain and to apply problem-solving skills to research and analyse the issue and develop real-world solutions, and to critically reflect on this research process.

Guest Lectures from industry and the Aviation Finance sector will be invited to participate in each module.  Approximately 2 to 3 hours will be devoted to domain experts in each module, where appropriate industry visits will be organised.

Additionally, students will be invited to DBS Finance Society and its FinTech Society.  Students will also be invited to attend the DBS ‘Fintech Breakfast Briefings’, which occur regularly on campus, and various other FinTech meetups hosted in DBS e.g. FinTech Ireland Bridge with FinTech Atlanta.


 The Specific Programme Aims are to:
  • Provide learners with a holistic overview of the frameworks governing aircraft leasing.

  • Provide learners with an understanding of the aviation leasing taxation legislation and networks.

  • Enable learners to source and analyse the financial and non-financial information relating to an airline performance.

  • Develop learners’ capacity to utilise the core valuation techniques used to evaluate and value aircraft leasing investments.

  • Enable learners to analyse the macro and more specific variables determining the supply/demand of the aviation industry.

  • Allow learners to apply critical management strategies through the various phase of an aircraft’s life cycle.

  • Enable learners to evaluate the sources of capital and the financing structures employed in aircraft leasing.

  • Allow learners to identify, assess and manage credit, and other systematic, risk factors in aviation finance.

  • Provide learners with an understanding of the evolving digitisation, and analytic value, of an aircraft’s lifecycle data.

  • Enable the learners to identify, develop and apply detailed analytical, creative, problem solving and research skills.

  • Provide the learner with a comprehensive platform for career development, innovation and further study.

Upon completion of the programme, learners will be able to:
  • Demonstrate a practical understanding of the legal frameworks governing aviation leasing.

  • Appraise the key features of the taxation systems governing the operation of aviation leasing and aviation finance.

  • Analyse financial and non-financial information to assess the performance of commercial airlines.

  • Utilise various valuation techniques appraise value creating aircraft leasing investment decisions.

  • Evaluate the macroeconomic and other factors driving supply/demand in the aviation industry.

  • Apply aircraft lifecycle management strategies throughout the various phases of an aviation lease.

  • Assess the sources of capital, standard approaches to aviation leasing, and the term structure of aviation financing.

  • Analyse credit risk, and the management of and other systematic risk factors in the aviation industry.

  • Evaluate the evolving digitisation of aircraft record management the impact of predictive analytics and blockchain technologies on the contemporary and future aviation industry.

  • Display a range of personal and interpersonal skills, including the capacity for continuous learning, initiative taking, performing to deadlines, working in a team, communicating effectively


This programme is taught on a hybrid basis. This means learners are timetabled either in-class or online, in a mix of online and in-class days.

Entry Requirements

To be considered for admission to this programme, applicants must hold a minimum full level 7 Bachelor’s Degree in a cognate discipline such as business, finance, engineering, technology or Science, with a minimum pass classification., or a full level 8 Honours Bachelor’s Degree in a non-cognate discipline. 

Candidates will be required to have at minimum of Ordinary-Level Leaving Certificate mathematics, or be able to demonstrate competency at an equivalent level.

For applicants whose first language is not English and who have not previously undertaken a degree taught through English, evidence must be provided of proficiency in English language equivalent to B2+ or above on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL). This must be evidenced through a recognised English Language test such as IELTS, Cambridge Certificate, PTE or DBS English Assessment. Test certificates should be dated within the last two years to be considered valid.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Applicants who do not have a Level 8 qualification at a pass award level and who have at least 3 years’ relevant work experience may also be considered through the College’s normal RPL procedures.  Relevant professional experience may be taken into account and individuals will be assessed on a case-by-case basis through DBS RPL procedures.


Course Content

The modules on The Higher Diploma in Science in Aviation Finance include:

  • Aircraft Leasing Legal Frameworks

  • Aircraft Leasing Taxation

  • Aviation Finance and Financial Statement Analysis

  • Aircraft Economics and Life Cycle Management

  • Aviation Financial Management

  • Digitisation and Innovation in the Aviation Industry

Assessment Methods

DBS’s Strategy for Learning, Teaching and Assessment Enhancement (DBS 2019) is a planned, actionable commitment to achieve a learning-centred, integrated, flexible learning environment. This commitment is reflected in this programme in the engagement with learner, industry and educator expertise in the construction of the programme and in its thoughtful balance of the different modes of delivery to offer a variety of teaching strategies delivered consistently across the programme. 

The experiential and practical nature of the programme is reflected in the most common learning approach in the programme being lab-based lecturers and tutorials, together with classroom-based lecturers and tutorials.  Workshops feature throughout the programme to tackle technical and practical topics, which emphasises the experiential and practical nature of the programme.   As do the use of case studies and model examples from industry.  Peer review is also visible throughout the programme, for example, the use of the pairing approach for code review and the peer review of academic articles.  Directed e-learning, where the lecturer has scaffolded learner interaction with online reusable learning objects, features in each of the modules.  Progressive practical skills-based exercises are also utilised consistently as formative assessment in a number of modules, together with online quizzes.  Many of these formative exercises are small, with ongoing submission, thereby progressively building the learner skills base.

Learning, teaching and assessment for the programme is utilises a problem-based learning approach to encourage learners to develop problem-solving skills relating to real-world scenarios.  Modules will be delivered through a mix of lectures, workshops, tutorials, and teaching will focus on the learner undertaking critical reflection and critique of industry case studies.


This is a one year full-time programme with six taught modules each of 10 ECTS which combined, leading to a Higher Diploma in Science in Aviation Finance (Level 8, 60 ECTS).  Typically, students will attend classes from Monday to Friday. Calendars for this programme will be available in due course.

This programme is taught on a hybrid basis. This means learners are timetabled either in-class or online, in a mix of online and in-class days.

Six Key Components

  • Classroom lectures

  • Case Based learning

  • Practical Skills Sessions

  • Workshops

  • Tutorials

  • Individual and Group work

Career Opportunities

The Higher Diploma in Science in Aviation Finance programme differentiates from existing offerings in its focus upon the digitisation of the industry and the evolution of technological innovation, and in delivery upon the programmes learning outcomes - developing the skills/attributes required to meet industry demand - the programme intends to provide a clear pathway for its graduates’ employment/career opportunities.  Aviation Finance can incorporate many different areas and is an evolving area.  Aviation Finance has been defined as a combination of financial systems, data management and technology including areas such as Project Management, Risk Management, Cyber Security, Law and Regulation, Information Technology, Data Analytics for Aviation Finance and Financial Services.

The programme will produce graduates who can implement aircraft finance strategies, understand the financing required for these strategies, manage associate risk, work with various legal environments, appreciate the implications of differing taxation systems, as well as producing graduates who understand and can lead the upcoming digital transformation of the industry.


The fees for the The Higher Diploma in Aviation Finance for the Academic Year 2022/2023 are €9,850. This covers the cost of tuition, registration and examinations.

Click here to view international fees. 

Click here to view EU fees.

Next Steps

Application Procedure

Please apply via our online application form.

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Course overview

Awarding Body:
Quality & Qualifications Ireland (QQI)

Duration: 1 Academic Year
Study Mode: Full-Time
Award Level: Level 8
Award Title: Higher Diploma in Science in Aviation Finance
Next Intake: September 2024

Contact Us

We are now accepting applications for programmes taking place in 2024. Contact our admissions team for more information

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 01 417 7500
Opening times:
Monday to Friday
8:45am to 5:15pm