Academic Year 2017/18

School of Industrial and Information Engineering

Degree Programme of:

Space Engineering
Laurea Magistrale (Equivalent To Master Of Science)

Milano Bovisa Campus

1. General Information

School School of Industrial and Information Engineering
Code Reference Law470
NameSpace Engineering
Reference LawOrdinamento 270/04
Class of degreeLM-20 - Aerospace and aeronautical engineering
Degree level Laurea Magistrale (Equivalent To Master Of Science)
First year of activation 2010/2011
Official length of the programme 2
Years of the programme already activated 1,2
Official language(s) English
Campus Milano
Dean of the School Lozza Giovanni
Coordinator of the Study programme Luciano Galfetti
Website of the School
Website of the Study programme

Central Student Office - Milano

2. General presentation of the study programme

Social/economic context

The space sector has in recent times, compared to the aeronautical sector, experienced significant development with companies which have achieved, even if with smaller dimensions, excellence at an international level. The domestic panorama is extremely dynamic: in addition to the largest Italian company, Thales Alenia Space, there are many extremely dynamic local companies, such as CGS-Compagnia Generale per lo Spazio or Selex-Galileo, which have been successfully operating in the space sector for several years. Furthermore, there are other smaller companies but with high technological expertise operating in the industry.

Overall, the contribution of the entire sector to the national economy is significant and technologically advanced, with important contributions to the leading European programmes.


Development of the educational offer

Following the inception of a Programme in Orbital Mechanics in the mid seventies, since 1994 education in the space sector has been underlined by the presence of a specific specialisation in the teaching offer of Aeronautical Engineering. Since 2004 the Master of Science in Space Engineering has given maximum emphasis to the sector with a teaching offer optimised according to specific objectives.

The experience gained by professors in various research areas has a positive impact on teaching delivered. Cooperation with industry and research bodies, both national and international, takes advantage of the ability to carry out basic and applied research, supporting education in terms of content and teaching methods.

The aerospace offer at the Politecnico di Milano is today organised in three cycles: Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering, Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering and in Space Engineering as well as Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering.


The Programme Mission

The Programme Mission is to prepare engineers capable of successfully addressing a multi- and inter-disciplinary context in dynamic and highly international operating environments, combining solid scientific and engineering foundations with specific aerospace engineering concepts which, according to the education level, facilitate the engineer in analysing, understanding and managing problems typical of the sector as well as of related scientific and technological areas. From the technical-scientific point of view, the Mission implies pursuing, on three levels, improvement of knowledge and understanding of issues typical of aeronautical and space engineering.

3. Learning objectives

The aerospace sector requires highly professional engineers capable of working successfully in extremely interdisciplinary areas with a high level of technology, elevated efficiency and safety requisites and in a continually evolving and markedly international context:

The general educational objective of the Master of Science in Space Engineering is that of preparing highly qualified technicians from the cultural and professional standpoint, able to carry out and manage activities related to research and design in the space sector. Master of Science graduates in Space Engineering have the skills to develop, in a complete manner, activities related to the design, analysis and verification of a space mission. In these areas the skills for specialists in the following are highlighted: mission analysis, space system thermal-structural design, design of propulsive and energy subsystems, orbital and trim control, operations and communication with the Earth station, integration of space systems and post-launch operations.

The knowledge gained in the various courses is taught in such a way as to not only ensure its acquisition but also to develop interdisciplinary skills and the aptitude to face new and complex problems in a scientifically rigorous manner.

The Programme, in all its levels, has the objective of maintaining and reinforcing the ability to translate one's knowledge into coherent behaviour in the employment world, pursuing the following learning results:


Knowledge and understanding

The educational programme of the Degree Programme in Aeronautical Engineering is oriented to provide students with knowledge and understanding of the main issues characterising the following contexts: aerodynamics, dynamics of flight, aerospace structures, structural dynamics and control and fundamentals of aero-elasticity.  Such elements are considered to be essential to be able to satisfy the learning and professional objectives the student gives him/herself in choosing the courses to be taken, ensuring in addition consolidation of those tools which, with the support of advanced texts, facilitate study of new issues, continuous update of professional skills and alignment with operating conditions met along the way.


Applying knowledge and understanding

Graduates must be able to analyse and solve engineering problems suitable for their level of knowledge, autonomously elaborating their own skills, working in cooperation with engineers and non-engineers, using consolidated methodologies, from numerical modelling to experimentation, whilst recognising limitations and potential.


Making judgements

Graduates must acquire the skills needed to conduct complex studies on technical issues at their level of knowledge, using various and appropriate tools, from bibliographic research to consulting regulations and carrying out numerical and/or experimental investigations. These skills must lead to being able to formulate judgements whilst always being aware of the complexity of typical aerospace engineering problems and of the need for any in-depth analysis.


Communication skills

The Master of Science graduate in Space Engineering must acquire the necessary abilities to communicate in an effective manner in a national and international context, both orally and in writing, being able to draft reports and make oral presentations using state-of-the-art tools.


Learning skills

The educational project which the student can define, based on the basic structure, the teaching methods and continuous stimulus of problem analysis and critical evaluation skills, will put the graduate in a position to manage continuous and indispensable learning with a high degree of autonomy, in order to follow scientific-technical evolution in the aerospace field. A significant part of this objective is assigned to the thesis work.

The above objectives are pursued via lectures and specific exercise and laboratory teaching activities, carried out individually or in groups, within the individual or coordinated courses, also using verification procedures which foresee direct professor/student interaction aimed at stimulating and developing autonomy in managing issues faced.

4. Organization of the study programme and further studies

4.1 Structure of the study programme and Qualifications

The educational offer in the aerospace field at the Politecnico di Milano foresees three cycles, Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering, Master of Science in Aeronautical or Space Engineering and PhD in Aerospace Engineering. The structure is represented by the following diagram.

Structure of the educational offer in the Aerospace Engineering sector

The Master of Science in Space Engineering foresees a single educational programme, suitable for acquiring a solid background in the characterising disciplines mostly requested by the employment market.

10 compulsory courses, 1 course of choice among characterising proposals and 1 freely-chosen course, also outside the programme indications, are foreseen. 20 credits are reserved for the thesis and final exam, a further 2 credits for activity aimed at acquiring personal skills, such as technical writing and presentation, destined to facilitate insertion in the employment world.

On concluding the Master of Science in Space Engineering the student acquires an M.Sc. in Space Engineering.

4.2 Further Studies

The qualification grants access to "Dottorato di Ricerca" (Research Doctorate), "Corso di Specializzazione di secondo livello" (2nd level Specialization Course) and "Master Universitario di secondo livello" (2nd level University Master)

5. Professional opportunities and work market

5.1 Professional status of the degree

This qualification allows graduates to take the professional examination to register in the professional order of engineers, under Section B. Registration is accompanied by the wording: "Engineers section - industrial field".
The preparation of the Master of Science graduate in Space Engineering allows occupation of roles of autonomy and responsibility in areas such as: space industries, research centres, public and private bodies for design, production and experimentation in the space field; industries producing equipment and components for the space sector in which operating autonomy and slim structures are significant.
The broad and in-depth preparation facilitates the possibility to work in industries which are not specifically space-oriented but in which advanced methodologies and techniques are applied.

5.2 Careers options and profiles

Typical professional environments for Master of Science graduates in Space Engineering are those of innovation and development in production, advanced design, planning and programming, management of complex systems, both as self-employed professionals as well as in manufacturing or service industries and in public administration.

The Degree Programme prepares for the profession of (*):

-        Aerospace Engineer

-        Mechanical Engineer

 (*) according to the ISTAT classification of professions with possibility to register in section A of the Order of Engineers upon passing the professional exam.


Surveys of University Assessment Commission

6. Enrolment

6.1 Access requirements

Laurea (First degree), or foreign comparable degree

The admission to the Master of Science degree in Space Engineering undergoes an evaluation process aimed to determine the eligibility of the applicant. Such process, in compliance to the existing regulation (D.M. 22/10/2004 n. 270 art. 6 par. 2 and D.M. 16/3/2007, art.6 par. 1), is based upon curriculum requirements and an assessment of the preparation of the student.

The final decision about the admission to the Master of Science degree shall be taken by an Evaluation Commission set up by the Board of Studies, according to the academic career of the applicant. The Commission may take into account a valid documentation showing clear exceptional conditions, justifying the non-compliance of the below-mentioned criteria and showing that the student has an adequate background. Such a documentation shall be attached to the admission application.

If the applicant is admitted, compulsory additional subjects shall be communicated together with the admission and before enrolment, in order to provide students with the necessary information for a transparent and rational choice.

Requirements concerning the English language proficiency levels are presented in Paragraph 7.4.


Application for admission


A Bachelor of Science Degree (Laurea) is required for the evaluation of the career, as well as an higher degree (MSc, Laurea Magistrale). The evaluation can be carried out also for students enrolled in Politecnico di Milano BSc, if they are candidates in the next Graduation session, and for students enrolled in BSc of other Italian Universities, if they shall graduate before enrolling to the MSc.

Admission requirements concerning the academic career considered by the Commission are as follows:

  1. average graduation mark not below the “adjusted” admission threshold (see later);
  2. certification of the English language proficiency (please see Paragraph 7.4);
  3. further subjects and knowledge are not required.

If the requirement stated at point 1. of the above list is not satisfied, the Commission will not admit the applicant to the Master of Science degree course, unless documentation testifying a proven exceptional case can be presented.

If the requirements stated at either point 2. or 3. of the above list are not satisfied, the applicant will be accepted to the Master of Science degree course and enrolled, after having satisfied these conditions.


Number of years for achieving the Bachelor


The number of years for achieving the Bachelor of Science, named as “N”, is the half of the number of semesters occurring from the year of first enrolment in any University to the achievement of the BSc Graduation (semesters end at March 31st or October 31st). For sake of clarification, N can assume the following values:

  • For students who enrolled at the Bachelor of Science in September 2014 and will earn their BSc degree no later than October 2017 (6 semesters): N = 3
  • For students who enrolled at the Bachelor of Science in September 2014 and will earn their BSc degree no later than March 2018 (7 semesters): N = 3,5
  • For students who enrolled at the Bachelor of Science in September 2013 and will earn their BSc degree no later than October 2017 (8 semesters): N = 4
  • For students who enrolled at the Bachelor of Science in September 2012 and will earn their BSc degree no later than March 2018 (9 semesters): N = 5,5


"Adjusted" admission threshold for candidates with a BSC issued by Politecnico di Milano


Students who earned their Bachelor of Science degree with a score lower than the “adjusted” admission threshold SC will not be admitted to attend to the Master of Science in Space Engineering. The ‘score’ is the average of the exams’ scores, weighted by the CFU of each exam. For the 2017-2018 academic year, for candidates with a BSc issued by Politecnico di Milano, the “adjusted” threshold is calculated according to this formula:


SC = S + k * (min (N1,N)-3)


Where k = ½, N1 = 6 and S is defined as follows:


Study Course of the BSc Graduation


Engineers from Politecnico di Milano


Industrial Designers and Architects from Politecnico di Milano




"Adjusted" admission threshold for candidates with a BSC issued by other Italian Universities


For candidates with a Bachelor of Science issued by any Italian University other than Politecnico di Milano, the “adjusted” threshold is compared to the Graduation score and, therefore, it is expressed with a maximum of 110 points.


Category of graduates

“Adjusted” admission threshold

Aeronautical Engineers from other Universities


Other graduates from other Universities



For the 2018-2019 academic year, the above "Adjusted" admission thresholds could be modified.


English Proficiency


For a list of the recognized certificates and their respective minimum requirements, please see Paragraph 7.4.


Admission without compulsory prerequisites


To be admitted to the MSc in Space Engineering when the Bachelor of Science degree programme is evaluated as being “consistent” with the study programme of the Master of Science degree course. The Evaluation Commission verifies these requirements, also ascertaining the need of imposing any prerequisite (i.e. additional compulsory modules) to fill possible gaps. Please see Paragraph 6.2, for a presentation of the evaluation process.

6.2 Requested knowledge

In order to be admitted to the Master of Science in Space Engineering, applicants must have acquired a minimum number of credits in some scientific areas as reported in the following table:




Minimum number of credits

Algebra, Numerical analysis, Geometry, Statistics, Computer Science, Math, Theoretical Mechanics

MAT 02/03/05/06/07/08




Chemistry, Physics


FIS 01/03


Principles of Electricity and Electrical Machines

ING-IND 31/32/33


Economics, Industrial and Aerospace Systems





Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics


ING-IND 10/11



Aerospace Propulsion, Energy Systems


ING-IND 08/09


General and Applied Mechanics, Solid Mechanics, Materials, Automatic Control

ING-IND 03/04



ING-IND 12/13/14/15/16/21/22


45 (*)


(*) at least 5 credits in ING-IND 03


If this minimum threshold is not reached, some compulsory additional subjects are assigned to the candidate in the related areas.

If the total number of credits is over 60, the candidate cannot access to the Master of Science Course.

If the total number of credits is less than 6, the candidate can be admitted to the Master of Science Course without additional subjects.


Procedures for the application of prerequisites


An applicant who has been assigned any prerequisites may attend “Individual Courses”, in the period before the enrolment to the Master of Science. The following three opportunities exist:

  • earn credits by passing courses at the Master of Science level, by means of the “Individual Courses” program; these credits will be accepted to part of the 120 credits necessary for the Master of Science degree.
  • earn the ‘right to attend’ of courses at the Master of Science level. The same as before if the exam was not passed.
  • earn credits related to the additional compulsory modules, as requested by the Evaluation Commission for the Master of Science. These credits shall be not accounted within the 120 credits required for the Master of Science degree.

Furthermore, the following restrictions are in force:

  1. the total amount of credits (by passing exams or only attending courses) that can be accounted under the 120 credits required for the Master of Science degree cannot exceed 32. Credits in excess of 32 could be only accepted as ‘over-limit exams’ (soprannumero).
  2. in any case, the total amount of credits earned by passing “individual courses” cannot exceed 80, including credits of compulsory prerequisites.

If an applicant does not pass the exams assigned as compulsory prerequisites within 15 months, he or she forfeits his/her right to admission totally and completely.

The educational offer at the Politecnico di Milano

6.3 Deadlines

The Degree Programme in Space Engineering belongs to the School of Industrial and Information Engineering which establishes the programmed number of places each year.

How to become a student at Politecnico di Milano

6.4 Tutoring and students support


7. Contents of the study Program

7.1 Programme requirements

Achievement of 120 credits by passing an exam for each of the courses foreseen in the Programme and a final exam consisting of the discussion of a thesis prepared by the student.

7.2 Mode of study

Teaching will take place in English. 

The Programme is organised according to full-time attendance and foresees participation in lectures and laboratory activities. Attendance, whilst not compulsory, is highly recommended.

7.3 Detailed learning objectives

The educational offer is aimed at acquisition of skills useful in developing, in a complete manner, activities related to the design, analysis and verification of a space mission. In these areas the skills for specialists in the following are highlighted: mission analysis, space system thermal-structural design, design of propulsive and energy subsystems, orbital and trim control, operations and communication with the Earth station, integration of space systems and post-launch operations.

The general overview of the educational offer is the following:

1 Year courses - Track: NDE - Space Engineering

Code Educational activities SSD Course Title Language Sem Credits (CFU) CFU Group

Two credits are assigned for seminar activity during which issues useful in entering the employment market are discussed, starting with technical writing and presentation techniques. The exam is without marks and does not count towards the final average.

2 Year courses - Track: NDE - Space Engineering

Code Educational activities SSD Course Title Language Sem Credits (CFU) CFU Group
097486--FIS/01SPACE PHYSICS18.08.0
090921----THESIS AND FINAL EXAM--120.020.0
090921----THESIS AND FINAL EXAM--220.0



One of the two courses under the 16 CFU Group may be substituted, using autonomous study plans, by another course offered by the University; in this case it will be necessary to evaluate the coherency of the educational project as foreseen by MD 270: “educational activity autonomously chosen by the student as long as coherent with the educational project”.

The School reserves the right not to activate courses without an adequate number of students.



Pre-requisites are intended to avoid students approaching courses without knowledge and skills foreseen by the teaching regulations. It is not a question of bureaucratic restrictions but rather help in correct fruition of the courses.


Pre-requisites table



Type of precedence




Spacecraft attitude dynamics and control









Orbital mechanics

Dynamics and control of space structures 


Experimental techniques in aerospace structures



Dynamics and control of space structures 


Space mission analysis and design





Spacecraft attitude dynamics and control

Spacecraft structures


* to clarify the meaning of the type of requirements the translation of the “Student guide” is provided:

Suggested: this is a no effect requirement with the only goal of addressing the student through the correct courses sequence; there is no effect on exam or on course selection.

Composition: it is not possible to select the course in the first column without the simultaneous presence of the course in the second column; there is no effect on examination timing.

Frequency: it is not possible to select the first course if not yet passed the exam of the second one.

Registration: it is not possible to sustain the first course exam if not yet passed the exam of the second one.


Supplementary activities

Students should aim to graduate with more than the 120 credits required by the system. Educational proposals that will be acknowledged and certified in students’ personal curricula are:

-        additional courses;

-        company internships.

Additional courses

To complete his/her education, students may insert additional courses, e.g. proposed by the University or by the Programme and PhD courses, according to that published in the documents of the reference Boards.

Remember that:

  • courses proposed within the scope of the teaching offer of the Programme inserted as additional courses cannot be used for the purpose of obtaining the Master of Science, other than by applying for their transformation in effective courses;
  • additional activities are not compulsory for the student who may graduate without having gained such credits.

Company internships

An experience in a working environment can play a significant role in the training of an engineer. The current proposal does not foresee a compulsory period of time spent in a company. However, students are strongly recommended to insert an internship as a supplementary activity in their study programme. Time spent in a company will be managed by a specific structure so as to guarantee:

-        quality of the activity carried out;

-        respect of commitments in terms of time required;

-        adequacy of assistance and tutoring in the company;

-        correspondence between educational needs of students and work carried out in the company.

Working in a company, aside from providing an initial and significant experience in the employment world, is a possibility for mutual understanding which, by experience, often translates into employment. Selection and access methods for company internships are available on the Programme Website.


Autonomous study plans

Autonomous study plans, that is plans which do not comply with the rules adopted by the School and summarised in the Programme Teaching Regulations, will be examined individually.

7.4 Foreign language

Foreign languages are assessed using the procedure established by the University, published in the document “Foreign Languages – Regulations for passing the educational requisite of knowledge of a European Union language”. The minimum level of knowledge of English required for admission to the Master of Science in Space Engineering corresponds to level C1 of the CEF (Common European Framework). Students are invited to read this document carefully.

Language courses

7.5 Degree examination

The final exam has the main objective of verifying acquisition of issues relating to the thesis work; it consists of a presentation and subsequent discussion of activity carried out and results achieved with the commission. It also has the secondary objective of verifying acquisition of adequate oral and written communication skills.

The ability to correctly present results of one's work and to face a technical cross-examination will be evaluated by the commission and will contribute to the final score.

The types of document and procedures for compiling the final score can be found in the regulation approved by the School of Industrial and Information Engineering and available on its Website.

Information concerning general rules and regulations, session calendars, registration and consignment of theses is available at

8. Academic calendar

Academic calendar

9. Faculty

The names of professors for each Course, together with their subject, will be available on the degree programme starting from the month of September.
The degree programme is annually published on the website of Politecnico di Milano.

10. Infrastructures and laboratories

The student support structures and services as well as the procedures for contacting the various persons in charge are provided on the School of Industrial and Information Engineering of the Politecnico di Milano Website at the page concerning the Programme in Aerospace Engineering.

Information is available in the Study Manifesto, published each year on the Politecnico di Milano Website.

11. International context

The University is carrying out a comparison with the main international universities. Reports and studies will shortly be available on the Politecnico di Milano Web site in the Study Manifesto section.

12. Internationalization

The School of Industrial and Information Engineering of the Politecnico di Milano intends to actively promote student mobility programmes, given the educational importance of an international experience during university studies.

Students may continue their studies for a period varying from one semester to one year at a foreign University which the School of Industrial and Information Engineering considers to be of a good level and with which the Politecnico has signed an exchange agreement.

These periods of time will be fully acknowledged and examinations of the Politecnico courses that will be replaced with those equivalent at the foreign university will be specified one by one.

Mobility is regulated by the regulations adopted by the School of Industrial and Information Engineering. For further details please refer to the "International Mobility Regulation" of the School of Industrial and Information Engineering.

Information on exchange programmes, double degree projects and international internships, European research and international relations projects are available at

13. Quantitative data

14. Further information

The Programme reserves the right to make changes to the contents of this document.

15. Errata corrige