Integrated Flight Training
Integrated training is completed through a single approved training organisation (ATO) which is specifically authorised to conduct the intensive flight training course. It is designed train a cadet with zero flying experience through to holding a frozen Air Transport Licence (which is the licence required to act as a co-pilot / first officer in an airline) in a period of around 24 months. All training is completed at the same training organisation on a full-time basis.
Integrated flight training is more expensive than modular flight training. However, when recruiting pilots straight out of flight school who have not had a flying job before, airline generally prefer to recruit pilots from an integrated flight training course. This is because integrated courses are developed specifically to train pilots to become an airline pilot rather than generic pilot training. Integrated courses are known to be intense and the quality of training delivered is a known entity.
To obtain a frozen ATPL through an integrated flight training course, you need to fly less hours than a modular course as they are heavily regulated.
Modular Flight Training
As per its name, modular training is where the training is split up into different modules. For example, you complete your PPL first, then your ATPL theory, CPL, IR and MCC. These modules can be completed at a pace dictated by the student, such as completing it alongside work commitments which means you can train as and when you can afford to pay without taking out huge loans. It can be completed at a range of flight schools rather than it all being completed with the same organisation, thus offering more flexibility.
It has the advantage of being significantly cheaper than integrated flight training and you can complete the training as and when you can afford it.
In the past, some airlines have only recruited pilots (with no previous airline experience) from integrated courses as modular training is not always specifically geared up to train prospective airline pilots. The quality of the training may therefore be more variable than an integrated course.
However, more recently, some flight schools offer specific modular training packages. These remain a cheap option than an integrated course but provide you and your prospective employer some reassurances about the quality of training.
For more detail, have a read of our Integrated vs Modular Flight Training page.