New information following the change in COVID-19 alert levels.

Bachelor of Aviation

Key facts

  • Available at Manawatū
  • Minimum of 3 years of full-time study
  • Available for international students studying in NZ

Become a pilot with a difference

Learn how to fly in Massey’s state-of-the-art training fleet, while gaining a university qualification that equips you for a professional career as an airline pilot, not just a ‘licence to fly’. 

What is it like?

Find out more about entry requirements, fees and courses in the planning section.

Massey's Bachelor of Aviation (Air Transport Pilot) is a university undergraduate qualification intended for career pilots. It will not just train you to be a competent pilot, but to become a ‘flight deck manager’ with a university education, and an in-depth understanding of the aviation industry.

Massey owns and operates a fleet of technically advanced Diamond single engine and twin engine aircraft equipped with full digital avionics approved for Performance Based Navigation operations.”

You’ll also get to learn in our state-of-the-art flight Diamond DA-42 flight simulator. With a 220-degree wraparound screen, it can be positioned at any airport in the world and the scenery outside will match the location. Massey University's School of Aviation was the first pilot training facility in New Zealand to install this new-generation simulator.

Turn your passion into a career

Massey University is the only place in New Zealand where you can turn your passion for aviation into a university qualification. We are an internationally-recognised pilot training facility, but we also give you a broad knowledge of the global aviation industry. We will introduce you to the critical ‘soft’ skills required of a professional aviator such as:

  • Decision-making
  • Communication
  • Workload management
  • Conflict resolution

These will expand the range of careers open to you in the aviation industry.

Skills that employers seek

A career as a pilot is exciting and highly sought-after. Our aviation degree will give you a point of difference - an in-depth understanding of the industry, and an internationally-recognised qualification. We will teach you the skills that employers seek.

In addition to the scenario-based flight training methodology, a special feature of the flight training programme is multi-crew training. This is designed to prepare you for functioning as flight crew members in air carrier operations. The Airline Bridging Course module at the end of the flight training phase is unique to the Bachelor of Aviation programme.

Electronic flight bags

Electronic flight bags (EFBs) are now almost standard for every major international air carrier. Previously pilots needed to have comprehensive documentation for each flight, carried onto the aircraft in bulky paper manuals. This has now mostly moved to a digital format. As a new Bachelor of Aviation (ATP) student you will be issued with an Apple iPad to be used as your EFB for the duration of your flight training practicum period.

Industry mentor

Finally your cohort (group studying in the same year as you) will be assigned an experienced aviation industry mentor to help guide you through the course and to give you the benefit of their industry experience and knowledge.

Accreditations and industry recognition

This programme is ISO-9001-2015 certified and has the unique distinction of holding an Equivalence Approval from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority. This means our students’ university examination results are accepted in lieu of CAA examinations. Flight Examiners from the School are also approved for conducting flight tests for issue of licences.

Air NZ Preferred Flight Training Organisation (PFTO)

An Air NZ Preferred FTOs is a flight training organisation that Air New Zealand has chosen ­- as a result of a rigorous selection process - to provide airline-informed ab-initio flight training (training for those with no prior experience) under the Aviation Institute umbrella.

Internationally recognised qualification

Your qualification is internationally recognised, and accredited by the key New Zealand aviation authorities.

Massey University's Bachelor of Aviation was the first non-engineering degree to be recognised by the Royal Aeronautical Society (1998) and Massey was the first New Zealand training organisation to meet all of the requirements for Civil Aviation Authority Rule Part 141 certification. When studying for the Bachelor of Aviation, professional pilot licensing requirements of the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand are integrated into your degree’s courses. Therefore upon graduation you’ll be issued with a commercial pilot’s licence and multi-engine instrument ratings. In addition you will have gained the theory credits towards your NZ ATPL (Airline Transport Pilot Licence).

Massey University’s business and management studies also rank in the top 300 (by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) rankings). We are ranked No.1 in New Zealand and in the top 150 universities worldwide for our business administration and finance programmes by ShanghaiRanking.

Telarc Registered CAA Royal Aeronautical Society

A good fit if you:

  • Love the idea of flying for a living
  • Enjoy mathematics and physics
  • Keep your cool in stressful situations
  • Have leadership skills.
  • Want to have a profession - not just a ‘job’
  • Want a degree - not just a ‘licence to fly’
Luc Valleteau De Moulliac
First Officer for Etihad Airlines

“Where most university students would do a bachelor's degree alone in the standard three years, I combined my bachelor’s with actual flying!”

I experienced the joy of learning how to fly with New Zealand's stunning scenery as the backdrop.

After completing my Massey qualification, I went on to the International Cadet Pilot Programme’s intensive airline training programme in Al Ain, UAE. I now work for Etihad Airlines with the position of First Officer (in the Airbus A320 family) based in Dhabi, UAE. I do both short and medium haul flights to destinations as close as Muscat and as far away as Moscow.

Vanessa Brill-Holland
First Officer for Jetstar NZ

“I chose aviation because it was a very practical degree and everything you learnt in the classroom can be applied to flying practically the next day.”

Massey University was the only flight training option in New Zealand that offered a degree integrated with flight training which I thought would benefit me in the future.

Just before entering my last semester of my Massey BAv degree I was selected into the inaugural cohort of the Qantas Future Pilot Programme. Completing the degree included successfully completing the Qantas Airline Transition course in the final semester after which I moved into my type rating on the Dash 8 aircraft and then line training.

I am now flying the Jetstar NZ regional routes based out of Jetstar’s Auckland base. Although the last year has been an exceptionally busy and demanding one, which tested me to the limit at times, the opportunity would not have been possible if I had not been enrolled in the Massey BAv degree. I can now reap the benefits of all that hard work in my aviation career.


If you study the Bachelor of Aviation (Air Transport Pilot), your preferred career will no doubt be as an airline pilot. Gaining this degree will also open other doors for other potential careers within the aviation industry.

A number of graduates work as flight instructors in New Zealand or Australia which enables them to build on their instructional techniques capabilities – a valuable skill for those who eventually take up a role as an Airline Training Captain.

At a later stage you may wish to progress to key management or training positions within an airline or with international bodies such as International Air Transport Association (IATA) or the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). At this stage postgraduate study would be useful.

  • Flying for national and international carriers
  • Continuing with postgraduate study in aviation management.

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