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

Master of Aviation

Key facts

  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available via Distance Learning
  • Eighteen months (1.5 years) full-time study; Up to a maximum of five years part-time study.
  • Available for international students studying in NZ or via distance learning

Enhance your aviation career

Enhance your career prospects in the internationally-competitive aviation sector.

What is it like?

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

Massey University’s Master of Aviation will give you the knowledge and skills you need to gain a more in-depth understanding of aviation and advance your career.

Enhance your career prospects

Aviation industry personnel like those in many other industries, face increasing ‘academic inflation’.  Senior aviation managers are required to demonstrate not only technical knowledge and expertise, but also advanced aviation qualifications and skills.

This programme is partly taught and also includes a professional research project.

What will you learn?

A Master of Aviation will give you the skills to work to a high level of academic achievement, work to deadlines under pressure and communicate your work effectively. All of these are essential skills to work at a senior level in the aviation industry, or to progress to a higher level of study such as a PhD.

A masters is a rigorous and challenging academic programme, but you will be rewarded with an in-depth knowledge of aviation that will significantly enhance your career prospects in the internationally-competitive aviation sector. 

180 credits

Massey University’s Master of Aviation is a 180 credit master qualification. The 180 credit masters offers a rigorous programme of learning yet can be achieved in three semesters (one and a half years).

Two pathways to choose

You can choose from two pathways: research or professional practice.

1. Research pathway

If you choose this pathway your study will include 60 credits of taught courses including a compulsory Research Methods course. Part Two will incorporate a minimum of 60 credits of research.

2. Professional practice pathway

Those wanting a more practice-based qualification which reflects their industry experience should enrol in the Professional Practice option.

This option includes two compulsory aviation management courses, elective aviation courses and culminates in a 60 credit ‘Professional Practice in Aviation’ course. Students who are already aviation professionals may wish to draw on their current aviation role for the purpose of a case study.

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 tertiary qualification. We are an internationally-recognised pilot training facility, but we also give you a broad knowledge of the global aviation industry. You will learn communication, management and administrative skills that will broaden out the range of careers open to you in the aviation industry.

Accessible lecturers

We work to help you succeed. Massey University offers smaller classes and more personalised learning than many other tertiary institutions, giving you greater access to lecturers and the help you need to succeed and thrive during your master’s study.

Research-led learning

Massey teaching is research-led and our academics are internationally ranked and among the best in the world. Our teaching staff are widely published and are in demand as keynote speakers on topical global issues. International visitors regularly seek out visits to our facilities to learn more about what we do.

Relevant learning

Your lecturers and supervisors at Massey have strong connections with the industry. We work to ensure that our teaching fits with the changing environment, which means you will emerge with a relevant qualification valued by potential employers.

International recognition

Massey University’s business and management studies 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.


A good fit if you:

  • Are passionate about aviation
  • Have a bachelor’s degree in aviation, or a relevant qualification
  • Are interested in a postgraduate qualification that combines both structured learning and research
  • Want to progress your career to the next level of seniority and stand out in the job market
Captain Andrew Sturrock
Master of Aviation (MAv)

“Massey staff and lecturers were always extremely helpful and keen for me to do well and to achieve my goal to increase my personal knowledge…”

I commenced my master’s in aviation management in 2015 after a hiatus from my studies following my bachelor’s degree in aviation management. During this time, I continued my aviation employment commitments and airline project development as Head of Flight Operations at Tasman Cargo Airlines. An increase in regulator and business development indicated to me that further studies would provide a broader base to my knowledge in aviation management.

The MAv studies provided me a chance to enhance my foundation in operational decisions with project development and future planning in the airline’s expansion. During my part time studies the Massey staff and lecturers were always extremely helpful and keen for me to do well and to achieve my goal to increase my personal knowledge.


Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates, found that in New Zealand:

  • Young master’s graduates earn more than one and a half times more than the national median (five years after study)
  • Earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed
  • Five years after completion, the median earnings of young master’s graduates are 15% higher than for those with a bachelor’s degree.

World-leading lecturers and supervisors

Massey’s aviation staff are internationally-renowned for their research and teaching and learning methods. You will be working with internationally-recognised specialists, for example:

Dr Andrew Gilbey

Dr Gilbey’s primary areas of interest are applied aviation psychology (e.g. pilot decision-making), general aviation psychology, underreporting of safety issues and mild-hypoxia.

Dr Gilbey is widely published in national and international journals such as the International Journal of Aviation Psychology and the Journal of Air Transport Management.

Associate Professor Kan Tsui

Associate Professor Tsui obtained a PhD in Aviation Management at Massey University and has worked with University of South Australia and Hong Kong’s aviation industry.

His research involves development and application of state-of-the-art techniques and methodology to investigate and analyse the contemporary issues related to the air transport industry and the dynamics of air transport policy, as well as tourism.

Contact us Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey