Our Wellington and Manawatū campuses are open, Auckland remains closed at AL3. More information.
Become a pilot with a difference
Gain a professional qualification which integrates flight training with university study.
- Undergraduate, NZQF Level 7
- 3 year(s) full-time.
- Selected entry programme
Available at Manawatū
Massey is the only place in New Zealand where you can turn your passion for aviation into a university qualification. We are not only an internationally recognised pilot training facility but we also give you a broad knowledge of the global aviation industry.
You will not just train to be a professional pilot, but to become a ‘flight deck manager’ with a university education and an in-depth understanding of the aviation industry.
Find out more about the Air Transport Pilot major in ‘Specialisations’.
- The 2020 Student Experience Survey results for this programme found that 80% of students on this programme were satisfied with the teaching they have received, 85% believed assessment tasks challenged students to learn, and 95% highlight that the programme has given them excellent “knowledge of the field you are studying”.
- The 2020 Graduate Destination Survey results for this programme found that 60% of graduates are in employment and 60% have continued in further study.
- Between 2018 and 2021 the average number of students enrolled in the programme was 136 (headcount). In the 2020 academic year 93% of students in the first year of this programme continued their studies and across the whole programme 89% of courses were successfully completed.
Majors, subjects or endorsements
Careers and further study
A career as a pilot is exciting and highly sought-after.
The Bachelor of Aviation (Air Transport Pilot) opens up opportunities to become airline pilots or any other potential career within the aviation industry.
Many graduates work as flight instructors in New Zealand or Australia, enabling them to build on their instructional techniques expertise which is a valuable skill for those who eventually decide to take up a role as an Airline Training Captain.
You may wish to progress to key management or training positions for an airline or with international bodies such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) or the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Postgraduate study in aviation would be worth considering if you intend to follow this path.
New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.
Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.
As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings as your study will be in New Zealand.
All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.
This programme is a selected entry programme. This means there are a number of extra requirements you must meet.
To enter the Bachelor of Aviation programme, you must pass NCEA Level 3/Year 13 or equivalent in an ‘English-rich’ subject. These include one of the following:
- classical studies
- history of art
- media studies
- religious education (RE)
- business studies
NZCAA Class One Medical
When you first apply online you need to:
- provide a CV including academic and work history
- have completed a trial flight
- provide any information of circumstances in your past personal or professional life that might make you ineligible to train for, or hold, a professional pilots licence in New Zealand (see below for more information).
If you already have a NZCAA Class One Medical Certificate please also upload a copy with your application. But this is not essential for your initial application.
There are two more stages to the application process:
You will take and pass an online ‘ADAPT’ test. See below for information.
Before Stage Two
Before you will be considered by selection board in Stage Two, you will have:
- taken at least one trial (experience) flight
- pre-booked your medical appointments (with both an approved medical examiner and optometrist) to gain the NZCAA Class One Medical Certificate for no later than one week after your selection board appointment.
Your application will be assessed, and you may then be invited to the ‘selection board’. This involves:
- taking part in an panel interview
- passing pilot aptitude assessments - including a flight simulator aptitude test , psychometric and physics tests
- completing two writing tasks: English language competency tests (an essay and a vocabulary test) and a multi-choice maths / physics (‘aeroscience’ ) assessment.
Before you start
Once you are successful in gaining a place in the Bachelor of Aviation programme you will also need to complete further tasks. These include:
- passing an NZCAA class one medical certificate, or have booked a test
- completing a 'Fit and Proper Person' assessment. This is to comply with the Civil Aviation Act 1990, Section 9. You must provide an up-to-date criminal convictions report and obtain an offence history report from Land Transport New Zealand, or from any other country resided in over the last five years.
Application closing date
If you are a new-to-Massey student, applications for a Semester One start close on 1 November 2021 for domestic students and 1 October 2021 for international students.
Applications for a Semester Two start close on 1 May 2022 for domestic students and 1 April 2022 for international students.
English language requirements
To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards. Where English is not your first language, you must have achieved an Academic IELTS of 6.5 with no band below 6.0, or equivalent.
As Massey is an Air NZ Preferred Flight Training Organisation all prospective candiates must complete the ‘ADAPT’ pilot pre-screening tool. This test can be accessed on the ServiceIQ website.
You should forward your results directly to the School of Aviation as soon as they receive them. You are required to meet a satisfactory standard in this test in order to be invited to the next stage of the selection process.
If you are living in New Zealand, you are required to have taken at least one trial (experience) flight before your selection board appointment is confirmed. This is to give you an understanding of what it is like to fly in a small aircraft. Trial flights experiences can be flexible (eg taken at any New Zealand flight training organisation), with pilot friends, or at the annual Massey University Aviation Open Day.
Selection boards are held twice a year:
- early December immediately after NCEA examinations (for applicants wishing to commence in the following January)
- the last week of May for applicants wishing to commence in July).
Once you apply for this programme you will be advised of the exact date of your selection board appointment.
If you are invited to the selection board interview you must appear in person. This is held at the Massey University School of Aviation campus, 47 Airport Drive, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
NZCAA Class One Medical Certificate
You must obtain a NZCAA Class One Medical Certificate before being confirmed into the Bachelor of Aviation. If you do not already hold this, you must have pre-booked your medical appointments (with both an approved medical examiner and optometrist) for no later than one week after your selection board appointment.
Confirmation of medical appointment booking must be provided before your selection appointment will be confirmed.
If you have a NZCAA Class One Medical Certificate please upload a copy with your application.
Fit and Proper Person (FPP) assessment
Are there any circumstances in your past personal or professional life that might make you ineligible to train for, or hold, a professional pilots licence in New Zealand? If so, please provide a Ministry of Justice and / or a Ministry of Transport report. This information should be uploaded when submitting your application. This information will be confidential to those staff assessing your qualification.
Once enrolled in this programme you will also be required to apply for a 'Fit and Proper Person' (FPP) assessment. This is to comply with the Civil Aviation Act 1990, Section 9. You must provide an up to date criminal convictions report and obtain an offence history report from Land Transport NZ, or from any other country resided in over the last five years.
You will be required to declare any traffic or criminal offences at your selection board appointment. This will enable us to advise you if there may be a barrier to your gaining the required FPP pproval from the NZ Civil Aviation Authority in future which will then prevent you from being able to continue your flight training programme.
During the programme the obligation continues
Once you are assessed as having FPP status it is your obligation to maintain this status. For example, if you gain a conviction for drunk driving (or other serious or serial offending) that breaches the 'Fit and Proper Person' criteria whilst on this programme, and you lose your FPP status, your training will be unable to proceed.
Short or long term disability, including learning disability, or health issues
If any of the above apply to you, please upload a summary of what these are, how they are being managed and any support you believe you may need during your study/training. Your responses are confidential to University staff processing your application.
Application deadlines for the Air Transport Pilot Programme
Due 1 November
Due 1 October
Due 1 May
Due 1 April
Due 5 November
Due 5 October
Due 1 May
Due 1 April
NZCAA Class One Medical Certificate
Due start of January
Due start of July
Submit when exam results released – NCEA results published early January. ICE and IB results also released in January
Evidence of UE status must be submitted no later than 30 June
We highly recommend that you have passed Mathematics (Calculus) and Physics at NCEA Level 3/Year 13 or equivalent.
We also highly recommend that you have passed NCEA Level 3/Year 13 or equivalent in an ‘English-rich’ subject in order to demonstrate your ability to write a formal extended essay.
Prior learning, credit and exemptions
For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:
- review the Recognition of Prior Learning regulations
- contact us through the Enquire button on this page.
If you do not have the entry requirements
English language and foundation courses
If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and programmes that may help.
- English Language Proficiency
- Foundation Certificate in Academic English
- Foundation Certificate in Advanced Academic English
- Full Foundation - Certificate in Foundation Studies
If you need to do a course before you start your programme, there may be options for you in Summer School.
Courses and planning
From the Schedule to the Degree including:
Choose from Option 1 or Option 2
You must also meet the required competencies to achieve:
- Your Commercial Pilots licence
- Multi-engine instrument rating, and
- Airline Transport Pilot Licence subject theory credits in specified courses
Ensure that overall, you have:
- Not more than 225 credits at 100 level
- At least 75 credits at 300 level
Attend field trips, simulations, workshops, tutorials, laboratories and flight training as required.
See ‘Courses for this programme’ below for schedules of courses.
Courses for this programme
See the ‘Courses for this specialisation’ section of the Air Transport Pilot specialisation.
Majors and minors
Air Transport Pilot
There is one major in this degree, which is the Air Transport Pilot (ATP) major. All students complete this major.
Planning your programme
All Bachelor of Aviation students undertake a full-time programme. In your first year you will take twelve 15-credit courses, making a total of 180 credits.
All your courses in Year One and Year Two are compulsory.
Becoming a pilot
To become a pilot you will need to complete this qualification, comprising a total of 480 credits as outlined on this page.
At the completion of 360 credits in this qualification, you will have met the requirements for the award of a New Zealand Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) with Multi-Engine and Instrument Rating, plus hold credits for all New Zealand Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) Theory examinations.
You will also need to complete:
- 1500 hours of flight experience
- a flight test in an aircraft of 5700kg or greater.
Fees and scholarships
Fees and finance
Fees, student loans and free fees scheme
Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.
There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.
- Get an estimate of the tuition fees for your qualification
- View a list of non-tuition fees that may be payable
Already know which courses you're going to choose?
You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.
Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme
You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.
The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.
Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.
A good fit if you:
- have well-developed leadership qualities
- enjoy mathematics and physics
- want a degree - not just a ‘licence to fly’.
Meet our students
Massey has been a big contributing factor in the opportunities that I have come across. The wide variety of papers that are on offer really give you a broad understanding of the aviation industry as a whole and I would not have wanted to study anywhere else!” Charlotte Fuller
Where most university students would do a bachelor's degree alone in the standard three years, I combined my bachelor’s with actual flying!” Luc Valleteau De Moulliac
Accreditations and rankings
Massey Business School is rated in the top 5% of global business colleges by AACSB International.
The Bachelor of Aviation has equivalence approval from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority.
The School of Aviation is an Air NZ Preferred Flight Training Organisation, and the only PFTO provider offering an integrated aviation degree.
Massey University is ranked by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) as one of the top 300 universities for business and management.
The Royal Aeronautical Society accredits all aviation programmes at Massey University, certifying that they meet the RAeS's international professional standards.
Massey University is ranked #1 in New Zealand and in the top 150 universities globally for business administration and finance by ShanghaiRanking.
The Bachelor of Aviation Massey is ISO-9001-2015 certified.
Key information for students
Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.
Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.
Applying and enrolling
Applying for the programme
Check you are ready
If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.
Choose your programme and click on Apply now
You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.
Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.
Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place
You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.
Enrolling in courses
You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.
When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:
- prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
- corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
- restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
- location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.
Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.
More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.
You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.
We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!
If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.
What are courses and credits?
What are courses and credits?
Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).
You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.
Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.
There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.
- See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
- Courses search
Understanding course numbers
The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.
The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:
- sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
- undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
- as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study
|Subject area||Level||Course ID number|
Electives are courses that are not compulsory. Certain guidelines are usually provided on courses you may take. Elective courses contribute to the programme, but not to your major or specialisation.
Workload and time management
Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.
For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.
In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.
Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.
Scholarships and awards
Scholarships related to this programme
- FUJIFILM Business Innovation Global Student Exchange Scholarship
- FUJIFILM Business Innovation Scholarship for Women
- McEwan Pacific Student Scholarship
There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.