Aviation Studies – Graduate Diploma in Aviation

Take your aviation career to the next level with Massey's Graduate Diploma in Aviation. Gain a university qualification while following your passion for aviation.

Where you can study

Distance and online
Manawatū campus (Palmerston North)

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students studying online from outside New Zealand

Specialise in Aviation Studies for your Graduate Diploma in Aviation at Massey

This eight-course qualification acknowledges and recognises that having significant aviation experience has real value.

You may have an interest in the aviation industry. Or you are already working in this area. If so and you do not already have an aviation-related qualification, the Graduate Diploma in Aviation is the stepping stone to take you to the next level.

If you already hold an undergraduate degree this qualification enables you to study another discipline without completing a full second bachelor’s degree.


The Aviation Studies major is particularly useful for those who may be working while studying. It is available part time and/or by distance.

Turn your passion for aviation into a qualification

Massey University is the only place in New Zealand where you can turn your passion for aviation into a university qualification, while gaining a broad knowledge of the global aviation industry. 

The Graduate Diploma in Aviation draws on existing courses from the Bachelor of Aviation Management, giving an insight into the full undergraduate degree.

Further study

After successfully completing this qualification, you can progress to complete the full Bachelor of Aviation Management degree.

A Graduate Diploma in Aviation in Aviation Studies is a good fit if you:

  • are already working in aviation and would like a relevant tertiary qualification
  • have a relevant degree or professional work experience and now wish to add an aviation qualification to your portfolio.

Planning information

If you study full-time you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits.

You will not be required to pass any 100-level prerequisite courses for the 200-level courses in the schedule. When you have been admitted into the qualification, you can enrol straight into the 200-level courses. 

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. You can go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may be no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Courses you can enrol in

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Compulsory courses

Choose 30 credits from
Course code: 190216 Aviation Human Factors 15 credits

The course provides an overview of the basic concepts of human factors in aviation, human performance, and issues relating to judgement and decision-making in this high risk environment. Communication and other aspects of social psychology in various aviation environment are also explored.

Prerequisites: 190107 or 190117 Restrictions: 190205

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Course code: 190220 Managing Airline Systems 15 credits

An examination of the management of airline organisations.

Prerequisites: 190116

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Choose 90 credits from
Course code: 190210 Aviation Safety Management 15 credits

To provide a comprehensive understanding of safety management in civil flight operations environments, particularly relating to international standards and recommended practices prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for the design and implementation of safety management systems in aviation.

Prerequisites: Any 1901xx course

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Course code: 190211 Aviation Strategic Management 15 credits

An examination of the strategic management processes employed in the aviation industry, and how the business environment shapes strategy formulation and implementation in the aviation industry.

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Course code: 190222 Basic Air Safety Investigation 15 credits

The aim of this course is to give students an insight to aircraft accident investigation. The course will also benefit those who need to understand the investigation process, such as managers of airlines and regulatory authorities. The course covers the basic requirements and procedures involved in air safety investigation.

Prerequisites: 190115 or 190110 or 190112 or CPL (A or H)

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Course code: 190224 Environmental Impacts of Aviation 15 credits

Advanced study of the environment of aviation, the impacts of aviation on the environment and the methods for reducing the impacts.

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Course code: 190225 Introduction to Research Methods in Aviation 15 credits

An introduction to the theories and methods of research in the aviation industry. A range of both quantitative and qualitative methodologies is explored, and various techniques for aviation research are examined.

Prerequisites: Any 1901xx course

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Course code: 190240 Air Power 15 credits

This course examines military air power, its characteristics, history and development, including selected air campaigns and use of Remote Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS).

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Course code: 190249 Aircraft Maintenance Management 30 credits

An examination of knowledge appropriate to the management of an aircraft maintenance organisation.

Prerequisites: 190220 or 190244 or AMEL

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Course code: 190306 Airline Strategic Management 15 credits

A review of the current state of strategic management in the airline industry. The approach is both multidisciplinary in focus and international in scope. Attention will be focused on the Asia-Pacific region, as the potential location of the world's largest aviation market.

Prerequisites: 190211

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Course code: 190307 Airport Planning 15 credits

A study of demographic, environmental and economic considerations which apply to the design and evaluation of airport facilities.

Prerequisites: At least 45 credits at 200-level from 190-prefix series

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Course code: 190308 Airport Operational Management 15 credits

An examination of the management of airport systems, such as air-side and land-side facilities, technical and support services which contribute to the operational effectiveness of modern airports. The course will further examine the relationship between airport authorities and the local community.

Prerequisites: Any 1902xx course

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Course code: 190309 Design of Airways and Air Traffic Systems 15 credits

An examination of air traffic and air navigational systems and the principles which apply to their operational infrastructure, including the development of visual and instrument flight procedures.

Prerequisites: Any 1902xx course

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Course code: 190313 Advanced Aviation Human Factors 15 credits

This course explores the role of human behaviour and physiological limitations in aviation, how they fit with complex systems, and how behaviour and systems may be modified to improve safety.

Prerequisites: 190205 or 190216

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Course code: 190314 Legal Issues in Aviation 15 credits

General principles of law as applied in the context of the airline transport industry. The course will focus on the application of law to flight crew, airline operations and civil aviation authorities in terms of both international conventions and treaties and of national legislation and law. Issues such as contractual and tortious liability will be considered.

Prerequisites: Any 1902xx course

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Course code: 190318 Air Transport Economics 15 credits

This course covers economic aspects of air transport and airline operations and provides insights into the methods employed to manage and evaluate the economic viability of these operations.

Prerequisites: 190220

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Course code: 190327 Managing Cultures in Aviation 15 credits

A critical evaluation of theory and practice of management of cultures in aviation, incorporating: (a) an exploration of theoretical and practical aspects of cultural diversity and its effect on aviation industry in the global business environment; and (b) an assessment and management of international, national, and organisational cultural dimensions and their shaping influence in various aspects of aviation operation.

Prerequisites: 190205 or 190216

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Course code: 190340 Contemporary Issues in Aviation Security 15 credits

This course explores aviation security with a particular emphasis on terrorism. Students explore key incidents, areas at risk, and the legislation and practical means by which risks are managed. The trade off between an erosion of civil liberties and increased security will be explored, as will the reasons why risks will always remain.

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Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

To enter the Graduate Diploma in Aviation  (Aviation Studies) you will:

  • have been awarded or qualified for a bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, or
  • have demonstrated equivalent practical, professional and/or scholarly experience.

You will need to provide copies of all official academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

If you do not have a bachelor’s degree, you will need  to supply a copy of your CV including academic and work history.

English language requirements

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

This qualification is classified as NZQF Level 7 and requires the same English language standard as most undergraduate bachelor degrees, diplomas and certificates.

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Can't meet the entry requirements?

If you need to do a course before you start your qualification, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Fees and scholarships

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.

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.

Scholarship and award opportunities

Search our scholarships and awards

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

The graduate diploma is a bridging tool to gain the equivalent of an undergraduate major in a specific area so you can go on to postgraduate study.

Potential employers include:

  • SITA – the world’s leading specialist in air transport communications and information technology
  • AirBiz – an international aviation consultancy
  • Swissport- a Fixed Base Operator specialising in ground services and cargo handling
  • Tasman Cargo – provider of air freight, cargo, and charter services between NZ, Australia and the Southwest Pacific.
  • Menzies Aviation – a logistics specialist serving the airline industry
  • Airways New Zealand
  • MPI- Biosecurity
  • Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand
  • Airlines and airports.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated 5-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 if your study is to be in New Zealand.

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