Flight Instruction – Graduate Diploma in Aviation

Add a new dimension to your commercial pilot’s licence. Gain a university qualification while following your passion for aviation.

Where you can study

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 on campus in New Zealand
Note: Selected entry qualification.

Specialise in Flight Instruction for your Graduate Diploma in Aviation at Massey

This 120-credit qualification acknowledges and recognises that having significant aviation experience has real value.

You may have an interest in working as a flight instructor. Or you are already working as a commercial pilot but want to share your experience with a new generation of budding pilots.  If so, and you wish to gain your ‘C’ Category Flight instructor rating within a University framework, the Graduate Diploma in Aviation (Flight Instruction) is for you.

Share your passion for flying with the next generation.

Massey University is the only place in New Zealand where you can train to become a flight instructor and gain a University diploma at the same time.   

The Graduate Diploma in Aviation (Flight Instruction) draws on existing courses from the Bachelor of Aviation and the Bachelor of Aviation Management programmes giving an insight into the full undergraduate degree.

Topics covered include:

  • Flight Instruction Foundation Fundamentals
  • Introduction to Aerobatic Principles
  • Flight Instruction Human Factors
  • Flight Instruction Fundamentals 1
  • Two courses from the Schedule of the Bachelor of Aviation Management

Further study

After completing this qualification, you will have not only your ‘C’ Category Flight instructor rating but you could progress to complete the full Bachelor of Aviation Management degree.

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

  • already hold a commercial pilot’s licence but wish to gain a flight instructor rating

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. 

Meeting requirements for industry membership

Becoming a flight instructor

You will need to complete the necessary competencies to achieve a CAA NZ 'C' Category Flight Instructor Rating, a night instructor endorsement removal and an aerobatics instructor endorsement removal and pass the following integrated courses:

190282 Introduction to Flight Instruction
190285 Aerobatic Aircraft Handling
190301 Flight Instructor Human Factors
190315 Flight Instruction Fundamentals I
190335 Flight Instruction

Integrated courses comprise two components: academic and practicum. You must pass both the academic component and the practicum component to obtain a pass in the course.

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

Course code: 190282 Introduction to Flight Instruction 15 credits

A theoretical and practicum-based study of flight instructional and teaching skills required for employment as Flight Instructor.

Prerequisites: Selected entry to Flight Instructors Course

View full course details
Course code: 190285 Aerobatic Aircraft Handling 15 credits

The theory and practice of advanced aircraft handling techniques, aerobatics and advanced stalling and spinning.

Prerequisites: Selected entry to Flight Instructors Course

View full course details
Course code: 190301 Flight Instructor Human Factors 15 credits

Theory and application of human factor issues in decision-making, interpersonal relations, communication styles and personality characteristics as they affect flight deck performance in the instructional environment.

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 190315 Flight Instruction Fundamentals I 15 credits

Principles and techniques for theory, simulator and flight instruction for primary visual flight and day operations, including a review of aircraft performance management requirements. The course will incorporate the theoretical issues which underpin aviation science and aircraft systems.

Prerequisites: 190282

View full course details
Course code: 190335 Flight Instruction 30 credits

This integrated course includes the principles and techniques for theory, simulator and flight instruction.

Prerequisites: 190282

View full course details

15 credits at 300 level from 190 prefix (Aviation)

15 credits at 200 or 300 level from the 190 prefix (Aviation).

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

This programme is a selected entry qualification. This means there are extra requirements you must meet.

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

  • have been awarded or qualified for a bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, or
  • have demonstrated equivalent practical, professional and/or scholarly experience
  • hold a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) - Aeroplane (A)
  • hold a Class One medical certificate recognised by the CAA NZ
  • meet appropriate pilot aptitude selection criteria.

You will provide a copy of:

  • your CV including academic and work history
  • a copy of your Commercial Pilot's Licence. You can upload an electronic copy of this document, but please also supply a verified hard copy to the University
  • a copy of your NZCAA Class One Medical Certificate. You can upload an electronic copy with your enrolment.

If you have a bachelor degree or other tertiary qualification, you will need to provide copies of all official academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

You will need to attend an interview.

Application closing dates

Applications close on 15 November 2023 for a Semester One start and 10 May 2024 for a Semester Two start.

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.

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

You could go on to become a flight instructor.

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


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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