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Programme list > Bachelor of Aviation > Air Transport Pilot

Bachelor of Aviation (Air Transport Pilot)


Gain a professional qualification that integrates flight training at New Zealand's only internationally recognised pilot training facility.

  • Level

  • Undergraduate, NZQF Level 7
  • Campus

  • Manawatū
  • Duration

  • 3 year(s) full-time.
  • International

  • Open to international students on campus in New Zealand
  • Other

  • Selected entry programme

Note: This programme may have an on-campus or in-person requirement and therefore requires that students submit a current My Vaccine Pass on enrolment.

Massey University’s Bachelor of Aviation (Air Transport Pilot) is a university qualification for career pilots. 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.

Turn your passion into a career

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.

We will also introduce you to the critical ‘soft’ skills required of a professional aviator such as:

  • decision-making
  • communication
  • workload management
  • conflict resolution.

State-of the art aircraft and equipment

You’ll learn to fly in our fleet of technically advanced Diamond single engine and twin engine aircraft equipped with full digital avionics. We also have a state-of-the-art flight Diamond DA-42 flight simulator. Its 220-degree wraparound screen can match any airport in the world. Massey University was the first pilot training facility in New Zealand to install this new-generation simulator.

Electronic flight bags

Electronic flight bags (EFBs) are now almost standard for every major international air carrier. As a new Bachelor of Aviation (ATP) student, you will be issued with an Apple iPad to be used as your EFB during your flight training.

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.

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 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.

Entry requirements

University admission

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

Programme admission


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
  • English
  • geography
  • history
  • history of art
  • media studies
  • religious education (RE)
  • business studies
  • biology
  • economics.

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:

Stage One

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.

Stage Two

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.

Other requirements


As Massey is an Air NZ Preferred Flight Training Organisation all prospective candidates must complete the ‘ADAPT’ pilot pre-screening tool.

Candidates will receive a code to complete the ADAPT assessment three months prior to their Stage Two assessments. Payment for the assessment must be made in advance through the Massey University student portal. Please contact Sherryn Irvine at for further details.

You are required to meet a satisfactory standard in this test in order to be invited to the next stage of the selection process.

Trial flights

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 board

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


January commencement

July commencement


Domestic students

International students

Domestic students

International students

Apply online

Due 1 November

Due 1 October

Due 1 May

Due 1 April

ADAPT test

Due 5 November

Due 5 October

Due 1 May

Due 1 April

Selection Board

Early December

Early November

Early June

Early May

NZCAA Class One Medical Certificate

Due start of January

Due start of July

University Entrance

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:

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 qualifications that may help.

Summer School

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

Courses and planning

Credit summary

480 credits

  • Compulsory courses – 360 credits
  • Choose from Option 1 or Option 2 – 120 credits

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.

Courses for this specialisation

Part One

75 credits
190104 Principles of Navigation I 15
190107 Human Performance 15
190112 Introduction to Flying 15
190113 Aviation Meteorology 1 15
190114 Aircraft Systems 1 15

Part Two

60 credits
190120 Aeronautical Legislation 15
190123 Aircraft Systems 2 15
190124 Aircraft Performance 15
190154 Principles of Navigation II 15

Part Three

75 credits
190201 Aircraft Systems 3 15
190203 Air Traffic Control/Aviation Law 15
190204 Flight Planning and Advanced Navigation (Part 1) 15
190205 Crew Resource Management 15
190206 Aerodynamics 1 15

Part Four

75 credits
190221 Climatology 15
190237 Heavy Aircraft Performance 15
190254 Flight Planning and Advanced Navigation (Part 2) 15
190351 Aircraft Systems 4 15
190356 Aerodynamics 2 15

Air Transport Pilot Subject Courses

30 credits
190121 Aviation Meteorology 2 15
190164 Aeroscience 15

Aviation Management Subject Courses

30 credits
190116 Introduction to Management in Aviation 15
190220 Managing Airline Systems 15
15 credits
190308 Airport Operational Management 15
190313 Advanced Aviation Human Factors 15
190314 Legal Issues in Aviation 15
190317 Evaluation Methods in Aviation 15
190327 Managing Cultures in Aviation 15
190340 Contemporary Issues in Aviation Security 15

Bachelor of Aviation Options

Option One: Flight Instruction (Aeroplane)

120 credits
190282 Introduction to Flight Instruction 15
190285 Aerobatic Aircraft Handling 15
190288 Advanced Aircraft Handling 30
190301 Flight Instructor Human Factors 15
190315 Flight Instruction Fundamentals I 15
190335 Flight Instruction 30

Option Two Aviation: Business Management

120 credits of elective courses as approved by the Chief Executive Officer.
At least 60 credits including 190.288 must be selected from the 190 prefix Aviation and up to 60 credits may be selected from the following prefixes:
110 (Accountancy), 114 (Human Resource Management), 115 (Business), 125 (Finance), 152 (Management), 153 (Dispute Resolution), 155 (Business Law), 156 (Marketing), 157 (Information Systems), 178 (Economics), 219 (Business Communication), 295 (Business).
At least 30 credits must be at 300 level.

Planning your programme

Planning overview

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.

Professional requirements

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.

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’.

Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.


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.

Regulations for this programme

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
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

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.

There is a webpage with information on changes that took place in 2020, which may affect you if you are a current BSc student.

In some cases the programme 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 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

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships