Enhance your aviation career

Enhance your career prospects in the internationally competitive aviation sector.

  • Level

  • Postgraduate, NZQF Level 9
  • Campus

  • Manawatū
  • Distance learning

  • Available
  • Credits

  • 180
  • Duration

  • 1.5 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.
  • International

  • Available for international students studying in NZ or via distance learning

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.

This programme offers taught courses and independent research . You get to choose from two pathways: research or professional practice- the latter includes a professional practice case study  Both options are available part-time  by distance learning – or full time on campus,  affording aviation professionals maximum flexibility.

Turn your passion into a career

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

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.

Relevant learning

Your study will give you a broad knowledge of the global aviation industry. The Master of Aviation will also give you the skills to work to a high level of academic achievement, work to deadlines under pressure and communicate your work well. All these are essential skills for senior positions in the aviation industry, or to progress to further study such as a PhD.

Accessible lecturers

We offer small classes and more personalised learning than many other tertiary institutions. You'll have greater access to lecturers and the help you need to succeed.

Research-led and relevant

Massey teaching is research-led and our academics are internationally ranked and among the best in the world. International visitors often visit our facilities to learn more about what we do.

Your lecturers and supervisors at Massey also have strong connections with industry and our teaching reflects that. That means you will emerge with an industry-relevant qualification.

Careers and further study


Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publicationThe 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.

Further study

If you successfully complete the research pathway you may be able to proceed to a PhD.

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 if your study is to be in New Zealand.

Entry requirements

University admission

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

Programme admission


To enter the Master of Aviation, you will have been awarded or qualified for a Bachelor of Aviation, Bachelor of Aviation Management or equivalent qualification, and have achieved a minimum B- grade average in the highest level courses.

If you have been awarded the Degree of Bachelor of Aviation Management with Honours, or the equivalent degree of another recognised university, you may apply for credit towards Part One of the qualification in accordance with the limits specified in the Recognition of Prior Learning regulations.

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

English language requirements

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

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.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

180 credits

Research Pathway

  • Part One courses – 60-120 credits
  • Part Two research – 60-120 credits

Coursework Pathway

  • Part One courses – 120 credits
  • Part Two professional practice – 60 credits

This is a parts-based qualification. This means there are regulations around completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two.

Advanced entry: Those who have already completed specified qualifications in advance of the minimum entry requirements and have been granted credit for it, may be able to complete this degree in 60 - 120 credits.

Courses for this programme

Master of Aviation (Research Pathway)

Part One (At least 60 credits from)

Compulsory course
190704 Research Methods in Aviation 30
Subject courses
190701 Human Factors for Professional Aviation 30
190703 Management in Aviation Systems 30
190720 Aviation Strategic Management 30
190721 Design and Management of Airports 30
190790 Special Topic 30

Part Two

At least 60 credits from
115894 Research Report Part 1 30
115895 Research Report Part 2 30
190890 Thesis 90 Credit Part 1 45
190891 Thesis 90 Credit Part 2 45
190892 Thesis 120 Credit Part 1 60
190893 Thesis 120 Credit Part 2 60
190895 Research Report 60
190898 Thesis 90
190899 Thesis 120

Master of Aviation (Professional Pathway)

Part One (120 credits)

Compulsory courses
60 credits
190703 Management in Aviation Systems 30
190720 Aviation Strategic Management 30
Subject courses
60 credits
190701 Human Factors for Professional Aviation 30
190721 Design and Management of Airports 30
190790 Special Topic 30
190791 Special Topic 30

Part Two

60 credits
190894 Professional Practice in Aviation 60

Planning your programme

Planning overview

If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

The Master of Aviation is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part, before moving to the second.

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.

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. If you are already an aviation professional you may wish to draw on your current aviation role for the purpose of a case study.


Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications.  If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit. 

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 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.

Meet our students

Accreditations and rankings

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

Massey Business School is rated in the top 5% of global business colleges by AACSB International.

QS Ranking - Business and Management

Massey University is ranked by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) as one of the top 300 universities for business and management.

ShanghaiRanking – business and finance

Massey University is ranked #1 in New Zealand and in the top 150 universities globally for business administration and finance by ShanghaiRanking.

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.

Postgraduate regulations

General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate 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. 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

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