Graduate Diploma in Flying
- 1-year Graduate Diploma with flight screening beginning each July, followed by flying training and academic study beginning each summer session.
- Only $40K upfront fees for flying training – FEE-HELP is available for eligible students up to the FEE-HELP limit to assist with payment of remaining fees. Note there is no 25% admin fee for postgraduate FEE-HELP
- Flying training may be taken concurrently with a full BAv (Management) degree – enhancing employability in pilot-manager roles
- Flying training in metropolitan Sydney, at UNSW’s Flying Operations Unit – modern DA40 and PA44 aeroplanes, advanced multi-crew simulators and dedicated ground and flying instructors. 80% of graduates are employed as pilots
- For Australian passport holders, the opportunity to become a QANTAS approved student – a fast track to consideration for airline employment
- Students need to fill out an application form, available here, and attend an interview.
UNSW Code: 5536
The official description of the Graduate Diploma in Flying program is available on-line at:
The Graduate Diploma in Flying may be taken concurrently with the Bachelor of Aviation (Management) which has UAC code 429520 and UNSW Code 3981, and which is described officially at
This information sheet is more descriptive, but the official version in the Handbook takes precedence if there is any uncertainty in interpretation.
This program is only available to Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and New Zealand citizens. FEE-HELP loans are available from the Australian Government only for Australian citizens and New Zealand long-term special residents of Australia.
For students who are unable to afford the up-front flight training fees of the Bachelor of Aviation Flying Degree, UNSW Aviation offers the Graduate Diploma in Flying where eligible students are able to access a FEE-HELP loan to fund up to $100,879 (2017 FEE-HELP limit) flight training fees.
The Graduate Diploma in Flying is suitable for students who have completed a Bachelor degree in Aviation Management, engineering, physical science, mathematics, psychology or business. It may be taken concurrently with the UNSW Bachelor of Aviation (Management) program.
The program includes flight training and tests to a minimum of a commercial pilot license. It does not include ATPL theory, Instructor Ratings or the Multi Crew Coordination Course.
Flight Screening is a prerequisite for entry into this program. The Flight Screening course is conducted at the UNSW Flying Operations Unit at Bankstown. It commences in July each year and consists of ground and airborne training and assessment. The ground training is Basic Aeronautical Knowledge (BAK) – a four week, full time course that occurs during the mid-year break each year (usually all of July). A progress examination is scheduled on the last day of the BAK course and the official BAK examination is scheduled at the start of October. The airborne training is for the issue of a Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) and commences at the beginning of semester 2 each year, immediately after the BAK course for a duration of 15 weeks. RPL training consists of classroom briefings, pre-flight briefings, airborne flying lessons in DA40 aeroplanes and post-flight briefings. The culmination of the airborne training is the RPL flight test. The entry requirements for the Flight Screening course are:
- Completion of BAv(Mgmt) undergraduate degree at UNSW or equivalent, or any AQF level 7 Bachelor degree in a cognate discipline (Cognate discipline is described above as for the GDF); OR
- Satisfactory completion of the first year (48 UOC) of the Bachelor of Aviation (Management) or Bachelor of Aviation (Flying) program at UNSW; AND
- Meet UNSW English Language Requirements; AND
- Be an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident; AND
- Pass an interview with Head, School of Aviation or Nominee to ascertain suitability
Applicants should complete the Internal Application Form which can be downloaded here. Return it to the School of Aviation, then we will contact you to arrange an interview time. In order to remain enrolled in Flight Screening, students need to successfully obtain an Aviation Reference Number (ARN), hold an Australian Class 1 Aviation Medical Certificate, qualify for an Australian Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC), and pass a CASA English Language proficiency interview conducted by the Head of Operations of the UNSW Flying Operations Unit. These requirements need to be satisfied before any flight training can commence.
Courses required for Graduate Diploma in Flying
After Flight Screening, there are four courses, each of which must be completed successfully and in order to gain the Graduate Diploma in Flying.
- AVIG5911 Flying Operations 1
- AVIG5912 Flying Operations 2
- AVIG5913 Flying Operations 3
- AVIG5914 Flying Operations 4
For studnets wishing to study the Graduate Diploma in Flying concurrently with the Bachelor of Aviation (Management) Please refer to the Handbook for details of the program structure.
The flying training undertaken by the Graduate Diploma in Flying is exactly the same syllabus as for the BAv (Flying) program to CPL and CIR ME stages, as it is delivered under the same Operations Manual approved by CASA under CASR Part 141/142.
Fees are charged for Flight Screening and for each of the four AVIG courses listed above.
In 2017, the Flight Screening fee is $40,000. Students will be invoiced directly, and neither FEE-HELP nor any other government loan scheme is available for payment of this fee.
Once enrolled in the GDF, each of the four AVIG courses attracts the fee calculated in accordance with the Tuition Fees 2017: UNSW Science for Domestic Full Fee-Paying table. From the 2017 table, AVIG courses attract a fee of $2,205 per unit of credit (UoC) and each AVIG course is 12 UoC; therefore, the fee in 2017 for each of the four AVIG courses is $26,460.
The FEE-HELP loan scheme is available to eligible students to assist with payment of each AVIG course fee up to the FEE-HELP limit. Eligibility requirements, limits and application procedures for FEE-HELP loans apply.
Summing the Flight Screening fee ($40,000) and the four AVIG courses (4 x $26,460 = $105,840) yields a total course fee of $145,840 for the GDF in 2017, remembering that FEE-HELP loans are available to eligible students for up to $100,879 in 2017.
The Flight Screening fee may change in 2019, and UNSW will publish tuition fees for domestic full fee-paying students towards the end of the year. Please refer to the Tuition Fees website for the most up to date information.
Admission Requirements and How to Apply
To gain entry to this program, students must:
- Have completed a Bachelor of Aviation (Management) undergraduate degree at UNSW or equivalent, or an AQF level 7 Bachelor Degree in a cognate discipline, or
- Have satisfactorily completed the equivalent of 1 year FTE of the Bachelor of Aviation (Management) or Bachelor of Aviation (Flying) program at UNSW or equivalent, and
- Have satisfactorily completed Flight Screening conducted at the UNSW Flying Operations Unit (see Program Structure above for more information), and
- Hold an Australian Class 1 Aviation Medical Certificate
- Hold an Australian Aviation Security Identification Card
- Be an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident
If you meet the requirements stated above, please submit an official Admission Application online at Apply Online for this program. (Note: select Postgraduate then type in 5536 for Program Code). Application fee applies.
Note: A cognate discipline is one commonly used as background in managing flying operations. Cognate disciplines include engineering, physical science, mathematics, psychology or business.
UNSW holds an Air Operators Certificate for flying training issued under CASR Parts 141/142. Safety and quality of training are of first priority. All training is managed by the University’s Head of Operations and in accordance with a precise syllabus approved by CASA. The Professional Pilot Program includes ongoing monitoring of students and instructors proficiency, with student progression being dependent on the attainment of specific achievement levels at the end of each phase.
This will involve passing flight screening, then successively passing courses AVIG5911, AVIG5912, AVIG5913 and AVIG5914, each of which has assessments for theory as well as flying, and comprising in total 48 Units of Credit of study.
Assessment (Theory Examinations)
The following lists all the written examinations required for licensing to be passed during the Graduate Diploma in Flying.
- Pre-solo Air Legislation
- Pre-area solo
- Recreation Pilot Licence Aeroplane (RPLA)*
- Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) (Seven Examinations)*
- Instrument Rating (IREX)*
*CASA Examinations. The remainder are UNSW in-house examinations.
Assessment (Flight Tests)
The following lists all of the flight tests to be passed during the Professional Pilot Program. All flight tests are conducted by a CASA Flight Training Examiner (FTE) or a CASA-Approved Testing Officer (ATO).
- Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL)
- Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)
- Instrument Rating - Multi Engine Aeroplane
Pilot Mentor Program
Flying students are assigned an airline pilot as their mentor in their final year, courtesy of the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA). The objective of this is to provide students with career guidance and consultation about specific airline operations. This provides an opportunity for flying students to gain a competitive edge as they have industry contacts to help them make informed career choices.
The UNSW Flying Operations Unit is based at Bankstown Airport, and operates Diamond DA40 and Piper PA44 training aeroplanes, fitted with the Garmin G1000 flight display/navigation systems. The FOU also operates a FRASCA flight training device fitted with the Garmin G1000 systems, as well as a Pacific Simulators PS4.5 FTD for Multi-Crew Coordination training and an Aerosim flat panel systems trainer for the DASH-8 Q400.
The QantasLink Partnership
In conjunction with QantasLink, UNSW Graduate Diploma in Flying students having Australian citizenship (or New Zealand residents having Special long term residency in Australia) are able to apply to QantasLink to become a QantasLink Approved Student. Such status provides mentoring and monitoring of students throughout their training at UNSW by QantasLink personnel, and offers an optimum pathway for entry to QantasLink with less than the minimum hours stipulated for Direct Entry as a First Officer. This is a unique partnership, not available through any other training provider. The QantasLink arrangements are detailed here.
Internal Program Transfer
For currently enrolled UNSW BAv students, it is possible in first year, subject to satisfactory progress to change from the BAv (Flying) to the BAv (Management) or the BAv (Management) to the BAv (Flying). Options are explained to students during first year briefings.