Bachelor of Aviation Flying


  • 3-year degree with entry in February or September, coupling professional pilot training with academic study. An Honours year is possible.
  • Develops future leaders and managers
  • 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
  • Local and international students welcome
  • 80% of Graduates are employed as pilots. Read the latest industry update.
  • For Australian passport holders, the opportunity to become a QantasLink approved student – a fast track to consideration for airline employment
  • All applicants need to fill out an internal application form and attend an interview.

UNSW Code: 3980
UAC Code: 429500

This information sheet is more descriptive, but the official version in the Handbook takes precedence if there is any uncertainty in interpretation.

The BAv (Flying) is intended to produce future Management-Pilots and provides a basis of academic courses in aviation management and safety as well as the Professional Pilot Program, designed to train professional pilots.

Flight training within the BAv (Flying) requires enrolment in the Professional Pilot Program in addition to the BAv academic enrolment. Enrolment in the Professional Pilot Program enables students to undertake flight training for the purpose of obtaining the licences and ratings included in the program. The theory lessons undertaken to gain the various ratings and licenses are part of the BAv academic program.

The Professional Pilot Program covers flight training and flight tests to a minimum of Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), together with Instrument Rating - Multi Engine Aeroplane and Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) theory. Students are required to pay all costs associated with all flight training as well as academic fees. In the third year, students are required to undertake an elective. If the chosen elective involves flight training, then additional costs are involved.

The Professional Pilot Program is conducted in block periods throughout the degree program. It comprises up to 200 hours of flight training and approximately 30 hours of simulator training to CPL and Instrument Rating - Multi Engine Aeroplane status. The flight training and associated theory are taught in an integrated format and delivered over 2 years, in addition to the demanding main campus academic commitment. Students may elect to complete further academic work in lieu of flight training for the elective in the final phase of third year.

Flying Stream students enrol in the Professional Pilot Program separately through the School of Aviation. There are no academic units of credit allocated to the Professional Pilot Program; however the School provides successful students with UNSW Wings and a Certificate at a wings ceremony and awards dinner ceremony.

Entry to the Professional Pilot Program, within the BAv (Flying) is restricted to those enrolled in the flying stream.

Students undertaking the Professional Pilot Program begin the academic year in mid-February of first year, and complete the first two terms of the academic core before commencing Basic Aeronautical Knowledge (BAK) in September of first year. Flight training is scheduled continuously from November in first year to mid-December in second year; completing training for the Recreational and Commercial Pilot Licences, and Instrument Rating - Multi Engine Aeroplane.

Students complete the academic core in term one of third year and then return to Bankstown Flying Operations Unit for the final stage of flight training, which covers Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) theory, examinations and their elective.


Entry Requirements (for 2021)

  • Australian students, the Lowest Selection Rank (LSR) is 80.
  • Entry requirements for those with other qualifications are available on request.
  • Pass an interview.
  • Students will need to obtain a CASA Class 1 medical certificate before beginning flying training.


Academic Program

This comprises of a set of compulsory courses plus electives. The academic program comprises courses in aviation management and aviation safety as well as core courses in flying theory, and enabling mathematics and physics. The total load of study for the degree is 144 Units of Credit.

Download the Bachelor of Aviation (Flying) curriculum.


Third Year Flying Electives

Current third year Flying Electives may include:

  • Instructor rating – Grade 3 training endorsement
  • Multi-Crew Cooperation Course
  • General Aviation preparatory course
  • Airline experience elective
  • Research Project

Students may choose other electives, subject to UNSW approval. Students may choose an academic elective instead of flying or a combination of both. Flying electives will be charged the cost at the time of training.


Financial Arrangements

Local (Australian) students pay flying fees for the Professional Pilot Program in addition to academic fees, and may loan funds from the Australian Government through HECS-HELP for the academic fees only. International students pay the same flying fees, but have a different structure of tuition fees. For 2021 commencement students, it is $139,500 for the basic course, which results in a Commercial Pilot Licence and Instrument Rating – Multi Engine Aeroplane.

The School of Aviation invoices students for fees relating to the Professional Pilot Program separately to the standard University academic fees statement. These flying fees are used to pay for costs incurred at our Bankstown Airport Flying Operations Unit and are not deferrable or payable under HECS for Australian students. Costs included are all those associated with aircraft and simulator operations, flight and ground instructor supervision, landing fees, flight test fees, initial issue of uniform, initial issue of CASA documentation, study texts, accommodation for overnight operations and mass briefing manuals. Student accounts must be in financial credit before progressing to any phase of training.



Students are expected to make themselves available on a full time basis during training. At times, students may be expected to fly earlier or later or occasionally on weekends if necessary due to scheduling pressures or delays due to maintenance or weather.



UNSW holds an Air Operators Certificate for training issued under CASR Parts 141/142. Safety and quality of training are of first priority. All flying 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.


Assessment (Theory Examinations)

The following lists all the written examinations required for licensing to be passed during the Professional Pilot Program.

  • Pre-solo Air Legislation
  • Pre-area solo
  • Recreation Pilot Licence Aeroplane (RPLA)*
  • Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) (Seven Examinations)*
  • Instrument Rating (IREX)*
  • Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) (Seven Examinations)*

*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
  • Grade 3 Instructor Rating (For those choosing this elective)


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.


Training Facilities

The UNSW Flying Operations Unit is based at Bankstown Airport, and operates Diamond DA40 and Piper PA44 training aeroplanes, fitted with the Garmin 1000 flight display/navigation systems. The FOU is also operates a FRASCA flight training device fitted with the G1000 system, as well as a Pacific Simulators PS4.5 FTD for Multi-Crew Coordination training and an Aerosim flat panel systems trainer for training on Bombardier DASH-8 Q400 aeroplanes.


The QantasLink Partnership

In conjunction with QantasLink, UNSW Bachelor of Aviation (Flying) students having Australian citizenship (or New Zealand citizens 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. The QantasLink arrangements are detailed here.


Streamlined Visa Process

There is a Streamlined Visa Process for International Applicants to UNSW programs. UNSW Australia is pleased to announce its partnership with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) in the Streamlined Visa Process (SVP) introduced in March, 2012. The SVP greatly benefits international students by streamlining the documentation required for a student visa application and greatly hastens the visa application process for the vast majority of all inbound international students to UNSW. Please visit the UNSW International for further information on this process.


Undergraduate Brochure