Aviation (Flying) - 5536

Program Summary

Faculty: Faculty of Science


Campus: Sydney

Career: Postgraduate

Typical Duration: 1 Years  

Typical UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC Per Semester: 6

Max UOC Per Semester: 27

Min UOC For Award: 48


Graduate Diploma (Specialisation)

View program information for previous years

Program Description

The Graduate Diploma in Flying (GDF) is a program designed to meet the needs of graduates with an ambition toward a career as a professional pilot. Students may undertake the GDF as a standalone program, otherwise, it can be taken as a concurrent program with the Bachelor of Aviation (Management).

The GDF incorporates training and assessment for a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and an Instrument Rating (IR), including academic study covering the underpinning theory. Award of the GDF requires the satisfactory completion of all courses, with the award of the CPL and the IR forming part of the assessment for the program.

FEE-HELP is available for eligible students, however, successful completion of the Flight Screening course is an entry requirement for this program, which attracts an upfront payment of $40,000. Flight Screening is not covered by FEE-HELP.

Note: all classes and training for this program take place at the Flight Operations Unit based at Bankstown Airport.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

Upon successful completion of this program graduates will:
  • Be able to list and recall core theory components within the technical knowledge areas of Air Navigation, Meteorology, Aeroplane Performance, Planning and Operation, Air Law, Aerodynamics, Aeroplane General Knowledge, Human Factors, and Aircraft Handling
  • Have the ability to apply this technical interdisciplinary knowledge to successfully operate an aeroplane
  • Be able to locate, utilise and implement documentation and information explaining techniques and standard operating procedures as required for the safe and legal operation of an aeroplane in commercial operations
  • Successfully demonstrate the capacity to handle and operate an aeroplane safely, and to the standard specified by legislation for the qualification of a Commercial Pilot Licence, and Command Instrument Rating Multi-Engine
  • Meet all applicable Civil Aviation Safety Authority standards for the award of the licences and certificates, as prescribed in Part 61 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations

Program Structure

Compulsory Courses

Students must complete 48 units of credit (UOC) comprised of the following four 12 UOC compulsory courses:

Sample Program

The Bachelor of Aviation (Management) is included here as some students may undertake this program concurrently.
      Year 1     Year 2     Year 3     Year 4 TOTAL UOC
   S1 S2   Summer  S1  S2 Summer  S1   S2  Summer S1  S2  Summer 
B Av (Management) 24 24  - 24 24 - 12 12  - 24 -  - 144
Grad Dip (Flying) - - - - Flight Screen 12 12 12 12 - -  - 48

  1. BAv(Flying) students will have to transfer to BAv(Management) on acceptance of their application to the Grad Dip (Flying);
  2. The table indicates how many UOC will be undertaken in each session;

Academic Rules

  1. Completion of 48 UOC of compulsory core courses as listed under program structure
  2. To remain enrolled in the program, students must maintain their Aviation Security Identification Card and Australian Class 1 Aviation Medical Certificate, and pass random drug and alcohol tests. Students failing to do this may be ineligible to fly and may be required to either take leave or discontinue their program pending discussions with the Head of Operations at the Flying Operations Unit.


For information regarding fees for UNSW programs, please refer to the following website:  UNSW Fee Website.

Participation and Enrolment Requirements

To gain entry to this program, students must:
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Have satisfactorily completed Flight Screening conducted at the UNSW Flying Operations Unit, and
  4. Hold an Australian Class 1 Aviation Medical Certificate
  5. Hold an Australian Aviation Security Identification Card
  6. Be an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident
Note: A cognate discipline is one commonly used as background in managing flying operations. Cognate disciplines include engineering, physical science, mathematics, psychology or business.

Flight Screening at UNSW Flying Operations Unit, Bankstown

The Flight Screening course is conducted at the UNSW Flying Operations Unit ( at Bankstown. Flight Screening 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 application form at and will be contacted 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.

For fee information relating to the compulsory Flight Screening course and the GDF program, please go to:

Area(s) of Specialisation