BlogUniversityWhat It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Aviation at UNSW

What It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Aviation at UNSW

UNSW Aviation - Fact Sheet

Are you considering studying a Bachelor of Aviation at UNSW but don’t know where to take off? 

We can help! We’ve compiled all you need to know in regards to this degree, from classes, to cohort, we have you covered! 

Check it out here!

What is a Bachelor of Aviation at UNSW?
Core Units and Majors
How to Get into a Bachelor of Aviation at UNSW
What’s the Teaching Format?
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

What is a Bachelor of Aviation at UNSW?

The Bachelor of Aviation at UNSW is a degree that has two different directions students can follow: students may choose to do a Flying major, which will prepare them for the ability to become pilots, but also become managers in the future, through the Management major.

Studying a Bachelor of Aviation (Management) means you’ll have a more grounded focus (literally), as you’ll learn how to understand flight patterns, core theoretical foundations of aviation operation management, as well as applying your own practical skills. The Bachelor of Aviation in either discipline is excellent for students who are dedicated, passionate and have a love of adventure!

Can this degree be studied in conjunction with another?

UNSW Aviation is a high contact and high content degree—it is often studied as a stand alone degree, especially the Flying major. The Bachelor of Aviation (Management) can be studied in conjunction with a Bachelor of Commerce, this means that the degree will take longer than three years to complete, but will also have students graduate with a Bachelor level understanding and qualifications in two disciplines.

Career Paths

For a major in Flying, the Bachelor of Aviation at UNSW may lead you towards the following careers:

    • Pilot 
    • Air Transport Professional 
    • Flight Pattern Engineer 

For a Bachelor of Aviation with a major in Management, the following career outcomes can come from this degree:

    • Airline Manager 
    • Freight Operations Manager
    • Flight Analyst 
    • Flight Safety Investigator  
    • Aviation Consultant 

Core Units and Majors

What are the Majors?

As mentioned before, the Bachelor of Aviation at UNSW has are two different majors: Flying and Management. Here’s a bit of an overview of each major:

ManagementDeveloped in consultation with the Australian Aviation Industry, the Bachelor of Aviation (Management) produces individuals who are proficient in the realm of Aviation Management. Students who take on this major become experts in flight pattern analysis, operations management and relevant laws and regulations!
FlyingThis major prepares students who want to be in the air. This major is extremely hands-on with students scooting from UNSW’s Campus in Kensington to the Bankstown airport for practical training!

The Professional Pilot Training offered within this major gives budding pilots over 200 hours of in air flying training as well as the knowledge that 80% of Bachelor of Aviation (Flying) graduates are employed as Pilots!

Find out more about Professional Pilot Training here!

What are the Core Units?

Within this degree, the first year units are common between both majors. This means that both Bachelor of Aviation Flying and Management both complete the same units within the first year of study.

The second year of study is when the two majors branch off from each other and become separated common units to both courses include: Introduction to Aircraft Engineering, Introduction to Human Factors and Aviation Transport Economics. 

Some more First Year core units common to both majors include:

    • Mathematics for Life Sciences – This unit provides students with a sound knowledge of calculus and linear algebra. This will be taught through interdisciplinary methods, including videos, lectures and exercises.
    • Fundamentals of Aviation – This class focuses on the aviation industry, with an in-depth overview. The fundamentals and beginnings of basic aeronautical concepts are taught to students. 

Are there any built-in placements?

The Bachelor of Aviation (Flying) at UNSW has partnered with Qantas to provide approved students with additional training and placements within the company. QantasLink allows UNSW Aviation Flying Graduate students a pathway link to become a Direct Officer!

More info on QantasLink and UNSW’s partnership can be found here!


How to Get into a Bachelor of Aviation at UNSW

To obtain guaranteed entry into both majors for the Bachelor of Aviation at UNSW, the ATAR cutoff is 80. There aren’t any prerequisite subjects that need to be studied during the HSC, so no need to worry about completing any specific subjects.

Additional Assessments

While there aren’t any additional assessments to enter a Bachelor of Aviation (Management), this isn’t the case for entrance into the Flying major. Students who wish to pursue this major must submit an application form, which can be obtained through contacting the Aviation Faculty here!

An interview will also be conducted, for those wishing to commence a major in Flying, with either the Head of School, Head of Operations or another individual nominated by the Head of School. The interview is designed to gauge students’ motivation, commitment and skill level to be admitted into the School of Aviation.

Finally, potential Flying students must undergo a medical assessment, to make sure they are fit and safe to begin flight training.


UNSW offers a large range of scholarships to eligible students—they have a handy Scholarships Calculator tool that can tell you if you’re eligible for any of the scholarships offered by UNSW. Check it out here!

What’s the Teaching Format?

UNSW follows a trimester teaching format, meaning that there are three 10-week teaching periods across a year. Generally, students will take on three subjects each trimester to complete a full-time load, but also have the option to only take two subjects for one trimester per year—which will still keep them on track to finishing their degree on time.

Class Structure

Within this degree, there is an extremely extensive way in which learning content is conveyed to students—this can include lectures, tutorials and workshops.

Flying major students will also have classes that are predominantly practical, through flying lessons! They will spend their time between the UNSW Kensington Campus and the Bankstown Airport for these classes.


In these sorts of classes, you can expect to learn lots of new concepts and ideas to do with aviation. There isn’t a lot of back and forth interaction between the lecturer and students, but it’s still important to pay attention and take notes as this content tends to inform tutes and workshops!

There’s usually no more than 70 students attending and lectures can typically last 1-3 hours.


Tutorials coexist with lectures, usually occurring after with a class of around 20 to 30 students, sometimes less depending on the class! You will revise over technology plans, flight patterns and aviation-related protocol.

Students will have the opportunity to chat with each other, collaboratively learn and ask the tutor questions in these 1-2 hour classes!


As a hybrid between a lecture and tutorial, you will find that workshops are quite interactive and allow you to get a more hands-on grasp of aviation-related technologies, codes and patterns. Generally a workshop is similar in size to a tutorial, with around 20 to 30 students, running for around 2-3 hours.

Practical Flying Lessons

These classes are exclusive to students in the Flying cohort. They occur at Bankstown airport within UNSW’s own flight school.

These lessons are super extensive, with students generally at the flight base from 9-5pm or sometimes later, five days a week! Typically for flight students, they will either have theory classes in the Kensington Campus, or have intensive Flight Lessons at Bankstown airport each semester—the load generally isn’t dually shared! 

How much time will you spend on campus?

The contact hours for this degree are huge, as this degree isn’t the most conventional and the time you spend studying this degree will reflect that. 

This course requires high physical attendance with students generally on campus or at the airport for anywhere from 15-40 hours a week! This is why students who study this course can get so close—they are with each other so often, they become great friends.

What are the assessments like?

Assessment styles within this degree vary greatly, with both majors experiencing midterm and final exams, assignments and quizzes!

You may also find yourself involved in group tasks which will test your individual knowledge, as well as your ability to work with others. Group assessments you may have to do include presentations, research reports and analysis of written pieces.

For the Flying major, there will be additional assessments undertaken at Bankstown Airport assessing the practical aspect of flying!

Skills That You Refine and Learn 

Within the Bachelor of Aviation at UNSW a multitude of skills are developed. Students who study this degree can expect to have a well-developed sense of discipline. 

UNSW Aviation students will also improve their communication skills and ability to work in a team. They will learn the necessity of clear communication without error, as the team will always need to work cohesively to even function properly. 

What’s the Faculty and Culture Like? 

UNSW Aviation - Student Quote

The staff teaching the Bachelor of Aviation at UNSW are a part of the Science Faculty—which is a large sector of UNSW. The Aviation teachers are renowned for their industry experience, knowledge and engaging teaching methods.

Due to the intense amount of hours either on campus in Kensington or in the Air Training Facility in Bankstown, the Bachelor of Aviation cohort is very close knit. Students will most likely make close friends throughout the course of their studies!


As well as socialising with your cohort constantly on campus, there are other ways to make friends, through joining a society! 

One society related to this degree is the UNSW Aviation Society, which is perfect for students wanting to socialise with other students in their cohort in a more relaxed and fun way! This society hosts events, balls and get-togethers as well as creates an excellent educational, networking and mingling platform for students. 

UNSW Aviation Cohort

A close-knit cohort, Image provided by interviewee Matthew Morley 

Wondering what the pros and cons are of studying Aviation at UNSW? Learn more here!

Matilda Elliott is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and a Communication graduate with a major in Journalism at Western Sydney University. You can find some of her published work in a range of platforms including SBS World News, The Music Network and within her own creative exploits with her twin sister. Matilda is a lover of listening, helping people to tell their stories, making genuine connections, clowning around in her circus troupe and dancing like no one is watching at live music shows!


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