Start date

1 year(s) full-time


Program Code

AUD$ 112,800 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL) for students enrolled in 2024

English Language Requirements
  • IELTS total [6.5]
  • IELTS reading [6.0]
  • IELTS writing [6.0]
Equivalent English qualifications (PDF)

International Admission by Country
See full entry requirements




Make your dreams of becoming a pilot a reality, and develop the skills and knowledge to work as a first officer in a multi crew aircraft, or as a pilot in command of most single engine operations.

The Graduate Diploma in Aviation is a highly disciplined, technical flight training program at Parafield Airport. It is delivered in conjunction with the professional flight instructors at Flight Training Adelaide, our industry partner.

This qualification equips students with the skills, knowledge and competence to sit the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) exams for a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and Multi-engine Command Instrument Rating (CIR). These are professional qualifications recognised by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

The Graduate Diploma in Aviation is delivered at the UniSA Aviation Academy at Parafield Airport. It is studied alongside the Bachelor of Aviation (Pilot).

What you'll learn

What you Learn

This diploma comprises seven courses delivered with our industry partner Flight Training Adelaide. You will study them at the same time as the Bachelor of Aviation (Pilot).

As part of this diploma you will sit the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) theory exams. Your studies in the Bachelor of Aviation (Pilot) will help prepare you for these exams.

When you have developed the flight skills and knowledge – and passed the CASA theory exams – you can test for your Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and Command Instrument Rating (CIR) flight.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
Introductory Flying AERO 2061 6 Note(s): 7
Advanced Flying AERO 5027 6
Night Flying AERO 5032 1.5
Aircraft Navigation 1 AERO 5028 6
Aircraft Navigation 2 AERO 5029 6
Instrument Flight 1 AERO 5030 6
Instrument Flight 2 AERO 5031 4.5

Study hours

The Graduate Diploma in Aviation, studied concurrently with the Bachelor of Aviation (Pilot), is a very demanding and time-consuming study commitment.

You will be expected to have a minimum of 3 weekdays (and the occasional weekend day) available for flying. Once you start flying you are strongly discouraged from taking any planned leave until you finish your flight training.

The combination of contact hours and flying hours requires a strong work ethic and commitment.

In your own study time you’ll have assignments, readings, projects to work on and assessments to prepare for. You can also watch or listen to most of your lectures again, online.   



Your studies at UniSA will incorporate both practical, professionally-focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. You can expect them to include:

  • practical assessments (e.g. flight, navigation) weighted pass/fail
  • practical exams (e.g. Commercial Pilot Licence, Command Instrument Rating)
  • theoretical exams with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. You may have the option to undertake an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas while you study. We have links with universities worldwide, as well as a range of travel grants available to make going overseas much more accessible.

You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities

Why Graduate Diploma in Aviation

Why this Degree

You will work with industry experts, flight instructors and academics. They will prepare you with the flight training skills to enter the aviation industry as a pilot.

We emphasise hands-on, practical knowledge. This program offers flight training in single and multi-engine aircraft, giving our students the opportunity to master professional flight training competencies. The theoretical training learned in the Bachelor of Aviation (Pilot) alongside the highly disciplined, technical flight training in this graduate diploma makes our graduates much sought after by airlines.

As part of this diploma, you will prepare for and sit the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) exams for a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and Multi-engine Command Instrument Rating (CIR). These professional qualifications are recognised by CASA and the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

Real-world connections

Our partnership with Flight Training Adelaide (FTA) draws on mutual experience and expertise to deliver quality flight training to our aviation students. FTA instructors teach from the University of South Australia’s Aviation Academy, located near the Mawson Lakes campus.

We have a focus on aviation research and have developed partnerships and new technologies for industry. In fact, UniSA is one of Australia's leading universities for Engineering research (UniSA's Engineering research rated well above world-class - 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)). UniSA also collaborates with over 2,500 companies worldwide. These extensive industry connections give us a truly competitive edge – our students get real-world skills and contacts.

Hear from Sam Rogers, Aviation student

Sam Rogers talks about his experience studying UniSA's Bachelor of Aviation (Pilot) and Graduate Diploma in Aviation, where he completed flight training at UniSA's Aviation Academy.

UniSA Video

Career outcomes

Your career

Within the next 20 years, it is predicted there will be a demand of 837,000 new personnel required in the Asia-Pacific region. Although the aviation industry is currently experiencing a downturn driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, the long-term need remains robust with anticipation of growth to the sector in coming years.1

You could consider the following careers:

  • commercial pilot working for international, national or regional airlines
  • corporate and business aviation
  • flight instructor
  • defence pilot
  • firefighting pilot
  • medical and air ambulance pilot

1Boeing 20-year Pilot, Technician and Cabin Crew Outlook 2020 - 2039

Industry facts


Boeing predicts an additional 602,000 commercial airline pilots will be needed worldwide between now and 2041

(2022 Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook)


Commercial air traffic is expected to recover to 2019 levels by 2024

(2022 Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook)


By 2038, global air travel transport is forecasted to support 143 million jobs and contribute $6.3 trillion to the global economy

(Aviation: Benefits Beyond Borders 2022)

How to apply

How to apply for international students will give you helpful information about the application process at the University of South Australia. When you are ready, apply through our International Application System. If you would like to talk to someone near you about studying at the University of South Australia, we have agents all over the world who can assist you. Find an Education Agent in your country.


Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

As a UniSA student, you will have unique access to work placement opportunities, overseas study tours and exchanges, networking events, internships, guest speakers and more.

Our campuses are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments. These are all supported by the latest technologies and a 24/7 online learning platform. We have health services on campus, gymnasiums, technology zones and great student lounges. You will also gain access to a range of community clinics, which provide professional and cost effective services in areas of health, business, law and psychology. There are campus sport activities to keep you active, and if you are keen to explore the social side of university life, there are movies, cooking demonstrations, parties and lots more.

Adelaide also has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation and private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages, or explore our student accommodation by Scape on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

Our international student services provide you with all the support you need at university. We want you to succeed, and if you need help, we're here to assist. You can access a full range of support services, including:

  • career advice and mentoring
  • help with student visas and health cover
  • personal counselling
  • academic counselling
  • fees and finance help
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • accommodation services 
  • as well as services offered through our student association, USASA.

We also offer study support from our Learning Advisers face-to-face or online. They are here to help you develop academically and professionally during your studies, and can offer help with the English language too. When you become a UniSA student, you can also contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and more.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with modern facilities including lecture theatres, libraries and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your program director

I’m an academic in UniSA’s aviation program, I teach courses and conduct research into aviation safety, specifically in standardisation and multiculturalism. My colleagues and I work on projects in aviation safety with airlines and airports, so we maintain a close connection to industry. This really helps us to be certain that the coursework and materials we provide students satisfy the needs of industry and represent academic excellence.

AsPr Paul Lee

Program Director

Portrait image for AsPr Paul Lee
Portrait image for AsPr Paul Lee

AsPr Paul Lee

Program Director


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