Graduate Diploma of Aviation (Flight Operations) - CL17

The Graduate Diploma of Aviation (Flight Operations) will provide you with the aeronautical experience required for a career as a commercial pilot. To enrol in the Graduate Diploma of Aviation you must have successfully completed Term 1 of the first year of the Bachelor of Aviation (Flight Operations) or Associate Degree of Aviation (Flight Operations).


On Campus, Online




1 years full-time, 3 years part-time


Cairns, Online

You will build your skills as a pilot, starting with short flights constrained within the aerodrome training area and circuit area right through to commercial pilot licence level. You will conduct long-distance flights, visiting multiple aerodromes in regional and outback Australia. You will be required to attend a flight training provider approved by the Head of Course in order to complete this course. This will include practical flight training of up to 220 hours.

You will develop your critical reflection and self-analysis skills as well as analytic, communication and presentation skills. During your study, you will gain the aeronautical experience required to apply for a Recreational Pilot Licence, Private Pilot Licence, Command Instrument Rating, and Commercial Pilot Licence.

Core Units 7 Major Units None
Electives None Minor Units None

Course structure

You are required to complete a total of seven core units.

Unit information

For information on the units, you could study as part of this course, visit the Handbook and select the "Course Structure" tab.

Credit transfer information

If you have already completed study relevant to the course you have enrolled in, you may be eligible for

Explore our suite of aviation courses that prepare you for a career as a pilot or working in the airline industry. As an aviation student, you will learn from experienced lecturers and be supported by the latest in learning technology. Through simulations, and a range of flight training opportunities you will graduate with the skills, knowledge and experience to reach your aviation career aspirations.

Greater choices

At CQUniversity, our aviation courses are designed as a suite offering you the knowledge and practical skills needed to gain a range of pilot licenses.

Study the Associate Degree of Aviation (Flight Operations) alongside the Graduate Diploma of Aviation (Flight Operations) to gain a Commercial Pilot Licence or Command Instrument Rating. This combination equips you with the required academic and aeronautical knowledge and practical skills.

The Bachelor of Aviation (Flight Operations) prepares you for a career as a professional airline pilot, managing a multi-crew environment. When studied alongside the Graduate Diploma of Aviation (Flight Operations) you will satisfy the knowledge requirements to apply for your Air Transport Licence.

The Graduate Diploma of Aviation (Flight Operations) represents the flight training aspect and is available for you to study alongside our Associate Degree or Bachelor of Aviation (Flight Operations) after you have completed your first term of study.

Your flight training

The Graduate Diploma of Aviation (Flight Operations) includes a total of 227.3 hours of flight training. This is broken into 207.3 hours of flight time and 20 hours simulator time. Within your flight time, you will have 100 hours of pilot in command time and 46 hours of instrument time. Upon successful completion of your flight training, you should meet the academic requirements to obtain your Australian Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and a Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR). Find out more about our partnerships with flight training providers

State of the art facilities

The CQUniversity Cairns Aviation Centre is located at the Cairns International Airport. The facility imbeds CQUniversity students within the dynamic aviation industry in North Queensland. Our students have access to a twin jet airliner flight simulator located at the Cairns Aviation Centre.

Industry partnerships

As an aviation student, you will benefit from CQUniversity’s industry partnerships that broaden not only your career opportunities but your connections and networks.

Our partnership with Aviation Australia provides you with the opportunity to undertake a Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Multi-Crew Cooperation Course (MCC) in the third year of your Bachelor of Aviation (Flight Operations). A CASA-approved MCC course is a requirement to operate as a pilot in a multi-crew flight.

You will also benefit from our partnership with Skytrans. This pathway provides graduates employment opportunities with a regional airline, fast-tracking opportunities to fly for a national airline.

Our partnerships with Aircraft Australia and Kakadu Air also open up graduate pathways to fly with regional airlines. 

On-Campus Availability

Term 1 - 2023Cairns
Term 2 - 2023Cairns
Term 3 - 2023Cairns

Online Availability

Term 1 - 2023Available Online
Term 2 - 2023Available Online
Term 3 - 2023Available Online
Majors and minors are not applicable to this course.
Work-integrated learning does not apply to this course.
There is a compulsory residential school which will allow students to deliver all of their assessable presentations.

To be eligible for entry into this course, applicants must supply:

  • Current Aviation Reference Number (ARN), and
  • Current Australian Security Identification Card (ASIC), and
  • Aviation English Language Proficiency (ELP) level 6, and
  • Current Class 1 Aviation Medical, and
  • At a minimum, a passing grade in both AVAT11002 Basic Aeronautical Knowledge and AVAT11003 Basic Aeronautical Practice, and
  • Completed Student Checklist - to be signed and submitted with the application (as per instructions on the checklist).

Note: The Graduate Diploma of Aviation (Flight Operations) is available to current CQUniversity Bachelor/Associate Degree of Aviation (Flight Operations) students only. Students completing the Graduate Diploma must be enrolled concurrently in either the CQUniversity Bachelor/Associate Degree of Aviation (Flight Operations) to maintain their place in the Graduate Diploma.

All other prospective students for this course will be assessed by the Head of Course on a case by case basis, and require, at a minimum:

  • Completion of an equivalent Bachelor of Aviation, and
  • Current Australian Security Identification Card (ASIC), and
  • Current Class 1 Aviation Medical, and
  • Aviation English Language Proficiency (ELP) level 6, and
  • Evidence of passing the Civil Aviation Safety Authority Commercial Pilot Licence, and
  • Evidence of passing Command Instrument Rating examinations.

English Language Proficiency Requirements:

If you were not born in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa or United States of America you are required to meet the English Language Proficiency requirements set by the University. Applicants are required to provide evidence of completion of:

· A secondary qualification (Year 11 and 12, or equivalent), or

· An Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) diploma level qualification, or

· Bachelor level qualification study for a period of at least 2 years full time with a minimum overall GPA 4.0

Completed within Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, South Africa, Ireland, or United States of America, which will meet the English proficiency.

If you do not satisfy any of the above you will need to undertake an English language proficiency test and achieve the following scores as below:

· An International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic) overall band score of at least 6.0 overall with a minimum 5.5 in each subset; or

· Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) - Requires 550 or better overall & minimum TWE score of 4.5 (Paper Based Test), or 75 or better overall and no score less than 17 (Internet Based Test); or

· Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) - Requires an overall score of 54 with no sub-score less than 46; or

· An Occupational English Test with Grades A or B only in each of the four components.

English test results remain valid for no more than two years between final examination date and the date of commencement of study and must appear on a single result certificate.

International Students should visit for further information.

Each student will be assessed individually.

Security Requirements

Students are required to hold a current Australian Security Identification Card (ASIC)

Health Requirements

Students are required to hold a current Class 1 Aviation Medical

Assumed Knowledge

No recommended study.

This course prepares you for aviation careers in the air transportation industry as a commercial pilot. When you graduate with the Graduate Diploma of Aviation (Flight Operations) you will meet the aeronautical experience requirements for careers as a commercial pilot in the air transportation industry. When studied in conjunction with CQUniversity’s Bachelor of Aviation (Flight Operations) or Associate Degree of Aviation (Flight Operations) you would normally be legally qualified to work as a commercial pilot and have access to aviation careers in the air transportation industry.

CQU's partnership with Skytrans and a national airline provides you with the first-of-its-kind pathway from a pilot career with a regional airline to a major national airline within two years of graduating.


2023 Indicative Fees
Fee TypeFees
Domestic Full Fee Paying – Indicative First Year Fee$133,188.00

The fees table above shows indicative total course fees for the Graduate Diploma of Aviation (Flight Operations). It is based on all seven units contained within this course. Your first-year fees will vary, depending on the number of units you study. Typically, you will study two units in your first year. You can view unit fees in the Cost Per Unit table. Fees are reviewed annually and are subject to change.


Fee Category Full fee paying place
What is a Full Fee Paying Place As a full fee-paying student, you are required to pay full tuition fees for your course.
Fee Type Tuition Fees
What is my tuition fee?

Your tuition fees are charged per unit of study based on the credit point value of each unit. Our Tuition Fee Schedules provide an estimate of fees per unit. You can also view fees specific to the course, and units, you are interested in studying by using our Cost Per Unit table.

FEE-HELP and payment options

FEE-HELP is the loan scheme provided the Australian Government to help eligible students pay their tuition fees through a loan. Eligible students can use a FEE-HELP loan to pay for all or some of their tuition fees. If you elect to use a FEE-HELP loan, this means that you will defer payment of your tuition fees and repay your FEE-HELP loan when your income is above the compulsory repayment threshold.

You must meet specific eligibility requirements to be able to use FEE-HELP assistance. If you are not eligible for a FEE-HELP loan, or you are required to pay your tuition fees upfront, you will need to pay your fees no later than the census date for the term in which you are studying.

Other Fees You will also incur a Student Services and Amenities Fee.
Other study costs You may have other study costs such as travel expenses related to residential schools or work placements if they are a requirement of your course. There are also textbooks, stationery and other sundry costs associated with studying.

At CQUniversity, we believe higher education should be for everyone. No matter your situation, we know that everyone needs a helping hand from time to time, and we are proud to offer a wide range of scholarships, bursaries and stipends.
Our scholarships could help you pay for things like relocation, living on campus, laptops and technology, childcare, study and living expenses, travel and more. 

If you have decided what you would like to study and are ready to apply, we’re here to help you along the way.  Before you apply, you will need to have a Unique Student Identifier (USI).  If you do not have a USI, creating one is quick and easy.  Simply visit to create one.

Want to know more about application dates and other admission information?
View our important dates information and read about other admission considerations such as information for domestic students with overseas qualifications, indigenous support, and elite athlete, coach and performer support.

To apply for this course, submit your application directly to CQUniversity using the Apply button below.

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