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Aviation is a high-profile industry that influences modern society at many levels. The aviation system comprises a complex array of human and mechanical interactions - known as a sociotechnical system - providing a myriad of social and technical challenges. Additionally, many seemingly unrelated industries and groups are influenced by aviation. This course provides the opportunity for students to challenge industry dogmas and consider solutions to the problems facing contemporary aviation. By utilising the variety of skills and backgounds that General Studies courses bring together, students develop an understanding of the main issues in complex, highly reliable mass-transport systems. The course also allows students to investigate how the key issues interrelate both within the industry and with entities external to aviation; this course does not simply focus on problems for the industry, but collates the issues that affect the providers, users and third parties involved in the system. The course provides an explicit treatment of subsectors often overshadowed by the airline livery, namely, aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), airports, online/off-line travel agents, and global distribution systems (GDS). The contemporary issues are organised around four major areas: competition, capacity, safety and the future. 

Note: Students enrolled in a Faculty of Science program should not take this course.

Study Level


Delivery Mode

Fully online

Indicative contact hours


Conditions for Enrolment

Course Outline

To access course outline, please visit:

Additional Information

This course is offered as General Education.

Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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