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2014 2015
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    • 2014 2015

Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood) BTchLn(EarlyChildhood)


The first seven years are of vital importance to a child’s life. The rapid rate of development in children of this age and their natural desire to learn makes for a hugely rewarding environment in which to work.

The BTchLn(EarlyChildhood) is an internationally recognised qualification that prepares you for a teaching career in different early childhood settings. The qualification is available to study full-time or part-time:
  • on campus in Christchurch
  • in New Plymouth by a mix of face-to-face and distance study
  • by distance through the Flexible Learning Option (FLO).

If you hold a Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood) and wish to upgrade to a degree please see Upgrade to a bachelor's degree on the College of Education website.

Features of the BTchLn(EarlyChildhood) at UC

  • A UC teaching qualification is recognised nationally and internationally as being of high quality
  • Study by distance anywhere in New Zealand through the Flexible Learning Option
  • Learn on campus in Christchurch and New Plymouth
  • Available as part-time study over up to six years
  • International study opportunities, for example to Rarotonga, Samoa and China
  • Students get to know their lecturers and classmates well, and vice versa
  • Scholarships may be available, including $10,000 TeachNZ Scholarships (see the TeachNZ website).

Entry requirements

The BTchLn(EarlyChildhood) has one intake each February and applicants are required to submit an Application for Programme Entry (APE) to the College of Education.

Selection for entry is based on academic ability, involvement and interest in working with children, community involvement, communication skills and other personal qualities. The selection process also includes a police check and an interview.

Applicants under 20 years old must have University Entrance. Applicants 20 years old or over must have University Entrance or provide evidence of their ability to complete tertiary study successfully. For example, applicants may want to consider the Certificate in Learning Support (CertLS) which is available by distance or the Certificate in University Preparation (CUP).

Applicants are also required to complete a short literacy and numeracy test. Students for whom English is an additional language must provide evidence of their English language ability as follows:
  • IELTS (Academic) 7.0, with no individual score below 7.0; or
  • at least two years of successful study in a New Zealand secondary school, with at least ten Level 2 NCEA credits in Literacy (five reading and five writing) or equivalent.

Apply for programme entry

Applications open in July and are due four weeks prior to the commencement of the programme or when places are filled.

Download an Application for Programme Entry or phone the Contact Centre on 0800 VARSITY (827 748) .

Degree structure

The BTchLn(EarlyChildhood) requires a total of 360 points made up of courses as follows:

  • Education: 105 points
  • Professional Inquiry: 90 points
  • Professional Practice: 60 points
  • Curriculum Studies: 105 points.

For the full degree requirements see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood) (University Regulations website).

BTchLn(EarlyChildhood) degree structure diagram

Flexible Learning Option

The Early Childhood FLO is available to BTchLn students throughout the country. Students must be able to attend up to two onsite intensives, one of which is a two week onsite intensive at the beginning of the programme. This will be held in Christchurch unless you are enrolled in the regional programme in New Plymouth.

Courses integrate web-based material, audiovisual resources, video conferences and email. Students also attend professional practice placements in early childhood education centres for up to ten weeks per year.

Further study

Graduate option:

The Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching is available for students who hold a university degree. The GradDipECT prepares students for teaching in the early childhood sector. The graduate diploma can be studied full-time for one year or part-time over three years and is offered by distance. Students are required to attend professional practice placements in early childhood centres throughout their studies, as arranged by the College of Education.

* Subject to Universities New Zealand CUAP approval due August 2014 **Entry requires relevant experience as a teacher or educator, in addition to completion of the undergraduate degree.

Career opportunities

A UC degree in early childhood teaching means you will be able to join a skilled and collaborative teaching profession.

You can become a registered professional who can work in a range of early childhood settings including early learning centres, childcare centres (public and private), hospitals and government agencies.

For further career information, please go to


For more information email or freephone in NZ 0800 VARSITY (827 748).

For assistance with planning your programme of study contact a College of Education Student Advisor (advancing students), the Liaison Office (new students) or visit the Liaison Office’s course planning page (new students).

See Also