Specialist teaching

boy with hearing aids and reading book

UC offers a Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching in partnership with Massey University.

This qualification adopts an inquiry-based interprofessional learning model. It employs a range of distance and blended delivery options for students in all locations. Our students develop connections within interprofessional communities of practice both in New Zealand and beyond.

Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching

The Postgraduate Diploma is typically completed part-time over two years. There are two 30-point courses a year. As the first-year courses are pre-requisite for the second-year courses, completing the course in less than two years is not currently possible. In some cases, the programme may be completed over three or four years.

You can apply online with myUC. Applications can be submitted online at any time. Courses can be added from October - you will be sent a prompt to add your courses then. Enrolments for the Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching CLOSE in January.

Students enrolled in the programme will complete four compulsory courses. These consist of a core theory and foundations course (30 points); a specialist theory and foundations paper (30 points); a specialist practicum paper; and a specialist evidence-based interprofessional practice paper. EDST601 - Core Theory and Foundations of Specialist Teaching is held in the first half of each year and must be completed prior to EDST621, EDST631, EDST641 and EDST651

All specialist qualifications will involve face-to-face teaching in block courses, with all specialists meeting over the same dates at the same location, as well as distance teaching and communication.

For 2018:

Onsite Block Course One: Massey University, Albany Campus, Auckland

 Year 1 Year 2
MON 12 Feb   Practicum
TUES 13 Feb   EBIP paper
WED 14 Feb Core EBIP paper
THUR 15 Feb Core  
FRI 16 Feb Core  

 Onsite Block Course Two: University of Canterbury, Christchurch 

 Year 1Year 2
MON 2 July Foundation Papers  
TUES 3 July Foundation Papers  
WED 4 July Foundation Papers EBIP paper
THU 5 July   EBIP paper
FRI 6 July   Practicum

Graduates of this programme will develop the skills and capacities to:

  • Provide expert educational support to staff and students in early childhood, core and specialist education areas.
  • Provide expert support for families and whānau with infants and young children who have diverse needs (Early Intervention).
  • Engage in and work collaboratively across disciplines with colleagues as part of a wider community of interprofessional practice.
  • Make use of technologies and online communication and evaluation practices to critically reflect on and document their own practices and the needs and requirements of children, students, families, whanau and communities to improve outcomes for children and families.
  • Provide a service that is culturally appropriate to the staff, children, students and family/ whanau they work with both in respect to content and the delivery.

Graduates will be able to:

  • Understand the elements of interdisciplinary practice and work effectively in an interdisciplinary environment.
  • Exhibit cultural responsibility.
  • Work in partnership with family/whānau.
  • Assess learning differences and strengths.
  • Apply solution-focused approaches to individual programme planning.
  • Demonstrate the qualities of a reflective practitioner.

Are you nearing completion of the PGDipSpTch? With an another 60 points of study you could graduate with a master’s degree!

UC offers the Master of Specialist Teaching programme, which allows students to continue their postgraduate studies with a focus on specialist teaching. This programme is relevant for educators working with children and learners who have special educational needs in early childhood, primary and secondary sectors.

Courses

If you have a PGDipSpTch you will only need to complete an additional 60 points of study including one of either EDEM 637 or EDEM 638, and one optional 30 point course to graduate with a master's degree.

Students are encouraged to select from the following courses:

  • EDEM 614 Assessment for Learning
  • EDEM 630 Change with Digital Technologies in Education
  • EDEM 660 Te Reo Te Kohure
  • EDEM 637 Distributing leadership for learning
  • EDEM 638 Curriculum Leadership
  • EDEM 664 Counselling and Psychology: Theories and Skills
  • EDMM 633 Foundations of Technology-enhanced Language Learning
  • EDMM 632 Issues in Language Acquisition and Learning 
  • EDEM 651 Re-examining Early Years Education

The degree will be awarded unendorsed or endorsed in one of the following endorsement areas: Complex Educational Needs, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Early Intervention or Learning and Behaviour.

How to apply

You can apply online with myUC. Applications can be submitted online at any time. Courses can be added from October - you will be sent a prompt to add your courses then. Find out more about the enrolment process.

Ministry of Education study awards are available to support travel expenses and release time.

Specialist endorsements

Early intervention is an exciting field, providing opportunities to support families and early childhood educators so that infants and young children can make early gains toward reaching their potential. Children in early intervention range in age from birth to 5 years, and have special learning, development and behavioural needs. Families and early childhood centres may need support to help the children learn and develop their competencies prior to school entry.

There has been enormous growth in research identifying powerful strategies that early interventionists can use to make meaningful differences for families and children.

Graduates of this programme have the knowledge and practical skills to help families and early childhood educators to support children, as well as develop strategies for ongoing professional development.

  • EDST 601 Core Theory and Foundations of Specialist Teaching
  • EDST 631 Theory and Foundations of Early Intervention
  • EDST 632 Evidence-based Interprofessional Practice in Early Intervention
  • EDST 633 Practicum in Early Intervention

Find out more

Cara Swit

Senior Lecturer
Internal Phone: 94408

Lorraine McKeown

Specialist Programme Administrator
Waimairi Rm 106A
Internal Phone: 93567

Deaf education is an exciting field, providing opportunities to support Deaf students or students hard of hearing to ensure they achieve academic success. Children and young people who are Deaf or hard of hearing often have unique learning needs. Families, whānau, teachers and schools may need support to provide the best learning environments for these students.

There has been enormous growth in research identifying powerful strategies and techniques that can support the learning and development of students who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

Graduates of this programme have the knowledge and practice skills, and develop strategies for ongoing professional development.

  • EDST 601 Core Theory and Foundations of Specialist Teaching
  • EDST 621 Theory and Foundations of Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • EDST 622 Evidence-based Interprofessional Practice in Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • EDST 623 Practicum in Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Find out more

Denise Powell

Senior Lecturer
Internal Phone: 95958

The field of learning and behaviour is an exciting area, providing opportunities to support students who experience learning and behaviour difficulties in educational settings to ensure they reach their potential. Students who experience learning and behaviour difficulties often have unique learning and social needs. Families, whānau, teachers and schools may need support to provide the best learning environments for these students.

There has been enormous growth in research identifying powerful strategies and techniques that can support the learning and development of students. Graduates of this programme have the knowledge and practice skills, and develop strategies for ongoing professional development.

  • EDST 601 Core Theory and Foundations of Specialist Teaching
  • EDST 641 Theory and Foundations of Learning and Behaviour Diversity
  • EDST 642 Evidence-based Interprofessional Practice in Learning and Behaviour Diversity
  • EDST 643 Practicum in Learning and Behaviour Diversity

Find out more

Anne-Marie McIlroy

Lecturer in Specialist Teaching
Waimairi Building

Laurie McLay

Senior Lecturer
Programme Coordinator in Specialist Teaching
Waimairi 121
Internal Phone: 93522

The field of complex educational needs is part of an exciting new development in postgraduate specialist teaching developed by leading educators and researchers from Massey University and the University of Canterbury. It is one of the programmes designed to develop core and specialist knowledge and skills relevant to the field of complex needs within the context of interprofessional practice.

The Year One Specialist course focuses on presence, participation and achievements for students with complex needs. It covers personal, historical, theoretical and rights-based perspectives on complex educational needs; families/whanau and wellbeing; teaching and learning within the New Zealand curriculum; assessment and planning; language and communication; and movement and access.

In Year Two the evidence-based practice course looks in more depth at responsive approaches to teaching and learning, and working collaboratively. The practicum course provides the opportunity to work with children who have complex educational needs.

  • EDST 601 Core Theory and Foundations of Specialist Teaching
  • EDST 651 Theory and Foundations of Complex Educational Needs
  • EDST 652 Evidence-based Interprofessional Practice in Complex Educational Needs
  • EDST 653 Practicum in Complex Educational Needs

Find out more

Laurie McLay

Senior Lecturer
Programme Coordinator in Specialist Teaching
Waimairi 121
Internal Phone: 93522

The following endorsements are offered by Massey University:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder. For more information contact Vijaya Dharan.
  • Blind and Vision Impaired. For more information contact Julia Budd.
  • Gifted. For more information contact Tracy Riley.

Learn more about our students, awards and scholarships

More information

Laurie McLay

Senior Lecturer
Programme Coordinator in Specialist Teaching
Waimairi 121
Internal Phone: 93522

Lorraine McKeown

Specialist Programme Administrator
Waimairi Rm 106A
Internal Phone: 93567

Students can also email education@canterbury.ac.nz or phone 0800 VARSITY (827 748) for information, advice and assistance.

Denise Powell

Senior Lecturer
Internal Phone: 95958