Secondary teacher education

Teaching Education

Secondary teachers work with young adults in Years 7 to 13 (ages 11-18) in intermediate, middle, area and secondary schools.

Share your passion and enthusiasm

As a Secondary teacher you teach one or more subjects that you are passionate about, you inspire your students, encouraging them and giving them the skills and enthusiasm they need to make a positive difference in the world.

Secondary teacher education students:

  • Are interested in working with young adults (Years 7–13; ages 11–18)
  • Are passionate about the subjects they teach
  • Are organised and well prepared
  • Promote their students' social, emotional, intellectual and physical development
  • Enjoy cultivating a love of learning in others

If that sounds like you, read on to find out more about taking these programmes at UC.

You'll learn about the theory, practice and management of teaching, including the place and role of education, the characteristics of learners and the teaching-learning process.

You’ll spend significant time working in classrooms where you can practice and refine your planning, teaching and management skills. By the end of your studies at UC you will have learnt and developed all the professional teaching knowledge and skills required to be a teacher in New Zealand intermediate, middle, area and secondary schools.

UC offers internationally recognised qualifications for students who wish to train as secondary school teachers:

  • If you already have a Bachelor degree (with study to 300 level in a NZ school curriculum subject as well as an additional teaching subject) you can enrol in the one-year (Feb-Nov) Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary). This programme can be undertaken full-time or part-time on campus in Christchurch. This option is suited to those looking for a well-respected pathway to teaching, including practice in schools and research-based coursework. It is the recommended pathway for International students and caters to the full range of Secondary teaching subjects, including Physical Education.
  • If you already have a Bachelor degree (with study to 300 level from a specified selection of the NZ school curriculum subject list) you can enrol in the Master of Teaching and Learning. You will complete a 180 point master’s degree within one calendar year (Jan-Dec) of fulltime study on campus in Christchurch. The MTchgLn programme is a new qualification that is leading-edge in its focus on classroom practices that cater for diverse learners needs for the New Zealand Aotearoa context. Research and theory will develop your understanding of learning processes, providing you with a robust academic backdrop to apply in working inclusively with Maori, Pasifika and other priority learners. This option is suited to those looking for the challenge of post-graduate level study (a B+ average in your major 300 level courses is required), that is practice-based and research-informed. The rewards of this more intensive programme include the opportunity for year-long engagement with local partner schools, and a higher entry point salary on entering the teaching profession. The Journal of Initial Teacher Inquiry showcases MTchgLn students' research articles which relate to a mix of both primary and secondary school-based contexts.
  • The pathway to becoming a Physical Education teacher has changed. Find out more.

Successful completion of either of these pathways lead to eligibility to apply for NZTC registration. However, there are differences in the duration, focus and qualification awarded. Below is a quick overview of these differences.

 GradDipTchgMTchgLn
Level of qualification Graduate Postgraduate
Qualification Duration 1 year full-time or up to 3 years part-time 1 year full-time
2017 Course dates 30 Jan – 16 Nov 2017 16 Jan- 8 Dec 2017
Fees (full-time)* $6,580 $10,650
Loans Yes Yes
Allowance Yes No
Starting salary point – secondary** Salary Group 3+ Salary Group 5

* These domestic fees are for 2017.

** Source - www.minedu.govt.nz

All Initial Teacher Education programmes have one intake each, starting in January or February. Applications open in August and are due four weeks before the programme starts. We recommend early application as programmes are limited entry.

For the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary) you must have a Bachelor’s degree which includes study to 300 level in a New Zealand school curriculum subject (your major) as well as an additional teaching subject. For example, with a degree in Biology including courses in Maths to 200 level, you can Major in Science with Biology and take Maths for your additional teaching subject.

For the Master of Teaching and Learning you must have a Bachelor’s degree which includes study to 300 level in a New Zealand school curriculum subject (your major). For the Masters you require one teaching subject. For example, with a degree in Biology you can Major in Science with Biology. Not all teaching subjects from the list above are supported by the Masters of Teaching and Learning.

Selection for entry is not automatic and is based on:

  • Academic ability
  • Involvement, interest and experience in dealing with children
  • Commitment to Te Reo and Tikanga Māori
  • Communication skills – you need to be able to communicate your ideas clearly, confidently and coherently, and to listen and respond to others appropriately
  • A police check and an interview

IELTS requirements for Initial Teacher Education programmes

All students for whom English is an additional language must provide evidence of their English language ability.

Please note that the IELTS requirements for entry to Initial Teacher Education programmes are set by the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand and are higher than the standard University requirements. IELTS academic scores are the only acceptable English language test for teacher education.

Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood), Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary), Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching, Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Primary), or the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary):

  • IELTS (Academic) with a minimum score of 7.0 in all bands.
  • Applicants who have completed at least two years of successful study in a New Zealand secondary school and achieved a minimum number of NCEA level 2 credits in Literacy, or who have completed a tertiary qualification in New Zealand at NZQA level 7 or higher, may be eligible for an exemption from the requirement to sit IELTS.

Master of Teaching and Learning (all endorsements):

  • IELTS (Academic) with a minimum score of 7.5 in all bands.
  • Applicants who have completed at least two years of successful study in a New Zealand secondary school and achieved a minimum number of NCEA level 2 credits in Literacy, or who have completed a tertiary qualification in New Zealand at NZQA level 7 or higher, may be eligible for an exemption from the requirement to sit IELTS.

The course pathway for prospective PE teachers has changed. See our Sport Coaching webpages for more information.

Graduates of this programme will be eligible for provisional registration as a teacher. This enables you to apply for teaching positions in New Zealand and many countries overseas. Please contact the relevant authorities for international requirements.

Teaching gives you entry into careers beyond the classroom; it is an excellent background for a wide range of jobs including careers in the public sector, business and industry training. Other jobs include special education teacher, private tutor, education advisor, education publisher, secondary school Dean, Deputy Principal and Principal. Some of these jobs may require further study at postgraduate level.

There is a wide range of study options available to Secondary teaching students, with separate timetable and course group information for each option. Find out more about the requirements for your preferred study option.

Learn from our students' experiences