Master of Education


This traditional qualification, the Master of Education (MEd), has been refreshed to allow for a 180-point coursework pathway* for current teachers, educational professionals, counsellors, researchers and leaders to gain a master’s level qualification. The MEd is designed to give participants the opportunity to examine practice and critical issues in education, and in their area of specialisation if desired.

Students can complete a:

  • coursework-only path of study or
  • a mix of courses and an original thesis (worth 90 points).

The Master of Education may be awarded unendorsed or endorsed in eight disciplines ranging from e-Learning and Digital Technnologies to Special and Inclusive Education. See 'Subjects and courses' below for the list of endorsements.

This is an ideal qualification for those who have already undertaken some postgraduate study. Graduates of the MEd are ideally placed to achieve research-informed teaching and leadership in their particular educational setting.

UC's College of Education, Health and Human Development has a national and international reputation for its teaching and research. UC is ranked in the top 100 universities in the world for Education (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2017).

* Those with a Postgraduate Diploma in Education or a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning with Honours or equivalent may only be required to complete 120 points. 

Entry requirements

Normally the minimum requirement is a three-year bachelor’s degree from a New Zealand university, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered to be equivalent.

If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to make sure they are of an equivalent standard. You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

Qualification specific requirements

a) Candidates for the 120-point pathway must have: 

b) Candidates for the 180-point pathway must have:

  • qualified for a Bachelor's degree with a major in Education, Psychology, related discipline or an equivalent qualification; or
  • qualified for any other degree of a New Zealand university, and hold a professional teaching qualification; or
  • been admitted under Admission Ad Eundem Statum as entitled to enrol for the Master of Education.

All candidates are subject to approval by the Dean of Education. 

For full entry requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Education or use the admission requirements checker

Qualification structure and duration

The MEd can be awarded through one of two pathways:

a) 120-point pathway which can be either:

  • endorsed in Inclusive and Special Education
  • unendorsed through the completion of a thesis.

Candidates can complete either a 120-point thesis or a 90-point thesis and 30 points of coursework.

b) 180-point pathway which can be either unendorsed or endorsed in one of eight areas. See 'Subjects and courses' below.

Candidates can select one of three flexible courses of study:

  • endorsed coursework with at least 90 points of courses in the area of specialisation
  • unendorsed coursework 
  • coursework and a thesis.

For the specifics for each option, including prescribed courses and point combinations, please see the Regulations for the Master of Education.


120-point pathway: the minimum period of enrolment for a full-time candidate is 12 months and the maximum two years; for a part-time student, the minimum is 18 months and the maximum three years.

180-point pathway: the minimum period of enrolment for a full-time candidate is 12 months and the maximum three years; for a part-time student, the minimum is 18 months and the maximum five years.

Students can begin their studies in February or July.

Subjects and courses

The 120-point pathway can be either unendorsed or endorsed in:

The 180-point pathway can be either unendorsed or endorsed in one of eight areas:

  • Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • e-Learning and Digital Technologies
  • Hōaka Pounamu: Te Reo Māori Bilingual and Immersion Teaching
  • Inclusive and Special Education
  • Leadership
  • Literacy
  • Positive Behaviour Support
  • Teaching and Learning Languages.

For the up-to-date schedule of courses for each endorsement, visit our University Regulations website.

How to apply

Find out how to apply for graduate and postgraduate qualifications

Further study

Students can study a Doctor of Education at UC, as well as a Doctor of Philosophy in Education. 

Career opportunities

Postgraduate study can bring many career benefits eg, specialist skills and enhanced knowledge, entry into specific occupations, higher starting salary/progression rates, research capability/achievement and evidence of high academic attainment/self-discipline. 

Useful information:

More information

For full requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Education.

For study planning help contact: 

College of Education, Health and Human Development
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Ōrakipaoa Building
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Phone +64 3 369 3333
Email education@canterbury.ac.nz

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Jamie Leckie

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Pinelopi Zaka

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