Master of Teaching and Learning


The Master of Teaching and Learning is an initial teacher education (ITE) qualification. It is an exciting option for graduates seeking to become early childhood, primary or secondary teachers and who wish to distinguish themselves from other ITE graduates.

This professional master’s will equip participants with enhanced research-based knowledge and inquiry skills, experiences of contemporary educational theory and professional practice so they can become teachers with the expertise essential to schools in the 21st century. It is also an ideal pathway for those who have a particular interest in and commitment to supporting learning for diverse learners in mainstream schools, including Māori and Pasifika youth, students for whom English is a second language and those who experience special learning needs.

The programme is aligned with the Education Council Aotearoa New Zealand graduating teacher standards and benefits from the 135-year tradition of quality teacher education and educational research conducted in the College of Education, Health and Human Development. UC is ranked in the top 100 universities in the world for Education (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2017).

Entry requirements

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

Applicants for the MTchgLn programme need to demonstrate that they have:

  • qualified for a degree in a disciplinary field appropriate to teaching and learning in Aotearoa New Zealand, and have either a bachelor’s degree or a bachelor’s degree with honours or a master's degree; or
  • been admitted under the Regulations for admission ad eundem statum as entitled to enrol for the Degree of Master of Teaching and Learning.

In addition applicants:

  • are normally expected to have achieved a minimum of a B+ average in the 300-level courses in their major subject, and
  • need to demonstrate academic literacy and digital literacy/ICT competence at a standard sufficient to independently engage with postgraduate study and professional work contexts.

For the Secondary endorsement, the entry qualification shall include courses to 300 or 400-level in a teaching subject appropriate to the secondary school curriculum.

Applicants to the Primary endorsement must demonstrate sufficient numeracy and scientific literacy to support curriculum development and learning in primary contexts.

Candidates who completed their entry qualification overseas and who intend to become registered teachers in New Zealand are advised that the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand will require an assessment of their qualification by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

For full entry requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Teaching and Learning or use the admission requirements checker

Qualification structure and duration

The MTchgLn delivery model is designed as a school-university community of practice. It is undertaken within a digitally enriched learning environment that reflects and supports modern learning pedagogies that are necessary for current and future professional practice in education.

The MTchgLn is an intensive, professional preparation programme comprised of 180 points, over one calendar year. It involves:

  • University-based coursework (120 points). The core coursework is taken together as a single cohort of combined early childhood, primary and secondary sectors.
  • Embedded practice-based experiences. This is where the cohort divided up into separate curriculum courses, depending on your endorsement level, during Semester 1 and 2 (60 points).

Learning on placement

Students will work in two different local partnership settings and schools that serve significant numbers of priority learners. 

The first semester placement will be completed in a local early childhood setting, primary or secondary school context and consist of 1–2 days per week across the semester, as well as a three-week intensive experience where candidates will take leadership responsibility for teaching.

In the second semester students move to another local partnership school and complete a more intensive practice-based learning experience. This will include the 1–2 days per week, and seven weeks of increased responsibility for leading teaching and learning in a classroom.


The usual period of enrolment for a full-time candidate is one calendar year. The maximum period of enrolment is two years for a full-time candidate. Part-time enrolment is not permitted for this degree.

Subjects and courses

For the up-to-date schedule of courses, see the Regulations for the Master of Teaching and Learning.

How to apply

A special application is required and applications open on 1 August. You should apply for the Master of Teaching and Learning early and at least six weeks prior to the commencement of the programme. Please note that places may fill earlier.

For application and deadline details, visit the College of Education, Health and Human Development website.

Further study

UC offers a PhD in Education and a Doctor of 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 Teaching and Learning.

For study planning help please contact the College of Education, Health and Human Development: 

College of Education, Health and Human Development | Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha 
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

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

Gareth Sutton

Gareth Sutton

'It opened my eyes to how I could become more responsive to the needs of all my students...'