Teacher Education


The University of Canterbury offers various pathways into the teaching profession. We have options whether you are seeking your first qualification or have already graduated with a degree.

Early Childhood
Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood), Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood TeachingMaster of Teaching and Learning

Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary), Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Primary)Master of Teaching and Learning

Bachelor of Education (Physical Education)*, Graduate Diploma in Teaching Learning (Secondary), Master of Teaching and Learning

* This qualification is not open to new enrolments in 2018.

Professor Angus Macfarlane

Professor Angus Macfarlane, Professor of Māori Research, is one of only two such Professors in New Zealand. His teaching and research focuses on the exploration of cultural concepts and strategies that positively influence educational practice. Professor Macfarlane received the UC Research Medal in 2013 and a national Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Teaching Excellence award in 2015.


Teaching offers a varied, stimulating and rewarding career that provides the opportunity to influence and shape many lives. For those who wish to progress throughout their teaching career, there are always chances to make an impact for graduates who are passionate and enthusiastic.

Starting salaries are above those for many new graduates, and employment conditions are generally good. Teaching offers great international work opportunities too.

Why study teaching at UC?

UC is rated in the top 100 universities in the world in Education (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2017). As a premier provider of teacher education in New Zealand, UC's College of Education, Health and Human Development offers qualifications in:

We also offer a range of Professional Development programmes and support services.

We offer our students:

  • research-informed teaching by lecturers who have practical experience in their fields and come from around New Zealand and the world
  • classes that let you get to know your lecturers and classmates
  • flexibility of study options for some programmes, including on-campus, distance, part-time and flexible delivery
  • international links which can offer opportunities for unique study experiences for UC teaching students and enhance cultural understanding
  • modern facilities and classrooms, and a relaxing, landscaped campus which provides a positive study environment
  • academic pathways to postgraduate study.

Entry requirements

Places are limited and a separate Application for Programme Entry (APE) to the College of Education, Health and Human Development is required. Selection for entry is not automatic and is based on:

  • academic ability, involvement and interest in working with children and young people, community involvement, communication skills and other personal qualities as outlined in the APE
  • a police check, referees' reports and an interview
  • a short literacy and numeracy test.

Applicants under 20 must have University Entrance and applicants over 20 must have evidence of recent, successful tertiary study.

A degree is required to enter graduate programmes (overseas degrees will need to be assessed as equivalent to a New Zealand degree by the University).

English language

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.

How to apply

There is more information on programme-specific entry requirements on the following degree pages:

Applications normally open on 1 August and close four weeks prior to the start of the programme (most programmes commence in January or February), or when places are filled. To complete an Application for Programme Entry please visit the College website.


Study commitments

Depending on your programme of study, full-time on-campus students have 16–25 hours of lectures per week during term time, plus time spent on personal study, research and assignment preparation. Full-time distance students can expect to spend a minimum of 40 hours per week on their studies, as well as being required to attend on-site intensives (see information below).

For teaching programmes, professional teaching practice involves blocks of 2–7 weeks during which you are required to spend approximately eight hours each day working alongside an experienced teacher. Professional practice can usually be undertaken locally, though travel may be required.

Teacher education programmes are intensive and it is therefore important that applicants realise the amount of time required to complete them, particularly if studying by distance. If you need to work or have other commitments, then you may need to consider part-time study.

Distance study: Flexible learning option and regional blended study

The College of Education, Health and Human Development has a range of delivery options as well as the face-to-face on-campus programmes in Christchurch. The College offers a blended model of campus-based and online learning in Nelson, Rotorua and New Plymouth plus a distance option known as the Flexible Learning Option (FLO).

Flexible Learning Option (FLO)

FLO courses are taught using online resources, included web-based audio or video conferences. If you are enrolled in the regional campus model, some of the FLO course sessions may be delivered face-to-face as intensive modules in Nelson, Rotorua or New Plymouth.

New distance students are provided with comprehensive information through e-Learning support and the FLO student support Learn (Moodle) sites. Lecturer contact details, assignment due dates and the times you are required to be on campus are available through the Course Information System

Both undergraduate and a selection of postgraduate courses are available by distance – meaning that you can continue studying with us throughout your career.

Course materials

Course materials are provided free of charge in the course Learn sites. You should expect to gain access to course materials on your Learn site the week before the beginning of your course, provided you are fully enrolled as a student.

Equipment required for distance study

The bulk of the course content is provided online. Online interaction will be part of flexible learning. Access to the following is required:

  • telephone (with voicemail)
  • computer, web-cam and printer
  • internet access with broadband
  • hardware and software to participate in online conference sessions, including Skype and Adobe Connect
  • DVD and CD player – essential for viewing and listening to supplementary course materials (not required for Early Childhood Teacher Education).

In addition, access to the following is recommended:

  • fax/scanner – not essential, but desirable
  • video camera – can be used in preparation of some assignments.
On-site intensives

Many FLO courses have an on-site intensive component. These are a great opportunity to meet the lecturers and colleagues for the duration of your studies, form study groups in your home region as well as online, and learn some of the information which is best taught in a face-to-face class or using particular equipment. On-site intensives may also include orientation activities, school or centre visits and overnight marae visits.

On-site intensives for primary qualifications are taught in blocks, with the first on-site intensive taking place in the February of the first year of study in Christchurch. If you are enrolled in the Nelson or Rotorua regional campus option you do not attend the on-site intensives in Christchurch. You will complete a blended model of online course work and face-to-face courses and curriculum components held at your regional campus.

On-site intensives for early childhood qualifications are taught in blocks. The FLO distance option usually involves one on-site intensive per semester on campus for the BTchLn(EarlyChildhood). Subsequent on-site intensives may be held in New Plymouth as well as Christchurch if numbers permit. For the Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching the on-site intensives are held in Christchurch three times during the year.

Home schools (Primary)

In addition to the teaching placements organised by the College there will be occasions where access to a primary school is required in order to complete observations or course-related tasks. You are encouraged to develop a relationship with a local school so that you can access groups of children in a learning setting and resources where appropriate. This ‘home school’ contact is a strictly informal relationship between you and the school, and falls outside of any formal liaison organised between UC and the centre.

Home centres (Early Childhood)

FLO students are encouraged to develop a relationship with a local early childhood setting so that they can become part of a learning community, observe children and teachers, and have the opportunity for professional conversations with staff. This 'home centre' contact is a strictly informal relationship between the student and the centre, and falls outside of any formal liaison organised between UC and the school.

Professional practice

Professional practice placements for distance students are usually arranged in schools or centres close to where distance students live. However, travel may be required in some cases.

Education Library distance services

You can access the UC Education Library distance services if you are enrolled in a recognised FLO or distance course or a course at any UC regional campus or centre. Library services include:

  • access to books, serials and audiovisual materials such as videos and kits
  • internet access through our web page to resources and services, including the library catalogue, serials index, full text databases, registration and forms
  • advice on search strategies and guidance in using library resources
  • access to items from other libraries if we do not have them in this library
  • contact by phone, fax, email or mail.

All students need to apply for a permanent username and password. This will automatically register you as a user on the library system. You will be able to access your account details online.

Regional study

Students at UC’s regional campuses and centres have the benefit of a blended model of study that combines face-to-face courses tailored to local needs together with FLO courses. If you are enrolled through the regional campus model, you will also have access to UC support services including the distance library service.

Nelson Centre

The Nelson Centre offers the Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary) degree using a blended model. Primary students attend Professional Inquiry classes one to two days per week, with the remainder of coursework completed by FLO. Professional practice can usually be undertaken locally, though travel may be required in some cases.

The Nelson Centre is co-located with the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT). Students have access to the NMIT well-being and learning support services, the library facilities, and computer networks.

UC Nelson Centre, NMIT - Y Block, 145 Collingwood Street, Nelson
Phone +64 3 548 3106

The Rotorua Centre

The Rotorua Centre, based at Waiariki Institute of Technology, offers the Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary). Primary students attend Professional Inquiry classes one day per week, with the remainder of coursework completed by FLO. This course is designed to meet local needs, particularly in the areas of tikanga and te reo Māori. At the beginning of each semester, you will be required to attend an on-site intensive course, where you will be introduced to your subjects and inducted into UC systems.

Students at our regional campuses have access to well-being and learning support services, the library facilities, and computer networks.

UC Rotorua Centre, C/- Waiariki Institute of Technology, Mokoia Drive, PO Box 3028, Rotorua
 +64 7 346 8820

New Plymouth Centre

The New Plymouth Centre is located on the Western Institute of Technology (WITT) campus and offers the BTchLn(EarlyChildhood) programme. Classes for the Professional Inquiry courses of the BTchLn(EarlyChildhood) are usually held one day per week or fortnight, with students engaging in a range of flexible learning courses (FLO) at other times. At the beginning of each semester you will be required to attend additional days for an on-site intensive course, where they will be introduced to their subjects as well as to the UC systems and WITT support.

Students are required to attend teaching practices in early childhood centres during their studies – these are arranged by the College.

You will have access to both WITT's library services and UC's distance library services, well-being and learning support services, and computer networks.

New Plymouth Centre, c/- WITT, Private Bag 2030, New Plymouth 434
Phone +64 6 757 3100 ext 8861

Career opportunities

Teaching graduates are eligible to apply to the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand for provisional registration as a teacher. After completing two years of satisfactory teaching, graduates are eligible to apply for full registration.

Teaching also provides entry into careers beyond the education setting, with teaching experience being an excellent background for a wide range of jobs including careers in the public sector, and business and industry training.

Find out more about what you can do with a teaching degree.

More information

College of Education, Health and Human Development | Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora

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

Visit the College's website for up-to-date location details.

Postal address
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

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