Certificate in Learning Support


The College of Education, Health and Human Development offers the Certificate in Learning Support (CertLS) as an online programme.

The CertLS is ideal for anyone interested in working as a teacher-aide or education support worker, and is also suitable for parents who are assisting teachers or would like to do so. The Certificate may also be of interest as a first step for those considering a career in teaching. 

This qualification provides graduates with the skills and knowledge to effectively support and facilitate children’s learning from early childhood through to secondary school education. All courses are offered online with supporting readings, weblinks, digitally recorded lectures and materials. In addition some courses will include on campus workshops. 

This Certificate also provides you with transferable skills, such as:

  • working effectively and professionally with colleagues, children and parents
  • digital literacy in planning, recording and communicating learning activities and progress
  • supporting and facilitating learning in innovative and creative ways innovation.

What Teacher Aides Do

Teacher aides/education support workers play a pivotal role in educational settings supporting teachers in their work with diverse learners. They work in different ways depending on the needs of the setting, and can be involved in a variety of activities ranging from general classroom support to acting as a reader/writer for an individual student. In the course of their work teacher aides/education support workers may:

  • carry out learning activities
  • help with managing behaviour
  • encourage and facilitate relationships among children 
  • release the teacher so they can work directly with individual children or groups of children. 

Entry requirements

Admission to UC with University Entrance, or equivalent, is required to enrol for an undergraduate qualification. Students wishing to study towards the Certificate in Learning Support who are 20 years of age or older and who do not have University Entrance can gain admission to UC through the Adult Entry admission pathway.

For full entry requirements see the Regulations for the Certificate in Learning Support.

You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

Qualification structure and duration

The Certificate in Learning Support is made up of four 15-point courses. Two courses are offered each semester. The qualification can be completed in a minimum of one year full-time and a maximum of three years part-time. 

Subjects and courses

The four compulsory courses are:

The EDLS 105 Supporting Early Literacy and Oral Language Development course aligns with the Ministry of Education’s strategic priority to accelerate the literacy progress of priority learners (which includes children with learning and behavioural needs). It is also consistent with the Ministry’s objective to support effective teacher aide practice and recent focus on strategies to enhance oral language teaching and learning.

EDLS 105 includes practical components to provide students with hands on learning experiences that they can directly use in the classroom or early childhood centre setting. In addition to the online experience this course will provide face-to-face practical sessions, including evening lectures and half-day workshops, which will focus on the practical aspects of the course content.

How to apply

Find out how to apply for undergraduate qualifications.

Career opportunities

Graduates of the Certificate in Learning Support can work in a number of roles such as:

  • teacher aides/education support workers in early childhood centres and primary, intermediate, area and secondary schools
  • parent helpers in schools and early childhood centres.

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

More information

For the full certificate requirements see the Regulations for the Certificate in Learning Support.

For more information email info@canterbury.ac.nz or freephone 0800 VARSITY (827 748).

For assistance with planning your programme of study contact the Liaison Office or visit the Liaison Office’s course planning page.

Siobhan McMillan

Siobhan McMillan

'At honours level, you begin to discover more complicated theories...'

Catherine Nath

Catherine Nath

'Early Childhood Education is the best thing you can do if you enjoy children...'