Find a course by code

2014 2015
  • Find a course by subject

    • 2014 2015

Student Profile

‘I thought, why not get qualified and go further in my career...’

Elizabeth Kelly Studying towards a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood)
(read profile)

Early Childhood Teacher Education


BTchLn(EarlyChildhood), GradDipECTch, BTchLn(Hons)


Working in early childhood education will offer you a challenging and rewarding career. You will enhance the lives of infants, toddlers and young children, and provide support for families/whānau in the important task of parenting/caregiving. The early years of a child's life have a critical impact on their lifelong development; high quality learning experiences within those years lay the foundations for all later learning.

Now is a particularly good time to get into early childhood teaching as there are many scholarships for students enrolling in Early Childhood Teacher Education programmes. For more information go to TeachNZ.

Entry requirements

Places are limited and a separate Application for Programme Entry (APE) to the College of Education is required.

Selection for entry is based on academic ability, involvement and interest in working with children, community involvement, communication skills and other personal qualities.

BTchLn(EarlyChildhood) applicants under 20 must have University Entrance or be over 20 years of age. For applicants over 20 years of age, recent tertiary study is desirable. For example, applicants may want to consider the Certificate in Learning Support (CertLS) which is available by distance or the Certificate in University Preparation (CUP). For GradDipECTch applicants a degree is required (overseas degrees will need to be assessed as equivalent to a New Zealand degree by the University).

The selection process includes a police check and may include an interview.

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.

Apply for programme entry

Applications open in July and are due four weeks prior to the commencement of the programme or when places are filled.

Download an Application for Programme Entry or phone the Contact Centre on 0800 VARSITY (827 748).

Programme structure

Early Childhood qualifications at UC have four components:
  • In Education you will learn about the aims and purposes of education, child development, teaching and learning, assessment, the New Zealand education system, socio-political and cultural contexts, communication skills, information skills, and contemporary issues in education.
  • In Professional Inquiry and Professional Practice you will learn practical teaching skills and spend time working in an early childhood setting alongside an experienced teacher. You will also be visited by a lecturer who will observe and discuss your progress. The degree includes two blocks of Professional Practice in first year (one for two weeks and another for four weeks) and two blocks of up to five weeks in each of the second and third years.
  • In Curriculum Studies you will learn about Te Whāriki – the Early Childhood Curriculum. Students gain pedagogical knowledge (knowledge about the theory of teaching), and skills required to teach effectively within an integrated curriculum.
  • We continue to extend the professional practice opportunities and multicultural competencies for BTchLn(Early Childhood) students by offering international teaching/learning opportunities, mainly in the Pacific and in Asia. These experiences give students first-hand exposure to alternative early childhood settings in another culture.

Flexible Learning Option

The Early Childhood FLO is available to BTchLn students throughout the country. Students must be able to attend up to two onsite intensives, one of which is a two week onsite intensive at the beginning of the programme. This will be held in Christchurch unless you are enrolled in the regional programme in New Plymouth.

Courses integrate web-based material, audiovisual resources, video conferences and email. Students also attend professional practice placements in early childhood education centres for up to ten weeks per year.

Graduate option

The Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching is available for students who hold a university degree. The GradDipECT prepares students for teaching in the early childhood sector. The graduate diploma can be studied full-time for one year or part-time over three years and is offered by distance. Students are required to attend professional practice placements in early childhood centres throughout their studies, as arranged by the College of Education.

Further study

The Bachelor of Teaching and Learning with Honours (BTchLn(Hons)) is a one-year full-time postgraduate qualification for Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (or equivalent) graduates with a B grade average in their 200 and 300-level courses. The BTchLn(Hons) provides students with the opportunity to focus on educational issues or curriculum areas in which they have special interests.

Graduates can also continue on to master’s degrees and other postgraduate qualifications in Education and related areas at UC, and in other New Zealand and overseas institutions.

Career opportunities

Working in early childhood places you in the middle of the fun, challenging and ultra-important world of caring for infants, toddlers and children. This is an interactive and collaborative profession where teamwork is highly valued, which can enhance your job satisfaction too.

Early childhood teachers who graduate from UC are highly respected and find roles in early learning centres, childcare centres (public and private), kindergartens, kōhanga reo, hospitals and government agencies.

Our graduates leave with first-rate teaching skills that have been tried and tested in various settings while on placement throughout their studies. The applied knowledge of different teaching strategies, learning styles and knowledge of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, prepares skilled graduates who will succeed in facilitating the development and learning of infants, toddlers and young children in their vital years.

For further career information, please go to


College of Education
Telephone: +64 3 343 9606