Guide to applying

Hands typing on a laptop, College of Education

Important application and enrolment information

Our teacher education programmes have specialised application processes. Please read the important programme and enrolment information outlined below, before applying through myUC

Read through the tabs below before you begin the application process.

Applications for teacher education programmes will close on 1 December each year for domestic applicants (31 October each year for international applicants). While we process applications as they are received, many of our programmes have a limited capacity for places and applications may close earlier if this capacity has been reached.

Applicants who successfully complete the selection process will receive either a letter advising them they have secured a place in their chosen programme, with conditions outlined if appropriate, OR a letter advising they have been placed on a waitlist for entry to the programme.  Applicants who have not met the minimum entry requirements for the programme will be declined entry at this point.  

Applicants who are placed on the waitlist will be reviewed from 1 October each year. As places become available in the programme, individuals on the waitlist will be sent a letter of offer.  From 10 January each year, applicants who have not received programme entry and remain on the waitlist will be contacted with information on the options available to them.

Have the following ready

  • You will be asked to provide us with information about your previous or current work history, both paid and voluntary, as well as any qualifications you may have that are relevant to your application for a teacher education programme. If you have a CV or resumé already prepared, you can cut and past the information into these sections of the application form (formatting will be lost but that’s OK – it’s the content we are looking for). There is a 300 word limit for each of the two questions you will be asked. 
  • Scanned evidence of your identity such as your birth certificate or passport as well as any name change documentation.
  • The names and email addresses of two people you have approached who have agreed to be your referees. Your nominated referees will receive an email requesting they complete the report online so it is important that their email address is entered correctly into your application form. However, in order to speed up the application process, it is suggested that you also send them the link to the referee report in advance. Referees must not be immediate or close family, friends or flatmates. Your referees must also be different from the person completing your confidential school report, if you need one.
  • If you are currently at school you will also need to arrange for a school report to be completed. You will need the name and email address of the person providing this report  (as for the referee reports).
  • A scanned transcript of any previous tertiary study you may have undertaken. This may be a final or interim transcript showing completed and current courses from your tertiary education provider.  Please note – interim transcripts must include your name, the qualification you are completing and the name of the tertiary institution you are enrolled in.
  • Overseas police check(s) - if you have lived in another country for 12 months or more continuously in the past 10 years and were over 16 years of age at the time, you need to provide a police report from that country/countries. As these police checks cannot be more than six months old at the start of your programme, we suggest you hold off applying for any overseas police checks until around September.

International students may also need to provide

  • Permanent residence documentation, if you believe you are eligible for domestic fees.
  • Agent contact details (if you are applying via an agent - not all international students do).
  • English translations of documents that have been issued in another language, along with original documents.

Acceptable document formats

  • PDF preferred, also accept doc, docx, jpg and png.
    Scan in colour.
  • Resolution of at least 300dpi.
  • File size less than 10MB.
  • Multipage documents must be combined into one file.
  • For security reasons we cannot accept documents in a compressed format (.zip, .rar) or those sent as download links to an online storage site.
  • If the documents were originally issued in a language other than English, then an official English translation must be provided along with the original language documents.

Selection criteria for teacher education programmes

Entry to teacher education programmes is not automatic. Selection for entry into our teacher education programmes is based on:

  • Academic ability
  • Involvement and interest in working with children and young people in ethically responsible ways
  • Commitment to facilitating and supporting children's learning
  • Ability to communicate your ideas clearly, confidently and coherently, and to listen and respond to others appropriately
  • Attentive listening to others
  • Evidence of a commitment to collaborative engagement with others
  • Referee and school reports
  • Meeting literacy and numeracy requirements
  • Commitment to Te Reo Māori and Tikanga (Māori language and protocols).

A NZ police check will be undertaken if you are offered a place in a teacher education programme.

It is a requirement of the Teaching Council of New Zealand (formerly the Education Council of Aotearoa) that all applicants for Initial Teacher Education qualifications be assessed on their Literacy and Numeracy competency prior to entry to the programme.  We require you complete the required assessments before the interview stage of the process.

You are required to complete both the Literacy and Numeracy assessments

The Literacy Assessment covers a variety of basic skills in vocabulary, comprehension, grammar and exploring language. In the comprehension section you will be asked to answer questions about some short passages. The grammar section assesses your knowledge of nouns, adjectives, verbs and prepositions. All questions require either a multiple choice or short closed answer. You will have 45 minutes to complete this assessment.

The Numeracy Assessment covers number, measurement, geometry, simple algebra, statistics, probability, problem solving and logic. All questions require either a multiple choice or short closed answer. You will have 45 minutes to complete this assessment.

English Language Competency requirements

Every member of the teaching profession must be competent in one of the languages of New Zealand’s national curricula - English or te reo Māori.

To gain entry into an Initial Teacher Education programme you must meet certain standards of English or te reo Māori language competency as required by the Teaching Council of New Zealand.

Information on the current English Language Competency requirements can be found at https://teachingcouncil.nz/getting-certificated/for-overseas-trained-teachers/language-competency-requirements/

Note: we will accept and progress your application even if you haven’t yet met the English Language Competency requirements at the time you submit your application.  If your application is successful any offer will be conditional on meeting English Language Competency requirements.  A full offer will not be provided until this requirement has been met.

Interviews

All applicants who are eligible of a teacher education programme must be interviewed.

Interviews are conducted either face-to-face (if you live within 50km of our Christchurch or Nelson campus) or by Zoom if you live further way or are located overseas.

Information on how to book your interview will be sent to you if you are successful in progressing to the interview stage of the process.

Face-to-face interviews:

If you are attending a face-to-face interview, please make sure you arrive at least 20 minutes before your interview time so you have time to complete the police vetting form. As parking can be an issue, please allow plenty of time to be here on time for your interview. Please note, if you are late for your interview you may be asked to re-schedule for an alternative time.

Before your interview you will be asked to complete a police vetting form. The police check will only be processed if you are successful in gaining entry to the programme.

In order to complete the form, you will need to bring 2 forms of identification with you to your interview, one of which must be a photo ID. Student ID cards are not acceptable.

Zoom interviews

Once your interview booking is confirmed, you will be sent instructions on how to access zoom and a link for you to access your interview session.

If you are successful in gaining entry to the programme, you will be sent information on how to complete the required police check.

Structure of the interview

You will be interviewed in a group along with 3-4 other applicants. There will be 2 interviewers on the panel. The interview will be approximately 30-40 minutes long and is designed to build on your application and assess your suitability for the teaching profession.

We encourage you to view this interview as a structured conversation where you are presenting yourself as a potential, professional person who wants to work with young learners. The interview process is designed to provide opportunities for you to demonstrate evidence of your personal qualities that could include motivation and commitment to teaching, positive dispositions for relating to others, confidence, self-assurance and professional attitudes.

Expressing relevant ideas fluently and clearly are assessed, along with your body language and the depth of message substance. Being responsive to others and showing the potential to work collaboratively as a team member are also important considerations. You will be given opportunities to convey your involvement and experience working with children along with examples of your relevant leadership, commitment and organisational abilities.

Following this discussion, focused around a set of standard questions, you are given the opportunity to ask your own questions concerning the course and/or the application process.

If you have any questions about your interview or need to re-schedule the time, please email the programme entry team at teacheredselect@canterbury.ac.nz

Preparing for the interview

Teaching is a rewarding profession that provides opportunities for engaging with children and families, sharing your passion for learning, and having leadership in education more broadly. As professionals, teachers are expected to uphold a set or ethical responsibilities and demonstrate standards of practice set by the profession. The Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession clearly define these expectations. You should read these documents as part of your preparation for the interview.

The interview questions are designed to address aspects of the code and standards for the teaching profession. Specifically, the areas that will be addressed in the interview are:

  • Teaching is a collaborative profession – we will be asking questions related to teamwork and working in a group setting
  • Society and education communities have become more multi-cultural – we will be asking questions about how you work with people from different backgrounds
  • Teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand are required to demonstrate a commitment to tangata whenua (affirming Māori learners as Māori) and to Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi) partnership – we will be asking questions relating to ter reo Māori (the Māori language) and tikanga Māori (Māori culture)
  • Teacher have ethical responsibilities – we will be asking questions related to ethical responses to situations

What happens next? 

  • After your interview, those who are successful in gaining a place in their chosen teacher education programme will either receive a conditional or unconditional offer letter. If you receive a conditional letter, please ensure that you have met the condition(s) by the programme start date. The offer letter provides important information including start dates and orientation.
  • Once University enrolments open in October, your courses will be loaded for you and a formal enrolment offer will be sent (once programme eligibility is unconditional). You will need to check your formal enrolment carefully to ensure it is correct before accepting the offer and arranging payment.
  • If your application is held up it is usually because documentation has not been received, most commonly referee reports, academic transcripts or school reports. Please ensure that all requests for documentation are attended to promptly.

How much will it cost?

Who can I talk to if I have questions about my application?

Online referee reports

As part of your application, you will be required to provide the names and email addresses of two people to be your referees. You need to ensure that you have contacted these people prior to you submitting your application and they agree to act as your referee. Your nominated referees will be sent an email with the link to the online referee reports but you can also do this ahead of time using the referee report tab on this page. Referees must not be immediate or close family, friends or flatmates. Your referees must also be different from the person completing your confidential school report, if you need one.

 

All applicants - Complete the the online Referee report for all teacher education programmes

 

School leavers - please also complete the Confidential school report  (must be completed only if you are finishing secondary school in 2020) or download a PDF of the Confidential school report

Important information for Teacher Education students

Kia ora

Congratulations for considering undertaking an exciting career in teaching. A teaching qualification will enable you to play an important role in the lives of children, their whānau and communities. We want you to be well informed about our programme and its expectations, and therefore it is important that you read this information carefully.

Many of you will have already talked with people in the teaching profession and may have some understanding of the teacher education programmes at the University of Canterbury. Teaching is a very rewarding career and we aim to graduate skilful, reflective, enthusiastic and knowledgeable educators who will be well prepared for lifelong learning and maintain a commitment to the teaching profession. Entering a profession and gaining a reputable qualification means that you, as a graduate, must meet specific competencies set by the Teaching Council of New Zealand.

During the teacher education programme we will have high expectations of you and will do our best to guide and support you through courses and professional practice placements. This is our responsibility to you as a student. This also means that you, as a student, will have responsibilities which will require a firm commitment to your learning by devoting a significant amount of the week to study and preparation. It also requires a commitment to professionalism in all areas of your study and practice. This section includes some key information to help prepare for your chosen programme.

Professionalism

This is a professional qualification, and in order to meet the requirements of the qualification, you must be able to demonstrate your ability to meet the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession. Professional behaviour is therefore an expectation across all contexts, including your course work and work in centres or schools. Professional conduct, including professional communication and behaviour and the Code of Professional Responsibility when working in centres and schools is an on-going, important component of your programme of study across all areas. We strongly suggest you read and familiarise yourself with the Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession before you begin your studies. The Code can be found at https://teachingcouncil.nz/professional-practice/our-code-our-standards/ 

Workload

Many of our teacher education programmes are delivered both full time or part time on campus (students who attend classes at the Christchurch campus each week); and by distance (study at a distance but also attend a number of On-site Intensive blocks in Christchurch or the appropriate regional campus). Sometimes prospective students have the perception that an initial teacher education study programme will have a light workload and be easy to fit into a busy life schedule. It is important to understand that teacher education programmes are a combination of academic and professional studies that require a high level of commitment and should be considered in the same way as full or part time employment. This will involve consistent weekly workload where students need to engage in study, lectures/online learning experiences and discussions, and assignment work every week.

Full time students should allow a minimum of 36 hours per week of study and assignment time during each semester of study, prior to each placement. On-campus students need to be prepared to have full days of lectures and workshops, with the expectation that you have prepared in advance for many of these. Distance students will also need to ensure they can complete this number of hours each week, and complete course work/participate in online course discussions each day over the week, some of which are held at set times during normal university study hours.

During professional practice placements students will need to attend their placement for a minimum of eight hours each day (i.e. 8am-4pm) and also work on preparation outside of these times. Although a part time study option will obviously reduce the workload over the whole course, it is important to be aware that it is a full time and heavy load during the periods when you undertake your professional practice placements. If you need to continue working and/or have other commitments to family (and/or community), then we strongly suggest you undertake part time study. It is possible to change to a part-time study programme in the middle of the year if you find the workload too intense.

On-site Intensive programme (OSI)

Distance students are required to attend a number of On-Site Intensive programmes in Christchurch or the appropriate regional campus. Key dates and OSI information can be found on our Course Groups and Timetables webpage.

During the start of year OSIs, students will be involved in a mihi whakatau, work with staff who will be taking your Semester 1 courses, and have an induction to the qualification and teaching profession.  Distance students will also receive guidance to help you study successfully online at a distance.  For some programmes, students may also have an overnight stay at a local marae, be involved in group teaching at a local school and complete a Treaty of Waitangi workshop. Please check your OSI timetable for programme specific information.

Subsequent OSIs are dedicated to your upcoming courses, and will include practical workshops, lectures, and meetings with staff. Attendance at all aspects of all OSI’s is compulsory. The dates and timetables for OSIs will be available on our website. Please be aware that you will need to meet your travel, accommodation, and related living costs for all OSIs.

Professional Practice Placements

You will complete a number of professional practice placements over the duration of your qualification. You may need to make arrangements with family and/or work ahead of time to enable you to attend your placement for eight hours per day, and complete associated planning and preparation in the evenings and weekends.  The requirements are the same for both full and part time students.

While we endeavour to place you in a school or centre within the Christchurch City Boundaries (or in close proximity to your home town for distance students) for at least one of your practicum blocks, we cannot guarantee this.  As such you may be required to travel out of Christchurch for one or more practicum blocks. 

In order for us to provide you with a range of placements during your study, you should expect that there will be some travel required in order for you to attend your placement.  This may be travelling from one side of town to another or to an outlying suburb of the city you are based in.

Any costs relating to attendance at placements, including the cost of travel, are the responsibility of the student.

Information on the dates of your placements is available in the relevant key dates section of the Course Groups and Timetables webpage.

Attendance

Teacher education programmes start earlier in the year than other university programmes and require attendance from Day 1. It is important that you know the start date of your programme, which will be listed in offer letters and also available on our Course Groups and Timetables webpage.

Attendance at all OSI and orientation sessions are compulsory. This may include an overnight stay at a marae, attendance at Treaty of Waitangi workshops, and all associated sessions within the OSI timetable for your programme.

On-campus students are expected to attend all scheduled lectures and workshops each week during semester time, and need to notify the applicable staff if they are absent.

Distance students are expected to attend online meetings and classes when they are scheduled, plus participate in online discussion forums on a weekly basis if required. Lack of participation will impact your course result and may also impact your ability to complete your professional practice placements if we believe you are not prepared well enough to complete the placement.

Emails

Our main form of communication once you have submitted your application is by email. We only use your personal email until you have a UC IT account set up as part of your enrolment. We have found that for some people our emails are marked as spam so don’t come through to your inbox so keep an eye on your spam folder to make sure you receive our communications.

Once you are fully enrolled, we require that you use your University of Canterbury student email for all correspondence with university staff. Please check this daily throughout the year. 

We look forward to working with you throughout your journey as you work towards your goal of entering the teaching profession.

Students undertaking an initial teacher education programme at UC will face additional costs associated with their study.  These costs include, but may not be limited to, travel, accommodation and living costs related to Onsite Intensives and professional practice placements in schools or centres, and are the responsibility of the student. While we endeavour to place students in schools or centres within the greater Christchurch City boundaries (or in close proximity to your home town for distance students) for at least one of your professional practice placements, we cannot guarantee this and, as such, you may be required to travel out of town for one or more professional practice placement. The costs associated with professional practice placements within the Christchurch City boundaries include transport or travel expenses, and for placements outside of the greater Christchurch City boundaries will include travel and/or transport, accommodation and living expenses.

Teacher Education Application Process 

This enrolment process is for all teacher education applicants whether you are a domestic or international student or whether you intend to study on campus or by distance. You will be asked to select a preferred programme but can also nominate a second choice. Use the Apply now button below, to apply for teacher education programmes. 

Key information:

  • Teacher education programmes start earlier than the standard university academic year and run to a slightly different timetable. Attendance is required from the first day. Programmes begin with an On-site intensive or orientation block course, where all students (both distance and campus) must be present on site – see here for more information.
  • Entry to teacher education programmes in not automatic – the information below outlines the selection process and entry requirements for these programmes.
  • Teacher education programmes are professional programmes of study. As such, there are likely to be some additional expenses associated with completing the programme - see here for more information.

Here are some tips:

  • Apply early — You give yourself the best chance of getting a place if you get your application in early. 
  • Email is our primary form of communication with you throughout the selection and enrolment process. We have found that for some people our emails are marked as spam so don’t come through to your inbox, so keep an eye on your spam folder to make sure you receive our communications! 
  • Get teaching experience — It is to your advantage to have had experience with something similar to teaching. If you can spend some time in a school or early childhood centre, that can give you a really good taste of what it is like to be a teacher. Coaching sports teams, working in after-school care or on holiday programmes, or in mentoring roles are also good.
  • Choose the best referees — Your referees write confidential reports that come directly to us, so pick people who are going to be really supportive. If you have an employer, sport coach, mentor etc., they could be a good referee and might have really good examples of why you would be a good teacher. Choose people who can give us further information about you which is not already in your application.
  • Make sure you read the information below. It will give you more detail about what you need to do for your application.

Please note: There are no mid-year teacher education intakes. The Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Honours) and Graduate Diploma in Education and Learning programmes are NOT available for students to apply for – these programmes are available by invitation only.

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