Guide to applying

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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

Applications for 2023 have now closed but applications for 2024 are now open.

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 and subject areas have a limited capacity for places and applications may close earlier if this capacity has been reached or due to student demand.

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 upload a copy of your CV or resume.  This can be in the format of a traditional CV or resume (i.e. listing previous and current employment, qualifications and other relevant information), or can be in the form of a written statement if you do not have any previous formal work experience.
  • This document needs to include any experience working with children and young adults, leadership roles, and community group involvement over the last 5 years. Note that these can be paid, voluntary or work experience roles.
  • Also include any other relevant qualifications such as first aid certificate, coaching qualification, Duke of Edinburgh Award or similar certificate or school achievements.
  • 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 to complete these assessments before you book your interview time.

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.

You will be expected to achieve a 60% pass in each of the assessments to be considered for entry to your chosen programme. Should you not achieve this pass mark, you may be given an opportunity to re-sit the assessment(s) – we will provide you with information following your interview if this is required.

From 2022 we are offering an alternative entry pathway for applicants seeking to be teachers of Technology and Te Reo Māori that do not hold a level 7 qualification which is typically required for a graduate diploma course of study. This pathway is for individuals who have a minimum of 5 years of recent employment within a trade or with high levels of te reo Māori language use; work qualifications and professional development; experience relating to leadership and/or management skills; and evidence of work in a coaching, mentoring, or teaching role.

This information should be provided in a CV alongside the regular University of Canterbury application form and referee reports.

Candidates who wish to apply for this entry pathway will also need to provide some additional information through a mapping of work experience against the curriculum area they seek to teach. If selected a candidate will be invited to an on-site interview process.

This alternative entry pathway at the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary endorsement) is available via campus-based or distance study. The Distance option is available at the Graduate Diploma pathway only and can be completed full time in one year or part time over 2 years. Note, only the distance option has a part-time pathway.

Distance pathway for the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning for Secondary endorsement in Technology and Te Reo Māori

Selected students in the Graduate Diploma for Teaching and Learning in secondary education with suitable experience in Technology and/or Te Reo Māori can apply to study via distance. The existing campus-based options in these teaching areas also remain in place.

The Distance option is available at the Graduate Diploma pathway only and can be completed full time in one year or part time over 2 years. (Campus-based options are still available for the PGDipTchgLn and MTchgLn). Note, only the distance option has a part-time pathway.

For further information please contact:

Ceri de Boo (Technology Education Lecturer) or

Te Hurinui Clarke (Māori Education Senior Lecturer)

Rachel Maitland (Programme Coordinator)

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

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.


All applicants who meet the entry criteria for a teacher education programme must be interviewed before a decision is made on offering a place in the programme.

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

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 te 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

Information for applicants

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.

For referees and school staff

Thank you for agreeing to contribute to the selection process for an applicant for one of our teacher education programmes. Please complete the online referee report which is a critical part of our process.  You many have already been sent this link by the applicant – if this is the case, and you have already completed the report, you do not need to complete it again and we thank you for your time.

Important information for Teacher Education students

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.


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 


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.

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. 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. 

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. See here for more information on the costs associated with your professional practice placements.


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 website.

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.


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.

If you would like to study our intial teacher education qualifications by distance you will need to reside in Aotearoa New Zealand. You will typically need to attend intensives in Ōtautahi Christchurch, one of which is a an on-site intensive at the beginning of the programme, undertake a community engagement course, as well as attend professional practice placements in schools in Aotearoa New Zealand. If you are enrolled at the Whakatū Nelson regional campus and the Rotorua ITE Hapori, you will instead complete a blended model of online and face-to face courses.

Part of this application process for our Mātauranga Māori endorsement is a selection hui to evaluate your te reo Māori proficiency level. 

  • For those with no or limited te reo Māori proficiency at entry, you will be guided to complete TREO110 OR AKOT110 in Summer School before starting the programme.
  • For those with some knowledge of te reo Māori (basic — conversational), you will follow the normal course programme outlined above including the Mana Reo courses.
  • For those with a high proficiency of te reo Māori, you may receive Recognition of Prior Learning for AKOM192.
  • For those with a high proficiency in te reo Māori me ōna tikanga, you may receive Recognition of Prior Learning for AKOM192, AKOM293, and/or AKOM394 (your ability will determine how many of these courses).
  • Alternatively, you may take reo rumaki (Māori language immersion) Summer School courses in the second and third year of the degree to further strengthen your confidence and competence to teach in and through te reo Māori — TREO180 and TREO280.

He pātai? Any questions, make an appointment with our Student Advisors.

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 on this page 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 have read and understood all the information above. It provides more detail about what you need to do for your application.

Please note: There are no mid-year teaching qualification intakes. The Graduate Diploma in Education and Learning and the Postgraduate Diploma in Education and Learning are NOT available for students to apply for – these programmes are not teaching qualifications and are available by invitation only. They do not lead to teacher registration in New Zealand.

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