Postgraduate study

UC Education

Postgraduate options

The BTchLn(Hons) is a one-year full-time qualification for BTchLn (or equivalent) graduates with a B-grade average in their 200 and 300-level courses. The BTchLn(Hons) develops knowledge and research skills to equip you for further study and improve your classroom/centre practice, provides you with the opportunity to focus on educational issues or curriculum areas in which you have special interests, and makes you more competitive in the job market.

The PGCertEd gives teachers, counsellors and other educational professionals the opportunity to improve their professional practice and examine critically significant issues in education. The certificate can be a pathway to the Postgraduate Diploma in Education and the Master of Education.

The PGCertSpecTchg certificate provides students with a strong appreciation of specialist teaching as an interdisciplinary field of practice and the ability to apply their specialist teaching knowledge and skills in diverse cultural context. It comprises one compulsory course and one course focusing on either deaf and hard of hearing, early intervention or learning and behaviour.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (PGCertTESOL) is an ideal fast-track qualification for those who may have come to the career of English language education through an indirect route and wish to undertake professional development or for graduates interested in entering the TESOL profession. It is also an ideal pathway to further postgraduate study in this discipline. The programme is composed of two courses:

The courses in the PGCertTertTchg look beyond the focus of a specific department or knowledge area and consider academic practices from various disciplines. Throughout this programme, a process of shared inquiry and collaborative learning is used to explore participants’ teaching practices and their students’ understanding of learning.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching is designed to enable graduates to apply knowledge of research to teaching and learning, develop and justify a repertoire of teaching approaches and assessment practices, and evaluate and advance their teaching practices.

The PGDipEd is designed to give teachers, counsellors and other educational professionals the opportunity to improve their professional practice and examine critically significant issues in education. It generally consists of four courses totalling 120 points. Each specialist endorsement has different compulsory and optional courses:

An unendorsed pathway is also available.

Many students of the Postgraduate Diploma in Education make the choice to complete an additional two courses to be awarded the Master of Education. Some PGDipEd courses are exclusively available by distance learning options.

The University of Canterbury in partnership with Massey University now offers a Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching. This qualification adopts an inquiry-based interprofessional learning model. It employs a range of distance and blended delivery options that provide a range of flexible learning options for all students regardless of location. Five specialist endorsements will be offered - Early Intervention; Deaf and Hard of Hearing; Learning and Behaviour; Complex Educational Needs; Autism Spectrum Disorder; and Blind and Vision Impaired.

The PGDipSpTch employs a range of distance and blended delivery options that provide flexible learning options for all students regardless of location.

Masters and doctoral degrees

The MA in Education consists of four courses and a thesis. It is designed to give students the opportunity to develop and extend their research skills to address questions of interest in education.

Note: The MCALL is currently not open to new enrolments.

This 180-point Master of Computer-Assisted Language Learning (MCALL) prepares language teachers to make optimal, research-informed use of technology in their classrooms, and paves the way for further development. Students anywhere in the world can study this online programme either full time or part time. In just 12 months of full time study (part time options are available) graduates can gain a level 9 Master degree at the University of Canterbury. MCALL students will learn about the history and current state of technology-enhanced language learning and teaching and critically evaluate the body of research that has investigated this important shift in the way we can learn, teach and use languages.

Graduates of the programme will have the knowledge and skills they require to be able to judiciously introduce technology-enhanced learning of languages in a variety of educational settings from early childhood to tertiary. As education settings and the wider community gain unprecedented access to connectivity and technology, the challenge is the increased need for educators who are able to use the technology for learning. There is a demand from educators in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) in NZ and worldwide for knowledge about and skills in the use of technology.

The Master of Education (MEd) degree is designed to give teachers, counsellors or other educational professionals the opportunity to improve their professional practice, examine critically significant issues in education or undertake research in their fields of interest. See our MEd page for more information.

The Master of Specialist Teaching programme provides the opportunity for students to focus their postgraduate studies on specialist teaching. This 180 point programme is relevant for educators working with children and learners who have special educational needs in early childhood, primary and secondary sectors.

If you have a PGDipSpTch - to graduate with a master's degree you will need to complete an additional 60 points of study including one of either EDEM637, EDEM638 or EDEM669, and one optional 30 point course.

The degree will be awarded unendorsed or endorsed in one of the following endorsement areas: Complex Educational Needs, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Early Intervention or Learning and Behaviour. 

The Master of Teaching and Learning is innovative new programme which combines research-informed professional knowledge, evidence-based inquiry and embedded practice based experiences in schools and early childhood settings. It has a particular focus on knowledge and practice that supports Māori and diverse learners, including Pasifika youth and children, students for whom English is a second language, students from low-socioeconomic backgrounds and those who experience special learning needs.

Pre-service teachers in the MTchgLn programme will work in two different local partnership schools that serve significant numbers of priority learners. The first semester placement will be completed in a local early childhood, primary or secondary context and consist of 1–2 days a week across the semester, as well as a 2-3 week intensive experience where candidates will take leadership responsibility for teaching. In the second semester the pre-service educator will move to another local partnership school or early childhood setting and complete a more intensive practice-based learning experience. This will include the 1–2 days a week, and 7 weeks of increased responsibility for leading teaching and learning in a classroom.

The delivery model is designed as an early childhood setting/school and university community of practice. It is undertaken within a digitally enriched learning environment that reflects and supports modern learning pedagogies that are necessary for current and future professional practice in education.

Three endorsements are available:

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Primary
  • Secondary

Students who successfully complete the programme may be eligible for provisional registration as a teacher.

The Journal of Initial Teacher Inquiry showcases 2017 MTchgLn students developing contexts. The research articles relate to a mix of both primary and secondary school-based contexts.

The Master of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MTESOL) is a one-year professional qualification aimed at producing skilful English language educators for a wide variety of educational settings in the 21st century, from early childhood through to tertiary level. With its future focus, this master's programme will give students the skills, knowledge and capabilities to be adaptable in the face of future English language developments, as well as technological and pedagogical advances.  

This programme is ideal for:

  • New Zealand English language educators, or those who wish to specialise in English language education to emergent bilingual speakers of other languages in New Zealand
  • Graduates of New Zealand universities who may currently teach or plan to teach English in other countries
  • Teachers of English throughout the world who want or need to develop their language teaching.

This programme is available to study by distance, with teaching and learning conducted online.

Master of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages brochure (PDF, 251KB)

PhD in Education is a recognition that you have delved deeply into a specific education issue or field of enquiry and that you have become an expert in that field. You will have acquired the skills to continue to do leading research and in most cases you will have published one or more refereed articles.

Our PhD in Education programme is strong and growing. Our students are able to choose supervisors who are at the cutting edge of their fields of research and scholarship. Currently we have students engaged in research in a wide range of educational fields and working with a diverse range of methodological approaches. As a result the integration of teacher education into the University environment we have welcomed professional educators who are interested in practice-based doctoral research.

We have a postgraduate centre that provides a strong academic support base, a stimulating learning environment, dedicated research offices, a community of scholarship, and regular interactive seminars. We have the capacity to develop collegial teams of students and supervisors in particular fields of interest, such as practice-based research within schools and early childhood centres.

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