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Studying Teacher Education

23 November 2023

Before you apply to study Teacher Education with us, it’s important to consider the commitment you're making to a professional education programme. To be successful, you'll need to devote a significant amount of time each week for study and preparation. Find out about studying Teacher Education at UC.


Before applying, it’s important to consider the commitment you are making to a professional education programme. To be successful, you will need to devote a significant amount of time each week to study and preparation, as well as demonstrate a commitment to professionalism in all areas. UC’s Faculty of Education has high expectations and will do our best to guide and support you.


Professional Practice Placements 

Over the duration of your qualification, you will complete a number of professional practice placements. This may require you to make arrangements with family and/or work in advance 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-time 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. While we endeavour to place you in a school or centre within Christchurch or in close proximity to where you reside (for those who reside outside of Christchurch), this cannot be guaranteed. Secondary students should expect that one placement will be outside of the wider Christchurch area.

Costs relating to attendance at placements, including travel and accommodation, are the responsibility of the student.

In order to go on professional placement, you must have already provided 2 accepted forms of verified identification and have completed a police vetting check.  

For enquiries on Professional Placement contact the placement team at


Distance study and on-site intensives (OSI)

To study by distance you will need to reside in Aotearoa New Zealand, as you’ll be required to attend on-site intensives (OSI) in Ōtautahi Christchurch and attend professional practice placements in NZ schools or centres. If you are enrolled at the Whakatū Nelson regional campus or the Rotorua Hapori, you will complete a blended model of online and face-to-face courses.

Distance students will receive guidance to help them study successfully online. 

On-site Intensive (OSI)

Distance students are required to attend a number of On-Site Intensive (OSI) experiences in Christchurch or Nelson. Attendance at OSI is compulsory and you will need to meet your travel, accommodation, and related living costs. Key dates and OSI information can be found on our Course Groups and Timetables page.

During the start of year OSI’s, students will be involved in a mihi whakatau and have an induction to the qualification and teaching profession. Some programmes may include an overnight stay at a local marae, group teaching at a local school, and completing a Treaty of Waitangi workshop. Please check your OSI timetable for programme-specific information. Subsequent OSI are dedicated to your upcoming courses and will include practical workshops, lectures, and meetings with staff.



Teacher education programmes start earlier than the standard university academic year and run to a slightly different timetable. It’s important that you know the start date of your programme, which will be listed in offer letters and available on the Faculty of Education site.

Attendance at all OSI and orientation sessions is compulsory and participation in course activities (lectures, online forums, noho marae) is required. Lack of participation will impact your course result and may also impact your ability to complete your professional practice placements.



As teaching is a professional qualification, you must be able to demonstrate your ability to meet the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand’s Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession. Professional behaviour is an expectation across all contexts, including course work and work in centres or schools. Professional conduct, including communication and behaviour, is an ongoing, important component of your programme of study.

We strongly recommend reading and familiarising yourself with the Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession before beginning your studies.



Teacher education programmes combine academic and professional studies, requiring a high level of time commitment that should be considered in the same way as full or part-time employment. This will involve a consistent workload where you’ll need to engage in study, lectures/online learning experiences and discussions, and assignment work each week.

You’ll also have periods of full-time professional practice placements which you’ll need to attend for a minimum of eight hours each day (i.e., 8am-4pm), while working on preparation outside of these times — just like the working responsibilities of a teacher.

  • Full-time students should allow a minimum of 36 hours per week of study and assignment time during each semester, prior to each professional practice 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 these.
  • Distance students will need to ensure they can devote 36 hours each week. This includes participating in online course discussions each day over the week, some of which are held at set times during normal university study hours.

If you need to continue working and/or have other commitments, we strongly suggest you undertake part-time study where available (N.B. not all programmes offer part-time study). Please be aware that during your professional practice placements, you are still expected to be on-site at schools as a full-time student. It is possible to change to a part-time study programme in the middle of the year if you find the full-time workload too intense.



  • Find out more about fees here.
    If you need a student loan, please contact Studylink.
  • International students may also need to provide permanent residence documentation if you believe you are eligible for domestic fees.
  • Students must complete their enrolment by accepting their offer and payment of fees prior to the programme commencing. This includes any student with a Scholarship, Studylink Loan, or paying themselves.
  • Students will not be permitted to attend teaching placements until they are fully enrolled.

Additional Programme Costs

Additional costs may include travel, accommodation, and living costs related to compulsory On-site Intensives (OSIs) and attendance at placements. These costs are the responsibility of the student.

While we endeavour to place students in schools or centres within the greater Christchurch area – or in close proximity to where they currently live – for at least one of the professional practice placements, we cannot guarantee this. You will be required to cover all costs related to professional practice placements that are not near your home.

Contact our student advisors

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