Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Primary)
You will introduce children to the world of learning, and start them on their road to reading, writing, and mathematics. It's a very rewarding and satisfying career in which you can make a real difference in children's lives.
Primary teachers work with children in Years 1 to 8 (ages 5 to 13) in primary, intermediate, middle, and area schools.
Primary teacher education students:
- want to teach all school subjects
- are interested in working with children and their communities
- are organised and well prepared
- are nurturing and enjoy cultivating a love of learning in others.
The Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Primary) is for university graduates with a bachelor's degree who wish to become a primary school teacher. There are a number of study options available to students including:
- one-year full-time on campus in Ōtautahi Christchurch
- one-year full-time or equivalent part-time study by distance.
A significant factor in this programme's success is the emphasis placed on students completing courses in all school curriculum areas. Students who successfully complete the Diploma will meet the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand graduating teachers standards requirements and may be eligible for provisional registration with the Council as a teacher.
UC's College of Education, Health and Human Development | Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora has a national and international reputation for producing high-quality teacher graduates based on a 135-year tradition. UC is ranked in the top 150 universities in the world for Education (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2018).
Graduate certificates and diplomas require a relevant bachelor's degree. If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to ensure they are of an equivalent standard. For information on gaining admission to UC teacher education programmes please see the Guide to Applying.
Students for whom English is a second language are also required to meet the IELTS requirements for teacher education.
Specific entry requirements
Students wishing to enrol in the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Primary) must have one of the following:
- qualified for an equivalent bachelor's degree, or
- been admitted ad eundem statum as entitled to enrol for the Diploma, and
- approval as a candidate by the Dean of Education and Health Sciences, on the recommendation of a Selection Committee.
The GradDipTchLn(Primary) has one intake each February. Selection for entry is based on:
- academic ability, involvement and interest in working with children, community involvement, communication skills, and other personal qualities as outlined in the Guide to Applying
- a police check, referees' reports, and an interview
- a short literacy and numeracy test.
For the full entry requirements see the Regulations for the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Primary).
English language requirements
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 an Aotearoa New Zealand secondary school, with at least ten NCEA Level 2 credits in Literacy (five reading and five writing) or equivalent.
How to apply
Applications open on 1 August and we strongly recommend that you apply as early as possible. Applications close four weeks prior to the commencement of the programme in February, or when places are filled (whichever comes first).
For more details on entry requirements and the teacher education application process see the Guide to Applying.
Typical diploma structure for the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Primary)
Each small block represents a 15-point course. However, some courses may be 30 points or more.
For full course requirements see the Regulations for the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Primary).
To qualify for the Diploma students must pass courses having a total value of at least 165 points.
Students can study:
- full-time on campus in Ōtautahi Christchurch or
- full-time or part-time by distance.
The Diploma takes 1 year of full-time study to complete, with part-time options available.
Distance GradDipTchLn(Primary) students are required to attend two residential schools at the Ōtautahi Christchurch campus.
Courses integrate web-based material, audiovisual resources, video conferences, and email. Students will also attend professional practice placements in schools for 14 weeks per year.
- Postgraduate Certificate in Education
- Postgraduate Certificate in Specialist Teaching
- Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
- Postgraduate Diploma in Education (with endorsement options in e-Learning and Digital Technologies in Education, Hōaka Pounamu: Te Reo Māori Bilingual and Immersion Teaching, Inclusive and Special Education, Leadership, Literacy, Positive Behaviour Support, and Teaching and Learning Languages.
- Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching
- Master of Computer-Assisted Language Learning
- Master of Education
- Master of Specialist Teaching
- Master of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
- Doctor of Education
- Doctor of Philosophy
Successful graduates meet the requirements for provisional teacher registration with the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand (EDUCANZ). Primary teaching graduates are employed in teaching and management positions in primary, intermediate, middle, and area schools in Aotearoa. Many graduates also find work abroad.
Teaching skills of management, communication, coordination, responsibility, and organisation are prized by many professions such as management, policy and advocacy, publishing, politics, and business.
- Read what other UC postgraduate students have gone on to achieve in their studies and careers in our student and graduate profiles.
- Our Careers, Internships & Employment team can help you to achieve the career you want, connect with employers or find a job.
- For research into career destinations by qualification, visit the Universities New Zealand website.
- Find out more about what you can do with a degree from UC.
- Come along to an upcoming information event for prospective postgraduate students.
For full requirements see the Regulations for the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Pirmary).
For course advice contact the College of Education, Health and Human Development:
College of Education, Health and Human Development | Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800