Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning
Teaching is a positive and varied career for people who are energetic, creative, enjoy working with people and who are committed to making a positive difference for children and young people.
The Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (GradDipTchLn) gives you the opportunity to gain knowledge of teaching, learners and curriculum, engage in professional practice in schools, and become part of the teaching profession in Aotearoa New Zealand. You will be able to hone skills such as communication, critical thinking, planning and design for learning, and develop bicultural competence so that you go on to become an attentive and adaptable educator who meets the needs and aspirations of all learners.
The Graduate Diploma is endorsed in either Primary or Secondary Education. Students will meet Matatū Aotearoa | Teaching Council of New Zealand teaching standards and will be eligible to apply for registration and certification with the Teaching Council as a school teacher.
UC is ranked in the top 250 universities in the world for Education and Training (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2021).
Students with an Aotearoa New Zealand bachelor's degree (or other qualifications of an equivalent standard) are able to apply for the GradDipTchLn. Those entering the Secondary Education endorsement will need a body of knowledge from their previous studies in a subject relevant to the secondary school curriculum eg, te reo Māori, English, mathematics, chemistry, history, etc.
Students will be approved for entry on the recommendation of a Selection Committee. Selection for entry is based on:
- academic ability, involvement and interest in working with children and young people, community involvement, communication skills, and other dispositional and personal qualities as outlined in the Guide to Applying
- a police check, referees' reports, and an interview
- short online literacy and numeracy assessments.
If English is your additional language, you are also required to meet the requirements set out by Matatū Aotearoa | Teaching Council of New Zealand.
For the full entry requirements, see the Regulations for the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning or use the admission requirements checker.
How to apply
Applications are open throughout the year and we strongly recommend that you apply as early as possible. Applications normally close four weeks prior to the commencement of the programme in January, 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.
Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning – example degree structure
Courses towards Primary or Secondary Teaching
Each block represents a 15-point course. However, some courses may be 30 points or more.
This diagram is an example only – other combinations are possible. For specific course requirements, see the Regulations for the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning.
The GradDipTchLn consists of 150 points of coursework and includes 80 days of professional practice in schools.
The programme can be studied full-time in one year or can be completed part-time (the programme will not be offered part-time in 2021), usually over two years, either on-campus or by distance study (only students in the Primary endorsement are able to complete the entire programme by distance). Distance students complete the same courses, coursework, and assessments as on-campus students.
Distance students are required to attend an On-site Intensive (OSI) in Ōtautahi Christchurch at the beginning of the programme. OSIs are a compulsory part of the distance programme and provide an opportunity to meet and work with course lecturers and other students. Students will require continual access to a computer with suitable broadband internet to complete this qualification.
Students applying for the Secondary Education endorsement are required to list at least one teaching subject in their online application. Confirmation of teaching subjects for students will be determined as part of the selection process and confirmed at the point of offer.
All students for the GradDipTchLn complete the following:
Primary Education endorsement
Students in the Primary endorsement also complete the following:
- TECP 323 Literacy and Mathematics for Primary School Teaching
- TECP 324 Curriculum 2: Teaching and learning in, through and about Health and Physical Education and the Arts
- TECP 325 Curriculum 3: Exploring Science and Technology through Collaborative Design
- TECP 326 Curriculum 4: Learning Languages and Social Sciences in Diverse School and Community Settings
Secondary Education endorsement
Students in the Secondary endorsement also complete the following:
- TECS 333 Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 1: Teaching subject for junior secondary
- TECS 334 Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 2: Teaching subject for senior secondary
- TECS 335 Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 3: Contemporary developments in secondary education
TECS 333 and TECS 334 support students to teach their main teaching subject across the junior and senior secondary curriculum.
Students in the Secondary Endorsement are also required to select an additional teaching subject if they have the required subject knowledge from their previous degree studies. Students can choose one of:
- TECS 336 Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 4: Additional teaching subject for junior secondary
- TECS 337 Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 5: Additional teaching subject for senior secondary
If students do not have the relevant subject matter for an additional teaching subject, they can select one of the courses from the Primary education endorsement list above or another course within UC at 100 to 300-level that supports teaching, with the approval from the Head of School.
Main teaching subjects at UC include:
- Biology with Science
- Chemistry with Science
- Classical Studies with Social Studies
- Economics with Social Studies
- Geography with Social Studies
- History with Social Studies
- International Languages
- Outdoor and Environmental Education
- Performing Arts
- Physical Education
- Physics with Science
- Te Reo Māori
Successful graduates meet the requirements to apply for teacher registration and certification with Matatū Aotearoa | Teaching Council of New Zealand and become primary and secondary school teachers. Internationally recognised, the GradDipTchLn can also open up teaching opportunities abroad.
UC Primary Teacher Education graduates have gained teaching, leadership, and management positions in primary, intermediate, middle, and area schools across Aotearoa New Zealand. Graduates enjoy varied and rewarding careers as primary teachers, teaching across all eight curriculum learning areas. Many have opportunities to take on extracurricular activities, such as coaching sports teams; being involved in school productions and events; and sharing their areas of interest during electives or lunchtime/after school clubs.
UC Secondary Teacher Education graduates have gained teaching and leadership positions in secondary, senior, middle, and area schools across Aotearoa New Zealand. They enjoy rewarding careers as secondary school teachers, teaching in subject-based and integrated curriculum contexts, and many take on extracurricular responsibilities within schools eg, managing sports teams, organising cultural exchanges or drama productions, mediation services, etc. You may become curriculum or department leaders, leaders in pastoral care and wellbeing of learners, and even enter school management.
Transferable skills from the programme also apply to roles outside of teaching eg, educational publishing, policy, advocacy, consultancy, community development and leadership, social work, and the police.
- Read what other UC postgraduate students have gone on to achieve in their studies and careers in our student and graduate profiles.
- Te Rōpū Rapuara | UC Careers can help you to achieve the career you want, connect with employers, or find a job.
- For research into career destinations by qualification, visit Te Pōkai Tara | 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.
See more information about our Initial Teacher Education programmes.
For full requirements, see the Regulations for the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning.
For study planning help, contact our Student Advisor team.
For more information on facilities, resources, and staff, see Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora | College of Education, Health and Human Development.