Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary)
The Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary) is for university graduates with a bachelor's degree who wish to enter the teaching profession and work with young adults in Years 7–13 (ages 11–18). In addition to subject curriculum knowledge, this programme will equip students with educational theory, classroom practice, and the management tools needed to excel as an intermediate or secondary school teacher.
The GradDipTchLn(Secondary) is currently offered on campus in Ōtautahi Christchurch with an intake in early February.
Students who successfully complete the Diploma will meet Matatū Aotearoa | 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 200 universities in the world for Education (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2019).
Students wishing to enrol in the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary) must have:
- qualified for a bachelor's degree, with study to at least 300-level in a secondary school curriculum area, or
- a master's degree, or a bachelor's degree with honours, to a specified NZQF level, or
- been admitted ad eundem statum (with equivalent standing) 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 (Secondary) 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.
Students for whom English is an additional language are also required to meet the IELTS requirements for teacher education (see below).
For the full entry requirements see the Regulations for the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary).
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 Level 2 NCEA credits in Literacy (five reading and five writing) or equivalent.
How to apply
As places are limited we strongly recommend that you apply for programme entry as early as possible. Applications close four weeks prior to the commencement of the programme in early 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 (Secondary)
Professional and Educational Studies
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 (Secondary).
The year is made up of the following components:
Professional and educational studies – Professional and educational studies include the study of foundation education, professional issues, and critical enquiry in relation to development as an effective teacher. Topics covered include the secondary school student, presentation skills, lesson planning, classroom management, questioning skills, learning theories, and teaching strategies. Courses help prepare student teachers to deal with problems that are often social, political, and ethical in nature. They also consider strategies for using ICT in education and e-learning.
Professional practice – Professional practice is the school-based requirement of the programme and provides the contexts in which students develop skills and gain experience in practical situations. For those studying in Ōtautahi Christchurch, one of the practice placements is likely to be away from Ōtautahi.
Curriculum studies – All curriculum studies courses have direct links to the essential learning areas of the Aotearoa New Zealand Curriculum and to school programmes. Courses focus on curriculum statements, examination prescriptions, unit and achievement standards, teaching and management approaches, assessment practices, and curriculum resources.
Applicants need to have studied at least two teaching subjects from the teaching studies list as part of their degree. Degree specialisation (preferably to 300-level) is required for your main teaching subject and 200-level study is preferred for a second teaching subject.
The Diploma takes 1 year of full-time study to complete, with part-time study options available.
See the Schedule for the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary) for the list of courses.
Teaching studies are available in the following subjects:
- International Languages
- Outdoor and Environmental Education
- Performing Arts
- Physical Education
- Science with Biology
- Science with Chemistry
- Science with Physics
- Social Studies with Classical Studies
- Social Studies with Economics
- Social Studies with Geography
- Social Studies with History
- Te Reo Māori
- 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, and Teaching and Learning Languages)
- Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching
- Master of Computer-Assisted Language Learning
- Master of Education (with endorsement options in e-Learning and Digital Technologies in Education, Curriculum and Pedagogy, Hōaka Pounamu: Te Reo Māori Bilingual and Immersion Teaching, Inclusive and Special Education, Leadership, Literacy, and Teaching and Learning Languages)
- Master of Specialist Teaching
- Master of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
- Doctor of Education
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Successful graduates meet the requirements for provisional teacher registration with Matatū Aotearoa | Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand (EDUCANZ).
Secondary teaching graduates are employed in teaching and management positions in secondary and intermediate schools in Aotearoa New Zealand. Internationally recognised, many GradDipTchLn(Secondary) 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 (Secondary).
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