Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning
The Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (PGDipTchgLn) combines research-informed knowledge and critical inquiry with practice-based experiences in schools to prepare you for a career in teaching. 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 youth.
You will have 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. Also, you will hone skills such as communication, critical thinking, planning and design for learning, and develop bicultural competence and culturally responsive practice so that you go on to become an attentive and adaptable educator who meets the needs and aspirations of all learners.
The Postgraduate Diploma is endorsed in either Primary or Secondary Education. Both endorsements are internationally recognised professional qualifications, leading to teaching opportunities globally. You 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.
- A programme combination of research-informed knowledge and critical inquiry with practice-based experiences.
- Build on your knowledge of contemporary education and professional practice.
- 80 days of professional practice within various schools.
- Flexibility to study on campus in Ōtautahi Christchurch, or by distance (Primary Education only).
Applicants for the PGDipTchgLn programme will need an Aotearoa New Zealand bachelor's degree with a B Grade Point Average in their 300-level courses (or other qualifications of an equivalent standard). Those entering the Secondary Education endorsement will need previous studies in a subject relevant to the Aotearoa New Zealand secondary school curriculum eg, te reo Māori, English, biological sciences, mathematics, history, physical education, etc.
You 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 personal qualities as outlined in the Guide to Applying
- a police check, referees' reports, and an interview
- a short literacy and numeracy test.
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 Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning or use the admission requirements checker.
How to apply
Applications are open throughout the year and close 1 December for domestic students or 31 October for international students.
For more details on entry requirements and the teacher education application process, see the Guide to Applying.
Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning – example degree structure
Courses towards Primary or Secondary Teaching
Each small 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 Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning.
The PGDipTchgLn consists of 150 points of coursework and includes 80 days of professional practice in schools.
The Primary endorsement pathway can be studied full-time in one year on campus or via distance. We also offer a part-time option over two years fro distance students only. 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. You will need continual access to a computer with suitable broadband internet to complete this qualification.
The Secondary endorsement pathway can be studied full-time in one year on campus.
You are required to list at least one teaching subject in your online application. Confirmation of teaching subjects will be determined as part of the selection process and confirmed at the point of offer.
All students for the PGDipTchgLn complete the following:
Primary Education endorsement
Students in the Primary endorsement also complete the following:
- TECP423 Literacy and Mathematics for Primary School Teaching
- TECP424 Curriculum 2: Teaching and Learning in, through and about Health and Physical Education and the Arts
- TECP425 Curriculum 3: Exploring Science and Technology through Collaborative Design
- TECP426 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:
- TECS433 Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 1: Teaching subject for junior secondary
- TECS434 Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 2: Teaching subject for senior secondary
- TECS435 Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 3: Contemporary Developments in Secondary Education
Secondary Education - specialist teaching subjects
For our secondary teacher qualifications, you will need to choose a teaching subject and have an academic background in this subject. Your teaching subject is chosen from those taught at junior and senior secondary levels.
You will focus on your specialist teaching subject (which you will preferably have studied to 300-level). It is also a good idea to pick up an additional teaching subject, for which you have a background of study to 100 or 200-level (depending on the subject).
We offer the following specialist teaching subjects:
- Biology with Science
- Classical Studies with Social Studies
- Chemistry with Science
- Commerce with Business Studies
- Geography with Social Studies
- Health with HPE
- History with Social Studies
- International Languages
- Outdoor and Environmental Education with HPE
- Performing Arts
- Physical Education with HPE
- Physics with Science
- Te Reo Māori
- Visual Arts
Secondary Education — additional subjects
For our secondary teacher qualifications, you will also need to choose an additional teaching subject, for which you have a background of study to 100 or 200-level (depending on the subject).
Additional teaching subjects are usually junior subjects (years 7—10), these include:
- Business Studies
- HPE (Health and PE)
- International Languages
- Performing Arts
- Social Studies
- Te Reo Māori
- Visual Arts
Additional senior social sciences subject are only available where junior Social Studies is already part of your specialist teaching subject:
- Geography Yrs 11—13
- History Yrs 11—13
- Classical Studies Yrs 11—13
Additional senior Health, OE, and PE subjects are only available where junior HPE is already part of your specialist teaching subject:
- Health Yrs 11—13
- Outdoor and Environmental Education Yrs 11—13
- Physical Education Yrs 11—13
Additional senior sciences subjects are only available where junior Science is already part of your specialist teaching subject:
- Biology Yrs 11—13
- Chemistry Yrs 11—13
- Physics Yrs 11—13
To specialise in any of the above teaching subjects, you will need to take one of:
- TECS436 Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 4: Additional teaching subject for junior secondary
- TECS437 Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 5: Additional teaching subject for senior secondary
If you do not have the background for one of these additional teaching subjects, you can take a course from the Primary Education endorsement schedule above, or an approved course elsewhere at UC.
The PGDipTchgLn is a pathway to the Master of Teaching and Learning (MTchgLn). By completing the PGDipTchgLn plus an additional 30-point course, you can achieve the MTchgLn.
You may choose to go onto postgraduate studies which further examine the role of teaching in children's lives and the ways and methods in which they learn, or critically analyse educational policies and systems of practice.
- This Diploma is an internationally recognised professional qualification which can lead to teaching opportunities globally.
- Better support the diverse needs of students, and work with family, whānau, iwi, communities, and other education and health professionals.
- Teaching is an excellent background for a wide range of jobs outside of the classroom including, public sector, human services, publishing, policy, advocacy, youth and social work, and more.
- Graduates will meet Matatū Aotearoa | Teaching Council of New Zealand teaching standards and are eligible to apply for registration and certification with the Teaching Council as a primary or secondary school teacher.
- 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 Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning.
For study planning help, contact our Student Advisor team.
For more information on facilities, resources, and staff, see Te Kaupeka Ako | Faculty of Education.