Secondary Teacher Education
The College offers two internationally recognised qualifications for students who wish to train as secondary school teachers.
- The Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary) is a one-year graduate qualification for those who already hold a degree. The graduate diploma is currently offered on campus in Ōtautahi Christchurch with an intake in early February.
- The Master of Teaching and Learning is a one-year postgraduate qualification for those who already hold a degree. Students complete a 180-point master's degree within one calendar year of full-time study on campus. This qualification focuses on practices that cater for diverse and priority learners' needs in the Aotearoa New Zealand context.
A relevant degree is required to study the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary) or Master of Teaching and Learning. Overseas degrees will need to be assessed as equivalent to an Aotearoa New Zealand degree by the University. See each qualification page for detailed entry criteria.
How to apply
Selection for entry is not automatic and is based on academic ability, involvement and interest in working with children and young people, community involvement, communication skills, and other personal qualities.
As places are limited, we strongly recommend that you apply for programme entry as early as possible (applications normally open on 1 August). Applications are due four weeks prior to the commencement of the programme or when places are filled.
See the Guide to Applying for further information and details on how to apply.
For the most up-to-date list of courses for each UC qualification specialising in Secondary Teacher Education, see the qualification course schedules:
- Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary)
- Master of Teaching and Learning with an endorsement in Secondary
Secondary Teacher Education is made up of courses in the following areas of study:
- Professional Studies where you learn about the secondary school student and hone presentation skills, lesson planning, classroom management, questioning skills, learning theories, and teaching strategies.
- Education Studies provides opportunities for students to explore issues surrounding the history, sociology, philosophy, politics, cultural contexts, and psychology of education. It also considers strategies for using ICT in education and e-learning.
- Teaching Practice is the school-based requirement of the programme and provides the placement contexts in which students develop skills and gain experience in practical situations.
- All Teaching Studies courses focus on the essential learning areas of the Aotearoa New Zealand Curriculum including curriculum statements, examination prescriptions, unit and achievement standards, teaching and management approaches, assessment practices, and curriculum resources.
Secondary Teacher Education – major subjects
For the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary), you will need at least two teaching subjects from the Teaching Studies list below. Degree specialisation (preferably to 300-level) is required for your main teaching subject. A second teaching subject is also necessary, for which study to 200-level is preferable. UC offers the following teachable 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
Graduates of these programmes will be eligible to apply for provisional registration as a secondary school teacher. This enables you to apply for teaching positions in Aotearoa New Zealand and many countries around the world, allowing you to travel and work in your chosen profession. Please contact the relevant authorities for international requirements.
Many UC graduates enjoy rewarding careers as secondary school subject teachers and many take on extra-curricular responsibilities within schools eg, managing sports teams, organising cultural exchanges or drama productions, mediation services, and so on. There are opportunities to become department or subject leaders and even enter school management if you wish.
Teaching also gives you entry into careers beyond the classroom; it is an excellent background for a wide range of jobs including careers in the public sector, human services, business, and industry training.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Secondary Teacher Education.
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University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
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