Teaching is a varied, stimulating, and rewarding career for people who are energetic, creative, and committed to making a difference for children and young people. During your studies you will be challenged with questions, scenarios, and problems as you develop your personal teaching style.
Through our programmes you will learn the theory, practice, and management of teaching, including the place and role of education, the characteristics of learners, and the teaching-learning process. Real classroom experience forms a vital part of your learning — it’s where you put into practice all the skills and strategies we teach you.
UC is rated in the top 250 universities in the world in Education and Training (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2021).
As a premier provider of teacher education in Aotearoa, UC's Te Kaupeka Ako | Faculty of Education offers qualifications in:
We also offer a range of Professional Development programmes and support services.
As a Teacher Education student, you will benefit from:
- research-informed teaching by lecturers who have practical experience in their fields and come from Aotearoa and around the world
- classes that let you get to know your lecturers and classmates
- flexibility of study options for some programmes, including on-campus, distance, and part-time
- international links which can offer opportunities for unique study experiences and enhance cultural understanding
- modern facilities and classrooms, and a relaxing, landscaped campus which provides a positive study environment
- academic pathways to postgraduate study and professional development.
Places are limited and a separate application to Te Kaupeka Ako | Faculty of Education is required. 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 outlined in the Guide to Applying
- a police check, referees' reports, and an interview
- a short literacy and numeracy test.
Applicants under 20 must have University Entrance and applicants over 20 must have evidence of recent, successful tertiary study.
A degree is required to enter graduate programmes (overseas degrees will need to be assessed as equivalent to an Aotearoa New Zealand degree by the University).
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
Applications close four weeks prior to the commencement of the programmes in early February, or when places are filled. For more details on entry requirements and the teacher education application process see the Guide to Applying.
As places are limited we strongly recommend that you apply for programme entry as early as possible.
See the individual qualification pages for programme-specific entry requirements.
UC offers qualifications in:
- Early Childhood Teacher Education
- Primary Teacher Education
- Secondary Teacher Education (postgraduate only)
These programmes lead to provisional teacher registration in Aotearoa New Zealand.
See also Education offered as a major and minor in other degrees.
Depending on your programme of study, full-time on-campus students have 16–25 hours of lectures per week during term time, plus time spent on personal study, research, and assignment preparation. Full-time distance students can expect to spend a minimum of 40 hours per week on their studies, as well as being required to attend on-site intensives (see information below).
You will attend professional practice placements in each semester. Bachelor of Teaching and Learning students will also undertake a community engagement course.
Teacher Education programmes are intensive and it’s important that you’re aware of the amount of time required to complete them, particularly if studying by distance. If you have work or other commitments, you may need to consider part-time study (available for some programmes).
Distance and regional blended study
Te Kaupeka Ako | Faculty of Education has a range of delivery options as well as the face-to-face on-campus programmes in Ōtautahi Christchurch. The College offers a blended model of campus-based and online learning in Whakatū Nelson, as well as a distance option.
Courses are taught using online resources, included web-based audio or video conferences. If you are enrolled in the regional campus model, some of the distance course sessions may be delivered face-to-face as intensive modules in Whakatū Nelson.
New distance students are provided with comprehensive information through e-Learning support and the student support Learn (Moodle) sites. Lecturer contact details, assignment due dates, and the times you are required to be on campus are available through the Course Information System.
Both undergraduate and a selection of postgraduate courses are available by distance – meaning that you can continue studying with us throughout your career.
Course materials are provided free of charge in the course Learn sites. You should expect to gain access to course materials on your Learn site the week before the beginning of your course, provided you are fully enrolled as a student.
Equipment required for study
The bulk of the course content is provided in class, workshops, and online. You will have some online lectures in courses irrespective of where you study.
- telephone (preferably with voicemail)
- computer, webcam, and printer
- internet access with broadband
- hardware and software to participate in online conference sessions, including Skype and Zoom, and for viewing and listening to course materials.
In addition, it’s recommended to have access to a mobile phone or recording device that can be used in preparation of some assignments.
UC Library services
You can access the UC Library services if you are enrolled in a recognised course (either as distance or on-campus student) or a course at any UC regional campus or centre. Library services include:
- access to books, serials, and audiovisual materials
- internet access through our webpage to resources and services, including the library catalogue, serials index, full text databases, registration, and forms
- advice on search strategies and guidance in using library resources
- access to items from other libraries if we do not have them in this library
- contact by phone, fax, email, or mail.
Students will be able to access their account details online.
On-site intensives (OSIs) may include orientation activities, school or centre visits, and overnight marae visits. OSIs are a compulsory part of the programmes. They are a great opportunity to meet the lecturers and colleagues for the duration of your studies, form study groups in your home region as well as online, and learn some of the information that is best taught in a face-to-face class or using particular equipment.
On-site intensives for primary qualifications are taught in blocks, with the first on-site intensive taking place in the February of the first year of study in Ōtautahi Christchurch. If you are enrolled in the UC Nelson Centre or Rotorua ITE Hapori, you do not attend the OSIs in Ōtautahi. You will complete a blended model of online course work and face-to-face courses and curriculum components held at your regional campus.
OSIs for secondary qualifications are held at the start of the year (late January/early February) in Ōtautahi Christchurch.
Professional practice is a time when you get the opportunity to spend time in a teaching setting. For teaching programmes, professional practice involves blocks of 1–7 weeks during which you are required to spend approximately 8 hours each day working alongside an experienced teacher. The tasks that you are required to carry out aim to help you become experimental, reflective, and active in your approach to education.
Professional practice can usually be undertaken locally, within the Canterbury region (or Nelson and Rotorua for regional students). Students may be able to apply for out-of-region placements (eg, in another town or city). Course travel and accommodation expenses must be planned for well in advance and are the responsibility of the student.
Mentoring Scheme (Primary) — UC Nelson Centre only
For first-year Primary students at the UC Nelson Centre, a mentoring scheme has been established. These first-year students are assigned to a school in the Whakatū Nelson area, which they attend one day per week for six weeks. This allows students access to a school to complete observations or course-related tasks.
Home centres (Early Childhood)
Distance students are encouraged to develop a relationship with a local early childhood setting so that they can become part of a learning community, observe children and teachers, and have the opportunity for professional conversations with staff.
This ‘home centre’ contact is a strictly informal relationship between the student and the centre and falls outside of any formal liaison organised between UC and the centre.
Distance and Regional study
For students learning by distance or regional blended study, courses are taught using online resources, including web-based audio or video conferences.
New distance students are provided with comprehensive information through e-Learning and the student support Learn sites.
UC Nelson Centre
The Nelson Centre offers the Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary) degree using a blended model. Primary students attend Professional Inquiry classes one to two days per week, with the remainder of coursework completed by distance study. Professional practice can usually be undertaken locally, though travel may be required in some cases.
If you are enrolled for Primary Teacher Education in the UC Nelson Centre, some of the distance course sessions may be delivered as workshops.
The UC Nelson Centre is co-located with the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT). Students have access to the NMIT wellbeing and learning support services, the library facilities, and computer networks.
UC Nelson Centre, NMIT - Y Block, 145 Collingwood Street, Nelson
Phone +64 3 548 3106
Rotorua Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Hapori
The Rotorua ITE Hapori is based at Mokoia Intermediate School in Rotorua and offers the Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary) degree to students in the Rotorua/Waiariki region (including Whakatane, Tauranga, Taupo, and Tokoroa).
Te Kura Whakangungu Kaiako | School of Teacher Education partners with the Rotorua Principals’ Association to support BTchLn(Primary) students. While you are studying by distance, you will have once-a-term meetings with the kaihautū (leader) who is a UC lecturer, and each semester face-to-face lectures/workshops will be organised (approximately 3-4 days per semester).
The UC-based kaiautū will be available online more informally throughout the academic year and is here to mentor and support you to learn strategies and skills to become an effective and dynamic UC teacher graduate.
Professional practice placements in schools (teaching practice) will be in a range of schools in Rotorua and the Waiariki region and organised by the UC professional practice team. The remainder of the time you can study from home.
Teaching graduates are eligible to apply to the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand for provisional registration as a teacher and a provisional practicing certificate. After completing two years of satisfactory teaching, graduates are eligible to apply for full registration.
Teaching skills of management, communication, coordination, responsibility, and organisation are prized in many professions such as management, policy and advocacy, publishing, politics, and business.
Find out more about what you can do with a teaching degree.
Level 5, Rehua building – see campus maps
Te Kaupeka Ako | Faculty of Education
Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
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