Guide to applying

Hands typing on a laptop, College of Education

Important application and enrolment information

Some teaching and postgraduate Health Sciences programmes have specialised application processes.

The process for these programmes is outlined below.

Applications for 2018 Teacher Education programmes are now closed. Use the Apply now button under Enrolment links to apply for the 2019 teacher education programmes listed below.

  • Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood)
  • Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary)
  • Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching
  • Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Primary)
  • Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary)
  • Master of Teaching and Learning endorsed in Early Childhood, Primary or Secondary

See the section at the bottom of the page for Counselling, Nursing, and Child and Family Psychology.

All other programmes within the College of Education, Health and Human Development use the standard University application process via myUC (button at the bottom of the Enrolment links section, top right or at the bottom of the page).

Teacher Education Application Process 

Applications for 2018 programmes are now closed. Use the Apply now button under Enrolment links to apply for the 2019 teacher education programmes. This enrolment process is for all teacher education applicants whether you are a domestic or international student or whether you intend to study on campus or by distance. You will be asked to select a preferred programme but can also nominate a second choice.

Here are some tips:

  • Apply early — You give yourself the best chance of getting a place if you get your application form in early. An APE is usually available from July and we encourage you to apply early.
  • Ace your personal statement — Treat this like a job application and put the best version of you into your application. This is our first impression of you, so spend some time thinking about it before you start. Write a draft or take two application forms so you can do a rough copy first. Let someone you trust read it – sometimes your friends and family are better at highlighting your strong points than you are. Also, make sure the spelling and grammar is correct — mistakes will not make a good first impression. More detail about the personal statements is below, under Before You Start.
  • Get teaching experience — It comes across well when you have had experience with something similar to teaching. If you can spend some time in a school or early childhood centre, that can give you a really good taste of what it is like to be a teacher. Coaching sports teams, working in after-school care or on holiday programmes, or in mentoring roles are also good.
  • Choose the best referees — Your referees write confidential reports that come directly to us, so pick people who are going to be really supportive. If you have an employer, sport coach, mentor etc, they could be a good referee and might have really good examples of why you would be a good teacher. Choose people who can give us further information about you which is not already in your application.
  • Make sure you read the Before You Start section below. It will give you more detail about what you need to do for your application.

Read through the tabs below before you begin the application process.

Have the following ready
  • You will be asked:
    • What you believe makes an effective teacher (500-word limit).
    • Why you want to be a teacher and why you think you are suitable (500-word limit).
    • What work and community experience you have (300-word limit) - these could be paid or voluntary roles. You may already have this as part of your CV/resume.
    • About other relevant qualifications (300-word limit). Examples could include first aid, coaching or music.
      Write these out in Word before you start and then copy and paste to speed up the application process.  Formatting will be lost when you paste into the application form.
  • Scanned evidence of your identity such as your birth certificate or passport as well as any name change documentation.
  • The names and email addresses of two people to be your referees. The referee reports are filled out online by your nominated people. You will be given a link to send to them but you can also do this ahead of time using the referees report tab on this page. Referees must not be immediate family, friends or flatmates. Your referees must also be different from the person completing your confidential school report if you need one.
  • If you are currently at school you will also need to arrange for a school report to be completed. You will need the name and email address of the person providing this report. 
  • A scanned transcript of previous study. If you are currently still at school this will be a copy of your NZQA Record of Learning or equivalent. Otherwise this may include a final or interim transcript showing completed and current courses from your tertiary education provider.
  • Overseas police check(s) - if you have lived in another country for 12 months or more continuously in the past 10 years and were over 16 years of age at the time, you need to provide a police report from that country/countries.
International students may also need to provide
  • Permanent residence documentation.
  • Agent contact details (if you are applying via an agent - not all international students do).
Acceptable document formats
  • PDF preferred, also accept doc, docx, jpg and png. 
  • Scan in colour.
  • Resolution of at least 300dpi.
  • File size less than 10MB.
  • Multipage documents must be combined into one file.
  • For security reasons we cannot accept documents in a compressed format (.zip, .rar) or those sent as download links to an online storage site. 
  • If the documents were originally issued in a language other than English, then an official English translation must be provided along with the original language documents.
Selection criteria for teacher education programmes

Entry into these programmes is not automatic. Selection for entry into our teacher education programmes is based on:

  • Academic ability
  • Assessments in English and/or Numeracy and/or Science (depending on your chosen programme)
  • Involvement and interest in working with children and young people and an interest in facilitating and supporting their learning
  • Community involvement
  • Communication skills – your ability to communicate your ideas clearly, confidently and coherently, and to listen and respond to others appropriately
  • Leadership and mentoring roles
  • Referee and school reports
  • A police check
  • An interview if invited
  • Commitment to Te Reo Māori and Tikanga (Māori language and protocols)
IELTS requirements

IELTS is the International English Language Testing System that assesses the language ability of people who want to study or work in English-speaking countries.

For the Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood), Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary), Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching, Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Primary), or the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary):

  • IELTS (Academic) with a minimum score of 7.0 in all bands
  • Applicants who have completed at least two years of successful study in a New Zealand secondary school and achieved a minimum number of NCEA level 2 credits in Literacy, or who have completed a tertiary qualification in New Zealand or Australia at NZQA level 7 or higher, may be eligible for an exemption from the requirement to sit IELTS

For the Master of Teaching and Learning:

  • IELTS (Academic) with a minimum score of 7.5 in all bands

Applicants who have completed at least two years of successful study in a New Zealand secondary school and achieved a minimum number of NCEA level 2 credits in Literacy, or who have completed a tertiary qualification in New Zealand or Australia at NZQA level 7 or higher, may be eligible for an exemption from the requirement to sit IELTS. Satisfying these criteria does not guarantee acceptance.

  • Both UC and Ara have IELTS examination centres.
What happens next?
  • People who are eligible for entry to an initial teacher education (ITE) programme will either receive a conditional or unconditional Programme Eligibility letter. If you receive a conditional letter, please ensure that you have met the condition(s) by the programme start date. The Programme Eligibility Letter provides important information including start dates and orientation.
  • International students also receive an Offer of Place letter from our Admissions Team. It is important that you read that letter carefully (in conjunction with the Programme Eligibility letter), as it provides essential information about your enrolment process. If you have questions about the Admissions Offer of Place letter, please e-mail: If the Admissions and Enrolment Office has not received police clearances that are current at the time your course begins you may not be able to complete your enrolment.
  • The courses for your chosen ITE programme will be loaded for you automatically by the University.
  • Once University enrolments open in October, formal enrolment offers are sent once programme eligibility is unconditional. You will need to check your formal enrolment carefully to ensure it is correct before accepting the offer and arranging payment.
  • If your application is held up it is usually because documentation has not been received, most commonly referee reports, academic transcripts or school reports.
What happens in an interview?
  • All teacher education applicants must be interviewed.
  • For Primary and Early Childhood interviews in Christchurch applicants are usually interviewed in groups of three with two or three UC staff and/or school principals or early childhood teachers.
  • GradDipTchLn (Secondary) and MTchgLn interviews and interviews for programmes outside of Christchurch are usually on an individual basis.
  • Skype interviews are available for applicants who are unable to attend in person at our Christchurch or regional campuses.
  • You will usually be asked about why you want to become a teacher and to talk a little about any relevant experience you may have had.
How much will it cost?
Who can I talk to if I have questions about my application?

Send the links for the appropriate report to your nominated referees:

Graduate Diploma or Master of Teaching and Learning

or download the form here

 Bachelor of Teaching and Learning

or download the form here

Confidential school report - must be completed only if you are finishing secondary school in 2017

or download the form here

Applying for Counselling, Nursing and Child and Family Psychology

  • Check that you meet the requirements for admission at both UC and Ara.
  • Your first step to enrolment is to apply to Ara on their website.
  • If successful, you will be provided with a conditional offer from Ara. You then need to apply to UC, using the online application process and provide your Ara conditional offer. 
  • If you are accepted to the MHealScProfPr programme, you will receive a formal offer. UC will advise Ara and your enrolment in the BN will be adjusted accordingly.

To study full-time for a Master of Counselling you will need:

Part-time students should contact a Student Advisor for advice.

New students apply to enrol in the six foundation year courses within either an MA or MSc in Child and Family Psychology (or as part of an approved course of study within an MEd degree). On rare occasions, students assessed to have completed equivalent coursework or a relevant thesis may gain approval to complete fewer courses within either a Postgraduate Diploma of Science or a Postgraduate Certificate in Health Sciences or Education.

  • For the MA and MSc, apply online.
  • For the MEd please contact either Sarah Whitcombe-Dobbs or Karyn France.
  • For the limited entry Postgraduate Diploma in Child and Family Psychology email your completed Child and Family Psychology Application Form to Applications open in August each year. Successful applicants will be required to consent to a check of their Police record, either in New Zealand and/or their country of origin. You must also include certified copies of all previous tertiary academic transcripts with this application. Current UC transcripts are not required to be included.
  • Thesis enrolment - to enrol in part two of any Master's degree you must first gain topic approval and then fill out the relevant college's thesis application forms. You can also consult our Thesis guide Child and Family Psychology.

To get your enrolment under way

see our guide to enrolling