Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary)

Primary teaching_front of class


‌If you are inspired by the world around you and wish to make a positive difference in the lives of young people, then a career in teaching or education could be for you.

The BTchLn(Primary) is a professional qualification that prepares you for a rewarding career as a primary school teacher. There are a number of study options available to students including:

  • full-time or part-time study on campus in Christchurch
  • full-time either in Nelson or Rotorua by a mix of face-to-face and distance study
  • full-time or part-time study by distance through the Flexible Learning Option (FLO).

Features of the Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary) at UC

  • A UC teaching qualification is recognised nationally and internationally as being of high quality
  • Flexible study options as to how you study and where
  • Strong peer support model and dedicated staff
  • International study opportunities, for example in China, Japan and Rarotonga.

Entry requirements

Admission to UC with University Entrance, or equivalent, is required to enrol for a Bachelor's degree. Domestic applicants over 20 who do not hold University Entrance, or equivalent, may gain admission by providing evidence of their ability to complete tertiary study successfully. For example, applicants may want to consider the Certificate in University Preparation (CUP). For information on gaining admission to UC please see how to apply for undergraduate qualifications.

You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

For full entry requirements see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary).

Qualification specific requirements

Selection process

The BTchLn(Primary) 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
  • a police check, referees' reports and an interview
  • a short literacy and numeracy test.

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 a New Zealand secondary school, with at least ten Level 2 NCEA credits in Literacy (five reading and five writing) or equivalent.

Note: if you have completed a tertiary level qualification in New Zealand or Australia you may be eligible for an exemption.

See the 'How to apply' section below for more details.

Qualification structure and duration

The Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary) requires a total of 360 points:

  • 60 points from Education courses
  • 90 points from Professional Inquiry
  • 45 points from Professional Practice
  • 165 points from Curriculum Studies.

The optional course at 300-level allows students to specialise in an area of particular interest in their third year.

Flexible Learning Options

The Primary Flexible Learning Option (FLO) enables you to complete the BTchLn(Primary) by distance. Courses integrate web-based material, audiovisual resources, video conferences and email (students need good internet access).

If you would like to study by distance-only you will need to attend two on-site intensives in Christchurch each year of full-time study, with the first in February.

Students enrolled in the Nelson or Rotorua regional campus option do not attend the on-site intensives in Christchurch. They complete a blended model of online coursework and face-to-face courses and curriculum components held at their regional campus.

Placements and learning in schools

You will attend two professional practice placements per year, one each semester, as well as undertake a community engagement course. Placements are arranged by the College of Education, Health and Human Development.


The BTchLn(Primary) can be completed in three years by full-time study or up to six years by part-time study.

Typical degree structure for Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary)

Year 1Year 2Year 3
    Professional Inquiry
    Professional Practice
    Curriculum Studies
For full course requirements go to the Regulations for the Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary).
Each small block represents a 15-point course. However, some courses may be 30 points (or more).

How to apply

Applications open 1 August and close four weeks prior to the start of the programme in February, or when places are filled.

To complete an Application for Programme Entry phone the Contact Centre on 0800 VARSITY (827 748) or visit the College of Education, Health and Human Development.

Further study

Graduate option

If you already hold a university degree UC offers two pathways to a new career as a primary school teacher:

Relevant postgraduate qualifications

Career opportunities

Successful graduates meet the requirements for provisional teacher registration with the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand (EDUCANZ). Primary teaching graduates are employed in teaching and management positions in primary, intermediate, middle and area schools in New Zealand. Internationally recognised, many BTchLn(Primary) 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.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Primary Teaching.

More information

For the full degree requirements see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary). For information on facilities, resources and staff visit the College of Education, Health and Human Development | Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora

For more information email info@canterbury.ac.nz or freephone 0800 VARSITY (827 748).

For assistance with planning your programme of study contact the Liaison Office (new students), or a College of Education, Health and Human Development Student Advisor (advancing students).

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Paris Bronté

Paris Bronté

'DRS has helped me immensely through my studying journey...'

Wikitoria chilvers

Wikitoria Chilvers

'I think we were very lucky to go on five practical placements. That was where I had the biggest learning experiences...'