Primary Teacher Education


Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary)
Bachelor of Teaching and Learning with Honours
Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Primary)
Master of Teaching and Learning

Harriet Abbott, Cashmere Primary School.

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Teaching at a primary level allows you to discover the potential of each child, encourage their learning (perhaps beginning a lifelong appreciation of it) and provide important relationships and experiences that will make a real difference to their lives.

For those people who are energetic, committed, creative, have good literacy and numeracy skills and enjoy working with kids, teaching is a positive and varied career to consider.

UC offers multiple pathways to a career in primary teaching (with differing entry criteria):

Please see the appropriate qualification page for specific information on entry requirements and the application process.

Note: As places are limited we strongly recommend that you apply for programme entry as early as possible (applications normally open on 1 August). Applications close four weeks prior to the commencement of the programme in mid-February or when places are filled (whichever comes first).


There are four basic components of primary qualifications at UC:

  • Education courses address areas such as the aims and purposes of education, child development, teaching and learning, classroom management, assessment, the New Zealand education system, and socio-political and cultural contexts.
  • Professional Studies courses introduce students to the observation, communication, interaction, management, planning, diagnostic and practical teaching skills required of teachers in New Zealand schools.
  • Professional Practice is the time spent working in a classroom. It provides a supportive context in which students can trial and refine their planning, teaching and management skills. Professional Practice initiates students into the complexities of the teacher's role within the classroom, the school and the wider community. There are two blocks of Professional Practice in schools each year of the BTchLn. Part-time students have one block each year and usually take five years to complete the degree. During their Professional Practice students will spend approximately eight hours a day working alongside an experienced teacher.
  • Curriculum Studies includes all curriculum subjects that a primary teacher is expected to teach. These include English, mātauraka Māori, mathematics, science, technology education, social studies, art, music, drama and dance, health and physical education.

For the most up-to-date list of courses go to the University Regulations website.

Career opportunities

The contacts and experiences from teaching placements can often provide a good springboard into the working world.

UC Primary Teacher Education graduates have gained teaching and management positions in primary, intermediate, middle and area schools across New Zealand. Internationally recognised, the BTchLn(Primary) can open up teaching opportunities abroad too.

Transferable skills apply to roles outside of teaching eg, educational publishing, policy, advocacy, consultancy, community development, social work and the police.

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

More information

College of Education, Health and Human Development | Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora

Phone +64 3 369 3333

Ōrakipaoa, Dovedale Avenue - see campus maps

Postal address
College of Education, Health and Human Development | Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Jamie Leckie

Jamie Leckie

'I have a passion for learning as much as I can to benefit the tamariki of Aotearoa...'

Jared fretwell

Jared Fretwell

'The degree is well set out and there are strong support systems in place...'