Secondary Teacher Education


Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary)
Master of Teaching and Learning

Science teaching_Chrystie Woods


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 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 New Zealand Aotearoa context.

Entry requirements

A relevant degree is required to study the GradDipTchLn(Secondary) or MTchgLn. Overseas degrees will need to be assessed as equivalent to a 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.

An Application for Programme Entry is required. See the College of Education, Health and Human Development website for further information and details on how to apply. You can also phone the Contact Centre on 0800 VARSITY (827 748).


Programme structure

Secondary Teacher Education is made up of courses in four 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 New Zealand Curriculum including curriculum statements, examination prescriptions, unit and achievement standards, teaching and management approaches, assessment practices and curriculum resources.

For the most up-to-date list of courses for each qualification, go to the University Regulations website.

Secondary Teaching 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:

  • Art
  • English
  • Health Education
  • International Languages (French, German, Japanese, Spanish)
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • 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
  • Technology.

Note: not all teachable subjects from the list in this section are supported by the Master of Teaching and Learning. The master's also only requires one teaching subject.

Career opportunities

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 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.

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

Melissa waite

Melissa Waite

'All of us wanted the same thing out of the course, so we helped to motivate each other...'

Francis Shen

Francis Shen

'I want my students to enjoy coming to my classes and feel prepared...'