Guide to applying

Hands typing on a laptop, College of Education

Important application and enrolment information

Our teacher education programmes and some of our postgraduate Health Sciences programmes have specialised application processes.

The process for these programmes is outlined below.

Use the Apply now button under Enrolment links to apply for the 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

Please note:- the Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Honours) and Graduate Diploma in Education and Learning programmes are NOT available for students to apply for – these programmes are available by invitation only.

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

Teacher Education Application Process 

Use the Apply now button under Enrolment links to apply for 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 in early. Applications for all programmes close 4 weeks prior to the start of the programme.
  • 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 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 - 200-500 words (max 500 words).
    • Why you want to be a teacher and why you think you are suitable - 200-500 words (max 500 words).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 – cut and paste the relevant work and community experience information if you do.
    • About other relevant qualifications (300-word limit). Examples could include first aid, coaching or music.
      Tip:- 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.  Please note – interim transcripts must include your name, the qualification you are completing and the name of the tertiary institution you are enrolled in.
  • 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, if you believe you are eligible for domestic fees.
  • Agent contact details (if you are applying via an agent - not all international students do).
  • English translations of documents that have been issued in another language, along with original documents.
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 to teacher education programmes is not automatic. Selection for entry into our teacher education programmes is based on:

  • Academic ability
  • 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).

Assessments

It is a requirement of the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand (formerly the New Zealand Teachers Council) that all applicants for Initial Teacher Education qualifications be assessed on their Numeracy and/or Literacy/English competency prior to entry to the programme.  We request that you complete the required assessments before the interview stage of the process. 

The combination of assessments to be complete varies, depending on the programme you have applied for:

Programme

Assessments required

Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood)

  • English
  • Numeracy

Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary)

  • English
  • Numeracy

Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching

  • Academic Literacy
  • Numeracy

Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Primary)

  • Academic Literacy
  • Numeracy

Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Primary)

  • Academic Literacy

Master of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood)

  • Academic Literacy
  • Numeracy

Master of Teaching and Learning (Primary)

  • Academic Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Science

Master of Teaching and Learning (Secondary)

  • Academic Literacy

The Academic Literacy Assessment consists of answering three questions about an excerpt from a journal article. We recommend you print out the article because it may be useful to refer to it while completing the test. The questions require you to write a paragraph. You will have a total of 60 minutes to complete this assessment. 

The English Assessment covers a variety of basic skills in vocabulary, comprehension, grammar and exploring language. In the comprehension section you will be asked to answer questions about some short passages. The grammar section assesses your knowledge of nouns, adjectives, verbs and prepositions. All questions require either a multiple choice or short closed answer. You will have 45 minutes to complete this assessment

The Numeracy Assessment covers number, measurement, geometry, simple algebra, statistics, probability, problem solving and logic. All questions require either a multiple choice or short closed answer. You will have 45 minutes to complete this assessment.

The Science Assessment is a test of your skills in interpreting and analysing science information. Each question or set of questions starts with some information. This information may include written text, charts, pictures, graphs, diagrams or a combination of these. Make sure you study this information carefully because all the information you need to answer correctly is supplied in the question. All questions require a multiple choice answer. You will have 45 minutes to complete this assessment.

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 teacher education programmes, IELTS is the only English language test accepted.

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 complete 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 complete IELTS.

Satisfying these criteria does not guarantee acceptance.

Both UC and Ara have IELTS examination centres.

What happens in an interview?

  • All teacher education applicants must be interviewed.The interview process is designed to provide an opportunity for the applicant to demonstrate evidence of their personal qualities. These include motivation and commitment to teaching, positive dispositions for relating to others, confidence, self-assurance and professional attitudes. Expressing relevant ideas fluently and clearly, body language and the depth of the message substance are noted. Relevant involvement and experience working with children and young adults need to be conveyed along with examples of leadership, commitment and organisational abilities. Other important considerations are the applicant’s responsiveness to others and illustrating the potential to work as a collaborative and flexible team member.
  • For Primary and Early Childhood interviews in Christchurch or at our regional campuses, 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.
  • Zoom (video) interviews are available for applicants who are unable to attend in person at our Christchurch or regional campuses.

What happens next? 

  • After your interview, people who are eligible for entry to an initial teacher education (ITE) programme will either receive a conditional or unconditional offer letter. If you receive a conditional letter, please ensure that you have met the condition(s) by the programme start date. The offer letter provides important information including start dates and orientation.
  • Once University enrolments open in October, your courses will be loaded for you and a formal enrolment offer will be 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.


How much will it cost?

Who can I talk to if I have questions about my application?

As part of your application, you will be required to provide the names and email addresses of two people to be your referees. The referee reports are filled out online by your nominated people. Your referees will be sent an email with the link to the referee reports 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.

It is up to you to 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 2018

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 Karyn France.
  • For the limited entry Postgraduate Diploma in Child and Family Psychology email your completed Child and Family Psychology Application Form to shssadmin@canterbury.ac.nz. 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. 

To get your enrolment under way

see our guide to enrolling