Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education)
A New Zealand Teachers Council and New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA)-approved qualification
If you are a New Zealand or international student with a degree or a New Zealand Diploma of Teaching (Primary) and wish to up-skill in the area of early childhood education, the New Zealand Tertiary College Graduate Diploma is for you.
Our Graduate Diploma is a 50-week full-time study program. It is approved and accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), and has New Zealand Teachers Council recognition which means that graduates are eligible to apply for teacher registration in New Zealand.
Before being accepted into the program, you must:
- Hold a Bachelor’s degree (Level 7), or Master's degree (Level 9), or a New Zealand Diploma of Teaching (Primary). If you have an overseas qualification, you must have the qualification assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). The qualification must be assessed as equivalent to a Level 7 Bachelor’s degree or Master's degree (Level 9) in New Zealand
- Meet the New Zealand Teachers Council criteria for registration as a teacher
- Provide two written references
- Satisfy NZ police clearance conditions
- Meet the staff health requirements for early childhood centres as outlined in the New Zealand Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998
- Declare any physical or learning disability that may impair your performance as a student
- Succeed in a personal interview
- If English is not your first language, you must meet EAL (English as an Additional Language) requirements as outlined below:
EAL (English as an Additional Language) requirements
The New Zealand Teachers Council has requirements that students must meet in order to enter this program. If English is not your first language, you need to sit the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test (Academic version) to prove your English proficiency.
You must get an IELTS (Academic) score of 7.0 in each component, unless you qualify for one of the below exemptions.
Exemptions from IELTS for EAL students
You can get an exemption from the IELTS test if you meet one of the below criteria:
- You have studied in New Zealand for a minimum of two years at secondary school and have eight, level 2 NCEA University Entrance literacy credits (4 credits in reading and 4 credits in writing), OR
- Your medium of instruction was fully in English in a New Zealand or Australian tertiary education organisation and you are a graduate at degree level 7 degree or higher OR
- You are a registered teacher with the New Zealand Teachers Council and hold a current Practising Certificate.
Courses within the Graduate Diploma
||Early Childhood Research
||Leadership in Early Childhood
||Introduction to Early Childhood Education
||Play as a Framework for Learning
||Early Childhood Curriculum
||Bicultural Practice in Early Childhood Education
* The EFTS column shows the Equivalent Full-Time Study proportion of each course. 1.00 EFTS is equal to one year of full-time study.
Modes of study
The Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) is approved by NZQA for three modes of study: college based, field based, and distance learning (including NZTC Online). Please see our Modes of study (Teaching programs) page for more details.
NOTE: International students in the distance learning mode of study are required to attend a minimum of 16 hours per week in an approved, licensed early childhood centre under the supervision of an associate teacher. International students are also required to attend a further four hours of tutorials a week on campus.
Mode of study - NZTC Online
This program is studied via NZTC Online - our unique online learning environment - and can be started at any time.
Other program requirements
While you are enrolled in the Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education), you will be required to:
- Attend two x 20 hour block courses. These will be 10 hours each day and will be held on a consecutive Sunday and Monday. Block courses are an opportunity for face-to-face networking, teaching and learning for NZTC Online students. They will be conducted by NZTC Lecturers, and will focus on topics relevant to the field of early childhood education.
- Complete 14 weeks full-time work (40 hours per week) in an early childhood centre, under the guidance of a qualified associate teacher. This is called field practice. These 14 weeks must be completed within the 50 week duration of the course.
- In addition to field practice, you are required to undertake work experience (paid or voluntary) in a licensed early childhood centre for a minimum of 16 hours per week throughout the program.
All courses within the program are internally assessed and include theory-based assessments and practical components. There are no exams.
This program has pathways into higher level Education programs. For more details, see our Pathways (Education programs) page.
How to apply
Please see our How to apply (Teaching programs) page for application forms and details about the application process.