University Of Canterbury Teaching

Teaching offers a varied, stimulating, and rewarding career that provides the opportunity to influence and shape many lives. For those who wish to progress throughout their teaching career, there are always chances to make an impact for graduates who are passionate and enthusiastic.

Starting salaries are above those for many new graduates, and employment conditions are generally good. Teaching offers great international work opportunities too.

Why study Teacher Education at UC?

UC is rated in the top 200 universities in the world in Education and Training (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2020).

As a premier provider of teacher education in Aotearoa New Zealand, UC’s Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora | College of Education, Health and Human Development offers qualifications in:

We also offer a range of Professional Development programmes and support services.

We offer our students:

  • research-informed teaching by lecturers who have practical experience in their fields and come from Aotearoa and around the world
  • classes that let you get to know your lecturers and classmates
  • flexibility of study options for some programmes, including on-campus, distance, part-time, and flexible delivery
  • international links which can offer opportunities for unique study experiences for UC teaching students and enhance cultural understanding
  • modern facilities and classrooms, and a relaxing, landscaped campus which provides a positive study environment
  • academic pathways to postgraduate study.


UC offers qualifications in:

These programmes lead to provisional teacher registration in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Study commitments

Depending on your programme of study, full-time on-campus students have 16–25 hours of lectures per week during term time, plus time spent on personal study, research, and assignment preparation. Full-time distance students can expect to spend a minimum of 40 hours per week on their studies, as well as being required to attend on-site intensives (see information below).

For teaching programmes, professional teaching practice involves blocks of 2–7 weeks during which you are required to spend approximately eight hours each day working alongside an experienced teacher. Professional practice can usually be undertaken locally, though travel may be required.

Teacher education programmes are intensive and it is therefore important that applicants realise the amount of time required to complete them, particularly if studying by distance. If you need to work or have other commitments, then you may need to consider part-time study.

Distance and regional blended study

Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora | College of Education, Health and Human Development has a range of delivery options as well as the face-to-face on-campus programmes in Ōtautahi Christchurch. The College offers a blended model of campus-based and online learning in Whakatū Nelson, as well as a distance option.

Courses are taught using online resources, included web-based audio or video conferences. If you are enrolled in the regional campus model, some of the distance course sessions may be delivered face-to-face as intensive modules in Whakatū Nelson.

New distance students are provided with comprehensive information through e-Learning support and the student support Learn (Moodle) sites. Lecturer contact details, assignment due dates, and the times you are required to be on campus are available through the Course Information System.

Both undergraduate and a selection of postgraduate courses are available by distance – meaning that you can continue studying with us throughout your career.

Course materials

Course materials are provided free of charge in the course Learn sites. You should expect to gain access to course materials on your Learn site the week before the beginning of your course, provided you are fully enrolled as a student.

Equipment required for distance study

The bulk of the course content is provided online. Online interaction will be part of flexible learning. Access to the following is required:

  • telephone (with voicemail)
  • computer, webcam, and printer
  • internet access with broadband
  • hardware and software to participate in online conference sessions, including Skype and Adobe Connect
  • DVD and CD player – essential for viewing and listening to supplementary course materials (not required for Early Childhood Teacher Education).

In addition, access to the following is recommended:

  • fax/scanner – not essential, but desirable
  • video camera – can be used in preparation of some assignments.

On-site intensives

Many distance courses have an on-site intensive component. These are a great opportunity to meet the lecturers and colleagues for the duration of your studies, form study groups in your home region, as well as online, and learn some of the information which is best taught in a face-to-face class or using particular equipment. On-site intensives may also include orientation activities, school or centre visits, and overnight marae visits.

On-site intensives for primary qualifications are taught in blocks, with the first on-site intensive taking place in the February of the first year of study in Ōtautahi Christchurch. If you are enrolled in the Whakatū Nelson regional campus option you do not attend the on-site intensives in Ōtautahi. You will complete a blended model of online course work and face-to-face courses and curriculum components held at your regional campus.

On-site intensives for early childhood qualifications are taught in blocks. The distance option usually involves one on-site intensive per semester on campus for the Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood). For the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood), the on-site intensives are held in Ōtautahi three times during the year.

Home schools (Primary)

In addition to the teaching placements organised by the College there will be occasions where access to a primary school is required in order to complete observations or course-related tasks. You are encouraged to develop a relationship with a local school so that you can access groups of children in a learning setting and resources where appropriate. This ‘home school’ contact is a strictly informal relationship between you and the school, and falls outside of any formal liaison organised between UC and the school.

Home centres (Early Childhood)

Distance students are encouraged to develop a relationship with a local early childhood setting so that they can become part of a learning community, observe children and teachers, and have the opportunity for professional conversations with staff. This ‘home centre’ contact is a strictly informal relationship between the student and the centre, and falls outside of any formal liaison organised between UC and the centre.

Professional practice

Professional practice placements for distance students are usually arranged in schools or centres close to where distance students live. However, travel may be required in some cases.

Education Library distance services

You can access the UC Education Library distance services if you are enrolled in a recognised distance course or a course at any UC regional campus or centre. Library services include:

  • access to books, serials, and audiovisual materials such as videos and kits
  • internet access through our webpage to resources and services, including the library catalogue, serials index, full text databases, registration, and forms
  • advice on search strategies and guidance in using library resources
  • access to items from other libraries if we do not have them in this library
  • contact by phone, fax, email, or mail.

Students will be able to access their account details online.

Regional study

Students at UC’s regional campus in Whakatū Nelson offers the benefit of a blended model of study that combines face-to-face courses tailored to local needs together with distance courses. If you are enrolled through the regional campus model, you will also have access to UC support services including the distance library service.

Nelson Centre

The Nelson Centre offers the Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary)degree using a blended model. Primary students attend Professional Inquiry classes one to two days per week, with the remainder of coursework completed by distance study. Professional practice can usually be undertaken locally, though travel may be required in some cases.

The Nelson Centre is co-located with the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT). Students have access to the NMIT well-being and learning support services, the library facilities, and computer networks.

UC Nelson Centre, NMIT – Y Block, 145 Collingwood Street, Nelson

Phone +64 3 548 3106