Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) (GDipTchg(ECE))

Key facts

  • Available via Distance Learning with Block Courses at Manawatu or Albany campuses
  • 1 year of full-time study or 2 years of part-time study
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Entry requirements

In addition to meeting the entrance requirements to Massey University students selected for the Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) with Massey University must hold either:

  1. a New Zealand Primary teacher education degree, or a New Zealand teacher education (Primary) three-year diploma or equivalent (which meets the requirements of the New Zealand Teachers Council for registration as a teacher in New Zealand)
  2. an overseas Primary teacher education degree or an overseas primary teacher education three-year diploma or equivalent (assessed by NZQA) and be at least provisionally registered with the New Zealand Teachers Council.
  3. a Bachelor’s degree at level 7 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) consisting of at least 360 credits (or equivalent overseas degree) and have completed approved papers in education to the value of at least 30 credits. The approved papers in education should be from the following areas of understanding:
    1. Human development or child development and
    2. Education in Aotearoa/New Zealand , which includes a study of Te Tikanga and/or Te Reo.

If you have not completed papers in education within your Bachelor degree we would suggest that you consider completing 275.102 Human Development and 254.101 An Introduction to Social and Cultural Studies in Education (alternative paper for Semester 2 is 150.204 Mana Maori: Maori and Politics) at Massey University under a Certificate of Proficiency (HumSocSci) prior to applying for selected entry into the Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) programme. Please note these papers will not count towards the Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) and they do not guarantee you a place in the programme.

Applicants with qualifications obtained overseas must have these qualifications assessed by New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) to determine comparability with New Zealand qualifications. The NZQA Assessment must be provided with the completed selected entry application. NZQA Assessments older than three (3) years at the time of applying may not be accepted. If this applies to you, please contact NZQA, Qualification Review Service requesting a review of the original assessment notes. They will inform you if you need to re-apply to NZQA. NZQA accreditation can take up to 35 working days. For more information on applying to NZQA please refer to:

English Language Requirement

If your first language is not English, and you do not hold a degree (Level 7 or higher) from either a New Zealand or Australian tertiary education organization you will need to attach a verified copy of your results in the form of an IELTS test. The IELTS test must have a score of at least 7.0 or higher in all bands of the academic version of the test.

A teacher who has registered with the New Zealand Teachers Council, and holds a current Practising Certificate, will be exempted from meeting this English Language IELTS requirement.

If 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 (four credits in reading and four credits in writing), you would be exempted from the requirement to meet an IELTS assessment.

Further clarification on English Language Requirements can be gained by contacting the New Zealand Teachers Council at:

Application Process

To begin an initial teacher education programme you must first apply through MyEnrolment by the 12 January 2015 to commence study in Semester One 2015. Applications received after this date may be considered but may not be in time to start in 2015. When you apply online you will be asked to upload:

  • A 2015 Teaching Selected Entry form
  • A completed observation report from your observation of a group early childhood learners
  • A handwritten document, in standard English or Maori, explaining why you chose this programme of study. List any personal characteristics you have that might strengthen your application
  • A consent to disclosure for a New Zealand Police check.

If English is not your first language you may be required to upload the results of an Academic IELTS test (see details above)

You will also print two Referee's Report Forms, arrange for your referees to complete and sign them and then return them directly to the University to support your application.
If you are a new student to Massey University you will be asked to upload evidence of your identity (such as a birth certificate or passport) and evidence of previous tertiary study (including an NZQA assessment report if your qualification was obtained overseas).

Selection Process

All initial teacher education programmes at Massey University require students to be selected into the programme. Selection, and the subsequent offer of a place in the programme, is determined by the information submitted in the application form and the interview process. The first part of the selection process involves assessment by academic staff within the Institute of Education. If the selection committee feel you potentially meet the 'fit character' and 'fit to be a teacher' criteria, you may be invited to an interview. This is the second part of the selection process. The interview undertaken by Institute staff focuses on the following criteria:

  • Fitness for Teaching
  • Communication Skills
  • Achievement and Potential for Professional Full Time Study
  • Awareness of Teaching and Learning
  • Interests and Life Experiences

If the interview panel is satisfied that you are a suitable candidate for the GradDipTchg (ECE) programme you will be reserved a place, depending on available places. Selection into the GradDipTchg (ECE) programme does not give you automatic admission to the programme or entry into the University. The Student Administration team will check and verify your entrance and admission and ensure you are enrolled correctly into your papers. Successful applicants who already meet the admission and entrance requirements will be confirmed into their programme of study and sent an offer of place. To assume a place within the GradDipTchg (ECE) programme you must be selected, gain admission into the programme and entry into the University and accept your offer. Receipt of the Confirmation of Enrolment form will confirm and finalise the process.

If you are not offered a place in the programme of your choice, you may like to get in touch with our Contact Centre to discuss other qualifications.

Important Dates

Selected Entry application deadline: 12 January 2015 late applications may be considered

Semester One begin: 2 February 2015

Disclosure of criminal convictions

All applicants are required to disclose any convictions and will be required, in their applications, to permit the Institute of Education to ask the New Zealand Police to disclose any information held on the Police record system.

Study from Overseas

Whilst some of our teaching programmes are offered via Distance Learning, we do require that you are in New Zealand for their duration. The programme and Practicum Placements within it are relevant to the NZ curriculum (as it is New Zealand teacher registration that is the ultimate goal) and hence must be done within New Zealand.

Also, as practical and theoretical papers are intertwined you cannot do the theory/pedagogy papers first and then return to do the practical papers at a later date. Without full access to the New Zealand curriculum you would also be hugely disadvantaged in your assignments.

For general entry requirements see Massey University entry requirements.

Credits and prior learning

Unfortunately no credit can be granted towards the GradDipTchg (ECE) due to the specialised nature of this qualification (8 compulsory papers). The University cross credit regulations also state: "Papers may not be cross-credited to or from a postgraduate diploma, postgraduate certificate, graduate diploma or a graduate certificate unless specifically stated otherwise in the Regulations for that diploma or certificate."

Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) structure

  • The graduate diploma is worth 120 credits.
  • You will be required to be computer literate and to have online access.
  • This is a one-year intensive graduate diploma programme which emphasises the professional and personal aspects of the role of an early childhood teacher in New Zealand.
  • There is a strong teaching practice component which is grounded in knowledge and understanding about what it is to be an effective early childhood teacher.
  • There are two practica each semester (14 weeks in total for the year), providing experience in kindergarten and early childhood centres. Note: Travel for practica is the responsibility of the student teacher.

2015 Practicum Dates

Practicum 1: 9-27 March
Practicum 2: 11 May - 5 June
Practicum 3: 3-28 August
Practicum 4: 12-30 October

Changes to these dates will be advised to students as they happen.

Contact Course dates

Semester 1

Turitea Campus, Palmerston North: 20-24 April
Albany Campus, Auckland: 4-5 Feb; 7-8 May; 12 June

Semester 2

Turitea Campus, Palmerston North: 31 August - 4 September
Albany Campus, Auckland: 23-24 July; 11 September; 8-9 October

These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates


There are eight compulsory papers:

265.470 Learning and Teaching in Early Childhood Settings
265.471 Learning and Development in Early Childhood Contexts
265.472 Advanced Studies of Infants and Toddlers
265.473 Integrated Curriculum: Numeracy and Literacy
265.474 Studies in Early Childhood Assessment and Curriculum
265.475 The Arts in Early Childhood
265.485 Professional Inquiry and Practice (ECE)
270.322 Perspectives in Early Years Education

Part-time Year 1

265.470 Learning and Teaching in Early Childhood Settings
265.471 Learning and Development in Early Childhood Contexts
265.475 The Arts in Early Childhood
270.322 Perspectives in Early Years Education
[Practicum 1 and 2]

Part-time Year 2

265.472 Advanced Studies of Infants and Toddlers
265.473 Integrated Curriculum: Numeracy and Literacy
265.474 Studies in Early Childhood Assessment and Curriculum
265.485 Professional Inquiry and Practice (ECE)
[Practicum 3 and 4]

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