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

Key facts

  • Available via Distance Learning with Block Courses at Manawatu or Auckland campuses
  • One intake at the start of each year
  • 1 year of full-time study or 2 years of part-time study
  • Not available for international students
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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 Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand for registration as a teacher in New Zealand);


  1. 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 Education Council;


  1. 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, 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 components of the academic version of the IELTS test.

The only exemptions to this requirement are:

  • If you are a teacher who has registered with the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand, and hold a current Practising Certificate.
  • If you hold a degree (Level 7 or higher) from either a New Zealand or Australian tertiary education organisation, where the medium of instruction was fully in English and studied in a campus model of delivery in each year of the degree.
  • If you have studied in New Zealand for a minimum of two years at secondary school and have met University Entrance requirements in Literacy.

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

Application Process

To begin an initial teacher education programme you must first apply through MyEnrolment. There is only one intake at the start of each year, but applications are open throughout the year for future intakes. Applications close on 10th December each year. Late applications may be considered subject to available places and complete documentation.

When you apply online you will be asked to upload:

  • A Teaching Selected Entry form
  • A completed observation report from your observation of a group early childhood learners
  • 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 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.

Safety checks and disclosure of criminal convictions

All applicants are required to undergo a number of safety checks. This includes police vetting (including confirmation of identity) and further checks required under the Vulnerable Children Act 2014, Vulnerable Children Regulations 2015 and the Children’s Action Plan. You will be required to permit the Institute of Education to ask the New Zealand Police to disclose any information held on the Police record system.

Important Dates

Selected Entry application deadline: 10th December each year (late applications may be considered)
Semester One begins: Tuesday 24 January 2017

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.
  • The two Professional Enquiry and Practice papers include a total of 14 weeks of practica which students will complete in three block placements across the year, providing students with experience in kindergarten and early childhood centres. Note: Travel for practica is the responsibility of the student teacher.

2017 Practicum Dates

Practicum 1: 6-31 March
Practicum 2: 22 May - 16 June
Practicum 3: 14 August - 22 September
Changes to these dates will be advised to students as they happen.

Contact Course dates

Semester 1
Turitea Campus, Palmerston North: 20-24 February
Auckland Campus: 1-2 February; 4-5 April; 27-28 June

Semester 2
Turitea Campus, Palmerston North: 2-6 October
Auckland Campus: 2-3 August; 25-26 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 ECE Professional Inquiry and Practice 1
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 ECE Curriculum, Assessment, Planning and Evaluation
265.475 The Arts in Early Childhood
265.476 Curriculum and Teacher Inquiry in ECE
265.485 ECE Professional Inquiry and Practice 2

Part-time Year 1

265.470 ECE Professional Inquiry and Practice 1
265.471 Learning and Development in Early Childhood Contexts
265.474 ECE Curriculum, Assessment, Planning and Evaluation
265.475 The Arts in Early Childhood
[Practicum 1 and 2]

Part-time Year 2

265.472 Advanced Studies of Infants and Toddlers
265.473 Integrated Curriculum: Numeracy and Literacy
265.476 Curriculum and Teacher Inquiry in ECE
265.485 ECE Professional Inquiry and Practice 2
[Practicum 3]

How much will it cost?

We can't tell you the exact cost until you have chosen your papers, as the tuition fees you pay each year vary depending on the papers you choose. There will also be compulsory non-tuition fees you have to pay in addition to your tuition fees. For some papers there may be other charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact courses.

To get an approximate idea of tuition costs for typical study areas, you can use our quick guide to programme fees.

Already know which papers you're going to choose?

If you already know which papers you are going to take, you can use our Fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.

Financial assistance

You might be eligible to apply for a scholarship or award. You can use our scholarship search to see what is available. You may also be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

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