Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Tertiary Education)

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Become a more effective teacher of adults

Do you facilitate adult learning in tertiary education contexts? Do you want to be more effective in your work with adult learners? Or perhaps you want to enhance your career?

Find out more about the Postgraduate Diploma in Education parent structure

What is it like?

The Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Tertiary Education) (previously known as Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Adult Education)) is designed to enable you to teach adults in tertiary education settings. You might be a tutor in a private training provider or a lecturer at a wananga, polytechnic or university, a community educator or workplace trainer. We will help you develop your tertiary education knowledge and skills in existing and new areas of interest and expertise.

Why study with us?

  • Enhance the effectiveness of your teaching and improve students’ learning.
  • Develop your knowledge of the complexities of adult learning and teaching.
  • Tailor your programme to accommodate your needs, interests and circumstances.
  • Experience a safe and inclusive learning environment.
  • Benefit from Massey University’s reputation for providing quality distance learning.

Massey is ranked in the world’s top 150 universities for education in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking.

Your qualification options

Please note that the Postgraduate Diploma in Education does not qualify you to be a teacher in New Zealand. If you want to be a teacher, you will also need to take a postgraduate teaching qualification. Please explore your options in our education pathways tool.

Trish Farrelly
Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Adult Education)

“The incredible tutors I have encountered along the way have given me confidence in my ability to complete this journey…”

I have been a registered pharmacist since 1982 and over my career have enjoyed varied roles in both community and hospital pharmacy, as well as taking time out to raise two children, who are now 26 and almost 22 respectively. My last clinical pharmacist role was at a private surgical hospital, where I was offered the opportunity to deliver some pharmacology lectures to post-graduate surgical nurses. I was hooked - I realised I really enjoyed teaching adult learners. In 2004 I started as Programme Pharmacist with the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand’s intern training programme. This one year programme is effectively the fifth year of clinical training for those who wish to become a NZ registered pharmacist. It is a structured, competence-based programme whereby interns undertake a range of formative and summative assessments while learning to apply their knowledge in the clinical setting. I was appointed manager of the Programme in late 2006 and this role has been the most challenging yet most stimulating of my career. Although I believed I had learned an enormous amount about adult learning through my experience I eventually decided that I could increase my credibility and effectiveness in the role by gaining some formal qualifications. So in 2012, with great trepidation, I embarked on my Masters of Education, endorsed in Adult Education, through Massey University’s Distance Learning option. Although I have undertaken a great deal of post-graduate study in pharmacy the Adult Education papers have been the most demanding and challenging of all! Certainly the transition from “black and white science” to a discipline like education has required a paradigm shift in my thinking. It has also been challenging to hold down a demanding full-time job as well as part-time study. However the incredible tutors I have encountered along the way have given me confidence in my ability to complete this journey. Everyone has been accessible, ready to answer my myriad questions and above all supportive every step of the way. I am on target to complete my PG Diploma, then after a short break I plan to tackle my thesis. Once I decide which of the many burning questions I have I most wish to address!


A Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Tertiary Education) leads to a variety of tertiary teaching opportunities, in formal and non-formal education contexts, and in voluntary positions in the community. Your skills and teaching knowledge will be valued.

Where will your skills take you?

Your skills will be in demand! Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Tertiary Education) graduates work in many educational contexts such as:

  • Tutors in private training establishments
  • Trainers in the workplace
  • Facilitators in community adult education
  • Lecturers in polytechnics, wananga and universities (universities usually also require a PhD in your subject area)
  • Organisations or groups with an education role.
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