Work with diverse learners
If you’re keen to work with diverse learners and their teachers, then a Master of Specialist Teaching is for you.
- Postgraduate, NZQF Level 9
- 3 years part-time. Not available for full-time study.
- Selected entry programme.
Note: This programme is covered by the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order 2021. Students are required to provide details of their vaccination status on enrolment.
The Master of Specialist Teaching (Complex Educational Needs) gives you theory and research-based study of specialist teaching. You’ll gain an understanding of the development and learning needs of students who have multiple and complex needs.
The programme combines personal, historical, theoretical and rights-based perspectives with key ideas about:
You’ll explore assessment, teaching and learning in inclusive school communities.
The programme includes an examination of evidence-based practices in the education of students with multiple and complex needs. You’ll apply theory to practice in a supervised practicum.
Take less of your time
The Master of Specialist Teaching is 180 credits. This means you can complete this qualification in three years of part-time study.
Flexible programme with multi-modal teaching
We combine a range of evidence-informed, culturally sustaining and 21st century learning options for all students. This includes digital and face-to-face pedagogical practices to make it easier for you to study from anywhere and to integrate your learning and practice.
Our qualification adopts an inquiry-based inter-professional model. So you’ll study alongside other types of specialist teachers to learn with, from and about each other within a broad community of practice. Your study will take place in a supportive and constructive learning environment led by highly qualified and respected experts in the field of inclusive education.
Your qualification options
Please note that the Master of Specialist Teaching does not qualify you to be a teacher. Explore education study options at Massey and the qualification you need to become a teacher in our education pathways tool.
Careers and further study
Inclusive education is fast becoming the preferred model of education worldwide. A Masters in Specialist Teaching can lead to a range of career opportunities in New Zealand and further afield. Your skills will be in demand.
Graduates may find work or enhance their careers in many educational areas such as:
- specialist resource teachers such as resource teacher: learning and behaviour, blind and low vision or deaf and hard of hearing
- special education advisors
- special education needs coordinators
- academic and professional development positions
- behaviour support workers
- special education teachers.
All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.
This programme is a selected entry programme. This means there are a number of extra requirements you must meet.
To enter the Master of Specialist Teaching you will have:
- been awarded or qualified for a completed degree from a New Zealand university with a minimum B grade average across the 300-level courses (or equivalent), and
- a relevant professional qualification, and
- at least two years relevant professional experience, or
- been awarded or qualified for a Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching (or equivalent) with a minimum B average.
You will also provide the following documents as part of the selection process:
- verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University
- a copy of your current CV (including education and employment for at least the last five years. If you have recently changed jobs to a resource teacher role, please ensure the new role is included as your current employment)
- verified copy of your current practising certificate issued by the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand (if a registered teacher with a current full practising certificate)
- a summary of any short or long-term disability including learning disability or heath issue that may affect your study.
If you are not a registered teacher or you are a registered teacher without a current full practising certificate, you will also need to supply:
- a completed NZ Police Request and Consent form, along with two pieces of verified identification (one of which must be photographic) from the list of acceptable forms of identification
- a copy of a police report from every overseas country you have lived in for more 12 months in the last 10 years. Please do not supply originals as these will need to be supplied to the Education Council at a later date.
If you have been previously selected for and enrolled in a Specialist Teaching programme at Massey University you will apply online but will not go through the selection process.
Application closing date
Applications close on 10 December 2021.
For applicants who have completed a Massey University Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching, the closing date for Semester Two applications is 10 June.
English language requirements
If your first language is not English or Te Reo Māori and you have not gained a New Zealand university entrance qualification, or an overseas entrance qualification in a country where the main language is English, you will be required to provide evidence of proficiency in English in the form of an academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.0 with no band less than 7.0 (or the equivalent TOEFL score) or other evidence that is acceptable to Academic Board.
IELTS EXEMPTION: A teacher who has registered with the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand and holds a current Practising Certificate, will be exempted from meeting this English language requirement. For more information, see: teachingcouncil.nz.
Ministry of Education study award
If you have applied for a MOE study award and/or hold an RTLB position, you should be applying for the Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching.
If you do not hold a current New Zealand professional registration you will be required to undergo police vetting prior to gaining entry into the programme.
Your curriculum vitae should include details of your educational and professional qualifications, employment history with dates and descriptions of roles and responsibilities, membership of associations/organisations, and a list of professional publications and research reports.
Health and disability
If you have any short or long-term disability including learning disability or heath issue that may affect your study, please upload a summary in your application. If you disclose any disability, health or personal information as part of your application, this will be assessed during the selection process and is confidential to the University staff processing your application.
Prior learning, credit and exemptions
For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:
- review the Recognition of Prior Learning regulations
- contact us through the Enquire button on this page.
If you do not have the entry requirements
English language and foundation courses
If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and qualifications that may help.
Courses and planning
- Part One compulsory courses – 75 credits
- Part One subject courses – 60 credits
- Part Two professional inquiry – 45 credits
A specialisation (subject) is required depending on previous study, requiring 60 credits from the subject.
Advanced entry: Those who have already completed specified qualifications in advance of the minimum entry requirements may be able to complete this degree in 120 credits.
This is a parts-based qualification. This means there are regulations around your completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two, etc.
Courses for this specialisation
Planning your programme
The Master of Specialist Teaching is a parts-based qualification. For progression from Part One to Part Two, you must achieve a minimum B average over the first 120 credits of Part One.
If you have completed the requirements for the Massey University Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching, you may complete this master’s (in the same subject) by completing the following 60 credits:
If you have completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching at another university, you will complete the Master of Specialist Teaching without specialisation in at least 120 credits, comprising:
- 249.770 Supervision and Mentoring in Specialist Teaching (15 credits) or 249.771 Additional Areas of Specialist Teaching (15 credits)
- 60 credits of courses from this subject in the Schedule
- 267.875 Professional Inquiry in Specialist Teaching (45 credits).
Maximum time limits for completion
There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications. If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.
Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit
Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit.
- Look for information under ‘Student Progression’ in the General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.
- Contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.
Fees and scholarships
Fees and finance
Fees, student loans and free fees scheme
Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.
There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.
- Get an estimate of the tuition fees for your qualification
- View a list of non-tuition fees that may be payable
Already know which courses you're going to choose?
You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.
Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme
You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.
The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.
Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.
A good fit if you:
- have completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching
- want to inquire into an aspect of your professional practice
- hope to influence the sector through research that matters.
Key information for students
Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.
Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.
Applying and enrolling
Applying for the programme
Check you are ready
If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.
Choose your programme and click on Apply now
You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.
Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.
Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place
You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.
Enrolling in courses
You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.
When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:
- prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
- corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
- restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
- location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.
Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.
More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.
You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.
We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!
If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.
What are courses and credits?
What are courses and credits?
Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).
You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.
Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.
There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.
- See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
- Courses search
Understanding course numbers
The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.
The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:
- sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
- undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
- as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study.
|Subject area||Level||Course ID number|
Workload and time management
Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.
For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.
In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.
Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.
Scholarships and awards
There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.