Education – Graduate Diploma in Arts

Transform lives with a career in education. Massey’s Graduate Diploma in Arts (Education) will give you the equivalent of an undergraduate major in education without completing a second bachelor’s degree.

Where you can study

Distance and online
Manawatū campus (Palmerston North)

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand, or studying online outside New Zealand

Specialise in Education for your Graduate Diploma in Arts at Massey

The Graduate Diploma in Arts (Education) is a bridging tool for graduates in other subjects to get the equivalent of a major in education. You can then go on to a postgraduate qualification in education if you wish.

With this diploma, you’ll get skills and strategies for learning, from the sociological to the philosophical. You’ll explore the developmental and cultural factors that influence approaches to learning. You’ll gain transferable skills that will serve you personally and professionally.

Get great skills

The Graduate Diploma in Arts (Education) will develop your ability to analyse, articulate and disseminate ideas that incorporate a range of viewpoints. You’ll engage with the research that examines how we learn, what we learn. You’ll then be able to transform that learning into action.

Explore your interests

The range of issues in education is vast, yet you’ll be able to explore topics of your choice in depth. Whatever inspires you, a major in education gives you access to a wide range of learning experiences to hone your abilities and enable you to engage positively in any context.

Your qualification options

If you want to be a teacher

Please note that the Graduate Diploma in Arts (Education) does not qualify you to be a teacher.

Further study

If you successfully complete your Graduate Diploma in Arts, you could go on to study a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts or a Master of Arts or another postgraduate qualification in education.

If you want to be a teacher, you will also need to take a postgraduate teaching qualification.

A Graduate Diploma in Arts in Education is a good fit if you:

  • are interested in how people learn and develop
  • want to understand more about social and cultural aspects of education
  • have a passion for a particular subject and want to explore it in depth.

Planning information

If you study full-time you’ll take eight 15-credit courses (120 credits) in one year, or 60 credits per semester. You may be able to take some courses at summer school.

100-level prerequisites

When you are granted entry to the qualification, you are not required to pass any 100-level prerequisite course/s for the specialisation. You may need to apply for 200-level courses using the Special Request function in Course Enrolment in your student portal if your previous study was not completed at Massey. If you plan to take any electives in subjects such as Languages, Economics, Mathematics or Statistics, you will need to meet the 100-level prerequisite requirements.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Returning students

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 qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may be no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Courses you can enrol in

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Subject courses

Choose at least 30 credits from
Course code: 150201 Te Kawenata o Waitangi: The Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand Society 15 credits

A study of the Treaty of Waitangi background, texts, principles, and application to contemporary New Zealand. There is a particular focus on land, legislation, court decisions, social policies, the environment, constitutional matters, claims to the Waitangi Tribunal and Treaty settlements. Differing perspectives of hapū/iwi/Māori and the Crown, as well as opportunities for resolution, are explored.

Restrictions: 269274

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Course code: 249286 Equity and Diversity in Education 15 credits

Explores critical issues related to equity and diversity in life-long and life-wide learning. Examines the role of education in the marginalisation and exclusion of learners, how these inequities are reproduced, and the principles and practices that promote equity.

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Course code: 254200 Learning in the Digital World 15 credits

This course is an exploration of what it means to be a learner in digital social worlds.

Restrictions: 254336

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Course code: 254201 Philosophy of Education 15 credits

This course explores the philosophical complexities of education in its personal, institutional and social dimensions. Students will be introduced to some of the major debates in philosophy of education and engage in the critical and continual practice of applying philosophy across the many contexts of education.

Restrictions: 187201

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Course code: 254203 Sociologically Imagining Education 15 credits

This course explores the sociology of education by critically inquiring into the relationship between personal experience, education and society. Students will be introduced to primary sociological concepts like race, class and gender to critically reflect on education.

Restrictions: 187203

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Course code: 263200 Teaching as an Act of Influencing Others 15 credits

An exploration of the ethics, principles, and key processes of everyday teaching and learning as a basic form of social interaction, giving students the opportunity to explore teaching and learning across the lifespan.

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Course code: 275203 Development in Childhood 15 credits

An examination of physical, cognitive and psychosocial development during infancy and childhood in diverse contexts.

Prerequisites: 275102

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Course code: 275208 Development in Adolescence 15 credits

An examination of the physical, cognitive and psychosocial development during adolescence and emerging adulthood in diverse contexts.

Prerequisites: 275102 Restrictions: 208308, 208208, 209308

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Choose at least 60 credits from
Course code: 254300 Historical Perspectives on Education 15 credits

An exploration of the ways New Zealand’s current education institutions have been influenced by evolving philosophies of education, alongside key historical, sociological, ideological, political, and economic forces.

Restrictions: 254210

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Course code: 254304 Critical Theories of Education 15 credits

Education as an everyday practice is the focus for critical theories of education. This course explores ways education has been theorized as a practice of liberation as well as a practice of oppression. Students will use these concepts to examine the role of education in shaping the social structure of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Restrictions: 187304, 278363

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Course code: 254337 Teaching and Learning with Pasifika Peoples in NZ 15 credits

An examination of the educational experiences of Pasifika peoples in New Zealand in formal and informal settings both in the past and present with a focus on effective teaching and learning practices.

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Course code: 254340 Politics of Education 15 credits

This course considers the politics of education in Aotearoa New Zealand, using current social issues and education policy reforms to examine role of education in a democracy.

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Course code: 263301 Learning and Motivation 15 credits

A study of contemporary theory and research on motivation in educational contexts with emphasis on implications for learning and for educational practice.

Prerequisites: Any 200-level course from Education

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Course code: 263315 Teaching and Learning in Everyday Settings 15 credits

A study of informal teaching and learning practices in a workplace, volunteer, leisure, cultural or community organisation setting. Focus is on the application of everyday teaching and learning theory in a real community context where access is self-negotiated by the student.

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Course code: 269332 Māori Issues in Education 15 credits

A study of relationships between cultural values and education and of the extent of Māori educational needs and aspirations.

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Course code: 275304 Development of Gender 15 credits

An in-depth study of gender development across the lifespan, including consideration of biological, sociological, and developmental perspectives of gender.

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Course code: 275320 Risk and Resilience across the Lifespan 15 credits

An applied study of human development, examining risk, protective, and promotive factors which contribute to resilience and positive developmental outcomes across the lifespan.

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Course code: 276330 Mathematics and Literacy in Society 15 credits

An exploration of the importance of being literate and numerate through an in-depth study of our engagement with mathematics and literacy in everyday life.

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Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

To enter the Graduate Diploma in Arts (Education) you will have been awarded or qualified for a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.

You will need to provide copies of all official academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

English language requirements

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

This qualification is classified as NZQF Level 7 and requires the same English language standard as most undergraduate bachelor degrees, diplomas and certificates.

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Can't meet the entry requirements?

If you need to do a course before you start your qualification, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Fees and scholarships

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.

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.

Scholarship and award opportunities

Search our scholarships and awards

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

A Graduate Diploma in Arts (Education) provides the foundation for a range of careers in areas such as policy, professional practice, management and teaching. Our graduates are working in roles as diverse as:

  • health professionals
  • professional educators
  • expert administrators
  • management executives
  • network administrators
  • sales and marketing management.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

Related study options