Early Childhood Education – Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching

Massey’s Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching (Early Childhood Education) reflects the dynamic, complex, and responsive nature of learning and teaching. This initial teacher education qualification offers specific knowledge in early childhood education.

Where you can study

Distance and online

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Not open to international students
Note: One intake in January each year. Selected entry qualification.

Specialise in Early Childhood Education for your Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching at Massey

Be part of an innovative qualification

The Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching embodies a new vision for the future of initial teacher education. You’ll gain from robust, specialised curriculum and teaching knowledge that is critical for graduates preparing to enter different types of teaching environments. The qualification also represents Massey University’s commitment to becoming a Tiriti-led university.

Learn from the best

You’ll work with nationally and internationally esteemed practitioners and researchers. You can expect a teaching and learning environment that will enable you to learn how to contribute positively towards your students and society.

You’ll also gain specific knowledge in early childhood education.

Study in a highly supportive environment

The qualification includes regular contact with the teaching team and mentors. You’ll be supported in your professional and personal journey to becoming a teacher in Aotearoa. You’ll be learning with and alongside a great group of peers in a collaborative learning environment that recognises your and your classmates’ individual strengths.

Gain professional experience

In addition to regular coursework (face to face and/or distance) you will spend 16 weeks in specialisation-relevant education settings. This is where you’ll develop and refine your professional skills alongside our supportive associate teachers and mentors. You’ll have an opportunity to engage with tamariki, educators and whānau in a professional setting where you’ll be able to take on increasing elements of the teaching role in preparation for your entry into the profession.

Further study

Massey offers a range of further exciting study options in education, such as specialist teaching, educational leadership, counselling and psychology.

A Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching in Early Childhood Education is a good fit if you:

  • already have a bachelor’s qualification
  • want to be a high-quality and effective teacher
  • value the diversity of heritage, language, identity and culture of all learners, families and whānau.

Planning information

Distance learning option

The ECE endorsement is offered via distance learning only. We do still require you to be in New Zealand for the duration of the qualification. The qualification and practicum placements within it are relevant to the New Zealand curriculum and hence must be done within New Zealand in accordance with Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand requirements. Also, as practical and theoretical courses are intertwined you cannot do the theory/pedagogy courses first and then return to do the practical courses at a later date.

Distance students are required to attend compulsory contact workshops. Details below.

Practice-based learning

Blended learning is a hallmark of this qualification. Course work is grounded in demonstration and application of teaching performance. Problem-solving approaches to learning are emphasised.

Contact workshops

All students (full-time and part-time, distance and on-campus) are required to attend 10 days of compulsory contact workshops/wānanga during the programme. This will include a noho marae experience. There are two five-day wānanga – Wānanga 1 in February, Wānanga 2 in July. Fulltime students will attend both Wānanga 1 and Wānanga 2. First year part-time students will attend Wānanga 1 only. Second year part-time students will attend Wānanga 2 only.

Professional practice

The two professional practice courses include a total of 16 weeks of professional experience in education settings. You will typically complete two four week blocks of practicum in one education setting (Professional Practice 1); a further seven weeks of practicum in a second education setting, plus one week of ‘focused placement’ - targeted professional experience to support individual professional growth (Professional Practice 2). If you are currently employed in an early childhood setting you are able to complete eight weeks of your practicum experiences in the centre in which you are employed.

Where possible you will undertake practica in your local area/community, however you may be required to travel up to one hour for practicum placements.

Organising travel for practicum placements is your responsibility.

Start/end dates 2024

Start/end dates 2024

This is an intensive qualification that runs across an extended academic year. Semester dates and breaks in this qualification do not always align with other Massey qualifications, or with school holidays. A Programme Calendar, providing details of each week throughout the year, will be made available to candidates at the time of the selections wānanga.

  • Semester 1: Start 22 January 2024 – Ends 5 July 2024
  • Semester 2: Start 22 July 2024 - Ends 24 November 2024

Semester break dates 2024

  •  Semester 1 Break 
    • Study Week: April 15 - 19
    • Mid-Semester break: April 22 - 26
  • Midyear Break (between semesters) 
    • July 08 – 19 
  • Semester 2 Break
    • Study Week: September 30 – October 4
    • Mid-Semester break: October 7 - 11

Contact workshop dates for 2024

  • Wānanga 1: February 12 - 16 Campus-based, location to be determined
  • Wānanga 2: July 22 – 26 Online ONLY

Practicum dates 2024

Full-time Students
  • Practicum 1a: Monday April 29 - Friday May 24
  • Practicum 1b: Monday June 10 - Friday July 05
  • Practicum 2: Monday September 02 - Friday 27 September AND Monday October 14 – Friday November 1
Part-time students – Year One
  • Practicum 1a: Practicum 1a: Monday April 29 - Friday May 24
  • Practicum 1b: Monday September 02 – Friday September 27
Part-time students – Year Two
  • Practicum 2: Monday September 02 - Friday 27 September AND Monday October 14 – Friday November 1

If you are studying part-time here is your study plan

Part-time Year 1

263400 Learning and Teaching 1 (15 credits)

265410 Professional Practice 1 (ECE) (30 credits)

265412 Curriculum and Pedagogy A (ECE) (30 credits)

Part-time Year 2

263401 Learning and Teaching 2 (15 credits)

265411 Professional Practice 2 (ECE) (30 credits)

265413 Curriculum and Pedagogy B (ECE) (30 credits).

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 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

Prerequisites
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.
Corequisites
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Restrictions
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.

Core courses for the Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching

As well as the specialisation courses listed below, this qualification has core courses that you will need to complete.

Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching core courses

Early Childhood Education courses

Compulsory courses

Choose 120 credits from
Course code: 265410 Professional Practice 1 (ECE) 30 credits

This course provides an introduction to professional practice in early childhood education settings in Aotearoa New Zealand, through observation, teaching, critical self-reflection and evaluation of practice.

View full course details
Course code: 265411 Professional Practice 2 (ECE) 30 credits

This course provides further development of professional practice in early childhood education settings in Aotearoa New Zealand, through observation, teaching, critical self-reflection and evaluation of practice.

Prerequisites: 265410

View full course details
Course code: 265412 Curriculum and Pedagogy A (ECE) 30 credits

This course introduces students to the theory and practice of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment in the context of early childhood education settings in Aotearoa New Zealand guided by commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and tangata whenuatanga.

View full course details
Course code: 265413 Curriculum and Pedagogy B (ECE) 30 credits

This course provides further development with the theory and practice of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment in the context of early childhood education settings in Aotearoa New Zealand guided by commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and tangata whenuatanga.

View full course details

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

This is a selected entry qualification. This means there are a number of extra requirements you must meet. 

To enter the Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching you will have:

  • been awarded or qualified for a bachelor's degree of at least 360 credits, or equivalent
  • demonstrated competence in literacy and numeracy as set down by the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Institute of Education
  • achieved an Academic IELTS score of at least 7.0 with no band less than 7.0 or approved equivalent within the preceding two years, unless you hold New Zealand University Entrance Level 2 literacy credits or higher, or Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand recognised equivalent qualification(s) and/or schooling
  • met the requirements for registration as set down by the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand, in terms of values, disposition and fitness to teach.

You will need to provide the following documents: 

  • copies of all official academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University
  • a copy of your current curriculum vitae
  • a supporting statement
  • A consent to disclosure of information for a New Zealand Police check.  Please provide two pieces of verified identification (one of which must be photographic). See more details below about safety checks
  • A copy of a police report from every overseas country you have lived in for more than 12 months in the last 10 years. Please do not supply originals as these will need to be supplied to the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand at a later date
  • a health and disability declaration
  • evidence of English language competency as outlined by the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand, which may include an Academic IELTS test or recognised equivalent - if English is not your first language (see requirements below)
  • an NZQA International Qualifications Assessment - if you have an overseas qualification
  • contact details of two referees - one character referee and one professional referee.
  • an observation in an education setting relevant to the Early Childhood Education endorsement. please use this Observation Template (PDF)

If the selection committee feel you potentially meet the values, disposition and fitness to teach criteria, you may be invited to an interview. This is the second part of the selection process.

Application closing date

Applications close 2 December, for study the following year. 

All documentation needs to be provided prior to the closing date for applications.

There is only one intake at the start of each year, but applications are open throughout the year for future intakes.

About referees

Referees need to be able to provide informed responses on your personal suitability for the qualification. A referee should be someone who has known you for one year or more in the capacity of employer, educator, work colleague or person of community standing, ie kaumatua, Minister or similar. Your referee should not be a friend, flatmate, relative or someone who has not known you for at least a year. The information your referee supplies is confidential to those involved in the selection process.

Curriculum vitae

Please provide a full CV including details for at least the last five years and include brief details on recent formal and/or informal experiences and/or involvement in the following areas: experience with children/young adults; proficiency in languages; community activities; school activities; sport, music, drama, art, travel, teaching/coaching and outdoor education. Please also include experiences in bi-cultural, multi-cultural and diverse contexts and settings.

Supporting statement

In your own words, write a 500-word personal statement that demonstrates your aspirations as a future kaiako (teacher). In your statement please consider the following elements:

  • Your own educational experience and/or inspiration that has impacted on your decision to become a kaiako 
  • Strengths and skills you will bring to education
  • Challenges that you have identified for your own teaching journey
  • Your personal aspirations for teaching and the tamariki of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Current understanding of priorities and challenges for education settings in Aotearoa NZ

Safety checks and disclosure of criminal convictions

You will be 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 Massey University to ask the New Zealand Police to disclose any information held on the Police record system.

Health and disability declaration

Please indicate if you have any short or long-term disability (including learning disability), impairment, injury or physical/mental health condition. If you disclose any disability, health or personal information as part of your application, this will be discussed with you at interview and considered in accordance with Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand requirements. The information supplied is confidential to the University staff processing your application.

English language competency requirement

Evidence of English language competency, as outlined by the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand, is required for all applicants. In most cases, your academic background and schooling will provide this evidence.

If English, or Te Reo Māori, is not your first language, you may need to provide further evidence of competency. This may include provision of a verified copy of Academic IELTS test results, undertaken within the preceding two years, with a score of at least 7.0 or higher in all components; or the verified results of an approved equivalent English language qualification. Find out more on the TCANZ site:

Qualifications from overseas

If you have qualifications obtained overseas you must get these assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) to determine comparability with New Zealand qualifications. This NZQA International Qualifications Assessment must be provided at the time of applying for this  qualification. 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.

About the selection process

The Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching at Massey University requires students to be selected into the qualification. Selection and the subsequent offer of a place, is determined by the information submitted in the application process and the interview process.

The first part of the selection process involves assessment of application documents by academic staff within the Institute of Education.

If you meet the initial entry requirements, you will be invited to meet with a selection panel. This is the second part of the selection process. Conversations with the panel are held via Zoom. You will be advised of the date and time of this meeting along with other important information. You are welcome to have whānau or support people present if you choose.

The selection process focuses on the following criteria as outlined in The Code of Professional Responsibility in Our Code Our Standards:

  • Commitment to the Teaching Profession
  • Commitment to Learners
  • Commitment to Families and Whānau
  • Commitment to Society

Before meeting with the selection panel you will be sent details of a number of preparatory tasks. These will include the submission of a short numeracy test, engagement with documents such as the New Zealand Curriculum, Te Whāriki, Our Code our Standards. You will also need to reflect on the observation you undertook in an education setting and be prepared to speak to it.

If the selection panel is satisfied that you demonstrate readiness to undertake the Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching qualification and you meet the entry and admission criteria into the University you will be sent an Offer of Place.

Once you have accepted your Offer of Place you can apply for courses. When your application for enrolment in your courses is approved, you will receive an Offer of Enrolment notification that you will need to accept. The Offer of Enrolment will contain information about fees and may have conditions on it. Once you accept your Offer of Enrolment you will be enrolled and will receive a Confirmation of Enrolment notification if you have no outstanding conditions i.e. pending completion of your degree.

If you are not offered a place in the qualification, you may like to contact us through the Get advice button on this page to discuss other qualifications.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

Unfortunately no credit can be granted towards the Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching (Early Childhood Education) due to the specialised nature of this qualification.

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.

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

Become a registered and certificated teacher

When you graduate from the Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching you will be eligible to apply for teacher registration and provisional certification with the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand. As a provisionally certificated teacher, you’ll be qualified to teach in kindergartens and early childhood settings.

Join our successful graduates

Massey University prides itself on the success rate of its graduates in winning jobs as teachers at the conclusion of their initial teacher education qualification.

Other opportunities

A career in teaching can open many other doors in education – it is a great starting point.

Related study options