Master of Specialist Teaching – MSpecTchg

Further your specialist teaching knowledge through interprofessional inquiry and practice.

Type of qualification

Master's degree

Level of study

Postgraduate study

Once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree – or have equal experience – you can study at the postgraduate level. Doctoral qualifications require additional entry requirements.

More about study levels

NZQF level 9

Our courses follow the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) levels.

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

3 years part-time (1 additional year after PGDipSpecTchg). Not available for full-time study.
Up to 5 years part-time
Part-time available

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Not open to international students
Note: Selected entry qualification.

Study a Master of Specialist Teaching – MSpecTchg

Continue your study

The Master of Specialist Teaching is 180 credits. This means you can complete this qualification in three years of part-time study. Once you have completed your Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching (four courses over two years), the Master of Specialist Teaching consists of two courses over one or two years.

Evidence-based research project within practice contexts

Studying the Master of Specialist Teaching will allow you to deepen and broaden your knowledge and skills in diverse cultural contexts. You’ll undertake practice-based research and advanced study within your area of specialist teaching and interprofessionally.

Flexible programme and pedagogy

You will engage with a range of evidence-informed, culturally sustaining and 21st century learning opportunities. These include online and face-to-face pedagogical practices to make it easier for you to study from anywhere and to integrate your learning and practice. You can complete the 180-credit MSpecTchg in three years of part-time study.

Inter-professional environment

The qualification adopts an inquiry-based interprofessional model. You will study alongside other types of specialist teachers to learn with, from and about each other within a broad community of practice.

Your qualification options

Note: The Master of Specialist Teaching does not qualify you to be a teacher in New Zealand.

A MSpecTchg is a good fit if you:

  • have completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching
  • want to inquire into and extend your professional practice
  • seek to influence the sector through research and practice.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

This programme is a selected entry qualification. 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 bachelor’s degree with a minimum B grade average across the highest level courses, (or equivalent) and
  • been awarded or qualified for a relevant professional qualification, and
  • completed 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.

Please see individual webpages for specific entry requirements for specialisation in Advisor on Deaf Children.

You will also provide the following documents as part of the selection process:

  • copies of all official 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.

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:

Closing date for applications

Applications close on 10 December for study the following year.

For applicants who have completed a Massey University Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching, the closing date for Semester Two applications is 10 June.

Police vetting

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 qualification.

Curriculum vitae

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.

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 Distinction or Merit. 

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

English language skills

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

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 qualification if you wish to continue your studies.

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 Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate 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.

Structure of the Master of Specialist Teaching

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:

  • 249770 Supervision and Mentoring in Specialist Teaching (15 credits) or 249771 Additional Areas of Specialist Teaching (15 credits)
  • 60 credits of courses from a subject in the Schedule
  • 267875 Professional Inquiry in Specialist Teaching (45 credits).

Courses and specialisations

Key terms

Each qualification has its own specific set of courses. Some universities call these papers. You enrol in courses after you get accepted into Massey.
Course code
Each course is numbered using 6 digits. The fourth number shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).
Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.

Credit summary

180 credits

  • 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.

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.

Part One (Choose 135 credits from)

Compulsory courses

Course code: 254766 Professional Learning Pathways 30 credits

Bespoke learning modules for professional educational practice

View full course details
Course code: 254767 Community-based Practice 30 credits

Theory and practice of culturally responsive and relational engagement in local learning communities

Prerequisites: 254766 and 1 of 249746 or 249760 or 249740 or 249747 or 262751 or 249753 or 249758

View full course details

Compulsory course selection (Choose 15 credits from)

Choose 15 credits from
Course code: 249770 Supervision and Mentoring in Specialist Teaching 15 credits

This course critically examines advanced theory and practice in the area of mentoring and supervision in special and inclusive education. Students will engage in practical applications in their teaching and learning context.

View full course details
Course code: 249771 Additional Areas of Specialist Teaching 15 credits

An advanced study of theoretical and research-based foundations of specialist teaching relating to understanding, recognising, assessing and providing for learners who have needs in the areas of: Autism Spectrum Disorder; Blind and Low Vision; Complex Educational Needs; Gifted and Talented; and Learning and Behaviour.

View full course details


Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.

This qualification can be completed with or without a specialisation.

Without specialisation

If you have completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching from another university, you will complete the Master of Specialist Teaching without a subject.

Part Two (Choose 45 credits from)

Choose 45 credits from
Course code: 267875 Specialist Teaching Professional Inquiry 45 credits

An advanced analysis of a professional practice in an area of specialist teaching to inquire into the impact of that practice. Addresses the inquiry skills fundamental to quality culturally responsive professional thinking and action in an area of specialist teaching.

Restrictions: 249732

View full course details

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.

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking - Education

Massey is ranked in the world's top 250 universities for education in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.

Learn more