Faculty of Education and Social Work

Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education)

If you already have a bachelors degree, this one-year programme can qualify you to be an early childhood teacher.

Quick facts
1 year
Taught at
Epsom Campus
Points per degree 150 (intensive programme)
Early start date Note that this programme has an early start date of 23 January 2017
Photo of student Adeline Kim
Student profile: Meet Adeline Kim
Quick links


  • Gain the skills and qualification to get into a rewarding career supporting under-five-year olds in their learning and development, and help give them the best start possible to their education.
  • Strong emphasis placed on practical experience in a variety of early childhood services and centres.
  • May qualify you for a higher pay scale as it recognises your previous qualification.


What you'll be studying

This is an intensive programme equivalent to 1.25 years of full-time study completed within a 12-month period.

During the course of your study you will:

  • Be introduced to the ECE curriculum and learn about social and learning contexts specific to early childhood education.
  • Study educational theory and practice via tutorials, lectures and group work.
  • Undertake practical experience in early childhood settings and work alongside experienced teachers to develop your teaching practice.


Choose your career

This qualification prepares you to teach in all early childhood services in New Zealand, including early childhood care and education centres, crèches and kindergartens. You can also work overseas.

You will be eligible to apply for provisional registration as a practising professional early childhood teacher, possibly leading to leadership or management positions in an early childhood centre in the future.

With a three-year bachelors degree and a graduate diploma you’ll be eligible to start on a higher step of the salary scale in services covered by the NZEI teaching collective agreement for early childhood teachers.

More Careers in Early Childhood Education


How do you get in?

The academic requirement for the Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) is a minimum of a:

  • Bachelor’s degree at level 7 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) consisting of at least 360 credits; or
  • Bachelor’s degree with Honours at level 8 on the NZQF consisting of at least 480 credits; or
  • Master’s degree at level 9 on the NZQF consisting of 240 credits

Overseas qualifications will need to be assessed by the University for equivalence with New Zealand degree qualifications.

Personal references, a literacy and numeracy assessment and an interview are part of the selection process. Contact the faculty for further information.

For more information about registration requirements visit the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand website


English language requirements

Applicants who have English as an additional language and are not a graduate at degree level (Level 7 or higher) from a New Zealand or Australian higher education institution will need to provide an Academic IELTS assessment. The Academic IELTS assessment must have a minimum score of at least 7.0 or higher in each of the IELTS modules. If you have studied at secondary school in New Zealand for at least two years, and have achieved, Level 2 NCEA University Entrance literacy credits, you will be exempted from the ITE Academic IELTS requirement. For University Entrance literacy you must have eight credits (4 in reading, 4 in writing) if gained prior to 2014 else ten credits (5 in reading, 5 in writing) from 2014 onwards.

International students - for IELTS entry requirements, refer to English language requirements.


Interested in further study?

With a GradDipTchg you could go on to postgraduate study (eg, Master of Education 180 points or the Postgraduate Certificate in Education). With three years of teaching experience, it is also possible to enter directly into the Master of Professional Studies in Education. Your masters degree can lead to doctoral study in education.

Compliance with the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

A safety check will be completed to ensure applicants meet all the requirements stipulated in the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.


Application for Admission

To apply for admission into this programme, visit Applying and enrolling.