Course Description

This Graduate Diploma allows graduates from any profession to obtain expertise in the field of early childhood education. Students benefit from hands-on learning and working alongside study commitments since there is a substantial practical component to this programme. Graduates are entitled to apply for Provisional Certification and teacher registration in New Zealand once they have completed the programme.

Study Highlights Summary

  • Use your degree to fast-track to eligibility for New Zealand teacher registration upon completion of this program.
  • Benefit from hands-on learning with practical experience in early childhood settings.
  • Enjoy the flexibility of learning while you work.
  • Study anywhere in New Zealand

Recognition by the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand

The Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand has approved our Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) qualifications, making graduates eligible to apply for teacher registration. If you are an international student wishing to live in New Zealand, teacher registration and certification improves your job prospects and residency applications.

Blended Learning

This method of learning combines the convenience of online learning with on-the-job training and experience. While learning in their workplace, all students have access to NZTC Online for course materials, research and support materials, and assessment submission and return.

Students can study anywhere in New Zealand.

Entry Criteria

All applicants must:

  • Hold a Level 7 Bachelor’s degree (360 credits)*, a Level 8 Bachelor’s degree with Honours (480 credits)*, a Level 9 Master’s degree (240)*, or a Level 7 New Zealand Diploma of Teaching (Primary)
  • Demonstrate your ability to meet the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand’s Good Character and Fit to be Teacher Policy (2007) criteria
  • Provide written referee report(s)
  • Satisfy New Zealand Police clearance conditions
  • Declare any physical or learning disability, or diverse needs that may impact your performance as a student

*Applicants who have gained their qualification outside of New Zealand have to provide an NZQA International Qualifications Assessment confirming the level and credit value of the bachelor’s degree.

Please note:

  • There is no special admission provision for this qualification
  • Credits for prior formal learning are not awarded towards this qualification

Language Entry Criteria:

  • All students are required by the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand to provide evidence of their English language competency. Details of these requirements can be found HERE
  • Applicants not able to provide evidence of their English language competency may request an exemption from the Teaching Council. Please contact us for further information.
  • International students must also prove their English language competency by meeting the language criteria defined in Rule 18 of the NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2013 for a Level 7 qualification.
  • Note: International students must still meet language entry criteria as defined in Rule 18 of the NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2013 even if a Teaching Council exemption is approved.

Program Requirements

All students will be required to:

  • Each year, enrol in two Block Courses. Block Courses are a great way for networking, teaching and learning. They are led by NZTC lecturers and focus on early childhood education topics.
  • In addition to Field Practice, students must work for a minimum of 16 hours per week in a licenced early childhood centre (paid or unpaid).
  • Participate in discussions online

Throughout the programme, all international students must attend mandatory tutorials.


  • The Professional Early Childhood Teacher
  • Pedagogy for Infants, Toddlers and Young Children
  • Tiriti-based Early Childhood Education
  • Teaching as Inquiry
  • Learning and Development in the Early Years
  • The Early Childhood Curriculum
  • Planning, Assessment and Self-Review in Early Childhood Education
  • Inclusive Early Childhood Practice
  • Early Childhood Teachers as Leaders
  • Field Practice

Course Level

Course Level Graduate Diploma
Study Type Full Time
Region NZ Wide
Duration 1.33 years
Intakes NZTC Online-Blended Learning – Choose your start date
Tuition Fee $31,000 (2022)
Other Study Costs


Are you ready to apply for your study in New Zealand?


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