Postgraduate Certificate in Education

button for easy access to information about this qualification

The Postgraduate Certificate in Education develops advanced knowledge and critical analysis skills in the field of education and provides a pathway to further postgraduate study in education. This postgraduate education qualification is awarded upon completion of 60 points.

  • Choose from a wide range of papers to suit your specific needs and interests.
  • This can serve as a study pathway into the Postgraduate Diploma in Education.
  • Learn from qualified experts in the field who are experienced practitioners as well as published researchers in education.

Programme code: AK3744
Level: 8
Points: 60
Duration: 1/2 year full-time / 2 years part-time
Venue: North Campus and South Campus
Start date: 26 February 2018 / 16 July 2018

Entry requirements

  • One of the following, or equivalent:
    • Bachelor of Education [Specialty] Teaching; or
    • Graduate Diploma in [Specialty] Education
  • English language level (if required): IELTS 6.5 (academic) overall, with a minimum of 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 6.0 in all other bands.
  • An interview may be required.

AUT scholarship available — for new applicants to the Postgraduate Certificate in Education in semester 1, 2018 (domestic only)

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to gain an AUT scholarship for Semester 1, 2018 and study in a way convenient for a busy professional.

The School of Education is offering scholarships (nil fees) to all teachers interested in studying a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (60 points) with a theme of either Educational Futures, Innovations in Education, Mentoring or Steiner Education.

Structure and content

Students complete the postgraduate certificate with papers (60 points) from the Master of Education, and do not complete a thesis or dissertation.

Educational Futures

This 60 point programme of study consists of two papers designed to develop critical approaches to thinking about 'future-focused' teaching and learning in New Zealand schools. This programme involves a critical discussion of education’s purpose/s in the 'new times' of the 21st century. There is a particular focus on new approaches to knowledge, learning, and curriculum.

NB The papers in this programme do not deal with the issues around innovative/flexible learning environments or digital pedagogies: these are the focus of the papers EDUC836 and EDUC 837.

Both papers will be offered in online form (to meet the needs of out-of-Auckland students): however students are required to attend two intensive weekend block courses. In 2018 the Auckland weekend blocks for the Part One paper will be held at AUT's South campus on 24/25 March and 5/6 May. An alternative block course may also be offered at a specific out-of-Auckland location, by negotiation, depending on enrolment numbers.

The papers can be credited to the Postgraduate Certificate in Education described on this page: however they can also be credited to the Master of Education or Master of Educational Leadership qualifications.

EDUC824 - Educational Futures - Part 1: The Theory (30 points)
This paper looks at the construction of the concepts of 'future-focused' education and/or '21st century learning'. It looks at how and why these concepts came about; the issues being addressed; and their effect on educational debate in recent years. Through a critical look at recent work on the Knowledge/Network Age, the paper explores education’s purposes – past, present, and future. It draws on a range of scholarship, from within the education disciplines and outside them. The paper is designed to support the capacity to critically participate in developing 'future-focused' approaches to curriculum, and to critically participate in the debates around this.

EDUC825 - Educational Futures - Part 2: The Practice (30 points)
This paper is designed to support participants to use the ideas and thinking explored in the Part One paper to develop, pilot and analyse the findings of a small study of a 'future-oriented' issue in their practice context. The development of the study and its focus will be negotiated, supported and supervised as part of the coursework, and collaborations with other course participants will be encouraged.

Please note that a pass in the paper Educational Futures – Part One is required before students can enrol in this paper (see above for a description of the prerequisite paper).

Innovations in Education

This 60 point programme of study consists of two papers which develop critical approaches and practical strategies to make sense of the changing world of education and innovations in educational thinking.

Teaching and learning in the 21st century is characterised by flexible, open, technologically rich spaces in physical and digital domains. These developments disguise certain assumptions that require critical attention in order to develop an attuned understanding of how spatiality and digitisation influence education.

In developing a critical approach to 21st century teaching and learning, the postgraduate certificate in innovations in education equips teachers with skills necessary to develop dynamic and relevant curriculum for diverse and changing educational contexts.

EDUC836 - Learning Environments for the 21st Century (30 points)
This paper focuses on a critical examination of the theories and practice underpinning innovative ('modern' or 'flexible') learning environments in relation to curriculum, learning and teaching. A key question for educators to address is how spatiality influences learning. Collaborative and autonomous study will be directed towards a critical understanding of the relationship between pedagogy and space, the elements of effective design and their pedagogical value.

EDUC837 - Digital Pedagogies and the Techno-Literate Teacher (30 points)
Cutting-edge 21st century pedagogies are radically opening up our traditional conceptualisations of teaching and learning, including the permeability of the classroom, school, and digital learning spaces. A wide range of new teaching and learning media literacies are explored and tested for their potential contribution to teaching and learning. Participants apply a selection of relevant theory in order to critically analyse the pedagogical value and application of new educational media, in relation to broader aims and contexts of education, and in relation to the diverse needs of educational communities in Aotearoa New Zealand and around the globe.

Both papers will be a mix of face to face intensive sessions and independent work. Three assignments are required in each paper and these will be a mix of theory and practitioner-based tasks.


This programme consisting of two 30 point papers is based in critical approaches to mentoring systems and practices. The focus is on developing professional expertise within a culture of practitioner inquiry where students critically evaluate and reflect on their mentoring contexts. The programme reflects upon mentors, including those in positions of responsibility, and mentoring from a range of sectors including early childhood, schooling, tertiary, higher education and other contexts where mentors inquire into their practice.

This PgCertEd will assist mentors in a changing professional practice landscape to respond critically to contemporary mentoring practice in different contexts, including the context of bi-cultural Aotearoa.

EDUC842 Building Mentoring Expertise (30 points)
This paper investigates how mentors deliberately build knowledge, practice and expertise based on principles of inquiry and a phenomenological approach to making sense of professional relationships and development. Emphasis is placed on systematic analysis of professional learning conversations to ascertain mentors' learning intentions in relation to mentoring practices within critical ecological and phenomenological frameworks. Developing mentoring expertise will include conducting students’ own inquiry.

EDUC843 - Leadership and mentoring (30 points)
Students investigate mentoring systems and practices through a leadership lens beginning with a critical analysis of the different purposes of mentoring. Theories that inform how mentors learn are critiqued within a leadership context. The focus of study is developing professional expertise within a culture of practitioner inquiry. Students will engage in an inquiry into their own mentoring contexts and develop strategies to develop and meet their personal and organisational mentoring goals.

Steiner Education

This 60 point programme of study facilitates in-depth and critical study of Steiner education and pedagogy. It investigates education through the lens of Steiner's philosophy, and encourages critical engagement with issues in contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand and beyond.

The programme is aimed at teachers in all sectors of Steiner education, including those in positions of responsibility, who wish to critique and reflect on practice at a postgraduate level of study. It is also suitable for others wishing to gain critical insight into Steiner pedagogy. It will provide on the one hand a qualification as well as encourage the establishment of communities of practice in schools and centres where teachers can debate and discuss the impact of learning and teaching with colleagues.

EDUC844 - Teaching and learning through imagination in a digital world (30 points)
This paper is designed to critically investigate aspects of pedagogy in Steiner centres and schools, in particular, the cultivation of the imagination. It appraises Steiner's pedagogical ideas and the degree to which they are able to meet the needs of students in 21st century Aotearoa, looking a links between pedagogy, sense development, well-being and resilience. Students critique contemporary learning approaches and tools and assess the degree to which they supplement the Waldorf teacher's kete.

EDUC845 - Essential windows on Steiner education (30 points)
This paper investigates education through the lens of Steiner's philosophy. Concepts and understandings of human development are critiqued as students assess how these affect teaching and learning in Steiner settings from early childhood to secondary. Using relevant research literature, issues of localisation and adaptation are analysed including the degree to which Steiner education responds to the bicultural and multicultural nature of New Zealand society.

For further information please contact Samira Saraf on 09 921 9999 ext 7916, or Apply Here

Career opportunities

This postgraduate education qualification enhances the academic, research and professional expertise of graduates in the educational work sector. This includes:

  • Adult and tertiary education
  • Compulsory education
  • Early childhood education
  • Non-formal education

Note: this qualification does not provide eligibility for provisional teacher registration.

Last updated: 13-Dec-2017 3.51pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.