AUT - Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching


Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching

Want to teach your favourite secondary school subjects to a new generation of New Zealanders, and embark on a career that will inspire and make a difference to young people’s lives? The Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching will give you effective teaching strategies based on current research to teach your curriculum subject(s) in secondary schools.
  • A professional qualification with strong emphasis on practical experience and applied learning.
  • Develop confidence in public speaking and establish your own teaching pedagogy.
  • Significant classroom experience with half of the programme based in secondary schools.
  • Staff with extensive experience in the secondary sector and in teacher education.

Programme code: AK3515
Level: 7
Points: 120
Duration: 1 year full-time
Venue: North Shore Campus
Start date: 3 March 2014 / 22 July 2014

Entry requirements

  • A level 7 bachelor's degree* in a subject considered relevant for teaching in a New Zealand secondary schools (see Teaching Subjects below).
  • Meet the New Zealand Teachers Council requirements of good character.
  • Meet the literacy and numeracy competency standard appropriate for teaching at secondary schools.
  • English language level (if English is not your first language): IELTS (Academic) results of 7.0, or higher, for each component (speaking, writing, reading and listening).

* Please note: In order to meet the entry requirements of this programme and subsequent acceptability for registration by the Teacher's Council, all relevant overseas qualifications must be assessed by the NZQA as equivalent to a New Zealand Level 7 bachelor's degree (360 credits) or above.

AUT encourages submission of an NZQA assessment report at the time of application. If this is not available at this stage your qualifications will be assessed by the University for application assessment purposes, however this is not a guarantee of appropriate level, and it is your responsibility to obtain an NZQA report as soon as possible.

Should your qualification subsequently be assessed by NZQA as not equivalent to a NZ bachelor's degree, you will not be able to continue on the course and qualify for teacher registration.

Application process

  1. Apply to enrol at AUT University.
  2. Provide additional information to the School of Education through the following supplementary forms:
  3. Selected students will be invited to attend an interview (in person or via Skype). At this stage you will also sit a numeracy and literacy assessment, and complete a police clearance authorisation form.

Teaching subjects

  • All applicants must have a senior (Year 11-13) and a junior (Year 9-10) teaching subject area supported by relevant papers in their degree.
  • Applicants must have at least one appropriate 300-level paper in their senior area and one 200-level paper in their junior area.
  • However, in practice applicants need a range of appropriate papers to teach in their subject areas. We will work with applicants to identify appropriate teaching subjects.
  • View a list of subject areas commonly available in secondary schools pdf icon (1 page/50kb).

Useful websites on the New Zealand education system and Curriculum

Structure and content

The Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching integrates theory and practice to ensure that graduates are able to apply the principles of effective learning and teaching in the classroom.

The programme is made up of 4 taught papers, and 4 placements in a secondary school, giving you the opportunity to build confidence and experience as a teacher in the classroom. Our small classes ensure a supportive collegial environment.


296202 Teaching for Learning A (Taught paper)

296265 Teaching for Learning B (School placement)

297206 Developing the Curriculum in Society A (Taught paper)
297009 Developing the Curriculum in Society B (School placement)

297204 Assessing Student Learning A (Taught paper)
297011 Assessing Student Learning B (School placement)

297208 Developing Professional Practice and Research A (Taught paper)
297010 Developing Professional Practice and Research B (School placement)

In addition, during campus based papers, students attend curriculum studies tutorials in their teaching subjects. These tutorials are run by practicing teachers on allocated afternoons.


Assessment practices are standards based. There are no examinations, and students are able to resubmit if individual criteria are not met.

Professional practice

Due to the professional nature of the qualification, students are expected to demonstrate appropriate standards of professional behaviour at all times. This includes aspects such as dress, punctuality and attendance.

Career opportunities

Student teachers who successfully complete the graduate diploma are eligible to seek provisional registration as a teacher and apply for teaching positions in secondary schools.



Tuakau College PE and Health teacher Susan Wharerimu's positive high school experience inspired her to study secondary teaching at AUT University. Read more >>

Last updated: 31 Oct 2013 3:01pm

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