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Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Primary)

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available via Distance Learning
  • One intake in January each year
  • 1 year of full-time study or 2 years of part-time study

Make a difference in young people’s lives

The Graduate Diploma of Teaching will help you inspire the children of today to become the leaders of tomorrow.

What is it like?

Find out more about entry requirements, fees and courses in the planning section.

Massey is ranked in the world’s top 150 universities for education in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking.

Primary teaching is a creative, challenging, and learning-focussed career. As an educator or teaching graduate you’ll bring a special perspective to teaching children with your knowledge, skills and passion for learning.

The Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Primary) is a one-year full-time or two-year part-time intensive course which you can take on campus as an internal student (at Palmerston North or Auckland) or in your own home as a distance student. The programme aims to develop professional understandings and the practical skills required to guide children's learning in New Zealand primary school classrooms.

This course is designed to build on the breadth of knowledge and life skills you bring with you and to further enhance your disposition for learning and teaching.

Renowned in New Zealand and abroad

This internationally portable qualification is ranked in the top 100 among universities worldwide, has a 90% rate of teacher registration, and a national reputation for innovative teaching from our breadth of leading specialist lecturers. Its reputation means you will be in demand for teaching positions both in New Zealand and overseas upon graduating.

Gain skills relevant to the future of education

Our combined offering of extensive placement in partner schools, and large faculty of practitioner-based teaching staff, will give you significant real-world teaching and learning experiences. You’ll graduate with the skills and knowledge to create your own innovative teaching environments.

Solve the big issues in education

As classrooms become increasingly diverse and advanced, education faces a range of new and unexpected challenges. At Massey we are committed to addressing these challenges and shaping our future nation. We develop teachers who will be the problem-solvers in 21st century education.

A good fit if you:

  • Want to work with children
  • Are passionate about teaching and learning
  • Are keen to be involved in the community and make a difference to the lives of others
  • Work well with others
  • Are good at communicating
James Lowry
Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Primary)
Bachelor of Arts (Politics) and Bachelor of Business Studies (Finance)
Founder of For Better Initiative

“The diploma of teaching … has opened my mind to identify issues and use innovative thinking to help educate our future leaders…”

During my studies at Massey University, I completed double degrees – a Bachelor of Arts majoring in politics and a Bachelor of Business Studies majoring in finance. I then spent a year working in corporate banking, before the calling to teach lured me back to Massey to complete a Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Primary).

My teaching placement during my studies that year led to a job, and the presence of a refugee pupil in my class got me thinking. In my first year, teaching children in my class with refugee backgrounds rekindled memories of my deployment and the children in Afghanistan.

I did some research focusing on what was available to refugee background students and realised there are some gaps that need be addressed. The journey that the refugee children go through to get to a settlement country is quite a long, drawn-out process. Throughout that process, their lives are disjointed and gaps can appear in their learning.

I knew this was my calling; the For Better Initiative was born. It aims to work with schools to design and deliver learning programmes and materials tailor-made for their refugee background students, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

My vision is to build equitable education based on fairness and inclusiveness. The initiative develops new programmes and resources for refugee children.

The diploma of teaching has not only assisted in getting me where I am today, it has opened my mind to identify issues and use innovative thinking to help educate our future leaders.


Graduates of the Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Primary) will be eligible to apply for provisional teacher certification with the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand. As a provisionally certificated teacher, you will be qualified to teach in New Zealand primary and intermediate schools.

Massey University Institute of Education prides itself on the success rate of its graduates in winning jobs as teachers at the conclusion of their initial teacher education programme.

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