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University of Canterbury
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Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood) (BTchLn(EarlyChildhood))

This course is available

On-Campus, Online

Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree

Next start date



As an early childhood teacher you have the chance to teach infants, toddlers and young children when they are most open to learning. The rapid rate of development in children of this age and their natural desire to learn makes for a hugely gratifying environment in which to work.

The Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood) (BTchLn(Early Childhood) is an internationally recognised qualification that prepares you for a teaching career, educating children in their vital early years of life, from 0–6 years of age. This degree is available to study full-time or part-time:

  1. on campus in Christchurch
  2. by distance study.

How do I plan my degree?

The Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood) requires 360 points as follows:

  • 105 points from Education courses
  • 90 points from Professional Inquiry
  • 60 points from Professional Practice
  • 105 points from Curriculum Studies.

Further study

  • Bachelor of Teaching and Learning with Honours
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Specialist Teaching
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Education (with endorsement options in e-Learning and Digital Technologies in Education, Haaka Pounamu: Te Reo Maori Bilingual and Immersion Teaching, Inclusive and Special Education, Leadership, Literacy, Positive Behaviour Support, and Teaching and Learning Languages).
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching
  • Master of Computer-Assisted Language Learning
  • Master of Education
  • Master of Specialist Teaching
  • Master of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
  • Doctor of Education
  • Doctor of Philosophy

Career opportunities

Successful graduates meet the requirements for provisional teacher registration with the Teaching Council of New Zealand.

A UC degree in Early Childhood teaching means you will be able to join a skilled and collaborative teaching profession. Early Childhood graduates can work in a range of early childhood settings including early learning centres, childcare centres (public and private), hospitals and government agencies.

Many graduates have gone on to own and operate their own early childhood businesses.

Teaching skills of management, communication, coordination, responsibility and organisation are prized in many professions such as management, policy and advocacy, publishing, politics and business.

Distance study option

If you would like to study by distance you will typically need to attend up to two on-site intensives, one of which is a two week on-site intensive at the beginning of the programme. This will be held in Otautahi Christchurch.

Entry criteria

Applicants must have completed New Zealand University Entrance through NCEA; or Cambridge International Examinations (CIE); or International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) or any other equivalent overseas qualification.

Selection for entry is based on:

  • academic ability, involvement and interest in working with children, community involvement, communication skills and other personal qualities as outlined in the Guide to Applying
  • a police check, referees' reports and an interview
  • a short literacy and numeracy test.

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements:

  • IELTS (Academic): Minimum overall score of 7.0 overall, with no band score lower than 7.0.
  • TOEFL (IBT): Minimum overall score of 94, with at least 24 in Listening and Reading, 23 in Speaking and 27 in Writing.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): Minimum overall score of 65, with no Communicative Skills score below 65.
  • CAE/CPE: Minimum overall score of 185, with at least 185 in Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.

Please note: the English language proficiency requirements for entry to Initial Teacher Education programmes are set by the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand and are higher than the standard university requirements.

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