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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Ara Institute of Canterbury
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Graduate Diploma in Sustainability and Outdoor Education

This course is available


Level of Study

Graduate Certificate or Diploma


1 year

Next start date

Expected Jul 2023


Ara Institute of Canterbury


Gain advanced professional development with a holistic approach in education for sustainability and outdoor education with our graduate diploma.

This one-year full time graduate programme combines theory and practice for advanced professional development for established teachers, outdoor educators and instructors or retraining opportunities for graduates or other degrees.

The programme consists of a mixture of compulsory and elective courses, some of which can done by distance learning. You will learn how to implement sustainable practice, journey-based environmental science, contemporary issues in sustainability and outdoor education, resource management, practical skill development and instruction and a course that focuses on the topic of your choosing. This allows you to maintain a broad base to your study, complemented by elective practical and theory courses allowing for personal interests and strengths to be developed.

You will be required to participate in a number of field trips to locations outside Christchurch and off campus. Personal clothing and equipment are required and a list will be provided on request. Specialist equipment is provided.

Career Opportunities

On successful completion of this programme you will be able to return to your employment with an enhanced understanding of contemporary practice; or seek new opportunities teaching social studies and outdoor education. Work in the fields of outdoor instruction, environmental education, adventure or eco-tourism, community health, recreation and conservation are also open to you with this graduate diploma.

Study Pathways

You could further your studies with postgraduate programmes such a Master's degree.

Entry criteria

Academic requirements

  • A Bachelor's degree
  • Or appropriate, documented and verifiable evidence (including references) of relevant work or other experience, equivalent to three years full time in the outdoor education instruction or similar area.

English language requirements:

IELTS test - Academic score of 6 with no band score lower than 5.5


TOEFL Paper-based test (pBT) - Score of 550 (with an essay score of 5 TWE)

TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT) - Score of 60 or higher (with a writing score of 18)

Cambridge English Qualifications - B2 First, or B2 First for schools, or C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency with a score of 169. No less than 162 in each skill

Pearson Test of English (Academic) - PTE (Academic) score of 50 with no band score lower than 42


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