Programme overview

The Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice (Digital & Collaborative Learning) is a new qualification that will build your knowledge of new technologies and help you develop effective teaching strategies to engage your learners and achieve better classroom outcomes.

Designed for educators at all levels from early childhood through tertiary, the qualification will build your capabilities as a 21st-century educator regardless of your school or subject.

Delivered by The Mind Lab by Unitec, the programme offers informed, practical and hands-on training that is relevant and essential to what you are doing right now. We believe in learning by doing - using real technology that can be applied in the classroom straightaway.

Take a look at how Fee applies her learnings from our Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice (Digital and Collaborative Learning) directly into her teaching practice.

You’ll explore

  • How to build learning around the ‘learner’ and away from a one-size-fits-all model of education
  • Collaborative learning environments that balance the relationship between being ‘teacher-driven’ and ‘student-centered’
  • Resources within a learning environment, including physical and creative spaces, technology and software
  • Industry and community input to create real-world learning environments that explore risk-taking and creative problem solving
  • Student entrepreneurship including crowd funding, start-up networks, and turning business ideas into marketable solutions
  • Integration of digital tools and technology to enable idea sharing across the curriculum
  • Modern learning environments including ‘bring your own device’, and WiFi infrastructures
  • Talent Clouds – school networks of like-minded student communities that promote independent collaborative learning

Programme highlights

  • Gain new theoretical and practical knowledge within your field of teaching and education.
  • Develop a research project and a plan to implement the key outcomes.
  • Build your knowledge of 21st century education practices and learn how to integrate relevant technologies and methodologies.
  • Develop a more student-centered and personalised approach to learning.
  • Evaluate your own work and learn how to identify personal development and advancement opportunities.

Study Locations

  • Auckland
  • South Auckland
  • Blenheim
  • Christchurch
  • Riccarton
  • Cromwell
  • Dunedin
  • Greymouth
  • Hamilton 
  • Hawkes Bay
  • Invercargill
  • Masterton
  • New Plymouth
  • Nelson
  • Orewa
  • Rotorua
  • Timaru
  • Taupo
  • Tauranga
  • Wellington
  • Whagarei
  • Whakatane
  • Whanganui


The course takes 32 weeks part-time. It's made up of 16 x 4-hour project labs at The Mind Lab, as well as online modules, school-based practice and a research project. The study workload outside the time spent at The Mind by Unitec is expected to be 6 – 8 hours per week in your own time.

NEXT Generation Teacher Scholarships

We’ve partnered with NEXT Foundation to provide 1350 public school teachers in 2016 with a $2000 + GST scholarship towards their tuition fees.

Scholarships are available for each intake and in each location. Applicants must be a registered teacher employed at a registered New Zealand public (state or state integrated) Primary, Intermediate or Secondary school (or have received a confirmed offer of employment at such a school).

To apply for a scholarship teachers must complete the online enrolment for the programme, then they will receive a link to the scholarship application form. Scholarships will be allocated on a first-in first-served basis for each region, based on the successful completion of the enrolment process.

Please see the terms and conditions for further information about the scholarships.

Read about Gareth Haddon who was awarded the NEXT Generation Expert Teacher Award at Unitec’s graduation.

Find out more

Contact us on 0800 MINDLAB (0800 6463522) , email or visit

Download The Mind Lab by Unitec FAQs (PDF).

Download a summary of Admission, Enrolment & Fees Policy (PDF). Unitec's full Admission, Enrolment & Fees Policy can be downloaded from the Policies page.

Notes on courses

The 32 week Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice (Digital & Collaborative Learning) requires participation in weekly 4 hour sessions at The Mind Lab by Unitec that are scheduled outside school hours multiple times a week at different times to provide flexibility. These 4 hour sessions run for the first sixteen weeks of the qualification with all other study commitments based on the teachers’ own classroom, where new knowledge and practice is applied.

Recommended readings and texts are contemporary, practical and based upon real life educational environments.

The proof of learning for assessment is modelled on new and highly progressive postgraduate practices allowing for video, photography, blogs or visual diaries of applied practice as an alternative to traditional documentation of learning through written essays.

For the second 16 weeks of the 32 week part-time qualification, students continue to apply new knowledge and practice in the classroom while studying online through a dedicated online portal. Video tutorials featuring specialist educators, researchers and teaching professionals will share topics designed to inform and challenge while encouraging self-review and reflection.

The online portal provides a personal archive, portfolio of progress and visual diary of learning. It provides the ability to interact with other educators and teachers on the programme, as well as providing links to resources, examples of applied practice in action, and topics, debates and conversations on new ways to look at teaching.

The study workload outside the classroom is expected to be 6-8 hours per week. Given the ability to capture activities in the classroom through video or other forms of media, it is expected most teachers participating in this programme will use the convenience of a smartphone or tablet to capture school-based applied practice.

Admission requirements

For this programme, you will need the following:

1. Achieved one of the below:

  • A recognised Bachelor’s degree in the same or similar discipline, with an average grade of B- of higher in all Level 7 courses
  • A professional qualification in a relevant discipline, recognised as equivalent to merit achievement in a Bachelor’s degree
  • Demonstrate an ability to succeed in the programme by providing evidence of successful outcomes you’ve achieved in a work environment relevant to the programme you want to study

2. 8 credits at NCEA Level 2 in English (4 in reading, 4 in writing)
3. If English is your second language, you will need one or more of the following:

  • Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University entrance
  • Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency
  • Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years

Don’t meet the requirements? We also accept:

  • Provide sufficient evidence to be eligible for special admission.

For more information download the programme regulations:

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

Compulsory courses (Level 8)

Applied Practice in Context (CISC8100)

Credits: 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)
Aim: To critically examine and contextualise practice and research in relation to contemporary and historical issues in New Zealand workplaces and society including tikanga Maori, Te Reo Maori, social policy, ethics, environment and law.
Pre-requisites / Co-requisites: Students must be admitted to the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice programme to enrol in this course.

Research and Community-Informed Practice (CISC8101)

Credits: 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)
Aim: To become a critical consumer of research relevant to practice/field and following deep understanding begin to formulate key research questions in field of study relevant to community.
Pre-requisites / Co-requisites: Students must be admitted to the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice programme to enrol in this course.

Leadership in Digital and Collaborative Learning (CISC8104)

Credits: 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)
Aim: Lead innovation in digital and collaborative learning that draws upon concepts of transformational leadership theory, educational theory and research.
Pre-requisites / Co-requisites: Students must be admitted to the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice programme to enrol in this course.

Digital and Collaborative Learning in Context (CISC8110)

Credits: 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)
Aim: Based on contemporary educational theory, policy and research, identify and evaluate the potential for digital and collaborative learning to impact on educational practice and outcomes.
Pre-requisites / Co-requisites: Students must be admitted to the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice programme to enrol in this course.


TimetableView the proposed face to face session times for the March 2017 intake