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Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)

Do you want to foster young children’s love of learning and make a difference in their lives? Would you like to develop the skills and knowledge to make a difference for them, their whānau, and society?

360 (3.0 EFTS)
Mt Albert
Start dates
February or July
Full-time for three years

Programme overview

In this practical, field-based programme, you'll develop the skills required to become a competent, informed and reflective early childhood teacher who's committed to young children and their learning and development.

We believe people learn through participation, so you'll value the experience and insight that you’ll gain from working in early childhood centres. There'll also be plenty of opportunities to relate these experiences to theory during campus sessions. These sessions will only require you to be on-campus for 1.5 days per week, making it managable for those coming from outside Auckland. Additionally, we can organise placements closer to your place of residence to avoid any unnecessary inconvenience. 

Best of all, when you graduate, you'll be eligible to become a registered teacher in licensed early childhood education centres.


  • Teacher registration: once you've completed this degree, you can apply for teacher registration with the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ Teachers Council)
  • We aim for informed and reflective teaching, based on observation and an understanding of how people learn
  • A thorough grounding in educational theory and relevant practice of teaching and learning, child development, relevant te reo and tikanga Māori, and working with children and their whānaus in Aotearoa
  • Emphasis on teaching practice: you'll be working (paid or voluntary) in a licensed early childhood centre for at least 12 hours per week during the programme
  • Experience teaching in a range of centres: each year you will also take part in a practicum, working full-time in an early childhood education centre for 37.5 hours per week
  • A strong emphasis on the New Zealand early childhood curriculum document, Te Whāriki, and a bicultural and sociocultural approach to learning
  • Acknowledgement of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, which prepares you to implement te reo Māori me ona tikanga in your teaching practice
  • A focus on research: you'll develop an understanding of research methodologies with a particular emphasis on action research (self-study) in an early childhood setting

TeachNZ Early Childhood Education Scholarships

  • TeachNZ Early Childhood Education Scholarships: If you want to become an Early Childhood Education (ECE) teacher and you're passionate about Māori or Pasifika cultures, a TeachNZ ECE Scholarship may be just what you've been waiting for.
  • The second round of applications will be launching on 17th December 2018, and will close on 22nd February 2019
  • The third round will open on 6th May 2019

We encourage early application as spaces are limited - applications for semester 1, 2019 are now open. 

Application process

1. Check whether you meet our programme admission requirements, click apply now and fill in the application form.

2. We'll be in touch within 48 hours to discuss your application. If eligible, you'll be invited to a group interview. You'll need to bring two forms of ID and sit a basic numeracy and literacy test. 

3. After the interview, you'll need to provide us with the following information via your application Dashboard:

Admission requirements

For this programme, you will need the following:

1. For applicants under 20 years old: University Entrance which requires NCEA Level 3 including:

  • 14 credits at NCEA Level 3 in three different approved subjects
  • 10 credits at NCEA Level 2 or higher in English or Maori (5 in reading, 5 in writing)
  • 10 credits at NCEA Level 1 or higher in Mathematics or Pangarau

Note: If you do not meet the NCEA requirements and are above the age of 20, you may still be accepted by special admission.

2. Be at least 17 years old by the time the programme begins 

3. Be able to work for a minimum of 12 hours per week for the duration of the programme in a licensed early childhood centre

4. Complete a self-declaration of criminal convictions and medical conditions form

5. Consent to a Safety Check which meets the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Regulations 2015 and will be shared with a host institution as part of your practicum placement. This includes:

  • Provide two forms of verified ID and evidence of any name changes
  • Consent to a police vet check
  • Provide the names of two referees who Unitec or your placement provider can contact
  • Pass a mandatory interview process which includes a group and individual interview plus a short numeracy and literacy test
  • If required, provide a Curriculum Vitae (CV) detailing a chronological summary of your work history for the past 5 years and the name of any professional organisations, licensing authorities and registration authorities that you have been or are a member of

Don't meet some of the above requirements?

1. If you are over the age of 20 and don't have NCEA, you may be accepted by special admission.

2. If English is not your first language you will need to provide evidence of achieving an overall IELTS (Academic) band score of no less than 7.0 in each band of the test.

  • If you have studied in New Zealand for at least two years of secondary school and achieved the required literacy requirements or studied fully in English at a New Zealand or Australian tertiary education organisation, studied in a campus model of delivery in each year of your programme and graduated at Level 7 or higher, you don't need to meet an additional English language requirement.

If English is not your first language, please see the Education Council website for additional requirements.

For more information download the programme regulations:

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

For more details on the courses, please click on the course names below. Please note that our systems are updating with new course timetable information for 2019; please check back again soon.

Courses Credits Aim
Introduction to Practicum (EDUC5519) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To demonstrate beginning teaching practice in a practicum setting
Te Kete Manaaki Tangata (EDUC5905) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To assist students to develop understandings of Maori values and tikanga through deepening understandings of Te Reo Maori me ona tikanga.
Contexts of Early Childhood Education in Aotearoa/ New Zealand (EDUC5911) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To examine the social, cultural and ecological contexts of early childhood education in Aotearoa/New Zealand, including the bicultural nature of Early Childhood Education and the diversity of early childhood services.
Partnership and Professionalism (EDUC5912) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To encourage the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes required for early childhood educators to work in professional partnership with whanau and community.
Human Development (EDUC5913) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To describe and analyse theories of development, in order to gain an understanding of human development across the lifespan and its applications to learning in early childhood contexts.
Academic Literacy for Early Childhood Studies (EDUC5914) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To explore a range of academic study, research, referencing and writing skills and tools in order to provide a foundation for early childhood research and study.
Introduction to Curriculum and Te Whariki (EDUC5915) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to examine curriculum, observation, planning and assessment in Early Childhood Education including the relationship between play and learning for young children.
Introduction to Work Experience (EDUC5919) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To introduce the practice of teaching, with an emphasis on developing responsive and reciprocal relationships, through engagement in a work experience setting
Courses Credits Aim
Informed Practicum (EDUC6529) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To demonstrate teaching and professional practices that recognise and respond to the integrated nature of young children’s learning on a teaching practicum
Te Kete Manaaki Whenua (EDUC6905) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To further develop Te Reo Maori language skills, advance knowledge of Tikanga Maori, and develop students understandings of Manaaki Whenua and its application in teaching practice.
Historical and Current Contexts of Early Childhood Education in Aotearoa/ New Zealand (EDUC6921) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To critically examine the history and current social and political status of early childhood education in Aotearoa/New Zealand and its impact upon centres especially in the Pasifika community.
The Ethical Teacher (EDUC6922) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To assist students to extend their knowledge and skills in professional communication and respond to ethical dilemmas in an early childhood setting
Infants and Toddlers (EDUC6923) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To assist students to examine and analyse a range of theories and philosophies on the care, learning and development of infants and toddlers
Curriculum Content Pedagogy (EDUC6924) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to critically examine theories and practices relating to curriculum content knowledge.
Research and Research Design in Early Childhood Education (EDUC6927) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To critically assesses the quality of research underpinned by a variety of research methodologies, with a particular focus upon action research.
Informed Work Experience (EDUC6929) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) Examine and apply current approaches in Early Childhood Education assessment, planning and evaluation through participation in a work experience setting.
Courses Credits Aim
Action Research Project (Self- Study) (EDUC7537) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To facilitate the implementation and reporting of an action research project in the context of an early childhood centre.
Advanced Practicum (EDUC7539) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To consolidate and refine teaching practice in relation to the capabilities identified by the Education Council’s Our Code, Our Standards of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession.
Te Kete Manaki Taonga (EDUC7905) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to synthesise Te Reo Maori me ona tikanga in their teaching praxis, and articulate their understandings of manaaki taonga and its application in teaching practice.
Policy and Discourse in Context: The Early Childhood Education (EDUC7931) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To critically examine social and educational policy, and contemporary discourses and issues relevant to early childhood education.
Personal Pedagogy and Leadership (EDUC7932) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) The course facilitates the development and justification of a personal pedagogical philosophy for early childhood education and students will critically analyse ethical, professional and leadership issues guiding their practice.
Diverse Learners (EDUC7933) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To critically examine the theory and practices that support a diverse range of learners in early childhood education settings
Advanced Curriculum and Pedagogical Documentation (EDUC7935) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to critically analyse and consolidate understanding of a range of curriculum issues and discourses.
Advanced Work Experience (EDUC7939) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) Engage effectively and critically in a range of professional practice and leadership strategies with the work experience setting.





The 'Key Information for Students' below does not reflect any international student information.

Please take this information as a guideline only. For example, you will often see a difference between these tuition fees and our estimate above. This is because there are a number of variables, such as the specific courses chosen within a programme.

The national graduate outcomes information is for all tertiary New Zealand providers including Unitec. This information is provided by the New Zealand Government and is derived from a national database that links educational and income information.

Key Information for Students

Entry requirements

Minimum requirementsInfo Icon: University Entrance with 14 credits at NCEA Level 3 in a mix of subjects, 10 credits at NCEA Level 1 or higher in Maths and English language requirements or relevant and equivalent qualifications, special and discretionary admission also accepted.

Detailed requirements: See the above "Admission requirements" section for more information about entry to this progrogramme.


3 YearsInfo Icon

Tuition Fees


Total Qualification

Student fees:  $5,909Info Icon $17,726Info Icon
Government tuition subsidy:  $8,791Info Icon $26,374Info Icon
Total: $14,700Info Icon $44,100Info Icon

Compulsory Student Services Fee
Student loan information available at StudyLink.

National graduate outcomes

(3 years after completion)
Median earnings $48,144Info Icon
Earnings range $39,236 - $51,821Info Icon
In employment 83%Info Icon
In further study 13%Info Icon
On a benefit 1%Info Icon

Note:All KIS information is the most recent available relating to domestic students only. Click here for more information about the Key Information for Students.