Prepare for teacher education

To equip yourself to be the best teacher you can be, think carefully about your choice of courses in your degree.

Studying for an undergraduate degree provides an excellent pathway into teaching in early childhood centres and primary and secondary schools. Think of your university education as a complete journey towards preparing yourself to teach.

Develop your understanding of te reo Māori, tikanga and Te Tiriti

Demonstrating a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership is an important part of being a teacher. Student teachers are required to use te reo Māori by the time they graduate. This includes the ability to cope with a variety of routine situations when talking to speakers of te reo Māori and use familiar language with some flexibility. We highly recommend you take Māori language courses to help you develop this proficiency.


We also recommend including courses from the following subject list as elective options in your undergraduate degree, whichever sector of the education system you are interested in working in:

  • Academic writing (for example, WRIT 101)
  • English
  • Education, particularly child and youth development (for example, EDUC 101, EDUC 141)
  • Language and linguistics knowledge (for example, LING 111 and LALS 201)
  • New Zealand history (for example, HIST 112) as this is now part of the compulsory curriculum
  • Mathematics education (for example, EDUC 136) is useful for primary teaching as it introduces mathematical knowledge needed to understand and teach mathematics effectively
  • Māori studies and te reo Māori(for example, MAOR 101, MAOR 102)
  • Pacific studies (for example, PASI 101, SAMO 101)
  • Science knowledge (for example, SCIS 101)
  • Statistics (for example, STAT 193) is useful to enable primary and secondary educators to analyse assessment data to inform teaching.

Talk to one of our course advisers to discover the best courses for you, and plan your degree structure.

If you have particular strengths or interests that are relevant to education, it is good to include courses that develop these in your undergraduate degree. For example, teaching subjects such as art history, geography, history, languages, mathematics, music, sciences, and technology, and areas impacting on learning and education such as anthropology, cultural studies, philosophy, policy, psychology, sign language, and sociology.

You can also check whether your degree choices are aligned with the New Zealand Curriculum school subjects—go to the NZ Curriculum Online website

Teach Next

Teach Next is a group for students completing an undergraduate degree at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington and planning to complete a Teacher Education programme. The group meets three to four times a year and features talks from invited speakers from the education sector, information sessions, and events that are focused on education and teaching. It offers support for the selection process and scholarship applications for teaching qualifications. You can also connect with faculty staff who will answer questions about a teaching career.

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