Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education (Level 7)

This qualification will provide you with a formal qualification tailored directly to teaching at tertiary level. You'll be able to study in a way that suits your current schedule and responsibilities, and graduate able to design and facilitate inclusive learning in your tertiary cultural context.

About the programme

Teaching adult education and want to become a qualified tertiary teacher?

The Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education is a stimulating, flexibly-delivered programme that is tailored directly to your teaching context. You will be able to study in a way that suits your work schedule and other responsibilities as we offer online, distance learning and on-campus activities. You can learn at any location, at any time and in a way that appeals to you. 

A variety of contemporary educational media, digital tools and experience-based learning approaches will be used to help you develop as a 21st Century educator; that is, a critically-reflective, dual-professional bringing expertise from your trade or profession to vocational education. 

Learning while you work as an educator of adults will have a direct impact on your day-to-day activities. You will be encouraged to explore trends in tertiary education and use evidence from research and the wider teaching profession to develop a future-focused and effective teaching practice. As a graduate, you will be able to design and facilitate inclusive learning in your tertiary cultural context. 

Studying part-time 

We know full-time study isn't always possible. We also offer this programme part-time over two years.



The Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education (Level 7) is a 120 credit programme. 

Eight, 15-credit courses will be studied, either over one year (full-time) or two years (part-time). During your studies, you can take part in blended learning (on campus and online) or distance learning (online).

Regular tutorials are offered both on campus and using web conferencing, and you can choose whatever suits at the time.

The programme is based on semester starts and you begin your studies at either semester. 

You will learn

As a graduate of this qualification, you'll be able to:

  1. Practise cultural and bi-cultural competence* and be responsive to diverse needs in everyday practice, using multiple perspectives to construct knowledge and establish meaningful relationships that enable ethical behaviour, open mindedness and agency for change. 

    *Note: For the New Zealand context, learners are expected to practice bicultural competence, acknowledging the historic place and contemporary significance of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi, embedding Māori worldviews, knowledge and language into everyday practice. 

  2. Think critically about own and others' educational beliefs, values and practices to develop an evidence-based personal philosophy and framework for tertiary teaching that enables effective decision making in practice. 

  3. Make and implement decisions about the design, delivery and assessment of learning, employing effective strategies and authentic, learner-centred practices to promote deep learning in inclusive tertiary learning environments. 

  4. Take responsibility for own professional learning and development, acting as a reflective practitioner to continually explore the relevance and impact of learning and identify areas for improvement and future professional learning needs. 

  5. Work independently and collaborate in communities to find evidence-based solutions to contemporary educational issues and problems, share expertise and advance professional, sustainable practice in the tertiary context. 

Further study options

Progress into the Master of Professional Practice delivered by Capable NZ to advance your skills and employment potential.

We are part of Te Pūkenga

When you apply to study with Otago Polytechnic, you will be enrolled with Te Pūkenga, the new national network of vocational and applied education in Aotearoa New Zealand. You will learn in the same way, in the same place, and with the same people, and you will graduate with a Te Pūkenga qualification.


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative only. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.