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Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education (Level 7)



One year full-time; two years part-time

Blended delivery: online, distance learning and on-campus activities 

Flexible (with some scheduled start dates available as well)
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • CapableNZ
    1 December 2021
  • CapableNZ
    1 January 2021
  • CapableNZ
    1 October 2021
  • CapableNZ
    1 November 2021
  • CapableNZ
    1 February 2021
  • CapableNZ
    1 March 2021
  • CapableNZ
    1 April 2021
  • CapableNZ
    1 May 2021
  • CapableNZ
    1 June 2021
  • CapableNZ
    1 July 2021
  • CapableNZ
    1 August 2021
  • CapableNZ
    1 September 2021
  • Distance
    1 January 2021
  • Distance
    1 February 2021
  • Dunedin
    1 January 2021
  • Dunedin
    1 February 2021
  • Dunedin
    12 July 2021
    29 November 2021 - 28 January 2022
    13 September 2021 - 1 October 2021
    4 April 2022 - 15 April 2022
  • Dunedin
    1 January 2022

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 family 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. 

Graduate outcomes

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

  1. analyse and employ effective learning and teaching strategies using applied, authentic and learner-centred practices informed by relevant educational theories and research
  2. design and deliver inclusive curriculum to address the diverse needs of learners within the cultural context in which graduates will be practicing*
  3. construct and implement effective assessment practices for assessing learner progress and achievement in a range of contexts 
  4. employ reflective processes to improve practice and maintain professional currency and capability 
  5. evaluate and respond to relevant trends within the tertiary education context - locally, nationally and internationally. 

*For the New Zealand context, learners are expected to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi by integrating its principles into their teaching practice.  

Entry requirements
  • Open to degree graduates. However, those who can demonstrate equivalent practical, professional or educational experience of an appropriate kind may be granted admission.
  • Experienced tertiary educators (minimum of ten years) may wish to study via the Independent Learning Pathway (ILP) pathway offered by Capable NZ. An experienced facilitator will guide you to develop a portfolio of evidence that meets the Graduate Profile outcomes. Click here to visit the Capable NZ website.  
  • If English is not your first language, you must provide:

If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes.

International students

For non-New Zealand residents, some courses can be studied through the Open Education Resource universitas (OERu)

The OERu is an international network of innovative, higher education institutions inspired by the vision of opening access to a credible, high-quality and affordable education to learners acround the world. 

This is a self-study model and in some courses limited facilitation may be provided. Individuals work through the course content at their own pace. All assessments are provided by approved assessors. 

To find out about courses relevant to the Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education (Level 7), go to the OERu website and fill in the contact form.

Additional documentation

You must supply certified copies of proof of identity, academic records, proof of residency (where appropriate) and a curriculum vitae.

Selection procedure

Applicants who meet the entry requirements will be accepted.

How you will study

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. On advice from the Programme Leader, you may study with a cohort of other learners, starting at scheduled times throughout the programme, or start at any time and work at your own pace with a facilitator.  

Your workload

This 120-credit programme is equal to 1,200 hours of study (approximately) over one year full-time or 600 hours per year over two years. This equates to approximately 35.5 hours per week for the full-time option and approximately 17.75 hours per week for the part-time option. 

If studying at your own pace by distance, you will need to decide on your own timeline with a facilitator so you can complete within the required timeframe. 

Further study options

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

Student loans and allowances

Please contact Studylink to determine your eligibility for student loans and allowances. Phone 0800 88 99 00 or visit the Studylink website.


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.

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