College of Education, Health and Human Development - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Apply Now

Mature students thrive at UC

Mature students thrive at UC

Nearly half of our teaching students are over the age of 25 years.
Teaching is a profession that attracts a lot of mature students, as it provides an opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of children, families and the community.

Read more

Pathways to teaching careers

Pathways to teaching careers

Our pathways to teaching at UC include undergraduate degrees in early childhood and primary teaching or, for those who have already completed a degree, there is the one year graduate diploma or masters degree pathway in early childhood, primary or secondary teaching.

Read more

Apply now for study starting July 2017

Sport Coaching

Health Sciences

Postgraduate Education

Initial Teacher Education and Nursing programmes commence in February 2018

Master of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MTESOL)

Health intern investigates smokefree outdoor dining

While interning with the Cancer Society, Charlotte Ward researched and planned a smoke-free dining trial for Christchurch cafes and restaurants.
Read more

Master of Teaching and Learning

New one-year teaching Master’s degree

This exciting initiative offers graduates the opportunity to gain both a master’s degree and provisional teacher’s registration in one calendar year.
Read more

Bachelor of Arts Education Intern Angie Petty

Bachelor of Arts Education Internships

"My internship was the most favourite paper I've done. I'd definitely recommend it." Angie Petty Watch our BA intern stories

Cashmere High Where's Wally team at the 2016 UC Education Mud Run

2016 UC Education Secondary Schools Mud Run

Over 1,000 enthusiastic participants proved why 35 schools across Canterbury are so “muddy motivated” – with teachers and students alike looking forward to this event all year long. Watch now


Winners of the 2017 UC Teaching Awards

Dr Jenny Clarke

12 May

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Dr Hamish Cochrane, has announced the winners of the 2017 UC Teaching Awards:

  • Dr Jenny Clarke, School of Health Sciences
  • Professor Philippa Martin, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Dr Pieter Pelser, Biological Sciences

Staff and students of the College of Education, Health and Human Development would like to congratulate Jenny on receiving this well-deserved award. We applaud her dedication to her students, to the Sport Coaching discipline and to the University. She is a valued member of the College of Educaiton, Health and Human Development team.

Student Profile - Alice McSweeney has a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Health Education

Alice McSweeney

5 May

The BHSc has taught me countless skills that I can apply to any walk of life, but more specifically, those related to health and wellbeing.

‘I now feel confident to stand up and speak in front of an audience big or small, I feel equipped with the skills required to plan and implement health programmes, and am now more aware of the numerous challenges that the health sector face including funding, staff, and adequate knowledge.’ Read more

Freezing Eggs, what you need to know

26 April

Advances in New Zealand's fertility services are leading to an increasing number of women considering egg freezing. Dr Lois Tonkin, School of Health Sciences, is currently working on a research project, the first of its kind in the world, where she talks to women who have frozen their eggs with the aim of bringing their deeply personal stories to the fore. Some of these women have chosen not to have children, but for others whether or not to have a child depends on other factors, such as being in the right relationship or feeling financially secure. During her research she’s discovered many women have a dream of themselves as a mother, which has very real effects on how they shape their lives.

Listen to Dr Lois Tonkin talk to Radio New Zealand

Student Profile - Arran Hodge has a Bachelor of Sport Coaching endorsed in Performance Analysis

Arran Hodge

13 April

Arran’s role with the Crusaders is a dream come true, getting directly involved in the ‘inner workings of the most successful Super Rugby franchise’ reviewing and analysing performances of the team and the opposition.

‘Being involved in professional rugby in a full time position is something I have been aspiring to do since finishing school,’ he says. ‘Having the opportunity to work with players and coaches that I have grown up idolising is a truly awesome experience. Being involved in a team that I have passionately supported for years with some of the best rugby players and coaches in the world means that every time I arrive at Crusaders headquarters I am excited about the contribution I can give to the team.’ Read more

Congratulations to our 2017 graduates

Professors Missy Morton, Letitia Fickel and Mike Robb congratulating graduates at the 2017 ceremony

11 April

Staff from the College of Education, Health and Human Development would like to wish all our 2017 graduates the best of luck in their future careers. Over 70 students collected their degrees, diplomas and certificates at the UC Graduation Ceremony this week.

Image: Professor Missy Morton (Head of School of Educational Studies and Development, Professor Letitia Fickel (Head of School of Teacher Education) and Professor Mike Robb (Head of School of Health Sciences).

PhD Turns Passion for Cricket Into a Career

Sibi Boycott Walker talkes to Stephen Fleming

4 April

Being named after a famous English cricketer made it almost inevitable that Indian PhD student Sibi Boycott Walter would end up involved in the world of cricket. “My Dad was a big fan of the English cricketer Geoffrey Boycott, so I was named after him. Then I became a physiotherapist and got interested in cricket injuries, so it all just fell into place,” says Sibi.

For his PhD at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, Sibi is working on developing a programme to help fast bowlers avoid shoulder injuries. Read more at New Zealand Education

Measuring children’s progress in New Zealand schools has just become a bit more distinctly and competitively KIWI

The great Kiwi tests

31 March

For many years New Zealand school students have participated in the Australian mathematics, English and science competitions. This year, the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at the University of Canterbury (UC) has launched the Great KIWI English, mathematics and science competitions for New Zealand primary, intermediate and secondary schools.

Dr John Boereboom, who is the Director of the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM NZ) at UC’s College of Education, Health and Human Development has taken the initiative to offer a Kiwi alternative to the “Aussie” competitions.

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer the Great KIWI English, mathematics and science competitions at the primary, intermediate and secondary school levels in English, mathematics and science. The uptake has been very encouraging with thousands of students participating throughout the country. These online competitions are designed by New Zealand teachers for New Zealand students, based on the New Zealand curriculum.” Read more

In-utero anxiety from Christchurch earthquakes showing up at school

Associate Professor Kathleen Liberty

22 March

Principals from eight schools told the Papanui-Innes Community Board last week they were very concerned they were not getting enough support to help children with stress-related behavioural problems. The principals' group said they did not feel the Ministry of Education understood the ongoing effects of the earthquakes on children and families, and more support was needed urgently.

University of Canterbury researchers say their study of children at eight schools confirms in-utero anxiety is playing out years later in children who were not born at the time of the earthquakes. Associate Professor Kathleen Liberty said 300 children born between 2008 and 2011 were being assessed for behavioural changes and compared to a group from an earlier study completed before the earthquakes. Read more

Student Profile - Allie Coyle studying towards a BA in Education, Psychology and Spanish

Allie Coyle, studying towards a BA in Education, Psychology and Spanish

3 March

At UC, all of Allie’s interests were realised when she enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts (BA) with a UC Merit Scholarship. "The BA degree has allowed me to explore all the areas I am passionate about in a single degree structure, which I am so grateful for. So many people think you need to pick one subject area at university, but the reality is that under many degree structures you can explore, develop and achieve qualifications in a huge range of subject areas ... I have loved studying Education as it has really broadened my perspective on the world and how I fit in and contribute to it. It is a broad subject which encompasses the humanities as well as teaching, which is so valuable and correlates well with the Psychology side of my degree.’ Read more

A Better Start team welcomes new Pasifika PhD student

Kai-arahi Pasifika Leali’ie’e Tufulasi Taleni, and members of the University of Canterbury College of Education, Health and Human Development Pasifika Advisory Group welcomed Saili Aukuso

24 February

Team members from A Better Start: E Tipu e Rea’s Literacy and Learning strand were delighted to welcome their newest PhD student to the team, Saili Aukuso. Kai-arahi Pasifika Leali’ie’e Tufulasi Taleni, and members of the University of Canterbury College of Education, Health and Human Development Pasifika Advisory Group welcomed Saili. Saili said “It is very humbling to be receiving this award on behalf of the Pasifika community in Christchurch. Professionally I see this opportunity as an extension of my previous research on Bilingualism and the best practices attached to it. This opportunity means a lot to me personally for the fact that it is a highlight of my career as a teacher.  While I have only just started, this award has proven for me and others like myself that we can make a solid contribution in any area of specialty.”

Bilingualism in a single language-dominant society

Una Cunningham and Jin Kim recording for PlainsFM16 February

University of Canterbury and Growing up with Two Languages researchers Una Cunningham and Jin Kim, and activists/teachers Anya Filippochkina and Jawad Arefi, discuss community/heritage language bi- and multilingualism in a single language-dominant society.

A fascinating discussion with one very clear recommendation for parents who speak a language other than English: use that other language with your children as they will develop strong English language competencies through their daily life and we should be encouraging bi- and multilingualism in New Zealand. Listen to the podcast here

Compulsory Te Reo? Can it really be done?

Associate Professor Una Cunningham

10 February

The Greens want to see compulsory Te Reo language classes in schools. Associate Professor Una Cunningham, a specialist in language learning at the University of Canterbury, says the idea is feasible but would have to overcome a big challenge – an almost complete lack of historical precedent.

Maori themselves comprise less than 15 per cent of New Zealand's population – that means the other 85 per cent will effectively be learning a second language which isn't their cultural tongue, a big majority who needs to buy in to the idea. Read more at

Instant te reo Maori - an experiment you've never seen before

6 February

Is it possible to have almost no knowledge of Maori, and completely master it within a month? If French takes 400 hours to learn while Japanese takes 2200 hours, how many hours will it take to become fluent in Maori?

Stuff reporter Julian Lee is on a mission to find out. Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu chief operating officer and former Maori TV broadcaster Julian Wilcox and master University of Canterbury linguists Jeanette King and Una Cunningham will help him along the way. Read more

Tracy Clelland reports in the NZ Herald: Parents play a part in sexuality conversation

Tracy Clelland

31 January

Arguing over whether sexuality education should be the role of parents or teachers (public or private) fails to get on with supporting our young people to critically analyse what they are seeing, what is real and, most importantly, what is needed for positive sexuality and healthy relationships.

Research with university students found that young people feel they were exposed to limited, although improving, sexuality education from both school and parents. They argue for more time discussing emotions, feelings, consent, situational decision-making, love, pleasure and, yes, even desire. Read more

UC to open IELTS Test Centre

Professor Gail Gillon

27 January

The Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM)  in the College of Education, Health and Human Development  is delighted to become part of the IDP global network of IELTS test centres by gaining approval to open an IELTS test centre at UC. CEM will become the second IELTS test centre in Christchurch.

Dr John Boereboom, Director of CEM, is  presently fully engaged in preparing the infrastructure to open the IELTS Test Centre and assessment is expected to commence in April 2017, says College PVC Professor Gail Gillon. Read more

Mental health support vital for very young

Associate Professor Kathleen Liberty

24 January

Associate Professor Kathleen Liberty talked with the New Zealand Herald about counselling needs and post-traumatic stress disorder findings from her study of children through their first three years at school.

She is conducting an extensive study following about 320 children through their first three years at school, and found at least one in five show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. But she said only about 8 per cent were getting any kind of counselling. Read more

Sex education debate sparked over claims images shown to primary school children are too graphic

11 January

Associate Professor Kathleen Quinlivan, from the School of Educational Studies and Leadership, was interviewed on TV1 news. She weighed in on the controversial topic of sex education in primary schools and whether it was age appropriate.

Watch the TV1 news segment here

New Year Honours for UC Professor

Adjunct Professor David Mitchell

4 January

Congratulations to Dr David Mitchell, Adjunct Professor in the College of Education, Health and Human Development, who was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in the New Year Honours

Dr David Mitchell is a world leader in the field of inclusive education and has held a wide range of international appointments, including various visiting professor and research fellow appointments, speaker at a range of international conferences, and various UNESCO consultancies. Read more

Teaching graduate’s photo predicts her future

Nina Vailu'u

9 December

The first person in her family to earn a tertiary qualification, Nina Vailu’u will graduate this week in the graduation ceremony for the College of Education, Health and Human Development. Eighteen months ago, when she was half-way through her three-year Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary) studies, she starred in what turned out to be a prescient photoshoot at Cotswold School as part of an advertising campaign. Nina recently accepted her first job as a teacher at Cotswold School. Read more

UC Māori research group wins excellence award

UC's Te Rū Rangahau: The Māori Research Laboratory includes: (seated, from left to right) Dr Amy Scott, Professor Angus Macfarlane, Professor Gail Gillon, Melissa Derby, (standing, from left to right) Te Hurinui Clarke, Dr James Graham, Rachel Martin, Dr Richard Manning, and Tufulasi Taleni.

25 November

The New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE) has presented the 2016 NZARE Group Award to UC’s Te Rū Rangahau: The Māori Research Laboratory, for high quality research involving Māori. NZARE recognises excellence in educational research through its awards and grants programmes.

Since its inception following the Christchurch earthquakes, Te Rū Rangahau has become influential within the University of Canterbury’s College of Education, Health and Human Development and the NZARE citation described it as “a pivotal part of the development of Māori research” at UC. Read more

Opportunities for teaching scholarships

Scholarship opportunities

8 November

There are some excellent scholarships available to help students on their way - particularly for teachers of subject areas where New Zealand is experiencing teaching shortages such as maths, science, Te Reo Māori and technology subjects. Pasifika, Māori and Early Childhood scholarships are also available.

TeachNZ Scholarships have over 450 teaching scholarships

Scholarships at UC

Recreation and tourism to the max: How much love can Aotearoa handle?

Camping in New Zealand

An ongoing good news story in New Zealand is the success of our tourism industry - more international visitors than Kiwis are predicted for the near future. This means more work for New Zealanders, and not just in the main centres. Dr Chris North discusses the impact of New Zealand's tourism boom. Read more

Dr Chris North, Deputy Head of UC’s School of Health Sciences, has worked in outdoor education and leadership for 17 years for secondary and tertiary institutions, international outdoor leadership organisations and outdoor clubs, and is a founder of Leave No Trace. 

Healing the world, one student at a time

Asspcoaite Professor Billy O'Steen

4 November

What happens when you immerse students from Europe, New Zealand, and the United States into the exciting and innovative atmosphere of post-quake Christchurch through the University of Canterbury course CHCH101: Rebuilding Christchurch?

In addition to their completion of over 1500 hours of service with 15 different community partners each semester, University of Canterbury (UC) students leave the course with Healing Proposals that seek to improve specific aspects of specific communities. For many students, their Proposals have prepared them to make a difference and ready to respond to opportunities when they presented themselves.

Two former CHCH101 students who particularly illustrate this in quite different, yet related, ways are Jessica Weston and Felicity Powell. Read more

Student Profile: Neville Rodrigues, studying towards a PhD in Health Sciences

Neville Rodrigues

4 November

'My goal is to find meaning in my work by helping others...'

Neville Rodrigues is studying towards a PhD in Health Sciences. "I have always had this desire to understand people and understand what their stories are." Neville’s PhD study analyses how young adult immigrants deal with the stress of natural disasters, which was inspired by the Christchurch earthquakes and period of uncertainty for refugee groups in the area at the time. Read more

NCEA pass rate targets: A wolf in sheep's clothing?

Students sitting exams

30 October

DR JOHN BOEREBOOM from UC's Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) says the increasing pass rates are masking concerns around the quality of the mix of achievement standards taken by different students to achieve NCEA. 

Before we can make a judgement on the general health of NCEA, we need to collect, analyse and monitor wider-reaching data on the factors that affect student achievement, engagement and participation in NCEA.

Read more of John's commentary in the latest issue of The Education Review