Undergraduate study in Primary Teaching

Learn about your undergraduate study options for Primary Teaching.

What can you study in Primary Teaching?

You can complete a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) in the following specialisations that qualify you to teach in primary and intermediate schools:

Graduates gain an internationally accepted qualification from New Zealand’s top university for Education and are in high demand as teachers.

(A third specialisation – Early Childhood Education – is also available in the Bachelor of Education (Teaching).)

Entry requirements for Bachelor of Education (Teaching) – Primary or Huarahi Māori Specialisation

Entry to the Bachelor of Education (Teaching) is guaranteed with the following scores:

Secondary school qualification and rank score required:

  • NCEA, 150
  • Cambridge International, 150
  • International Baccalaureate, 26

In addition, admission to the Bachelor of Education (Teaching) – Hurarahi Māori Specialisation requires written and oral fluency in te reo Māori according to the proficiency descriptors of the Taura Whiri i te Reo proficiency framework. This will be assessed at an interview.

Further requirements
Admission to both specialisations is subject to a satisfactory interview, police check/s, safety checks and referees’ reports.

You will be required to sit literacy and numeracy tests if you have been out of the New Zealand school system for more than one year.

Read the Compliance with the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

What if you don’t meet the entry requirements?

If your rank score is slightly lower than the guaranteed score, we encourage you to still apply as we will consider your application if places are available. If you don’t meet the requirements, you may be able to apply under our Undergraduate Targeted Admission Schemes.

Structuring your undergraduate programme in Primary Teaching

The Bachelor of Education (Teaching) – Primary Specialisation is structured around core compulsory courses that develop your understanding of education and the New Zealand curriculum, and your skills and knowledge in effective teaching practice, literacy, numeracy and Māori language and culture.

The Bachelor of Education (Teaching) – Huarahi Māori Specialisation is structured around core compulsory courses that develop your understanding of education and the Māori medium curriculum, Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, and your knowledge and skills in te reo matatini (literacy), pāngarau (numeracy), tikanga Māori, mātauranga Māori and Māori pedagogy.

In both specialisations, you spend approximately 22 weeks over the three-year programme on practicum, observing and teaching classes in primary schools or Māori-medium or bilingual classrooms.

The primary programme consists of 360 points. Each course is worth 15 points unless stated otherwise.

In the first year, students are required to complete the following courses (120 points).

See sample programme structure.


You’ll be assessed through assignments, practical work experience in schools and examinations. Grades are awarded on an A+ to D- scale, except for practicum, which is graded with a pass/fail.

A variety of assessment tools are used, including group work, tests, seminars, exams, essays. Information and communication technology (ICT) is incorporated into many of the assessment tasks.


You spend approximately 22 weeks over the three-year programme, observing and teaching classes in a range of primary schools during practicum. Practicum is critical to understanding what it’s really like to be a professional teacher.

This is an opportunity for you to observe a range of teaching approaches, develop your own skills and discuss relevant issues with practising professionals.

The practicum programme is a collaborative partnership with a consortium of schools. You are placed in a minimum of three different schools over the programme to experience a range of school communities and a range of class levels – from Year 1 (five-year-olds) to Years 6, 7 and 8 (10–13-year-olds).

You will work alongside experienced teachers during practicum. Initially, you may observe small groups and work with individual children. As your skills develop, you will teach small groups and take responsibility for a whole class for selected lessons. Your final practicum, in your third year of study, is a more extensive, longer practicum placement, when you are required to take on full responsibility for a class.

While in schools, you have the support of an associate teacher. Associate teachers are responsible for modelling quality teaching and learning practice. They also provide opportunities for you to meet the specific requirements of the practicum, reflect on your practice, and be actively involved in your own learning. Associate teachers contribute to evidence-based assessment in relation to course learning outcomes and the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand’s Standards.

A faculty-appointed professional supervisor will support your development during each practicum, provide feedback and determine the assessment outcome.

Practicum placements are arranged in selected schools across Auckland (and Northland for Tai Tokerau Campus students). They are scheduled at different times across the school year, depending on the course and programme of study. You must be prepared to travel to schools and at your own cost.

First year practicum involves two (full-time) placements, typically:

  • Two weeks in Semester One
  • Five weeks in Semester Two

Where can undergraduate study in Primary Teaching take you?

Our graduates are in high demand as teachers. Many go on to teach in a range of primary or intermediate schools in New Zealand and overseas. Huarahi Māori graduates can teach in Māori-medium schools including Kura Kaupapa Māori, Kura ā iwi, immersion and bilingual schools and classrooms, as well as teaching in mainstream schools.
Primary Teaching also equips you with a range of transferable skills that can be applied in many professions. 

Jobs related to Primary Teaching:

  • Curriculum developer 
  • Education consultant
  • Educational researcher
  • Policy adviser
  • Special Needs specialist
  • Trainer

Further study options

Scholarships and awards

We offer a range of scholarships every year. Find out more about undergraduate scholarships.

Help and advice

For general student enquiries, please contact the Education Student Centre.

To meet with a Programme Student Advisor, email education@auckland.ac.nz to make an appointment.