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Study Education at Otago

Learn how to change the world.

Education is a powerful tool that can transform the lives of children, adults, families and communities. How has education shaped your own life, for better or worse? What aspects of education have sparked your curiosity and excitement about the world?

If you study education, you will also learn about history, philosophy, psychology, politics and sociology. You will explore how education has changed the lives of people and communities in the past, and about the ways different people have made sense of education as a cornerstone of society. You will encounter different ideas about the purpose of education, what a good education looks like, and how people learn. You will learn about people, and how they think.

Are you interested in becoming a teacher?

See information about teaching qualifications

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Why study Education?

We are involved with education throughout our lives. Education papers investigate how education changes lives and how learning happens, and they identify and address patterns of success and failure in education.

Topics of interest:

  • Educational psychology (how children, young people, and adults learn)
  • How education systems evolve and how they function
  • The role of education in the lives of families, whānau and communities
  • The historical influences that have shaped institutions of childhood and education systems nationally and internationally
  • The cultural, social, and political influences on the school curriculum
  • Gender, disability, Māori education, ICT and research methods also feature in the undergraduate programme

The study of Education is diverse and interdisciplinary. It will give you a range of sought-after skills including critical thinking, problem solving, strong interpersonal skills, and both written and verbal communication skills.

Career opportunities

Students with a major in Education can apply for a diverse range of jobs. Education can be an especially useful background for careers in research, policy analysis, social work, the counselling professions and many areas of public service.

Educational processes are important in almost all settings and Education graduates can have a valuable role in most organisations.

Education at Otago

You can study towards a major in Education as part of a three-year degree programme.

In your first year, you will learn about the political, social and cultural dimensions of contemporary educational practice. You also will study lifespan development in its social context. This includes the studies of families, of cultures within New Zealand and of disability.

Beyond your first year, you'll develop understanding of how people learn, ways of facilitating learning and how education in New Zealand has developed over time.

We offer papers that allow you to focus your studies in the following areas:

  • Psychology of education
  • Sociology of education
  • Pedagogy of education
  • Equity in education
  • Disability studies and education

Southland campus

The Southland campus, based in Invercargill, offers some Education papers.

Degree options

You can study Education as a major or minor for a range of degrees. You may elect to do a combined degree, a double major or a double degree.

Education papers can enhance any degree, as all professionals are involved in learning.

Student exchange

The University of Otago has exchange agreements with over 100 institutions worldwide. You have the opportunity to study at an international partnership institution while paying only New Zealand fees, and completing your qualification within the same timeframe as if you'd never been away.

Background required

There are no specific subjects you need to have studied at school in order to study education.


Education as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BCom, BEntr, BHealSc, BACom, BASc or BComSc degree

Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Entrepreneurship (BEntr), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree


EDUC 101 Education and Society

EDUC 102 Human Development



Above 200-level

Three EDUC papers, including at least one above 200-level

Total 90

EDUC papers

Paper Code Year Title Points Teaching period
EDCR101 2024 Exploring Curriculum 18 Semester 1
EDCR102 2024 The Languages of Children 18 Semester 2
EDCR131 2024 English and Mathematics 1 18 Semester 2
EDCR133 2024 Health and Physical Education 18 Semester 1
EDCR135 2024 Introduction to The New Zealand Curriculum and Social Sciences 18 Semester 1
EDCR152 2024 He Kākano Noaiho, Ngā Reo 18 Full Year
EDCR155 2024 Whakatakinga Marautanga me Tikanga ā Iwi 18 Semester 1
EDCR201 2024 Weaving Curriculum 18 Semester 2
EDCR202 2024 People Under Three 18 Semester 1
EDCR203 2024 Te Ohonga Ake o ngā Marautanga 18 Semester 2
EDCR231 2024 English and Mathematics 2 18 Semester 2
EDCR232 2024 Science and Technology 18 Semester 2
EDCR233 2024 Visual Arts and Music 18 Semester 1
EDCR235 2024 Dance and Drama 18 Semester 1
EDCR236 2024 Toka Tū Moana – ngā Āhuatanga Māori 18 Semester 2
EDCR252 2024 Te Pupuke 18 1st Non standard period
EDCR254 2024 Toi Ataata, Toi Pūoro 18 Semester 1
EDCR301 2024 Living Curriculum 18 Semester 1
EDCR302 2024 Debating Curriculum 18 Semester 2
EDCR331 2024 English and Mathematics 3 18 Semester 1, 1st Non standard period
EDCR332 2024 Local Curriculum and Integration 18 Semester 1
EDCR334 2024 English and Mathematics 4 18 Semester 2
EDCR353 2024 Whakaurunga o ngā Marautanga 18 Semester 1
EDDC911 2024 Doctor of Education Coursework 60 1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period
EDPR101 2024 The Practice of Early Childhood Teaching 1 18 1st Non standard period
EDPR102 2024 From Personal to Professional 18 Semester 1
EDPR131 2024 Te Weu 18 1st Non standard period
EDPR151 2024 Te Mōhiotanga 18 1st Non standard period
EDPR201 2024 Relationships and the Practice of Teaching 2 18 1st Non standard period
EDPR202 2024 Relationships in Inclusive Settings 18 Semester 1
EDPR231 2024 Te Aka and Learning Languages 18 1st Non standard period
EDPR240 2024 Engaging in Teaching 36 Semester 1
EDPR251 2024 Te Mātauranga - Professional Studies and Practice 2 18 1st Non standard period
EDPR301 2024 Professional Inquiry in(to) Practice 3 18 Semester 1
EDPR302 2024 Professional Inquiry in(to) Practice 4 18 Semester 2
EDPR303 2024 Politics, Policy and the Profession 18 Semester 2
EDPR331 2024 Te Puāwaitanga 1 18 Semester 1
EDPR333 2024 Te Puāwaitanga 2 18 Semester 2, 1st Non standard period
EDPR351 2024 Te Māramatanga 18 Semester 1
EDSU110 2024 Children in Action 18 Semester 2
EDSU115 2024 Exploring the Visual Arts Through Drawing and Painting 18 Not offered in 2024
EDUC101 2024 Education and Society 18 Semester 2
EDUC102 2024 Human Development 18 Semester 1
EDUC105 2024 Disability Studies: An Introduction 18 Semester 1
EDUC211 2024 The Institutions of Childhood 18 Semester 1
EDUC251 2024 Education in New Zealand: Policy and Treaty Issues 18 Semester 2
EDUC252 2024 How People Learn 18 Semester 1
EDUC254 2024 Family Resources, Culture, and Education 18 Semester 1
EDUC259 2024 Educating Global Citizens for the 21st Century 18 Semester 2
EDUC307 2024 Child Development 18 Semester 1
EDUC308 2024 Future-Focused Literacies 18 Semester 1
EDUC311 2024 Contemporary Understandings of Young Children as Learners 18 Semester 1
EDUC312 2024 Children and Young People in History 18 Semester 1
EDUC313 2024 Equity in Education 18 Semester 1
EDUC318 2024 Gender Issues in Education 18 Semester 2
EDUC321 2024 Educational Psychology 18 Semester 2
EDUC331 2024 Special Topic 18 Not offered in 2024
EDUC351 2024 Research Methods in Education 18 Not offered, expected to be offered in 2026
EDUC401 2024 Education in Historical Perspective 20 Semester 2
EDUC402 2024 Current Issues in Education 20 Semester 1
EDUC403 2024 Perspectives on Teaching and Learning 20 Semester 2
EDUC411 2024 Conceptualising and Designing Quality Educational Research 20 Not offered in 2024
EDUC412 2024 Research Design and Methodology: Evidence-based Practice in Education 20 Semester 1
EDUC422 2024 Quantitative Research Methods in Education 20 Not offered in 2024
EDUC423 2024 Technology-enhanced Learning 20 Not offered in 2024
EDUC427 2024 Qualitative Research 20 Not offered in 2024
EDUC428 2024 Special Topic 40 Not offered in 2024
EDUC429 2024 Special Topic 2 20 Full Year
EDUC431 2024 Special Topic 20 Not offered in 2024
EDUC432 2024 Special Topic 20 Not offered in 2024
EDUC435 2024 Introduction to Internet-based Learning 20 Semester 2
EDUC438 2024 Leadership for Learning 20 Not offered in 2024
EDUC439 2024 Strategic Educational Management 20 Not offered in 2024
EDUC444 2024 Pacific Education Issues: Culture, Identity and Schooling 20 Not offered in 2024
EDUC451 2024 Inclusive Education 20 Not offered in 2024
EDUC457 2024 Pedagogy in Early Childhood Education 20 Not offered in 2024
EDUC459 2024 Equality, Diversity and Education 20 Not offered in 2024
EDUC461 2024 The Construction of Curriculum in Early Childhood Education 20 Full Year
EDUC462 2024 Mentoring Teachers 20 Semester 1
EDUC464 2024 Writing Journal Articles for Publication 20 Not offered in 2024
EDUC465 2024 Science Education for Teachers 20 Not offered in 2024
EDUC471 2024 Teaching in a New Zealand Context 30 1st Non standard period
EDUC472 2024 Primary Curriculum 1 30 1st Non standard period
EDUC473 2024 Professional Experience (Primary) 30 1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period
EDUC474 2024 Early Childhood Curriculum 1 30 1st Non standard period
EDUC475 2024 Professional Experience (Early Childhood) 30 1st Non standard period
EDUC476 2024 Diversity and Inclusion 30 1st Non standard period
EDUC477 2024 Secondary Curriculum 1 30 1st Non standard period
EDUC478 2024 Professional Experience (Secondary) 30 1st Non standard period
EDUC480 2024 Research Study 40 1st Non standard period
EDUC495 2024 Thought in Action 20 Semester 1
EDUC572 2024 Primary Curriculum 2 30 1st Non standard period
EDUC574 2024 Early Childhood Curriculum 2 30 1st Non standard period
EDUC577 2024 Secondary Curriculum 2 30 1st Non standard period
EDUC579 2024 Evidence-based Inquiry 30 1st Non standard period
EDUC580 2024 Research Dissertation 60 1st Non standard period
EDUC590 2024 Professional Practice Portfolio 60 1st Non standard period
EDUC591 2024 Research Project 40 1st Non standard period
EDUC592 2024 Professional Inquiry 40 1st Non standard period

More information

Contact us

University of Otago College of Education
Freephone 0800 TO TEACH (0800 86 83224)
Tel 64 3 479 4914

For enquiries related to postgraduate study please contact

Studying at Otago

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Regulations on this page are taken from the 2024 Calendar and supplementary material.

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