Graduate Diploma in Sustainability and Outdoor Education Graduate Diploma in Sustainability and Outdoor Education

A-Z study guide
Graduate Diploma in Sustainability and Outdoor Education

Graduate DiplomaFull-time, 1 year | Part-time up to 3 years

Programme code








Domestic Applications due

Received all year

International Applications due

19 December


Christchurch - Madras Street

Annual Fees(indictive 2020)


$7,030 - $7,760



Course related costs

Advised before enrolment

About this programme

Applicants for this programme must already hold a Bachelor Degree

Gain advanced professional development with a holistic approach in education for sustainability and outdoor education.

This one-year full time graduate programme combines theory and practice for advanced professional development for established teachers, outdoor educators and instructors or retraining opportunities for graduates or other degrees.

The programme consists of a mixture of compulsory and elective courses, some of which can done by distance learning. You will learn how to implement sustainable practice, journey-based environmental science, contemporary issues in sustainability and outdoor education, resource management, practical skill development and instruction and a course that focuses on the topic of your choosing. This allows you to maintain a broad base to your study, complemented by elective practical and theory courses allowing for personal interests and strengths to be developed.

You will be required to participate in a number of field trips to locations outside Christchurch and off campus. Personal clothing and equipment are required and a list will be provided on request. Specialist equipment is provided.

Please check with programme leader for course availability.

Career opportunities

On successful completion of this programme you will be able to return to your employment with an enhanced understanding of contemporary practice; or seek new opportunities teaching social studies and outdoor education. Work in the fields of outdoor instruction, environmental education, adventure or eco-tourism, community health, recreation and conservation are also open to you with this graduate diploma.

Study pathways

You could further your studies with postgraduate programmes such a Master's degree.

Recommended school subjects

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Physical education
  • Biology
  • Geography
  • Social Studies

Programme structure

To complete this Graduate Diploma you are required to complete 120 credits. Please browse the guide below to view the course options currently available within this qualification.

Core courses
Elective Courses

To be a full time student you need to maintain a workload of 120 credits per year. We recommend you talk with us to ensure you choose electives to benefit your future career.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements
  • A Bachelor's degree
  • Or appropriate, documented and verifiable evidence (including references) of relevant work or other experience, equivalent to three years full time in the outdoor education instruction or similar area.

Alternative requirements
Additional requirements
  • A current first aid certificate (Red Cross Comprehensive or St John's Workplace) which is current at the time the programme starts.
  • Consent to Disclosure of Information
    You will be required to complete a New Zealand Police Consent to Disclosure of Information form depending on your placement. The form will be sent to the Police Licensing and Vetting Service, and returned in confidence to the Head of School. Information on the NZ Police Vetting Service is available from the New Zealand Police website.

  • You must be capable of swimming a minimum of 50 metres and be able to carry a full overnight tramping pack on multi day trips. You must provide a record of your previous leadership and personal experience in an outdoor environment.

English requirements
  • What if English is not my first language?

    If English is not your first language, we want to make sure that you will be successful in your chosen programme of study.

    Please provide a result from a test or qualification on the acceptable alternatives English Proficiency Outcomes Chart.


    • If you are a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent Resident, complete an Admission and Enrolment form and Ara will contact you regarding a free assessment.
    • If you are not a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent resident, book an IELTS or other test through the Ara Examination Centre or in your home country.

    IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form and are valid for two years from the date of the test.

    What if I have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance?

    You do not need to provide additional evidence of English Language skills.










Acceptable Alternatives Chart

Next steps

To apply for this programme please:

  • complete an Admission and Enrolment Form or an International Application Form
  • provide a record of previous leadership and personal experience in the outdoor environment

Alternatively, if you feel you have gained your learning through on the job experience talk to us about recognition or assessment of prior learning .

Application documents

Credit recognition

If you have work experience in this area, or a relevant prior qualification, you may be eligible for credit recognition towards this qualification.