Teaching (Primary) - 8925

Program Summary

Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences


Campus: Sydney

Career: Postgraduate

Typical Duration: 2 Years  

Typical UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC Per Semester: 6

Max UOC Per Semester: 30

Min UOC For Award: 96


Master of Teaching (Primary) (Specialisation)

View program information for previous years

Program Description

The Master of Teaching (Primary) is currently being assessed for CRICOS registration and, as such, is not currently available to international applicants wishing to study in Australia. If you are interested in this program then please contact and we will advise you should the program become registered on CRICOS.

The Master of Teaching (Primary) is an innovative site-based accelerated postgraduate initial teacher education program developed in partnership with the NSW Department of Education and local primary school networks. The program consists of core education courses, discipline-specific curriculum and pedagogy studies in the six key learning areas of the primary curriculum, and a minimum of 65 days of supervised professional experience, including a moderated standardised graduate teacher performance assessment, and an additional 90 days of practical in-class experience. The program develops the requisite knowledge and skills to enable you to meet the Australian graduate teacher standards, including disciplinary content knowledge beyond the areas of specialisation, qualifying you as a generalist primary teacher as well as a specialist in at least one key learning. Subject to changing demand, specialisations offered include:
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science and Technology
  • Human Society and its Environment
  • Creative Arts
  • Personal Development, Heath and Physical Education
In the first year (75% of the program) you spend at least three days a week in a local primary school community with a very high degree of linguistic and cultural diversity. The majority of classes are held on site, with teachers from partner schools actively involved in co-teaching on the program. In the second year you move to a different school community to undertake a 45 day supervised professional experience placement, including an internship, complemented by two online courses to complete your program.

The program is normally undertaken over one and half calendar years, equivalent to two years of full-time study. Part-time study is also possible. The program is accredited by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA), enabling graduates to teach in both government and non-government primary schools K-6 in all states of Australia and overseas.

Admission Requirements

A recognised three year Bachelor's degree with a major, consisting of at least six units of undergraduate study with no more than two at first year and at least two at third year, in one key learning area, and at least two units of study in one or more other key learning areas.

Participation and Enrolment Requirements

For accreditation as a teacher in NSW, all teacher education students will need to meet the following participation and enrolment requirements set by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).

Assessment of Suitability for Teaching

It is a NESA requirement that before entry all UNSW Master of Teaching students complete a motivational statement as to why they want to be a teacher, which is scored on a 2-point scale, No– incoherent, irrelevant or inappropriate reasons, Yes - coherent and valid reason. If students score No, they are counselled out of the program.

In addition, before their first supervised professional experience placement, all teacher education students must successfully complete:

  1. The National Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education.
  2. The Classroom Readiness Questionnaire. The Classroom Readiness Questionnaire is a pre-professional experience self-assessment tool that requires students to provide evidence of success across six areas (subject content, inherent requirements, professional language/literacy/numeracy, oral communication, classroom management, and commitment to the profession). Their self-assessments are then endorsed (or not) by at least two staff members who teach them.
  3. A situational judgement test. This test is a scenario-based measurement tool designed to assess individuals’ judgement in a contextualised workplace setting. This test evaluates a number of key non-academic capabilities deemed necessary for teaching (e.g., adaptability, empathy).
We also undertake extensive evaluation of teacher suitability for their specific teaching areas. We do this via: (a) including a compulsory microteaching assessment in Methods courses, (b) using direct observation of all professional experience placements, including the first semester placement as a teaching assistant, (c) multiple critical assessment tasks, (d) a teaching performance assessment, and (e) a set of inherent requirements used by a range of UNSW teacher education providers. We continually monitor and evaluate the relationship between these measures, the performance during professional experience, and graduate outcomes, including level of self-efficacy.

English Language Proficiency

It is a NESA requirement that all teacher education students have very high levels of English language proficiency, thus in addition to satisfying UNSW entry requirements, see, oral and written communication skills are assessed regularly as part of all coursework and professional experience. By graduation it is expected that all teacher education students will be able to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to a Band 5 NSW HSC- level or an IELTS 7.5, with 8.0 for speaking and listening.

The National Literacy and Numeracy Test

The National Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students is designed to assess initial teacher education students’ personal literacy and numeracy skills to ensure teachers are well equipped to meet the demands of teaching and assist higher education providers, teacher employers and the general public to have increased confidence in the skills of graduating teachers.

The test has been introduced to assess those aspects of initial teacher education students’ personal literacy and numeracy skills that can be measured through an online assessment tool. At UNSW, you must successfully complete both components of the LANTITE test prior to enrolling in your first Professional Experience course. You are supplied with information for the tests though Moodle and the link is provided at Successful completion of the LANTITE test will be recorded as two zero credit courses, EDST6600 LANTITE (Literacy) and EDST6601 LANTITE (Numeracy) on a student’s academic record.

Working With Children Check

Before their first professional experience placement all teacher education students must obtain a current Volunteer Working With Children Check and attend a UNSW-based 2 hour child protection lecture delivered by the Department of Education – Employee Performance and Conduct Directorate. They must provide a copy of their WWC clearance number to the Professional Experience Office (PEO) via the Online Placement System (OPS). The PEO verifies all WWC numbers in the Office of the Children’s Guardian verification page for employers ( and classifies students as ‘eligible’ for placement. All EDST 6765 Professional Experience 2 students must then obtain a valid paid WWC clearance.

All students must also familiarise themselves with the NSW Department of Education Code of Conduct and the document Responding to Allegations against Employees in the Area of Child Protection. All students are provided access to the policy via the Professional Experience Handbook specific to their year of placement.

Anaphylaxis Training & Certification

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and the Department of Education (DoE) has mandated the completion of anaphylaxis e-training for all permanent, temporary and casual employees who work in schools, including teacher education students. All UNSW teacher education students must complete the anaphylaxis e-training module provided by the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) in conjunction with practice using an adrenaline autoinjector training device prior to commencing their first placement in schools.

The e-training is a free, online module available at On successful completion of the online module, participants will receive a certificate of completion which should be printed immediately. The Professional Experience Office will then arrange practice using the adrenaline auto-injector training device. Students are then required to upload their signed certificate to the OPS. NESA and the DoE require that students also present a copy of their certificate of completion to principals at the commencement of their professional experience placements. Students should also retain a copy of the certificate for future use within the two years of the certificate’s currency.

The NSW DoE advises that student teachers who do not successfully complete this training, as verified by the university and the principal of their placement school, will not be able to undertake professional experience activities in NSW public schools. The training is required to be successfully undertaken every two years. This is the only training that will be accepted by the DoE to meet the requirement of anaphylaxis training for initial Teacher Education Students.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Program Learning Outcomes for the UNSW MTeach (Primary) are as follows
  1. Know students and how they learn in a range of different contexts
  2. Know the curriculum content and how to teach it to diverse learners, and through team-work, build on key specialisations to create depth and breadth of knowledge and understanding
  3. Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning, and transfer knowledge and skills to new and complex environments
  4. Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments
  5. Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning to drive improvement
  6. Engage in independent and collaborative professional learning and critical inquiry
  7. Engage professionally and ethically with colleagues, parents/carers and the community to communicate and lead change
  8. Critically evaluate and respond to a range of issues in education nationally and internationally

Program Structure

The program consists of 15 compulsory courses, including five core education courses (30 UOC), eight disciplinary-specific curriculum and pedagogy courses (48 UOC), and two professional experience placements, including an internship (18 UOC). The first year of study is normally undertaken over three semesters in one calendar year with students completing 24 UOC in each semester. The final 24 UOC of study is completed in the first semester of the second year, enabling accelerated access to employment as a primary teacher.

Year 1

Semester 1
Semester 2
Semester T2C

Year 2

Semester 1
Note you must be available for five days per week for the full school day (approximately 8.30am – 4.00pm) while undertaking Professional Experience placements. Part-time students will need to do their school placements on a full-time basis. You are required to undertake a ‘Working with Children Check’ and anaphylaxis training prior to undertaking professional experience; a police record check is completed prior to your employment in schools.

ARTS5503 Academic Writing for the Humanities (6 UOC)
ARTS5505 Personalised English Language Enhancement (6 UOC)

These courses, ARTS5503 and ARTS5505, can be taken as additional courses but will not count towards your program.

Credit Transfer

You may apply for credit transfer if you can demonstrate equivalent study at UNSW or another institution. The maximum credit transfer granted for the Master of Teaching is 48 units of credit. Credit transfer will not be granted for courses completed more than ten years previously.

Award with Excellence

You are eligible for the award of a degree "with Excellence" if you achieve a Weighted Average Mark (WAM) of at least 80 in all courses and complete at least 50% of the requirements of your award at UNSW.

Areas of Specialisation
Related areas of disciplinary study may include:
English with a strong core component of study of English literature, communications, creative writing, language studies (English), linguistics, literature studies, media studies (i.e., the theoretical study of media or where the product is a literary text).
Pure or applied mathematics, other studies of mathematics that are relevant to the central concepts, modes of enquiry and structure of the content/discipline(s).
Science and Technology
Agriculture, architecture, biology, bio-technology, chemistry, computing studies, design - interior, industrial, graphics, fashion, product, landscape (2 units only), design and technology, engineering, geology, earth and/or environmental science, materials science, medicine, nursing, physics, psychology.
Human Society and its Environment
Aboriginal studies/languages, anthropology, archaeology, Asian or Pacific studies, economics/business studies, cultural studies/sociology, geography/environmental studies, government and citizenship, history, legal studies, political science, studies of religion.
Creative Arts
Dance including practical experience in choreography and performance in several dance styles and dance history/theory, drama including experiential involvement in making and performing drama, music including performing (singing, playing and moving), listening and organising sound (composing) within a wide range of repertoire, visual arts including art making and art history/theory.
Personal Development, Health and Physical Education Physical education, family studies, sports science, health studies, human movement, nutrition.

Academic Rules

To qualifiy for the award of the degree, you must:
  1. Enrol in the Master of Teaching (Primary) and complete 96 units of credit
  2. Complete five core education courses
  3. Complete eight disciplinary-specific curriculum and pedagogy courses
  4. Complete Professional Experience 1 and the final capstone Professional Experience 2/Internship


For information regarding fees for UNSW programs, please refer to the following website:  UNSW Fee Website.

Area(s) of Specialisation