Frequently Asked Questions

Each of the below tabs is an expandable section of FAQs for the benefit of current and intending Education students. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for or have any further enquiries relating to your program within the School of Education, please contact the School office at education@unsw.edu.au.

What does UNSW offer?

Q: Can I study teaching part-time?
A: Yes, you can study full-time or part-time. Many education courses have the option of classes in the late afternoon and evenings. If studying part-time, you normally study one method per year. See part-time program plans here.

Q: Are UNSW teaching qualification recognised overseas?
A: Teachers trained in Australia, and particularly NSW, are highly sought after all over the world, both by English speaking countries such as the UK and America as well as by non-English- speaking countries. UNSW students have an excellent rate of employment upon graduation, and they have cemented our international reputation as an exemplary teacher training institution.

Q: Does UNSW offer pre-service primary education?
A: Not at the preservice level, only at the postgraduate level. Our pre-service teacher training courses will qualify our graduates to teach in secondary schools in Australia.
If you are already a qualified, accredited primary teacher wishing to undertake advanced study you may be interested in our Masters in Education, Masters in Educational Leadership or Master of Philosophy.

Q: Why should I become a teacher?
A: Teaching is a vocation, not just a career. If you are passionate about your subject area and enjoy sharing your knowledge with others then you will find teaching a rewarding experience. A liking for and ability to build rapport with children/young people is also important. In terms of financial rewards, there are good starting salaries which can be foundon the NSW DEC website.

Which program should I choose?

Q: I have no existing qualifications and I would like to study to become a secondary school teacher?
A: You should apply to study in one of the four or five-year full time dual degree programs offered within the School of Education.
These are the Bachelor of Arts/Education, Bachelor of Commerce/Education, Bachelor of Design (Honours)/EducationBachelor of Economics/Education, Bachelor of Fine Arts/Education, Bachelor of Media Arts (Honours)/EducationBachelor of Music/Education, Bachelor of Science/Education, Bachelor of Fine Arts / Education.

Q: I've finished my Bachelor's degree and want to teach secondary students. What do I have to do?
A:
Master of Teaching.  Entry into this program is assessed on an individual basis only after a formal application is made to the University although you can make a self-assessment here.

Q: What is the structure of the the Master of Teaching?
A: The MTeach is a 1.5-2 year program. The first year is normally taken full time over three terms and the second, usually undertaken part-time while you are teaching, is comprised of four courses. 

Q: I'm already a teacher, how can I become qualified to teach an additional subject?
A: The Graduate Certificate in Teaching is suitable for practising teachers looking to qualify to teach additional subjects or methods. Classes take place in the evenings/after school hours. However, in order to complete the program you must already be working at a school that will allow you to carry out your Advanced Professional Practice internally. It is also essential that you have already completed or are currently completing the relevant disciplinary studies. See here for more details.

What is the application process?

Q: How do I apply for undergraduate study?
A: Domestic applicants applying for an Undergraduate program all apply through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).
A:
International applicants currently undertaking an Australian Year 12 qualification (either in Australia or offshore) or the IB onshore, or the NZ NCEA apply via UAC International
A: Other International applicants apply through UNSW Apply Online.

Q: What are my options if my ATAR isn't high enough to get into my undergraduate double degree of choice?
A: You may find that enrolling in a degree that is appropriate to your desired teaching area/s (e.g. Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science) provides a good pathway to your Education program of choice. After you have completed the required minimum units of credit (UOC), if you have a sufficiently high grade average, you may apply for an internal program transfer into one of the Education double degrees.

Q: How do I apply for postgraduate study in the Master of Teaching?
A: All other postgraduate coursework applications should be made via UNSW Apply Online. This includes all the Masters of Eduction and Masters of Educational Leadership programs.

Q: How do I apply for other postgraduate coursework study?
A: All other postgraduate coursework applications should be made via UNSW Apply Online. This includes all the Masters of Education and Masters of Educational Leadership programs.

Q: When do UAC applications close for undergraduate entry into programs in semester 1, 2018?
A: Applications for the Main Round of offers for domestic students will open in September/October 2017 and UNSW will make the majority of offers in December and January for semester 1. For international students applying directly via UNSW Apply Online the official closing date is 30 November 2017, however late applications will be considered if there is space available.  

Q: How do I apply for research-based studies?

A: All prospective applicants for research-based studies within the School of Education should first contact the School for more information. They will be advised on how to apply correctly. Email education@unsw.edu.au

What can I expect as a student?

Q: In the BEd, which courses should I take to ensure my History major includes the accreditation requirement for Ancient History?
A: If you are seeking Ancient History accreditation, you will have do 4 course related to Ancient History. The four courses UNSW offers in Ancient History are:

  • ARTS2281 Ancient Egypt (Level 2)
  • ARTS2282 Rome (Level 2)
  • ARTS2283 Classical Greece (Level 2)
  • ARTS3283 Ancient Dynasties (Level 3)

Q: What is the timetabling like for Education courses?
A: The method courses, which are taught by practicing teachers, will normally be scheduled between 4pm and 7pm. Other undergraduate education courses, as well as the GDE and MTeach, will generally be taught anytime between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Although, the second year Masters of Teaching classes are run in the evenings, with online and intensive options, as the students of that program are expected to be teaching full-time.

Q: I’m halfway through my Bachelor of Arts, and have decided I want to teach. What should I do?
A: You may be able to transfer into a dual award with the Bachelor of Education (BEd). You will probably receive advanced standing for some of your discipline courses, however you will need to complete the first and second year education subjects as outlined in the study program provided to you, as they are prerequisites of the third-year courses.

Q: I’m doing a BA/BEd, and am uncertain about my course choices and degree structure. Who do I talk to?
A: For all enquiries related to the courses in your major and minor and your overall course structure and progression, please contact the FASS Student Centre by phone on (0)2 9385 2289 , or by email at arts@unsw.edu.au.
A: For enquiries relating specifically to Education subjects (that is, subjects whose code begins with EDST), please contact our Student Advisor. Contact 9385 1977 or email education@unsw.edu.au.

Q: Do the programs stay the same from year to year?
A: To ensure we offer the best standard of teacher training, we continuously evaluate and improve our programs. If this happens while you are partway through your program, do not worry! If the program has been altered to develop our pedagogy, you will continue along the pathway you originally enrolled in. If the program structure changes due to outside influences (e.g. a change in teacher accreditation requirements) your program will be modified so that you will still be qualified to teach your methods upon graduation. See here for program plans.

Q: What is the duration of the practical component of my Bachelor of Education degree?
A : All students must do 80 days of professional experience from 2014. In Year 2 students undertake 15 days of Professional Engagement as a classroom assistant in a school or educational organisation to get to know the different forms of educational provision in NSW and to understand the needs of a variety of learners. In Year 3 and 4 students normally take 65 days of Professional Experience / internship.

Q: How many hours of study per week are involved in Education courses (lectures, tutorials and self study)?
A: This varies from course to course. Contact hours (i.e. lectures & tutorials) for a course usually total 3 hours. Each course also  requires an average of 6 hours of self directed study and assessment per week.

Q: Are there assessments for intensive courses before the start of the scheduled lectures?
A:
Yes intensive courses always require a small graded assessment task to be completed in advance to meet federal government requirements and to ensure you are appropriately prepared for the intensive nature of the course by reading and reflecting on key issues in advance. You should check your Moodle when you enrol for the assignment information as well as the course outline. See here for course outlines.

Q: What if I am an EAL/D student and need extra help with English?
A:
Arts & Social Sciences now has a Personalised English Language Enhancement Program (PELE) to help you take responsibility for your own English language enhancement. This is a free 10-week program that consists of lectures and tutorials. See if you are eligible here.

The Learning Centre on UNSW also offers individual consultations, academic skills workshops, Conversation Café groups, online academic skills resources and Academic Skills Plus, a General Education course that helps students develop their academic skills and gain academic credit. See here for more details.

Master of Teaching FAQs

Please follow the link to view our MTeach Self Assessment and FAQs.

Master of Education and Graduate Certificate in Education FAQs

Q: What is the purpose of the Master of Education and Graduate Certificate of Education programs?
A: Completing a Master of Education (MEd) degree can add to your qualifications and make you more attractive to your current or prospective employers. Many teachers will receive acknowledgement of completion of a MEd with a higher salary level, as you will become 5 year trained. As a teacher, your MEd can also count as a substantial part of your 100 hours of professional development requirements to maintain professional competence with the NSW Institute of Teachers.

Q: What are the entry requirements?
A: At a minimum, you are required to have:

  • a recognised Bachelor degree, AND
  • a recognised qualification as a "four-year trained" teacher and accreditation with BOSTES (NSWIT) or another state's accreditation body.

Q: What are the closing dates for applications?
A: For Semester 1 - 30 November 
A: For Semester 1 - 30 May
Late applications may be accepted after the closing dates subject to the availability of places.

Q: How do I apply?
A: Use the UNSW Apply Online service at www.apply.unsw.edu.au

Q: Can I complete the Master or Graduate Certificate of Education by distance?
A: These are not distance programs. Nevertheless, portions of them can be taken online. With strategic timetabling and course selection, it is possible to complete some programs by combining courses offered online with some visits to Sydney during the school holidays. See question below for flexible learning options.

Q: What are my options for flexible learning?
A: The courses offered over the duration of a semester are usually held on weekday evenings from 5.00pm.  Some courses are offered intensively during the Summer or in the September school holidays. There are also a number of blended courses, which require 1-2 Saturday or evening workshops combined with on-line learning. You can also choose from a variety of self-directed courses, which do not require attendance at classes. For your current options see the Masters Timetable, which includes the delivery style of each available course.

Q: How much does the Master of Education cost?
A: The Master of Education is one of the few postgraduate coursework programs at UNSW that offers Commonwealth Supported Places. This means the government makes a contribution towards the cost of domestic students' education.
For more information visit https://my.unsw.edu.au/student/fees/CSPG.html or contact the student financials team via csandfees@unsw.edu.au.

Q: How long does it take to complete the Master of Education?
A: You can complete the Master of Education with 1 year of full-time study. Part-time students will take longer to finish their degree, but can reduce the amount of time needed by attending Summer courses and other flexible options.

Q: Can I combine the Master of Education with other degree programs?
A: Yes. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences offers a Combined Masters degree.
You can combine any MEd specialisation with any of the Masters degrees listed at the link above. If you're an international student, this means you'll be doing a two-year degree, which allows you to apply for post-study work rights in Australia.
For more information visit https://www.immi.gov.au/Study/Pages/post-study-work-arrangements.aspx

Q: Can I get advanced standing for previous tertiary study?
A: You may receive advanced standing for previous tertiary study for up to 50% of the courses in the Master of Education and Graduate Certificate in Education programs. The full University guidelines for postgraduate advanced standing can be found here.

Q: Does the Master of Education allow me to become a teacher in high schools?
A: The Master of Education is not an initial teaching qualification. If you want to obtain a teaching qualification you need to complete a Bachelor of Education or a Master of Teaching. The Master of Education is designed as a professional development course for already qualified teachers and education professionals.

Q: Will the Master of Education allow me to pursue a research degree?
A: Yes. Depending on your performance in the program, you may be granted entry into a Master of Education by Research or a Master of Philosophy. However this is an option only if you complete a research project, a research methodology course and your results are at least a Distinction average.

BOSTES Teacher Accreditation - Literacy and numeracy tests

Mandatory Literacy and Numeracy tests

From 2016 NSW teacher education students will need to pass a literacy and numeracy test to start their final professional experience placement.
A NSW Great Teaching, Inspired Learning (GTIL) initiative, the test will help to ensure that future teachers graduate with personal literacy and numeracy levels at least equivalent to those of the top 30 per cent of the population.

This important information from BOSTES about mandatory LANCR Literacy & Numeracy Test

Students are required to complete the LANCR Literacy & Numeracy tests before undertaking a final placement in a NSW School.
UNSW requires current students to action their registration immediately and email our School office on lantite@unsw.edu.au to confirm the testing date you have registered so we can track and monitor registrations.

Why is there a NSW test?

In 2015 all Education Ministers agreed that, from 1 July 2016, the national Literacy and Numeracy Test will be used as the means to demonstrate that students completing initial teacher education courses are in the top 30 per cent of the Australian adult population for personal literacy and numeracy.

From 1 July 2016, it is the national policy that all initial teacher education students will be expected to sit and pass the test prior to completing their course.

The test is computer-based and designed to assess aspects of your personal literacy and numeracy through a combination of multiple choice and constructed response questions.

When will the tests run?

There will be four testing windows offered in 2016 - in May, August, October and November.

Who must sit the test?

Students due to complete their course in the second half of 2016 will have priority access to the test and will be eligible to sit the test during the first testing window in May 2016. Registrations for this window open on 7 March 2016. It is important to note that unlike the 2015 voluntary test administrations held in August and September, the total number of places will not be limited.

Where are testing centres?

Testing centres will be in all capital cities and a number of metropolitan and regional locations. Students who live more than 90 minutes from a testing centre will be able to access the test online via remote invigilation.

Is there a fee to sit the test?

Yes, To register and sit the test students will need to pay a fee. The schedule of test fees is outlined below:

Literacy and numeracy components (full test) $185
Literacy component only $92.50
Numeracy component only $92.50

For the May test window only, students will be required to sit both the literacy and the numeracy components on the same day, unless accessing a resit for a single component as a result of sitting the test in 2015. Most of the Sydney and Newcastle test centres are currently fully booked due to extremely high demand; however, remote proctoring is now available for UNSW students who are completing their program by 31 December 2016. If you meet this criterion you should choose remote proctoring in order to still register for the May test window.

If you are not completing your program by 31 December 2016, you may wait for the next test window opening.


Registration opening dates and test windows can be found at https://teacheredtest.acer.edu.au/register

Further information is available on the Australian Government’s website

See this Fact Sheet for more information (PDF)

See Questions and Answers Sheet here (PDF)

BOSTES Teacher Accreditation Act and Changes 2014

Information for final year teacher education students from the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards

Changes to the Teacher Accreditation Act 2004 (formerly called the Institute of Teachers Act) passed through Parliament on 23 October 2014.

One of the key amendments to the Act is to give the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) responsibility for making the provisional and conditional accreditation decision for new applicants for accreditation to teach in NSW. This new function has effect from 5 January 2015.

This change is most significant for this year’s final year teacher education students who haven’t already gained provisional or conditional accreditation to teach in NSW.

The existing process of obtaining from the BOSTES a Statement of Eligibility for Accreditation to Teach and taking this to the Teacher Accreditation Authority/employer of their choice will cease. From 5 January 2015 onwards new applicants including teacher education students will need to directly apply to the BOSTES for accreditation.

The BOSTES Teacher Accreditation website will be soon be amended to direct new applicants to the online portal for applying for accreditation.

The changed arrangements do not affect this year’s final year students who have already have been provisionally or conditionally accredited after applying for employment approval over the last few months.

Follow this link for more information.

Higher Degree Research confirmation progress review FAQs

Q: What is the Confirmation Progress Review (CONFR)?
A: If you are a new PhD student, you will need to confirm your candidature by completing a confirmation review (CONFR). This usually happens 6 to 9 months after the census date of your first semester.

Q: What is the point of a CONFR?
A: Like the Annual Progress Review, the CONFR helps you to review and measure your progress since starting your candidature, and helps you to carefully plan your research for the following year.

Q: What does the CONFR process involve?
A: A formal seminar presentation, where you present your research to academic staff and your colleagues. And a separate panel review meeting where you can meet with the review panel alone (i.e. without your supervisor).

Q: Why can’t I just do a CONFR in writing instead of giving a seminar presentation?
A:
The CONFR presentation, as with the annual progress review, helps you to develop your presentation skills. Presentations are an important part of your research training, and the CONFR is an ideal opportunity to practise these skills. It is a positive and productive process, where you can gain meaningful support and constructive feedback from academic staff and fellow students. The School of Education encourages you to use PowerPoint. Please remember to bring your presentation on a USB as connecting a laptop to the system often creates delays.

Q: What do I need to do before the CONFR?
A:
You need to complete your review form, which will be emailed to you via the Annual Progress Review online system. Make sure your supervisor completes the review form and that your co-supervisor is given a chance to comment on it. This is the administrative process and does not constitute your review.

You also need to provide the following in writing for a CONFR:

  • An outline of the key milestones achieved since you started
  • An outline of key objectives and milestones for the next 12 months
  • A timeline and milestones for completion of the thesis
  • A literature review of the research area
  • A detailed research proposal including a justification of the research, an assessment of the resources required to support the research, and a statement of how the research will be conducted in accordance with the UNSW policies for intellectual property, OHS and ethics.

Q: What is the point of the face-to-face panel review?
A:

  • It gives you the chance to have your research and supervision reviewed by an academic panel independent of your supervisor
  • It provides a safe environment where you can raise any issues that are holding back your progress
  • It will help you to develop research goals for the following year.

Q: What are the possible outcomes of a CONFR?
A:
The panel’s recommendations may be one of the following:

  • Satisfactory: the research is on track and you may re-enrol
  • Marginal: Some milestones have only been partly achieved. New milestones will need to be set and you will need to complete an interim review within the next 1 – 3 months.
  • Unsatisfactory: Your research is at risk of not being completed. With your supervisor, you need to set a plan of action and detailed milestones. An interim review should be planned for within the next 6 months.

Q: Where can I get help?
A:
While your supervisor is your primary contact for any queries regarding the content of your CONFR, both the School of Education faculty office and the Graduate Research School office can provide details on CFR policy and procedures. The following resources contain useful information:

Honours FAQs

Please follow the link to view our Honours FAQs.

Art & Design Education FAQs

FAQs for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Art Education and Bachelor of Design Education/Bachelor of Art Education (PDF)

FAQs for future students who commenced study in Art Education at UNSW Art & Design (COFA) in 2014 (PDF)

FAQs for students who commenced study in Design/Art Education at UNSW Art & Design (COFA) in 2014 (PDF)

Q: I already have a BDes (Hons) from COFA and would like to study teaching in 2015?
A: From 2015 onwards you will be able to apply for the Master of Teaching with a specialisation in Visual Arts and/or Graphics and Multimedia Technology.

Q: I already have a BFA from COFA and would like to study teaching in 2015?
A: From 2015 onwards you will be able to apply for the Master of Teaching with a specialisation in Visual Arts and/or Graphics and Multimedia Technology.

Professional Learning FAQs

Q: How do I register my professional learning course for maintenance of accreditation purposes with BOSTES (formerly NSWIT)?
A: Register your attendance of any of our courses with BOSTES online at http://www.nswteachers.nsw.edu.au/my-account/.  The School of Education then validates all registrations on a monthly basis, based on attendance records.

Q: I am a postgraduate student. How do I register all of my completed subjects for maintenance of accreditation purposes with BOSTES (formerly NSWIT)?
A: You should submit proof of enrolment and successful completion of subjects and programs on an annual basis to BOSTES in accordance with their UG and PG Studies Policy Document (PDF). Please read the document carefully to properly understand you responsibilities as a student.

COGE FAQs

Q. How do I apply and how much does it cost?

A. Professional Learning Applicants
Applicants who wish to undertake any of the above courses without assessment for professional development can enrol for each course through this website – click here to enrol.  Applications are due two weeks prior to course commencement, with late applications accepted as space permits. Fees for Professional Development applicants are $695 per course, payable online via cheque, credit card or invoice.

Postgraduate Coursework Applicants
Applicants for the Graduate Certificate in Education (Gifted Education) and the Master of Education (Gifted Education) must have a pre-service teaching qualification and should apply online via UNSW Admissions. 30th November 2015 is the priority deadline for Semester 1 2016 commencement. When applying, please reference the following:

Graduate Certificate in Education (Gifted Education)

Program Code – 7401
Plan – EDSTRS7401 Master of Education (Gifted Education)
Program Code – 8910
Plan – EDSTCS8910 It is recommended that students take the compulsory course EDST 5808 – Key Concepts and Issues in Gifted Education before undertaking the elective offerings. This course is offered face-to-face in the April school holidays and online in Semester 2 in 2015.

Fees for Postgraduate Applicants

Students applying for the Graduate Certificate are liable for tuition fees set by UNSW. Domestic students may be eligible to pay or defer fees through HECS and Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs) are available. A CSP student can expect to pay about $770 per course for 2015. It is the applicant's responsibility to determine whether he or she qualifies for a CSP. International students and those ineligible for CSPs should refer to the UNSW fee table, noting that each course of the certificate is six (6) units of credit.

Q. What is the difference between the Professional Learning option and the Graduate Certificate?

A. With the professional learning option, you attend the face to face course just like the other students. You simply don’t complete the assessments (assignments) required of other students, and you don’t receive a grade for the course or a degree. You are eligible to receive NSWIT-recognised professional learning hours at Professional Competence/Proficient level—32 hours for each course completed.

Graduate Certificate students take the course as postgraduate UNSW students, receiving marks in each course and a degree at the end. In addition to attending/participating in the courses, they complete two assessments per course—written assignments of 2000-4000 words.

Q. What are the online courses like?

A. The online courses involve a combination of readings, watching recorded video of the lectures given in the face-to-face course, and participating in discussion forums with lecturers and other students. All course materials and handouts are uploaded to the online site for reference. Participants are expected to devote at least six hours per week to the course during its five weeks’ duration, and those completing the course with assessment complete the written assessments on a semester-long timeframe following the five weeks of the online course.

Q. Can I do the whole certificate online?

A. Yes in 2016 you can:

EDST5808: Key Concepts and Issues in Gifted Education
EDST5803: Developing Effective Programs for Gifted Students
EDST5802: Identification of Gifted Children
EDST5807: Social and Emotional Development of Intelectually Gifted Children
See the timetables here.

Q. How long does the certificate take to complete?

A. It is possible to do the certificate in one year, planning your schedule carefully based around which courses are offered in which semester. This plan does involve some course overlap, which can be difficult for students who are working teachers.

Most participants choose to study part time, taking one course per semester. One of the face-to-face courses, EDST 5803, falls in summer semester. UNSW requires that students take at least one course per major semester (Semesters 1 and 2 ) in order to remain active in the program, or it is possible to apply for program leave of up to one year. 

As you consider whether to apply for the Certificate, it is useful to consider your work and family commitments alongside the schedule of the courses, figuring in any necessity of taking leave from the program. Our courses sometimes sit somewhat strangely within the university calendar in order to allow for working teachers who are free during the school holidays to attend.

Q. Is the certificate available to international students?

A. International students may take the courses as professional learning at the same fee rate as domestic students. However, international students wishing to undertake the Graduate Certificate must apply via UNSW and are not eligible for student visas. They may study remotely (online) and come to Australia for intensive courses on tourist visas. International students are also liable for full fees.

International students applying online should select PART-TIME and REMOTE study options when prompted.

Q. Can my School sponsor me to complete the certificate?

A. Many participants make arrangements with their schools to reimburse them for their study; however, the payments for UNSW courses will be charged to the individual student who is enrolled in the courses, payable either up front or able to be deferred through HECS.

Q. If I decide to drop out midway through, what are the consequences?

A. UNSW has census dates for each semester which are the deadlines to withdraw without grade or financial penalty. If you must discontinue a course after the census date, you will be liable for the fees for that course and receive a grade for it on your official transcript. In extraordinary circumstances, special consideration may be granted to allow extensions on assignments, etc.

Q. What are the entry requirements?

A. The certificate is available to four-year-trained teachers with a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and a recognized teaching qualification. Please see the UNSW Handbook to learn more.

Q. Can I apply the certificate to a Master of Education degree?

A. Graduate Certificate in Gifted Education students complete four of the eight courses needed to be awarded a UNSW Master of Education in Gifted Education. Students wishing to progress to the MEd (Gifted Education) are therefore only required to undertake an additional four courses: research methodology, a research project, and any two electives from the postgraduate education courses offered by the School.*  Students who do not live in Sydney will be able to complete the MEd (Gifted Education) through a combination of self-directed study and intensive workshops (which involve 1-2 visits to Sydney during the school holidays).

Read more about our MEd (Gifted Education) and our other Master programs, or contact MEd (Gifted) Convenor Dr Jennifer Jolly  with your specific enquiry.

* Students in the 2012 and 2013 COGE cohorts must transfer to the MEd after they have completed Course Three in order to ensure the proper credit transfer of all four courses. Students entering in 2014 and onwards may elect to continue on to the MEd at the end of the four certificate courses. In addition, students wishing to apply for advanced standing in a Master's at a university other than UNSW should contact that university to see whether they will offer credit for the full certificate.