Master of Teaching (Primary)

Course Code 2056
Course duration /
Study mode

Course duration: Two years full-time (or part-time equivalent)
Study mode: On-campus or Distance education
Maximum time to complete: Six years

Location Lake Macquarie

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The Master of Teaching (Primary) is a graduate-entry teaching course, offered on campus and via distance education. It is designed to produce graduate teachers who are reflective, creative and confident in the classroom, and to equip you with the necessary skills to teach in Christian, independent and state school systems both in Australia and overseas. You are provided with the opportunity to explore and critically analyse a wide range of educational literature and research to examine the application of these findings to professional practice. Throughout the course, students engage in practical experience opportunities in a variety of relevant school environments. It is a highly practical course with a total 60 days hands-on classroom experience gained through three professional experience placements in a variety of primary school settings. 

Career Opportunities

Successful completion of the MTch (Primary) will allow the student to graduate with the qualifications to teach from Foundation to Year 6 and to gain employment in the following areas:

  • Primary teacher
  • Primary school administrator
  • Primary school specialist teacher (Creative Arts, PDHPE, Science, Humanities & Social Sciences, English and Mathematics)
  • Tutor.

Graduates leave qualified to teach in church, independent and state school systems in both Australia and overseas. In addition to education-related careers, teachers often find careers in the corporate world where organisational and relationship skills are valued by employers.

Admission Criteria

Entry into the MTch (Primary) course requires a suitable Australian bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) that meets the content requirements of the New South Wales Education Standards Authority (NESA ). The course convenor will need to undertake an assessment of each candidate’s transcript to ensure the unit content requirements have been completed, prior to enrolment into this program.

Course Structure

The MTch (Primary) course is designed to successfully prepare Primary teachers. It consists of 16 six credit point units (96 credits) studied over four semesters full-time or the equivalent part-time. The course composition is set out below.

Title of Course of Study: Master of Teaching (Primary)

Course duration: Two years full-time (or part-time equivalent)
Study mode: On-campus or Distance education
Maximum time to complete: Six years


The course structure is based on four semesters (each of 13 weeks in duration), with four units normally taught in each semester.  The course is comprised of:

  • 8 Education Units (3 Core Education Units + 5 Curriculum and Pedagogical Studies Units)
  • 8 Discipline specific Units



Year 1 Semester 1

  • EDUC14105 Curriculum Studies-Teaching Mathematics I
  • EDUC14102 Curriculum Studies-Teaching English I
  • EDUC52102 Introduction to Learning & Teaching
  • EDUC52103 Managing the Primary Classroom

Professional Teaching Experience (July – 20 days)

Year 1 Semester 2

  • EDUC24107 Curriculum Studies-Teaching Science & Technology
  • EDUC54106 Curriculum Studies–Historical Inquiry, Religion & Geographical Investigation in the Primary School
  • EDUC50107 Exploring Multicultural & Indigenous Education
  • EDUC52101 Planning, Assessment & Evaluation for Learning

Professional Teaching Experience (February – 10 days)

Year 2 Semester 1

  • EDUC54102 Curriculum Studies–Primary Creative Arts
  • EDUC24104 Curriculum Studies-Teaching English II
  • EDUC34109 Curriculum Studies-Teaching Health & Physical Education
  • EDUC50104 Preparation for the Teaching Workplace

Professional Teaching Experience (July – 30 days)

Year 2 Semester 2

  • EDUC50108 Exploring a Personal Philosophy of Christian Education
  • EDUC50102 Understanding Students with Special Education Needs
  • EDUC24106 Curriculum Studies-Teaching Mathematics II
  • EDUC50106 Research & Pastoral Care


Primary KLA teaching areas include:


English, Mathematics, Humanities & Social Sciences, Creative Arts, Science & Technology, Health Physical Education and Biblical Studies



Core Education Units

These units cover a range of current educational topics designed to prepare pre-service teachers to successfully teach young people. These units involve a variety of topics including: Classroom Management; Students with Special Education Needs and Multicultural & Indigenous Education.

Curriculum and Pedagogical Studies Units

These units provide pre-service teachers with the opportunity to apply quality-teaching principles to specific teaching areas. Literacy education, classroom safety, curriculum development and teaching strategies.


Content of the Course of Study - All units are worth 6 Credit Points unless otherwise stated

Core Education Units

  • EDUC50107 Exploring Multicultural & Indigenous Education
  • EDUC50108 Exploring a Personal Philosophy of Christian education
  • EDUC50102 Understanding Students with Special Education Needs

Primary Curriculum and Pedagogical Studies Units

  • EDUC52102 Introduction to Learning & Teaching
  • EDUC52103 Managing the Primary Classroom
  • EDUC52101 Planning, Assessment & Evaluation for learning
  • EDUC50104 Preparation for the Teaching Workplace
  • EDUC50106 Research & Pastoral Care
  • EDUC54101 Curriculum Studies – Primary Mathematics & Numeracy I
  • EDUC54106 Curriculum Studies – Historical Inquiry, Religion & Geographical Investigation in the Primary School
  • EDUC54104 Curriculum Studies – Primary Science & Technology
  • EDUC54103 Curriculum Studies – Primary Language & Literacy I
  • EDUC54102 Curriculum Studies – Primary Creative Arts
  • EDUC54105 Curriculum Studies – Primary Language & Literacy II
  • EDUC54109 Curriculum Studies – Primary Health & Physical Education
  • EDUC54107 Curriculum Studies – Primary Mathematics & Numeracy II


Practical Experience

Before undertaking professional experience students need to obtain a Working With Children Clearance.

The goal of professional experience in the workplace is to prepare pre-service teachers to take charge of classrooms and cope with the demands of teaching within a Secondary school context. School placements provide opportunities for pre-service teachers to:

  • experience the teaching role in a variety of settings;
  • observe links between theory and practice;
  • apply knowledge to practice at regular intervals during their course; and
  • work towards achieving the Graduate Teaching Standards in the domains of Professional Knowledge, Professional Practice and Professional Engagement.

Students in the MTch (Prim) course normally complete a unit involving a professional experience in three of the four semesters of their course. The first professional teaching placement for full-time students is scheduled after semester one and is normally 20-days in duration. Pre-service teachers normally complete their second placement of 10 days prior to semester three and another placement of 30 days prior to semester four. In total students within the MTch (Prim) course achieve 60 days of teaching experience in schools.

For details of the timing of practicum experiences within the MTch (Prim) course, refer to Appendix 1. [MTchPrimaryGrid]. [See Appendix 21 for a sample of a Professional Experience Handbook]

These placements are normally taken in registered secondary schools. While the majority of students complete their placements in New South Wales schools, there is the option of gaining wider experience in other states. A supervised overseas teaching placement may be allowable for one placement only.

Professional experience placements link closely to Professional Development and Experience units and form part of the assessment for these units. This ensures strong links between theory and practice within the course. Procedures in place to manage the effectiveness of these professional placements include the following:

A teaching journal, including the supervising teacher’s report, normally makes up 50% of the assessment marks for most Professional Development and Experience units. A sample teaching journal assignment is included in Appendix 22a Sample Professional Experience Assignment. All assignments are developed according to the structure outlined in Appendix 22b Professional Experience Assignment Structure, prepared by the Professional Development Placement Coordinator.

All supervising teachers for domestic professional experiences are registered teachers at the Proficient level or higher of the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) standards. Supervising teachers use a Focused Feedback Form (see Appendix 23) to provide specific feedback on at least one lesson taught by the student.

Supervising teachers use a research-developed rubric based on the AITSL standards to provide feedback and to grade each pre-service teacher’s performance. This rubric is included in the Professional Experience Handbook, a sample of which is included in Appendix 21. Feedback from supervising teachers indicates they found the rubric helpful in assigning grades to students (see Appendix 28 Mentor Teacher Feedback, p2).

An expanded version of the grid (see Appendix 32 Extended Professional Experience Grading Rubric) is incorporated into the report form for final stage students.
The link between professional placements and students’ development of graduate teaching standards is mapped in Appendix 18 Professional Experience Placements mapped to GTS.

Avondale supervisors liaise with supervising teachers to provide a sound professional learning experience with high academic standards. Avondale supervisors’ also provide specific feedback on at least one lesson taught by the student.

The School of Education conducts annual mid-year practicum surveys—the 2014 results are included in Appendix 29a Professional Experience Survey Results 2014. This feedback was tabled at the Discipline of Education meeting held on the 15 June, 2015. These results were discussed and lecturers were asked to implement changes as applicable to their situation. The report was forwarded as an agenda item to be tabled at the next Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee.

All documentation related to Professional Experience placements are available in a Moodle repository, which can be accessed by students, lecturers, Avondale supervisors, supervising (mentor) teachers, and school Professional Experience Coordinators.


The MTch (Primary) is accredited by the Board of Studies, Teaching and Education Standards (BOSTES) and our own self-accrediting process.

Registration and Self-Disclosure

Teacher education courses in NSW are required to be accredited by the New South Wales Education Standards Authority (NESA), if graduates from those courses are to teach in NSW schools (see Appendix 8). The School of Education courses were accredited by BOSTES in 2014 for five years. Due to changes to teacher-education course requirements stemming from the Great Teaching Inspired Learning initiative, the courses are required to be re-accredited by the end of 2015.

These accreditation submissions were presented to a special meeting of the Discipline of Education on 7 May 2015 (see Appendix 9) and subsequently recommended to the Faculty Learning & Teaching Committee. The Faculty L & T approved the NESA accreditation documentation in a special meeting held May 11 (see Appendix 10) and a regular meeting held May 18 (see Appendix 11).

The submissions were subsequently presented to College Learning and Teaching on 3 June 2015. Alterations were completed and presented to the College L & T on June 24 where documentation was recommended to Academic Board. On June 25 the Chairperson of Academic Board gave expedited review and approval for the documentation to be forwarded to NESA.

Recent changes to the Educational landscape in Australia include (i) state-based teacher registration requirements, linked to teaching standards (ii) the development and phased implementation of the national Australian Curriculum, and (iii) the NSW Government ‘Great Teaching Inspired Learning’ (GTIL) initiative.

Our recent application for re-accreditation to NESA required us to demonstrate how our courses are meeting, or will meet, the changes inherent in these programs.

Template B of the NESA application deals with how the courses will address the Graduate Teacher Standards, as required for teacher registration. See Appendix 17a.

Template C related to how program standards will be met, including the GTIL requirement for higher academic standards of students entering the course. See Appendix 17b.

Template D related to how our courses will address the ‘National Priority Area Elaborations’, as prescribed in the Australian Curriculum. See Appendices 17c: Template D – undergraduate courses.

Registration in other states has similar requirements (i.e. recognised teacher-education courses and evidence of teaching standards), and is administered by the following agencies:

Victorian Institute of Teachers
Queensland College of Teachers
Teacher Registration Board of WA
Teachers Registration Board of Tasmania
Teachers Registration Board of SA
Teacher Registration Board of the NT

All of these agencies use the AITSL standards and have mutual recognition of teacher registration.

Current legislation requires that all students who will be working with children or young people must take responsibility to make an online application for a NSW Working With Children Check and complete the Child Protection Awareness Training.

All students enrolled in education degrees must complete the above and evidence of completion must be sent or given to the Professional Experience Placement Officer. This will cover all local school visits undertaken as part of education courses and school placements in New South Wales schools.

All students who undertake placements in states other than NSW must also complete a separate Working with Children Check relevant to the state in which they are doing their placement. The placement officer will help with this process.

Pre-service teachers must take a copy of the Working with Children Check form/card with them to their placement school. This applies to pre-service teachers doing Professional Experience placements in all Australian schools.

Where to get further information

Course Enquiries


Phone: +61 2 4980 2377
Monday-Thursday, 8.30am-5pm
Friday, 8.30am-12.15pm

Student Experience Survey

Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching


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'This course allows me to expand on my previous knowledge and bring these experiences into the classroom.’ – Master of Teaching graduate