Over 2,000 accredited courses from leading Australian universities, TAFEs and colleges

Associate Degree in Teaching (Pacific Focus)

  • Qualification:

    Associate Degree

  • Study mode:


  • Payment options:

    Upfront payment

  • Duration:

    2 years full-time; up to 6 years part-time

  • Start date:

    Enquire now for upcoming start dates!

  • Awarded by:

    University of New England

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What you'll learn

About this course

The Associate Degree in Teaching (Pacific Focus) provides aspiring Pacific Island educators with the skills and experience necessary to lead a classroom. The degree meets the two-year teaching requirements of Pacific Island Nation Education Acts and is a pathway towards a Bachelor of Education.

The University of New England (UNE) developed this initial-teacher qualification in a Pacific Island context. The online course is based on core units, including two evidence-based learning and teaching subjects, and is augmented by practical experience. You'll develop the skills, knowledge and attitude to pursue one of the most important and rewarding professions there is.

Choose to specialise in early childhood education, primary education or secondary education. When you graduate, you'll be eligible to pursue teaching work or further studies in education.

Practical industry experience

This course includes a mandatory work placement component to ensure that you graduate with a strong mix of practical industry experience that complements your learning. You will be required to complete 40 days of embedded professional experience for primary and secondary specialisations, and 55 days of embedded professional experience for the early childhood education specialisation, in consultation with the School.


To be eligible for entry into this course, applicants must meet the following entry requirements:

  • Have completed Australian senior secondary studies with an ATAR equal to or above this year's admission cut-off; OR
  • Have completed an overseas secondary or tertiary qualification/s deemed equivalent; OR
  • Have completed, or part-completed, an approved Australian post-secondary or tertiary qualification; OR
  • Have completed an approved admission scheme or pathway; OR
  • Satisfied the requirements of an approved inter-institution agreement; OR
  • Obtained other equivalent qualifications and/or vocational experience; OR
  • Satisfied the requirements for non-standard admission; AND
  • English language proficiency (English is your first language); OR
    • Have completed one year of full-time or equivalent study at senior secondary, post-secondary or tertiary level in a country in which English is the primary official language or co-official language; OR
    • Have a pass grade or better in an English language subject at Australian Year 12 level or overseas equivalent; OR
    • Have an IELTS (Academic) overall score of at least 6.0 with no sub-band less than 5.5 (or equivalent TOEFL score of at least 213 in the Computer-Based Test); or at least 79 in the Internet-Based Test with no less than 22 in the written component); OR
    • Have satisfactorily completed the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program at UNE English Language Centre, or an equivalent EAP program at an Australian University NEAS-accredited English Language Centre (subject to certification from the university concerned that satisfactory completion of that university's EAP program would entitle the applicant to be accepted into a comparable award-bearing program at that university); or at a non-University NEAS-accredited English Language Provider recognised by the Academic Board Teaching and Learning Committee; OR
    • Have satisfactorily completed a prior or concurrent basis of an approved English communication skills program appropriate for specific programs approved by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Educational Innovation and International) or his/her nominee, on the joint advice of the relevant Pro Vice-Chancellor-Dean and Director, International Services or equivalent.

Literacy and numeracy requirements:

  • Have completed the non-award unit ENGL001 within 12 months of enrolment; AND
  • Have completed the non-award unit MTHS022 within 12 months (for candidates undertaking the early childhood, primary and secondary education specialisations, with the exception of mathematics and science); OR
  • Have completed the non-award unit MTHS100 within 12 months of enrolment (for students specialising in secondary mathematics) OR
  • Have completed the non-award unit MTHS100 and CHEM100 within 12 months of enrolment (for students specialising in secondary science).

You may be eligible for advanced standing if your previous education and experience meet certain criteria.

Areas of study

In this education course, the subjects you may study include:

Core units:

  • ICT across the curriculum
  • Teaching in a bilingual context
  • Evidence-based learning and teaching 1 and 2
  • Primary mathematics 1: Numeracy
  • Foundations of professional classroom practice

Plus one of the following specialisations:

  • Early childhood education
  • Primary education
  • Secondary education (computer studies/IT)
  • Secondary education (English)
  • Secondary education (mathematics)
  • Secondary education (science)
  • Secondary education (social science/geography)
  • Secondary education (social science/history)
Established in 1938, the University of New England (UNE) is Australia’s longest standing provider of distance education and continues to be at the forefront of innovations in online learning. The university offers over 200 courses at the undergraduate, postgraduate and higher degree research levels. UNE is committed to offering a variety of flexible study options so that students are able to manage their personal commitments while undertaking a university education.
The University of New England (UNE) prides itself on providing the highest quality student support to ensure that students have the necessary tools to pursue their goals. Students can easily access a plethora of dedicated services including counselling, disability needs, academic and study skills, Aboriginal affairs and career development.

With over 60 years of distance education experience, UNE has devised flexible online study options over 3 study periods a year so that students are able to utilise their time more effectively or even accelerate their degree. For courses that require hands-on experience, UNE offers Intensive School programs where students are exposed to vital practical components of their course.

To support ongoing learning, students can get the help they need via email, phone or online chat. You can expect a well-rounded and supported experience throughout your UNE study journey.

Career outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course you will receive a nationally recognised Associate Degree in Teaching (Pacific Focus) from the University of New England.

The degree qualifies graduates to seek employment in early childhood education, primary school or secondary school teaching in Pacific Island countries (under the Pacific Island Nation Education Acts). Graduates could also explore other education-related career choices.

UNE is committed to a holistic approach to education, ensuring that all graduates also possess the following transferable attributes:

  • Communication skills
  • Capacity for problem solving
  • Information literacy
  • Awareness of ethical conduct and social responsibility
  • Independence and collaboration
  • A thirst for lifelong learning

Curious about where a career in education could take you? Potential job outcomes may include:

  • Pacific Island Early Childhood Teacher
  • Pacific Island Primary Teacher
  • Pacific Island Secondary Teacher

Payment options & support

Finance options

You can pay annually for the units you select to study in that year.

The University of New England also offers a number of scholarships to successful applicants.

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