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Master of Contemporary Education

Develop new understanding to enhance your contemporary education practice through this practice-based Master’s programme that will help you co-construct change in order to maximise the positive impact you can make in your school, organisation and education community.

$8,900inc GST
Master of Contemporary Education (180 Credits)
January and July
Blended; online learning and in-person sessions
Masters MCE Hero

Outcomes and Pathways

What this course offers and how you will benefit

The Master of Contemporary Education was designed to support the professional development of teachers and educators in rapidly changing teaching and learning environments. This solutions-driven qualification directly focuses on adding measurable, beneficial value to you, your school, organisation and your education communities.

Your learning is co-constructed with you to cater to your specific project and outcomes. It is a collaborative course supported by a community of educators.

The output of this work-based Master’s qualification is an in-depth project that is developed, presented and shared with your peers and advisors at the academyEX Education Symposium. This project is your focus for both Parts 2 and 3 of the Masters and gives you the chance to make real change where it matters most to you.

The Master of Contemporary Education is delivered through scheduled facilitated sessions online, enabling teachers to complete this qualification from any location in New Zealand. It also includes full-day workshops delivered in person at academyEX in Auckland . Attending in person has a range of benefits, but we know that isn’t always possible, so online delivery is also scheduled.

The MCE programme wakes you up to the fact you’re a professional leader of learning. It empowers you to take a lead in how you do things in your own practice. - Matthew Eagle, Rongotai College.

Acquire an understanding of emerging education challenges and how to address areas that need improvement

Develop skills to lead and drive sustained pedagogical change to improve student outcomes

Grow the ability to understand and authentically respond to cultural and social change

Gain digital fluency and the ability to effectively implement technology into your day-to-day teaching practice

My Redemption Story

Reaching new heights as an educator

Natalie Makeef, an academyEX graduate and ambitious local kaiako, has conquered many obstacles through her journey into education. Having overcome cultural barriers and a debilitating disease, Natalie woke up one day with an overwhelming desire to become a teacher and began training soon after. Whether you are starting your career in education, or angling for a promotion, invest in yourself and maximise the positive impact you can make in your students' lives. Learn more about the Master of Contemporary Education programme at academyEX


Where this could take you

Apply your digital knowledge in a collaborative way in the classroom

Follow your passion

Continue to seek the best outcomes for your learners by implementing your newfound knowledge and skills in a range of educational contexts.

Boost your career

Develop confidence, move into formal leadership roles, and extend your practice to lead innovative initiatives in your school or community

Continued learning

Dive into micro-credentials to continue your learning with academyEX, or level up your learning by applying for professional doctoral studies.


How this Masters programme works

Incorporate contemporary learning into your classroom 'Programme structure below is an update to the Master of Contemporary Education is currently under review by NZQA'.

Part 1: Digital and Collaborative Learning

Complete two courses focusing on digital and collaborative learning which also form our Postgraduate Certificate. You will evaluate digital and collaborative pedagogies and plan innovations to implement in your practice - a great starting point to build on in Part 2 and 3 of the Masters (20 weeks full time, or 32 weeks part time)

Part 2: Contemporary Teaching and Project Proposal

If you have already completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Digital and Collaborative Learning, you will start here at Part 2 - you are a third of the way there!

Complete two courses (10 weeks full time, or 20 weeks part time), one focused on Contemporary Teaching and one to guide you through the process of developing a proposal for a practice*based change project to be implemented in Part 3.

Part 3: Practice-based Change Project

In this capstone course, implement your practice-based change project to be able to evidence change in practice and learning. You can choose either a 90 credit pathway or 45 credit pathway complemented by elective courses (30 weeks full time, or 44 weeks part time).

Note: This programme structure is an update to the Master of Contemporary Education and is currently under review by NZQA.


What you need to know

The Master of Contemporary Education is made up of 3 parts:

  • Part 1: Digital & Collaborative Learning (courses can also be completed as a PG-Cert). Delivered accros 32-weeks, part-time (18 hours per week, including 6-8 hours directed study and the remaining hours integrated with teaching practice) (or 30 hours per week, over 20 weeks full time).

  • Part 2: Contemporary Teaching and Project Proposal. Delivered part-time (15 hours per week, over 20 weeks) or full-time (25 hours per week, over 10 weeks).

  • Part 3: Your Practice-Based Change Project. Delivered part-time (20 hours per week over 44 weeks) or full-time (30 hours per week, over 30 weeks)

Our Master of Contemporary Education is currently run as scheduled facilitated sessions online, enabling teachers to complete this qualification from any location in New Zealand. It also includes full-day face-to-face workshops in Auckland, which we encourage you to attend, however there will be an online version available if travel to Auckland isn’t possible.

There are two intakes of this masters programme per year, starting in January and July in 2024.

You can begin Part 1 or Part 2 at these times.

Full time study is only currently scheduled for January 2024.

Applications close two weeks before the start date of the intake you are applying for.

Applications may be accepted on a case-by-case basis after the application close date at the discretion of academyEX.

Please contact if you applications are closed and you would like to apply.

  • The domestic tuition fee for the Maters is $12,400 (incl. GST).

  • If you have completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Digital and Collaborative Learning, the tuition fee for Part 2 and 3 is $8,900 (incl. GST).

  • The international tuition fee for international students studying in New Zealand is $44,000 (incl. GST).

For domestic students, invoices will be issued for tuition fees prior to the start date of each part (Part 1, 2 and 3) of the programme, unless otherwise requested. Fees are payable 7 days prior to the start date. Please contact for more information.

As part of your enrolment for the Masters programme you will need to complete an interview with a member of the programme team. You can book your interview during the application process and our Student Experience team will be on hand to help. You can find out more about what to expect in the interview here in our Master of Contemporary Education Interview Guide.    

academyEX offers a range of scholarships to support people to study and help to minimise barriers to learning. The following scholarships can be applied for, and cover 50% of the programme fees in 2024.

  • Tangata Whenua - for learners who identify as Māori

  • Pacific Ako - for learners who identify as Pacific

  • Taipakeke - for learners who are aged 60 years and over

  • Impact Scholarship - for learners who are positively impacting people, society and/or the planet.

Find out more, including scholarship terms and conditions, by visiting our Scholarships page

Early Bird Discount: There is an Early Bird discount of 10% off the course fees for domestic students who apply 4 weeks before the start date of an intake, and 8 weeks before the start of an intake for international students. The discount will be applied to your invoice automatically through the enrolment process.

Get in touch with our Enrolment Team for more details (

Please note: Early Bird Discount and Scholarships cannot both be applied. If you receive a scholarship, the remaining amount payable will not be discounted with the early bird rate.

Yes, domestic students studying in New Zealand can apply for a StudyLink Student Loan for this programme. 

Check this StudyLink page for more details on how to apply. Domestics students may also be eligible for Fees Free

To be admitted to this master’s degree you need to have:

  • A recognised bachelor's degree in the same or similar discipline (education), with merit achievements, deemed to be an average grade of B- or higher in all Level 7 courses.


  • A professional qualification in a relevant discipline, recognised as being equivalent to merit achievement in a bachelor degree or equivalent.

  • Special Admission is possible, please contact us for further information and to discuss eligibility.

Getting to know you and your goals

For admission into this master’s programme you will have an interview, a conversation to get to know you and your goals, with one of the programme team. It’s a chance for you to ask any questions and ensure that this master’s programme is the right fit for you. You can discuss your professional experience, the support available from our team and the commitment you can give to achieving your learning goals.

Absolutely. We’ve had loads of students do the course alongside family members, friends and colleagues. There are also opportunities to work collaboratively on assessments during the programme and work together on a project of interest. Learning is always better together!

In the lead up to the start of each intake, fully enrolled students will receive onboarding emails from the team, as well as access to platforms that will be used during your study. An online orientation session is held at the beginning of each intake, and all students are expected to attend in person at academyEX HQ in Auckland. International students learning onshore with us will also be required to attend a separate orientation session. Details will be provided during the application process.

The Master of Contemporary Education programme is designed for Educators teachers and educators at all levels to be equipped to bring contemporary skills and tools into their classrooms and schools.

This programme is available to study as an international student either via online distance learning or in-person in New Zealand with an appopriate visa. To find out more about studying with academyEX as an international student, and for programme fees, visit our International Students page.

Yes, Part 2 of the Masters of Contemporary Education is designed to support all students to identify a problem, opportunity or challenge that they can address through their practice-based change project.

This is a practice-based Master’s highly relevant to your education context e.g. classroom or school.

You will be applying your learning within your education context, and contributing value. Importantly, this Master’s is about your practice - the challenges, problems and opportunities that you face in your classroom (or other education context).

This Master’s adds value to the Digital and Collaborative Learning Postgraduate Certificate which is Part 1 of the 3 part MCE. The PG-DCL and MCE become a suite of options for teachers and other educators to choose from and move between.

This Masters focuses on the challenges of contemporary education including digital fluency through leadership and collaboration. The programme recognises all teachers as leaders.

The Master of Contemporary Education Agile Inquiry Process is a framework that allows you to tackle complex change in learning environments where requirements are not fully understood or are ever changing.

The learning is divided into sprints (chunks) that facilitate successful collaboration and shared learning. There is an individual and collective responsibility and a shared accountability with personalised learning through the selection and development of particular sprints that are focused to your context. With continuous improvement, regular reflection and iteration, the solution to the challenge emerges through the process.  

The Masters has part-time and full-time options.

To learn more about our Masters programme, download our 2023 Prospectus or book a chat with Lisa Whittington-Slater, our Outreach Manager.

Previous candidates have received pay increases after the completion of the Masters. Our understanding is and has been if you complete the Masters which is an NZQA approved Level 9 postgraduate qualification you are entitled to a change in salary upon graduation with a Master's degree - unless you are already on the highest allowable step. However, as academyEX, we cannot guarantee all graduates will receive a pay increase upon graduation. All employees salaries and qualifications need to be assessed individually by the MOE Salary Assessment Team before any change in pay scale is confirmed.We recommend checking the Teachers’ Collective Agreement, Remuneration Clause or contact MOE Resourcing Division, or speaking with the Payroll Officer at your school for any clarification.

Usually, workshops will be held during the school holidays or on a weekend. There may be some flexibility around workshops/days of the week, but there is an expectation that you will attend these workshops. Attending online is possible, please speak with the programme team

Studying full time is a significant commitment (35 - 40 hours per week) and we do not recommend working full time whilst studying full time. Please contact us if you have specific circumstances that you would like to discuss.

We are very happy to help you to communicate the benefits of studying with academyEX to your employer. If you would like us to provide you with a letter of support or further information, please just ask.

Next Steps

Okay, so what’s next?

Make an enquiry

We understand the decision to embark on a Master’s programme requires some consideration. If you have any questions, we’re here to help answer them.

Book a chat

We get it – sometimes it’s nice to chat to a real human! Book a call at a time that suits you and Lisa will be able to answer your questions, give you more information and, if you’re ready, help you apply.

Apply Now

Create your academyEX account, or sign in if you are returning for more to apply online. We will guide you through the application process and make sure you have all you need to launch yourself into this journey.