Masters Study

Master of Contemporary Education

Programme coming in 2018, pending approval. 


The Master of Contemporary Education* (MCE), is a practice-based Masters that has been designed to support the professional development and needs of teachers and educators in a rapidly changing education environment, building on our core philosophy of digital and collaborative learning. The MCE is an applied, progressive and blended masters programme that provides a pathway for educators to gain understanding and knowledge of contemporary challenges and opportunities in education and gain a masters level qualification. A core component of the programme is the building of advanced competencies particularly in leadership and collaboration, and empowering educators to meet contemporary education demands of their practice context.  The programme design recognises the changing demands in education and is designed to be agile, iterative and collaborative. The output of this programme is a practice based change project which has genuine outcomes for stakeholders, which is then shared at The Mind Lab Education Symposium.

MCE Graduate Outcomes

Master of Contemporary Education graduates will be able to:


  •  Critically engage in a substantial and authentic way with appropriate communities and stakeholders in the context of changing education environments.
  • Critique past, existing, and emerging practices and determine their cultural and social impact on practice and wider education contexts.
  • Critically analyse key challenges and opportunities in contemporary education, and generate solutions and strategies to advance practice.
  • Develop and adapt knowledge regarding emerging and disruptive technologies, and the need for digital fluency, into practice.
  • Lead and develop collaborative learner-focused ‘solutions in practice’ in the context of emerging challenges and opportunities in contemporary education.



MCE Programme Structure

The MCE is structured into three parts and is comprised of 180 credits of study.

  • Part 1 (Digital and collaborative learning): The four courses that also make up the PGCert AP-DCL, preparing MCE candidates for Parts 2 and 3. (60 credits)
  • Part 2 (Leadership and collaboration in contemporary education): Four courses developing collaboration and leadership contextualised in contemporary education practice including the importance of digital fluency.  Part 2 develops a robust scope for the leadership of a practice-based project and collaboration in one or more other practice projects. (60 credits)  
  • Part 3 (Practice-based change project): In this MCE capstone course, the candidate evidences change in practice and learning through leadership and collaboration in the implementation and critical evaluation of practice-based projects. (60 Credits)


Part 1 -Digital and Collaborative Learning (DCL):

The Master of Contemporary Education starts with the courses that make up the DCL where candidates study part time for 32 weeks. The workshops and online resources provide information and evidence which challenge and extend the thinking of candidates and provide opportunities for them to debate existing and new practices and pedagogies with their peers from a range of levels, disciplines, schools and wider education contexts.

Intakes for Part 1 are March, July and November. For the first 16 weeks candidates attend face-to-face sessions for four hours a week, followed by a second period of 16 weeks where the learning is online.

Parts 2 & 3- Leadership and Collaboration in Contemporary Education & Practice-based Change Project:

Following successful completion of Part 1, candidates can continue to study part-time for a further 1.5 years or transfer to full-time study for 1 year.

Candidates build on the skills and knowledge already developed in Part 1 (DCL), and further explore and apply contemporary teaching practices and leadership skills. The focus is to strengthen educators competencies that will enable them to grapple with the challenges facing education today so that they can lead and drive contemporary pedagogical approaches and change in their schools, communities and wider education contexts.

In addition to a blended-learning model of delivery, which supports self-directed study and collaborative learning, candidates develop reflective portfolios and work-based projects, and participate in The Mind Lab Education Symposium.  

Intakes for Parts 2 & 3 are semesterised with two entry options per year (April and October).  The full time programme has been structured to cater for candidates who have received Teach NZ study awards.


Supporting Parts 2 & 3:-

Workshops: Workshops support candidates engagement and learning and provide opportunities to foster and strengthen collaborative relationships. Candidates are initially highly directed through the delivery of the face-to-face workshops (and online resources) to a higher level of independence and collaborative independence.  

The Mind Lab Online Journal Club:  The Online Journal Club facilitates critical engagement with literature, increases relevant contemporary knowledge and grows collaborative capability and opportunity.   Candidates regularly meet face-to-face and online to critically evaluate recent articles and information relevant to contemporary education opportunities and challenges.  For instance, a group of five candidates interested in five key articles will each read and critically report on one article to the whole group.  Individuals or groups post their discussion to an online platform for the benefit of the “club.”   As the candidate develops unique and personalised approaches to practice these topics become more learner-directed culminating with the individualised project plan and project.  The candidates learning can be evidenced in their portfolios for submission especially in regard to how contemporary knowledge is applied to practice.

Collaboration and Leadership: Cornerstones of the programme are the collaboration and leadership candidates will develop during workshops, online, and in assessment items.  In Part 2 collaboration and leadership are developed further through the context of Collaboration in Practice, and Leadership in Practice courses. Candidates work collaboratively to build collaborative competency and capability.  This builds candidates ability to contribute critical feedback that assist their peers to lead, review and evaluate evidence.   

MCE Agile Inquiry Process: Candidates are supported to develop their work-based project through the agile and iterative nature of this inquiry.  This inquiry runs through Part 2,  and then more substantially during Part 3.  Beginning in Part 2 candidates work collaboratively to plan a Draft Scope for the work-based project.  Candidates lead a project and support one or more candidates in the leading of their own projects.  

Practice-Based Change Project: The Practice- Based Change Project (Part 3), is a capstone course and builds on the outcomes of the other four courses in Part 2. Candidates work collaboratively to critically evaluate and review the iterative planning, development, implementation and review of a relevant contemporary work based project. Candidates support each other in the development of the ‘Draft Scope’, in Part 2. During Part 3, candidates lead a practice-based project in their own context and work collaboratively with one or more other candidates to support, mentor and coach their peer-led projects.  

The Mind Lab by Unitec Contemporary Education Symposium: Candidates commence and complete the programme by attending the Contemporary Education Symposium. Candidates share their learning, meet other candidates, foster and develop learning relationships at the symposium.  Candidates report their findings and reflective evaluation in the form of an abstract and presentation which is published in the proceedings of The Mind Lab by Unitec Contemporary Education Symposium.  

Assessment Methods: Assessments are multimodal and are underpinned by digital and collaborative pedagogies.  Formative and summative assessment opportunities are blended throughout the course.  Candidates do not write a thesis or dissertation, but are assessed on their presentation, leadership and collaboration of their practice-based project.


Register interest here;

Find out more

Please contact us if you would like to find out more about the programme.