Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice
(Digital and Collaborative Learning)



1. What is the programme that is offered through The Mind Lab by Unitec?
Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice (Digital and Collaborative Learning) which is a 32-week part-time qualification.

2. Who is the programme for?
The audience is predominantly primary and secondary school teachers although early childhood and tertiary educators are more than welcome to attend. The four courses relate to educators at all levels, however, the context is based upon the primary and secondary education environment and many discussions relate to aspects specific to these sectors eg. national standards, key competencies, assessment etc.

3. Why are we offering this programme?
In December 2013, the Associate Minister for Education, Nikki Kaye, identified a critical mass of 10,000 New Zealand teachers (of the 50,000+ primary and secondary teachers) needing further training and the skills to provide more relevant educational delivery methods. This programme responds to that demand. Prior to this collaboration with Unitec, The Mind Lab experienced significant demand for workshops and professional development from practising teachers.

4. Who will be teaching this programme?
Learning will be facilitated by The Mind Lab by Unitec’s highly experienced and qualified education team, with our programme leaders in each location Masters qualified with significant experience in the field of digital learning.

5. Why is this qualification different from other providers’ qualifications?
The Mind Lab by Unitec is the first to provide an applied postgraduate qualification in digital and collaborative learning. Rather than being based on theory alone, this programme is work based and learning can be applied in the classroom from day one using easily available resources.

6. Will I be entitled to a pay rise if I complete this programme?
According to the Ministry of Education, Level 8 qualifications can only be considered for salary calculations if they are either postgraduate diplomas or honours degrees, i.e. they must be 120 credits. This certificate is 60 credits, therefore it does not on its own meet these criteria. However, these credits can be counted towards other qualifications that would meet the Ministry of Education criteria.


1. What credit value and level is it?
60 credits at level 8

2. What are the entry requirements?
You will likely be a teacher/educator with either:
an undergraduate qualification (not necessarily in education)
or a Diploma in Education and 3 or more years’ experience as a teacher.
Other applicants should contact us to discuss.

3. How long is the programme?
Our 32-week part-time programme consists of 4 integrated and overlapping courses that build on one another. The first 16 weeks require participation in one weekly 4-hour session at The Mind Lab by Unitec, either at one of our physical labs or at one of our satellite locations. The first two courses are delivered simultaneously, introducing teachers to innovative approaches to teaching and learning, leadership and digital media.

For the second 16 weeks, teachers will continue to apply new knowledge and practice in the classroom while studying on a dedicated online portal. The initial focus is on research and community informed practice where teachers explore the development of a research topic of specific interest. Teachers will then investigate community needs and contemporary educational challenges in New Zealand.

4. How is the programme delivered?
This programme uses a blended model of delivery for the first 16 weeks with 4 hours at The Mind Lab by Unitec per week with online support and work-based practice. The second 16 weeks is work-based and online.

There are four compulsory courses (the first two are completed concurrently):
Digital and Collaborative Learning in Context
Leadership in Digital and Collaborative Learning
Research and Community Informed Practice
Applied Practice in Context

Additional information on these four courses can be found here.

5. What is the desired outcome?
Teachers will learn practical, hands-on tools and approaches to better engage and inspire their students through the appropriate use of technology and learning techniques. The qualification also increases employment opportunities for teachers.

6. When does the course start?
Our next intake starts week commencing 26th March 2018 (end date week commencing 11th November 2018).

There are breaks between 14th July 2018 and 22nd July 2018, otherwise the course runs every week including over school holidays.

7. What is the timetable like?
For the first 16 weeks, there are weekly 4-hour sessions at The Mind Lab by Unitec scheduled outside school hours, multiple times a week to provide flexibility – you can pick which session during the week suits you the most and it may be altered week by week (region specific). Proposed face to face session days and times for the March 2018 intake will be published on the website.

Please note that all sessional days and times are subject to change and all intake locations are subject to reaching minimum numbers.

The second 16 weeks are all work-based with online support but there will be opportunities for you to attend regular sessions at The Mind Lab by Unitec to collaborate with your teachers and fellow students.

The study workload outside the time spent at The Mind Lab by Unitec is expected to be 6-8 hours per week in your own time, however given that the course is applied, it is expected that many of these hours will be absorbed into innovative classroom practice.

8. Where do I go for the first 16 weeks’ sessions?
The first 16 weeks are onsite at one of our locations. Please see the website for updated details.

9. What does the assessment involve?
The proof of learning for assessment is modelled on new postgraduate practices allowing for video, photography, blogs or visual diaries. All this is captured while you are in your workplace through the online learning portal. This is quite different to traditional written essays and examinations.

10. What’s available via the online learning portal?
The portal provides a personal archive and portfolio of progress and visual diary of learning. It provides the ability to interact with other educators and teachers on the programme as well as providing links to resources, examples of applied practice in action and topics, debates and conversations on new ways to look at teaching.

11. Can I progress to other qualifications?
On completion of the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice, you will be half-way towards a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Practice. You can also do a research project in your school or workplace and get a Master’s degree.

Find out more here


1. How much does it cost?
NZ students pay $2750 + GST (Total $3,162.50 incl GST).

2. Am I entitled to any subsidies?
As a New Zealand student, your fees already reflect that your course receives this is a SAC (government) funding. If you wish to reduce the cost further you may be able to apply for a subsidy through your school or institution’s professional development budget.

You are eligible for interest-free student loans through StudyLink: www.studylink.govt.nz. You may also be eligible for a NEXT Generation Teacher Scholarship.

3. Tell me about the NEXT Generation Teacher Scholarship
We are thrilled to be partnering with NEXT Foundation to provide public school teachers with a $2000 + GST scholarship towards their tuition fees, for our March and July 2018 intakes only.

These scholarships are for registered teachers employed at a registered New Zealand public (state or state integrated) Primary, Intermediate or Secondary Schools (or have received a confirmed offer of employment at such a school.)

To apply for a scholarship, teachers must complete the online application for the programme, then they will receive a link to the scholarship application form. Scholarships are allocated on a first in first served basis for each region, based on the successful completion of the enrolment process.

Please see The Mind Lab by Unitec website for the terms and conditions and for further information about the scholarships.

4. What do Rotorua teachers pay?
Teachers from approved schools within Rotorua who are eligible for the scholarship may also be eligible for a further $650 + GST discount due to the generous support of Nga Pumanawa e Waru. This discount will be allocated at the sole discretion of The Mind Lab by Unitec.

5. What do Wellington teachers pay?
Teachers from approved schools within Lower Hutt may also be eligible for a further $650 + GST discount due to the generous support of Hutt Science, a Hutt City Council initiative. This discount will be allocated at the sole discretion of The Mind Lab by Unitec.

6. What if my school has agreed to pay my tuition fees?
If your school is paying your tuition fees and requires the invoice to be addressed to the school then please send an email to enrol@themindlab.com to request this. Please provide us with the full address and school contact name (if any) and the amended invoice will be sent to the school as required. Please note the request should be made by the student.

7. Can I access Unitec services and facilities?
Yes. You will be enrolled and graduate as a Unitec student and can, therefore, access a variety of services relevant to you including the libraries, academic support services and facilities including Maia Maori Centre, Pacific Centre and counselling services. This also includes a student discount card enabling you to receive discounts for movies, travel, devices and phones and free access to Microsoft Office 365 etc.

8. How do I enrol?
Through our online application site. Whilst applying, if you have any difficulties, please call 0800 MINDLAB (6463522).

9. How can I supply copies of my documentation in order to process my application?
For NZ Citizens: Please email to enrol@themindlab.com a coloured scanned copy of your original Birth Certificate, Citizenship Certificate or NZ Passport as proof of your citizenship. Unitec reserves the right to request the verified copy of your documents, if required.
For non NZ Citizens: Please email enrol@themindlab.com a verified copy of your current international passport. Verification can be done by your Principal, a JP or Solicitor. Please include details of your Residency Permit and Returning Residents Visa or Permanent Residents Visa (if issued after 20 November 2010).
If you are in Auckland, you can bring your original documents in for verification to Student Central at any Unitec campus located at Mt Albert, Henderson or Albany
If you are in Auckland, Gisborne, Wellington or Christchurch you can bring your original documents in for verification to The Mind Lab by Unitec:
o AUCKLAND – 69 Carlton Gore Road, Newmarket (parking available off 110 Park Road)
o GISBORNE – Shed 3, Esplanade, Waterfront
o WELLINGTON – 25 Victoria Street, Petone (ground floor)
o CHRISTCHURCH – 24 Walker Street, Christchurch Central

10. Do I need additional software for my computer?
There is a wide range of third-party software and apps that we recommend to help engage with your students and we can advise on the types that we use. We strongly advise that you check with your IT team or administrator before installing anything onto your computer to ensure compatibility with your systems or network. Most teachers like to bring their own personal devices to class but this is not compulsory.

11. Where can I keep in touch with The Mind Lab by Unitec?
Please follow us on:


1. Who are The Mind Lab by Unitec?
The Mind Lab by Unitec is a collaboration between Unitec Institute of Technology and The Mind Lab. It draws on the expertise of both organisations to provide primary and secondary school teachers with the opportunity to learn how to integrate technology and new teaching practices into their classrooms. The first qualification to be delivered through The Mind Lab by Unitec is the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice (Digital and Collaborative Learning).

2. Who are The Mind Lab?
The Mind Lab is a specialist learning environment designed to contextualise education in a 21st-century setting. Originally established in 2013 in Newmarket, Auckland, The Mind Lab has received significant interest and attention due to its innovative, hands-on approach to learning and its highly effective and innovative teaching methodologies that are designed to inspire students in the fields of science and technology.

The Mind Lab founder Frances Valintine was previously the Chief Executive of Media Design School, one of New Zealand’s most successful private training establishments.

The Mind Lab now forms part of a joint venture with Unitec and has been renamed The Mind Lab by Unitec. Frances Valintine Chairs the Board of The Mind Lab by Unitec and acts as an education consultant to the ongoing development of the programme.

3. How did the relationship between Unitec and The Mind Lab come about?
At the end of 2013, The Mind Lab was receiving a lot of recognition from government and media for its innovative approach to science and technology education. At the same time, Unitec was developing a new suite of postgraduate programmes designed to recognise learnings from applied practice in the workforce.

In early 2014 a collaborative relationship was proposed that could draw on the expertise and skills of The Mind Lab with the postgraduate capabilities, applied practice and assessment frameworks of Unitec.

4. What is Unitec’s expertise in this field?
Unitec is the largest Institute of Technology/Polytechnic in the country and is one of New Zealand’s premier applied learning institutes; all of our teaching is focused on giving students skills and capabilities they can use in the workplace.

5. What else does The Mind Lab by Unitec offer?
In addition to the postgraduate studies, The Mind Lab by Unitec also offers after school and school holiday programmes, school class visits and professional development sessions for teachers at our physical labs in Auckland and Gisborne. The Mind Lab by Unitec also offers MindLabKids.com, a free website for children featuring STEM-based learning challenges in line with our pedagogy which supports hands-on and self-directed learning.

6. How can I get in contact with you?
For any information on The Mind Lab by Unitec or this postgraduate programme, please contact us on postgrad@themindlab.com or call 0800 MINDLAB (6463522).