Master of Contemporary Education

Level 9 – NZQA accredited

The Master of Contemporary Education is a practice-based Master’s programme designed to support the development of teachers and education leaders in a rapidly evolving education environment.

Programme Highlights

Develop and adapt existing teaching practice and education knowledge to build new capability and greater confidence of emerging technologies and digital technologies.
Develop data-informed and research-led practice, informed by changing education expectations, measurable student outcomes and student achievement.
Lead collaborative learner-focused teaching practice in the context of new influences, policy changes and emerging opportunities in contemporary education.
Critically analyse key challenges and opportunities in contemporary education, and generate solutions and strategies to advance practice.
‘The Mind Lab 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

Programme Overview

This qualification focuses on new teaching practices and draws from the specific problems and opportunities faced within contemporary education environments.

The programme provides a comprehensive pathway for teachers to gain new insights, deeper understanding and applied knowledge of contemporary education practices and research to meet the needs of a new generation of learners.


Key Benefits

  • Gain a deep understanding of emerging education challenges and respond to areas needing improvement
  • Authentically respond to cultural and social change
  • Lead and drive sustained pedagogical change to improve student outcomes
  • Develop digital fluency and effectively implement into day-to-day teaching practice

What sets this programme apart from other Master’s programmes?

The Master of Contemporary Education has been designed to support the professional development and needs of teachers and educators in their rapidly changing teaching and learning environments. The qualification directly focuses on adding measurable beneficial value to you, your school and your education communities.

The qualification is:

  • Practice-based, learner-focused and solutions-driven
  • Agile, blended, iterative and collaborative
  • Collaborative and supported by practical workshops and online communities

A core component of the Master’s qualification is developing high-impact competencies. Key components include developing an informed point of view and the timely adoption of collaborative strategies that engage, inform and encourage meaningful engagement and learning.

The final output of this work-based Master’s qualification is an in-depth project that is developed, presented and shared with education peers and advisors at The Mind Lab Education Symposium.

Structure & Time Requirement

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

Part-time structure

  • Part 2 is delivered over one year (January 2021 to January 2022 or July 2021 to July 2022) with approximately 12 hours study per week.
  • Part 3 is delivered over one year (January 2022 to January 2023 or July 2022 to July 2023) with approximately 12 hours study per week.

Full-time structure

  • Part 2 is delivered from January 2021 to August 2021. 
  • Part 3 is delivered from August 2021 finishing between January and April 2022, depending on what works for you. 
  • Note: Part 3 is equivalent to around 600 hours of learning, and the pace you complete it depends on the time you can allocate to study. For instance, If you wish to complete Part 3 by April, you will need to allocate approximately 25 hours study per week. If you wish to complete Part 3 by January, you will need to allocate approximately 35 hours study per week. 

For the 2021 programme we have redesigned our delivery approach to support the majority of our learners’ needs as well as still supporting those that would like the option to do a full time masters. You can indicate the structure that works best for you during your application or interview.

In addition 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, alongside full-day workshops in person.

Key Dates


The tuition fee for the full Masters programme is $10,195 +GST and each Part will be invoiced separately as you progress through the programme.

  • Part 1 (DCL): $2,805 +GST
  • Part 2: $3,695 +GST
  • Part 3: $3,695 +GST

If you have already completed your Postgraduate Certificate in Digital & Collaborative Learning, the full programme fees consist of Part 2 and Part 3 only and total $7,390 +GST.

Scholarships, Discounts & Subsidies

Earlybird Discount

We offer a 25% off Earlybird Discount for Part 2 and Part 3 of the Masters programme.

If you complete your application more than 1 month before the start date of each Part your fees for Parts 2 and 3 will total $5,542.50 +GST, or $2,771.25 +GST for each Part.

Please note, this discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other scholarships offered by the Mind Lab.


Master of Contemporary Education students can apply for StudyLink.

The StudyLink application must be applied for one year at a time for part-time students.

StudyLink applicants must only apply for an enrolment period of fewer than 52 weeks within one calendar year.

Other support

There are a range of places to obtain funding, or assistance with funding, for your Masters. View some of the options here.

We’ve also created this handy template to assist in asking for funding, ask Lisa for the template file to use.


Tangata Whenua Scholarship
for educators who identify as Māori
Pacific Ako Scholarship
for educators who identify as of Pacific Island descent
Taipakeke Scholarship
for educators who are aged 60 years and over

Scholarship Applications

A limited number of scholarships are available for the Master of Contemporary Education.

  • There are two scholarships available per category in 2021.
  • These scholarships cover 50% of the full tuition fee for Parts 2 and 3 of the programme.
  • You must be fully enrolled in order for your scholarship application to be considered.
  • Scholarship applications are open only to those who are not currently receiving other financial support towards their fees.
  • This discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other scholarships offered by the Mind Lab
  • You will be asked to provide some personal information to identify yourself as part of your application process. This information differs depending on which scholarship you are applying for.
  • We will also ask all applicants to attach some evidence to their application to indicate how the scholarship and programme will benefit their education context.

Scholarships applications close 4 weeks before an intake starts

  • January Intake Deadline: Sunday, 20th December 2020
  • July Intake Deadline: Sunday, 6th June 2021

Contact for more information, or for information about eligibility.

Course Outline

Part 1

Postgraduate Certificate in Digital and Collaborative Learning

4 courses, part-time over 35 weeks

(60 credits)

Part 2

Leadership and Collaboration in Contemporary Education

4 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.

Part-time over 1 year.

(60 credits)

Part 3

Practice-based Change Project

In this capstone course, the candidates evidence their change in practice and learning through the implementation and critical evaluation of practice-based projects.

Part-time over 1 year or full-time over 6 months.

(60 credits)

Enquire Now

Enquire about our Master of Contemporary Education and one of our outreach team will get in touch.