Complex Educational Needs study award

Learn about this award, which supports people to study Massey University’s Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching: Complex Educational Needs.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Teachers and kaiako
  • Specialist support staff
  • Specialist Schools
  • SENCOs
  • Specialist teachers (ORS)
  • HODs learning support
  • Specialist classroom teachers
  • Early learning head teachers


Applicants for the Complex Education Needs study award must meet the associated criteria and use the annual application process.

Key information

You must apply for Massey University's Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching: Complex Educational Needs offered at Massey University at the same time as you submit your study award application.

Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching: Complex Educational Needs(external link)

The applications with Massey University closed on 9 December 2023.

Does this sound interesting? For more information you can find the frequently asked questions, look in the FAQ.

FAQs for Learning Support Study Awards and Scholarships

This study award supports Massey University’s Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching Complex Educational Needs.

Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching Complex Educational Needs(external link)

What the award covers

The study award covers:

  • a contribution towards your travel and accommodation to attend block courses
  • the full amount for your domestic tuition fees (paid to Massey University)
  • an employer contribution to cover teacher release time for up to 50 study leave days per year.

Who is eligible

To be eligible for this award, you must:

  • be employed in one of the following roles:
    • a registered teacher with a current practicing certificate at a state or state-integrated school
    • a registered teacher with a current practicing certificate in a registered early childhood service
  • permanently employed in full-time or part-time position (or fixed term position which covers the duration of the programme can be considered)
  • have a minimum of 3 years of teaching experience in schools as a registered teacher
  • have the approval of and support from your employer 
  • hold a relevant professional qualification such as a Bachelor of Education or an equivalent qualification. This means an overseas qualification assessed as being equivalent to a relevant New Zealand qualification by the New Zealand Psychologists Board or the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand. If you are unsure about whether you have an equivalent qualification, contact Massey University
  • be a New Zealand citizen or have rights to reside and work in New Zealand indefinitely or permanently.

You are not entitled to this award if you:

  • are employed in a relieving position
  • are not accepted into the Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching: Complex Educational Needs course
  • have already received a study award and failed the course.

If you're employed part-time your study leave days will be based on (pro -rata) your full-time equivalent status. 

We will give priority to applicants in Māori medium and English medium setting who have responsibility for planning, teaching and learning in schools that include a diverse student group, including students who require additional support. These roles may include Specialist Teachers ORS, SENCo, Head of Department in the area of learning support, Specialist Classroom Teachers, Early Learning head teacher. or supporting a Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

What to include in your application

Your application must include:

Assessment panels can only consider the content of your application and support letters. Please include details of your ability to succeed in the course of study and any other circumstances that you feel are important for us to consider. Our decision to grant or not grant an award is final, and we will not enter into any discussion about it.

Your responsibilities for meeting the award conditions

If you are granted this study award, you must meet certain conditions. The specific terms and conditions will be listed in your letter of offer. In brief, you must:

  • enrol in your courses at university
  • understand the offer of study award is valid for 2 years. If you need to defer, email
  • plan your study and workload for the year (we recommend that you do this with your employer)
  • arrange appropriate study leave with your employer
  • email if your situation changes – this includes your employment status, contact details and any changes to your proposed study.

Our support to complete the Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching for 2 years

Domestic tuition fees

In April, we pay your tuition fees directly to your university. You are responsible for paying non-tuition fees. Please pay directly to the university.

Non-tuition fees such as student levies, building fees, administration fees and any other add-on university charges are not included.

Travel and accommodation contribution

We will pay this directly into your bank account. The exact amount and date will be written in your letter of offer if your application is successful. Travel costs above the level of the travel and accommodation are not included.

Contribution payment towards study leave

Note: If you work or study less, the payment will be proportional to your employment FTE and/or the number of papers you are studying. If you work in a role that would not usually be back filled by a reliever, these employer contributions will not apply to you.

We pay this to your employer. Details will be included in your letter of offer if you are successful. We will also notify your employer a letter detailing how many days you will receive, the contribution amount and date of payment.

Any study leave taken over the amount you have been told you can use in your letter of offer are not included.

Failure, withdrawal, breaks in study and changes to employment

If you:

  • decide not to start the course after you have enrolled, withdraw as soon as possible. You will need to repay the Ministry any tuition fees paid on your behalf. We will send you an invoice for the amount. Your study award expires. You must make a new application the following year if you want to study again. ‘The university stipulates a ‘withdrawal date’, which is the final date that you can withdraw by to be eligible for a refund of tuition fees. Withdrawal dates are notified on your Confirmation of Enrolment letter from the University or can be seen in the full course outline for a specific course on the Massey website. 
  • withdraw from study part way through the qualification, you will need to pay back all tuition fees that we have paid for your study.
  • need to take a break from study due to unforeseen circumstances, email us. You can ask for a study break of a maximum of one year.
  • resign, are made redundant, your position is terminated or you decide to change jobs part way through your study, email us as we may give you time to continue study while you find appropriate new employment. If you do not find appropriate employment within three months, your study award will stop and you will need to pay back all tuition fees that we have paid for your study. If you change jobs within semesters, we may be able to transfer unused employer contribution for study leave to your new employer. You and your previous employer will need to agree how many days can be invoiced and transferred to your new employer. We will need confirmation of this in writing. If you can’t agree, you will have to forfeit the remaining days in that semester.
  • fail a paper, you will need to retake that paper at you own expense.
  • want to study one paper a year, you are expected to study two papers per year. In exceptional circumstances, you may be allowed to study one paper. The value of the award will remain consistent with others to ensure equity.

Required disclosures

Your application must disclose any convictions you have had unless they are covered by the Criminal Records (Clean Slate Act) 2004.

This is required to ensure that you would not be prevented from gaining future employment with the Ministry of Education.

You must declare all of your convictions if you have:

  • been convicted of an offence within the last 7 years; or
  • been sentenced to a custodial sentence (eg, imprisonment, corrective training, borstal); or
  • been ordered by a court during a criminal case to be detained in a hospital due to your mental condition, instead of being sentenced; or
  • been convicted of a ‘special offence’ (eg, sexual offending against children, young people or those mentally impaired); or
  • not paid in full any fine reparation or costs ordered by the court in a criminal case; or
  • been indefinitely disqualified from driving under section 65 of the Land Transport Act 1998 or earlier equivalent provision.

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