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Mental Health & Wellbeing in Schools (Online)

Certificate of Proficiency | Contributes to MEdLd and MEd

Enhance educational outcomes for ākonga in relation to mental health and wellbeing with this 30-point credit bearing course comprising 6 fortnightly modules.

Recommended Background

Students will have a bachelors degree in a relevant subject

University Entrance (or equivalent) required for admission


12 weeks

Next Start Dates

  • Semester Two: 15 July 2024 (applications close 1 July)

Applications close one week before the course starts. Apply early to secure your spot.

Domestic Fees


Course Overview

Designed for teachers and other professionals working in or with schools, this course explores the notion of wellbeing and how to respond to mental health and wellbeing through the curriculum and a whole school approach. It features an in depth exploration of current Ministry of Education curriculum policy and related resources. You will unpack assumptions about mental health and wellbeing drawing on western, Māori and Pacific concepts and theory while developing knowledge and skills for meaningful, mana-enhancing and creative classroom practice, and whole school evaluation.

The knowledge and skills developed in this course are relevant to a range of educational settings, including ECE, primary and secondary schooling, higher education, alternative education and community education.

Upon completion, students who wish to progress their studies further towards a formal qualification may count this course towards a range of postgraduate programmes in education, including the Master of Educational Leadership (entry criteria and time limits apply).

How do we ensure that schools are wellbeing and mana-enhancing for children and youth? This course is an advanced examination of the theory and practice of mental health education, wellbeing and hauora in education settings. Emphasis is placed on developing a substantive and integrated knowledge base, which can be applied to schools and other educational settings in practice.

Constructing mental health and wellbeing: Considering Western and indigenous approaches This module sets up the conceptual framework for the course and looks at how mental health and wellbeing is constructed, and how this flows through to schools. It considers the difficulties with defining wellbeing, and how mental health and wellbeing are viewed differently from western and indigenous perspectives.
The mental health ‘problem’ and education policy response This module examines the evidence for child and youth mental health and wellbeing, juxtaposing western psychological frameworks and measures with holistic and indigenous approaches. It examines the basis for current thinking about youth mental health as a ‘crisis’, and looks at the related expectations for educational institutions. It also explores the differences and intersections between health promotion and health education in school contexts.
The role of schools in mental health: Exploring curriculum policy and a whole school approach This module focuses on what the role of schools is and might be in relation to child and youth mental health and wellbeing. It includes an indepth exploration of current Ministry of Education curriculum policy and related resources and introduces a whole school approach and the importance of learning (curriculum).
Pedagogy and mental health: creative, relational and mana-enhancing approaches This module focuses on the knowledge and pedagogical bases for mental health education and introduces the notion of a multidisciplinary approach to learning. It also explores the importance of thoughtful and purposeful pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning in this area. In particular it looks at how content and pedagogy are linked and takes the example of positive psychology as well as critical and holistic approaches.
Examining mental health content: Drugs, identity, and interpersonal skills This module focuses on curriculum content in mental health education, how and why certain content gets privileged, and content for prioritising learning and curriculum decisions.
Review and evaluation This module is a chance to reflect on the course content and learning, and share ideas about how you might apply these ideas and concepts to your practice in schools and other education settings.

Students who complete this course will be able to:
1. apply knowledge of wellbeing concepts and theories to education contexts.
2. demonstrate knowledge of concepts about mental health and wellbeing from western and non-western knowledge traditions, including mātauranga Māori and Pacific knowledge systems, and make links between these and culturally-sustaining practices.
3. demonstrate critical and reflective thinking about mental health and wellbeing education debates, disciplinary knowledge, research, and practices.
4. evaluate current practices and plan to enhance educational outcomes for ākonga in relation to mental health and wellbeing.

Upon successful completion of the course you will: * Be awarded with 30 credit points from the University of Auckland * Have the option to take your credit into the MEdLd and other postgraduate programmes in Education (entry criteria and time limits apply)

Frequently asked questions about this course

Application FAQs

What are the entry requirements?

This course is for students with a bachelors degree or postgraduate qualification in a relevant subject. Relevant subjects include education, health sciences, psychology, social work, social sciences and sociology. Please note that for admission you must meet the requirements to study at a New Zealand University (e.g. through University Entrance or an alternative entrance pathway).

What is the date for the next intake?

The next start date for this course is Monday 17 July 2023. Applications close one week before the course starts. Enrol early to secure your spot.

Is the course fee a one-off lump sum?

Yes, the course fee is a one-off sum of $2,198.40 for domestic students.

Is this course open to non-resident students?

No. Currently Auckland Online Certificates of Proficiency are only open to NZ citizens and permanent residents.

Studying FAQs

Can I study the course in my own time? Is it suitable for those working full-time?

Yes. You can study at a time that suits you (within the allocated course dates). Auckland Online courses are designed for working professionals. They are flexible yet structured to help you gain the knowledge in the time you have.

How is the course structured?

The course will run over 12 weeks (with a break in the middle), and will comprise 6 fortnightly modules. Further details on the course structure can be found under the ‘Course Structure’ tab further up on this page.

Assessment FAQs

How will I be assessed?

Learners will be assessed through a combination of activities that address the learning objectives from each of the modules in the course. These will comprise a research inquiry, report, presentation and reflection.

Benefits FAQs

What is a Certificate of Proficiency (CoP)?

A Certificate of Proficiency (CoP) is a course-only study option that allows you to take a course at the University of Auckland, without studying a full programme. It is a good option for those who want to study short-term for professional development purposes, or to test whether a subject is something they wish to pursue more of in the future.

Does the course enable me to take further study at the University?

If you decide to progress your studies further towards a full qualification, you can apply to reassign the points from your CoP to a range of postgraduate programmes in Education, including the Master of Education, Master of Educational Leadership, and Master of Education Practice (entry criteria and time limits apply).

How many course credits will I attain upon completion of the course?

Upon completion of the course, you will be awarded with 30 credit points from the University of Auckland.

Do I get a certificate at the end?

As a Certificate of Proficiency is not a formal qualification, you will not be able to graduate with it or receive a graduation certificate. Your results will be recorded on your official academic transcript, providing evidence of your study.

*Fees are inclusive of 15% GST, but do not include the Student Services Fee, course books, travel and health insurance, or living costs. Amounts shown are indicative only. In addition to the tuition fee, there is a Student Services Fee of $4.44 per point (online). Fees will be confirmed upon completion of enrolment into courses.

Mental Health & Wellbeing in Schools – Start your application

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