Information on NZ Diploma in Christian Studies – Religious Education (NZDS-RE)

This qualification provides knowledge and skills required for teaching Religious Education and for positions of leadership in Catholic Schools. Graduates will find this diploma in specifically designed for those teaching in Catholic schools who wish to work as DRS, in other senior management roles or teach NCEA Religious Education.

This qualification is a Level 6 qualification of 120 credits. There are 8 main papers to this qualification. Each paper is 15 credits. A full-student does 120 credits in a year. That is four papers or 60 credit points each semester.

  • 4 papers x 15 credits = 60 credits in a semester.
  • There are two semesters in a year 60 + 60 = 120 credit points.

Part time or distance students will take longer to complete this qualification as there are limits to the number of papers students can take each semester. This ensures a reasonable workload.

Students are offered the opportunity to do separate papers each semester either via distance learning or on campus. Or if students prefer on campus learning, with the advantages of having in class room engagement then they are most welcome to have all their courses delivered by a lecturer. This will be the same case if students preferred online learning.

  • Semester 1 : TH601 The Sacrament Today (Distance) + RE601 What Makes a School Catholic (Campus)
  • Semester 1 : TH601 The Sacrament Today (Campus) + RE601 What Makes a School Catholic
  • (Campus)
  • Semester 1 : TH601 The Sacrament Today (Distance) + RE601 What Makes a School Catholic (Distance)

What are the entry requirements?

Students need to have completed a Level 5 theological qualification, eg NZCCS-CM to be accepted into this programme of study.

What is the structure of this programme?

There are 8 main papers that you must complete in order to receive this award. Below is the programme structure for this qualification.

  • RE601 What makes a School Catholic – (15 Credits)
  • RE602 The Religious Education Curriculum – (15 Credits)
  • RE603 Issues in the Catholic Education – (15 Credits)
  • RE604 Leadership in Catholic Schools – (15 Credits)
  • TH601 Sacrament Today – (15 Credits)
  • TH609 He Turanga Whakaaro – (15 Credits)
  • TH624 Values for Religious Education – (15 Credits)
  • SC601 Gospel in Aotearoa – (15 Credits)

Options (with approval from Programme Co-ordinator)

  • SC602 Bible in Religious Education can be studied instead of SC601 The Gospel in Aotearoa – (15 Credits)
  • TH625 Theology for Religious Education: Special Topic can be studied instead of TH609 He Turanga Whakaaro – (15 Credits)


For more information on individual papers go to our ‘Course Units’ page for more information.

Can I get recognition for previous academic study (Recognition of Prior Learning)?

Prior learning from an accredited institute at the same level is recognised by Te Kupenga. Please contact each site-coordinator for more details how you can apply for this. Depending on our previous tertiary study, Te Kupenga may credit up to 40% towards a qualification. For previous stud to be considered, it must have occurred no more than 10 years ago. There is an administration fee for processing an RPL application:

    • RPL for an overseas qualification = $50.00
    • RPL for a New Zealand qualification = $40.00

There is no charge for cross-credit or for processing per-requisites for entry into the NZDCS.

What is the next step?

Now that you have decided upon the qualification you want to study towards, the next step is to select which papers you would like to do first. Feel free to email our Catholic Theological College team for help or assistance in planning your studying schedule.

If you would like to check out further studies above this Level 6 qualification, check or the our Degree-Level qualifications that we have to offer

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