Graduate Diploma in Education

SFU's Faculty of Education Place and Nature-Based Experiential Learning GDE at X̱wáýx̱way (Stanley Park) with Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) Knowledge Holders.

Graduate Diploma in Advanced Professional Studies in Education (GDE) programs are designed in collaboration with BC school districts for educators whose primary focus is school-based practice. Through graduate level course work, the GDE provides educators with an extended professional development opportunity focusing on inquiry and professional questions of interest. GDE themes explore current theories and principles within content-specific and interdisciplinary learning.

Program Design

Graduate Diploma in Education (GDE) programs allow you to “live the work” in a collaborative learning community, with the support of colleagues, mentors, and instructors. Our cohorts tend to attract educators with a range of experiences and backgrounds, including new teachers and TTOCs. Join us for this unique opportunity to connect with educators who share your curiosity and passion for building belonging in your educational communities.

Courses explore different approaches to teaching and learning while examining the research, theories and pedagogical principles on which effective educational practices are based. 

Field Studies provide an opportunity for you to develop an inquiry plan around a question or issue of particular importance to you. You will implement this plan in your educational setting and critically reflect on growth and changes in your practice. Field studies are supported by an experienced mentor, and you will meet regularly in small study groups. 

Assessment and Evaluation are the means for you to synthesize and self-assess your learning. You will develop and maintain a portfolio throughout the program that will be shared with peers and mentors and evaluated on a satisfactory / unsatisfactory basis. 

Program Features

What makes our GDE students unique? Our students ...

  • Are self-directed: You decide what aspects of your practice you inquire, investigate and research;
  • Learn what matters: Our programs have direct application to your practice as an educator;
  • Know community matters: As a member of a cohort model, you'll be in the same collaborative learning community througout your program;
  • Utilize foundations of support: You will receive support by instructors and mentors who are, or have recently been, educators in BC's K-12 system;
  • Are practitioner-inquirers: You'll engage in practitioner-inquiry to investigate your interests and passions;
  • Start where they are: GDE programs welcome all experience levels;
  • Strive to be the teacher they desire: You can work to better align your values and practice.

TQS Upgrade Opportunity

Completion of the 2-yr (6-term) 30-credit diploma allows teachers to:

  • upgrade from TQS category 4 to TQS category 5 or
  • from TQS 5 to TQS 5+ or
  • from TQS 6 to TQS 6+ (in districts with that category)

Applicants who wish to pursue a TQS updgrade must possess both an undergraduate degree and a valid British Columbia teaching certificate. Those without an undergraduate degree should review the requirements for professional upgrading before considering this program.

Note: credits from other programs or institutions are not transferrable to this program.

Current Programs  

Exploring Making: Art, Design and Technology in Education (Burnaby, Blended)

Explore making, creating, innovating, building, design thinking, and contributing to the school community.

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Indigenous Education: Wholistic Teachings and Transformative Pedagogies

Develop your pedagogical practice while engaging in sustained reflective inquiry, all within the context of wholistic teachings and transformative pedagogies within Indigenous education.

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Leadership et pratique innovante en éducation francophone en milieu minoritaire (CSF, en ligne)

Explorer le développement du leadership pédagogique par l'innovation en contexte minoritaire.

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Teaching for Equity and Social Justice (Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows, Blended)

Deepen your pedagogical understanding of social justice, equity, identity and belonging.

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Student Experiences

"The field studies at the core of this GDE have given me both the structure and the freedom to explore teaching practices that have an immediate impact on my daily work in the classroom." 

Tanya Virani, 2018 Graduate (Frameworks for Innovative Collaboration  and Inquiry, GDE)

Upcoming Information Sessions


For GDE admissions and program information, contact:

For new collaborations and programs, contact: