Course summary

The Graduate Diploma in Education (Early Childhood) is designed for students who want to be an accredited four-year trained early childhood teacher, or who want to upgrade from a three-year teaching qualification. 

This one year full-time (or part-time equivalent) course provides graduates with an early childhood teaching qualification to work with children from birth to five years. Admission into the course is via an undergraduate degree in any discipline, including a three-year teaching qualification. 

The course covers key areas of early childhood education and care from theory, and principles to practices that best support children's learning and development. The course includes professional experience in pre-school and infant and toddler settings. Working in the early childhood educational field is rewarding and fulfilling. 

The major areas of study include theories of learning and development, principles and practices of early childhood education and care, key issues in the early childhood education and care field including social justice, diversity and equity, working with families, investigating different early childhood educational models around the world and applying knowledge, skills and capabilities in professional experience.

Graduate AttributeCourse Learning Outcome
Intellectual rigour

Exercise critical analysis, problem solving, and decision making in Early Childhood educational based practice

Demonstrate application of advanced knowledge and current research in relation to Early Childhood education practice


Demonstrate cognitive, technical, and creative skills to investigate, analyse, and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts, and theories

Ethical practice

Demonstrate a knowledge of social responsibility, ethics and legal principles consistent with what is expected of an Early Childhood professional working in a learning community with all stakeholders

Demonstrate an awareness of the need for student safety and support within professional frameworks

Demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to legislative requirements and codes of conduct relevant to the education profession

Knowledge of a discipline

Demonstrate advanced integrated knowledge and understanding of Early Childhood teaching and relevant curriculum framework

Demonstrate an evidence based understanding and knowledge of the pedagogy for effective Early Childhood educational practice

Lifelong learning

Demonstrate a commitment to personal and professional development through self-directed learning and reflective practice

Communication and social skills

Demonstrate an advanced ability to communicate and interpret evidence based research which inform professional decision making

Demonstrate teamwork and leadership skills applicable in professional educational settings

Cultural competence

Apply and integrate an understanding of social, indigenous and cultural diversity, and respect for the identity of all persons, in local and international contexts

Identify and apply proactive and inclusive strategies to encourage and support student engagement and behaviour including diverse groups of learners such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, migrants and students from non- English speaking backgrounds

Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of inclusion and diverse learning needs

Demonstrate an understanding of and respect for diversity in others and self

Students undertake 60 days of professional placement during this course covering two settings: preschool setting and an infant and toddler setting.

The University has accreditation for this course from the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA).

Please note, this course qualifies early childhood teachers to teach in birth to five-year-old settings. These settings are known differently throughout Australia, some as preschools and others as kindergarten. The course does not qualify graduates to teach in primary school settings. 

Course overview

Course code


Course abbreviation


Credit points


Equivalent units


Domestic duration

1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

International duration

1 year full-time

Availability details


Location Session UAC code QTAC code
Online 1 N/A N/A

Domestic fees

Commonwealth supported

Course requirements

See the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, in conjunction with the Specific Award Rules listed below.

  1. To be eligible for the award of Graduate Diploma in Education (Early Childhood) a candidate shall successfully complete:
    1. Not less than eight (8) units (96 credit points) comprising all units listed in the Schedule of Units attached to this award.
  2. Permission to undertake a professional experience placement will at all times be at the discretion of the Head of School.

Inherent Requirements

Inherent Requirements apply to this course as defined on the Student Access and Inclusion website. If you have a disability or health condition which may impact on your ability to meet these requirements please refer to the Student Access and Inclusion website for further information and contact details.

Course progressions

Students should use course progression information to select units specific to their course and enrol in these units using My Enrolment