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Course summary

Early childhood education is an immensely satisfying career and a precious opportunity to give children the very best start in life.

In just one year, our Graduate Diploma in Education (Early Childhood) will allow you to become a fully qualified early childhood teacher in a preschool, or an educator within the family day care or traditional day care system. 

Our course covers key areas of early childhood education and care, theory, principles and practices that best support children's learning and development. Admission into the course is via an undergraduate degree in any discipline, including a three-year teaching qualification. 

Students also undertake 60 days of professional placement in early childhood settings.

The block professional teaching experiences, combined with volunteer activities and embedded site visits will provide you with a deep understanding about the role of a teacher. As you will be interacting with children and young people, upon enrolment you will be expected to apply and attain a valid Working with Children Check for your state or territory. See professional experience requirements.



Gold Coast1, 2
Online1, 2


Gold Coast1, 2
Online1, 2

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.

NoteInternational EAP 2 students can progress to a Graduate Diploma in Education (Early Childhood) with an equivalent of IELTS 6.5

Course Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a course. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes.

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

A variety of assessment methods are included in this course. Scenario analysis, professional portfolio development, critical thinking and workplace development during professional experience placements.

Students learn in an interactive online environment with plenty of flexibility to accommodate the competing commitments of busy professionals. There may be compulsory attendance requirements in some units. Units are delivered online. Units include innovative and appropriate use of technology to support student learning, and to ensure regular engagement with academics and fellow students. Learning is facilitated by highly qualified and supportive academics. Students may receive a combination of podcast or video-linked lectures, electronic study materials, workshops, online discussion forums and virtual classes. The methods of teaching vary from unit to unit.

Please note: This course is delivered online and students may be required to attend on-campus workshops during some of the units.

Career opportunities arising from this course include:

  • Early childhood teacher in preschool and long day care (child care) settings
  • Family day care educator
  • Early childhood services.

Students undertake 60 days of professional placement during this course in two environments - a 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 from 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. 


The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this web page again before acting and see our disclaimer

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'