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Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Education

Postgraduate coursework

Discover how to help young children learn important concepts like empathy and self-confidence through play.

Domestic International

Domestic student information

#1 in Australia for education and educational research*

#5 in the world for education and educational research*

Strong employment growth projected

Key facts

Duration

1 year full-time or part-time equivalent

Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course overview

Want to equip the next generation with the emotional intelligence, social and critical-thinking skills to flourish? Study the Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Education and discover how to help young children learn important concepts like empathy and self-confidence through play.

Ready to start a meaningful career, shaping tomorrow’s leaders?

Whether your background is in education or you’re looking to make a meaningful career change, this course will equip you with the knowledge to work across diverse early childhood settings. Our nationally recognised academics will guide you towards specialised teaching using a play-based approach so you can:

  • Create safe and inclusive learning environments
  • Practice Social justice, diversity and equity
  • Develop numeracy and literacy in young learners
  • Support arts and STEM creativity in a child’s life
  • Be a leader for educational change

In addition, you will put your academic knowledge into practice with over 60-days of professional experience placements. The course is designed to blend your classroom experience with your academic learning, culminating in a final hurdle task, the Deakin Teaching Performance Assessment, that ensures you graduate with the experience and rigour you will need to enter the teaching profession with confidence.

This practical experience ensures you graduate with the skills and expertise that are highly valued by employers. 96% of Deakin early childhood education graduates have gone on to secure roles in the early childhood education profession, which continues to generate new jobs at a steady rate. In addition, the Victorian Government offers a range of financial incentives to support students interested in studying the Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Education at Deakin. More information can be found at education.vic.gov.au

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Course information

Award granted
Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Education
Year

2024 course information

Deakin code
E661
Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 8.

Course structure

The Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Education requires completion of 8 credit points.

To qualify for the award of Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Education students must complete the following:

This course includes 60-days of supervised professional experience, and students must successfully complete the Deakin Teaching Performance Assessment.

Core Units

  • Bioecological Perspectives of Child Development in the Early Years (Birth-Eight)
  • Positioning Early Childhood Education and Care: the History and Philosophy
  • Pedagogical Understandings of Teaching and Learning in the Early Childhood Contexts
  • Children's Ecological Positioning: Seeing Children in Family and Community Contexts
  • Integrative Curriculum Concepts in Play-Based Contexts: Language and Literacy
  • Integrative Curriculum Concepts in Play-Based Contexts: Creative Arts
  • Integrative Curriculum Concepts in Play-Based Contexts: Mathematics and Science
  • Teacher as Leader
  • Intakes by location

    The availability of a course varies across locations and intakes. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Check each intake for up-to-date information on when and where you can commence your studies.

    Trimester 1 - March

    • Start date: March
    • Available at:
      • Burwood (Melbourne)
      • Online

    Additional course information

    Students are required to apply for a Working with Children Check. Apply online as a volunteer at Service Victoria.

    All professional experience placements must be undertaken in an Australian school setting. Overseas placements are not permitted.

    For further information contact the School of Education, Professional Experience office.

    Course duration

    Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.

    Participation requirements

    Professional Experience Placements are a compulsory component of the course and a requirement for registration as a graduate teacher. Placement can occur at any time, including during standard holiday breaks. Learn about key dates at Deakin.

    Reasonable adjustments to participation and other course requirements may be made for students with a disability. More information available at Disability support services.

    Entry requirements

    Selection is based on a holistic consideration of your academic merit, work experience, likelihood of success, availability of places, participation requirements, regulatory requirements, and individual circumstances. You will need to meet the minimum academic and English language proficiency requirements to be considered for selection, but this does not guarantee admission.

    Academic requirements

    To be considered for admission to this degree you will need to meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • completion of a bachelor degree or higher in a different discipline
    • completion of a bachelor degree or higher in primary or secondary teaching

    English language proficiency requirements

    To meet the English language proficiency requirements of this course, you will need to demonstrate at least one of the following:

    • IELTS (Academic): minimum overall band of 7.0 (with no individual band less than 7.0) speaking and listening 7.5
    • TOEFL iBT: minimum overall score of 102 (with minimum score of 24 in reading and speaking, 27 in listening and writing)
    • PTE Academic: minimum score of 65 (with no communication band less than 65) speaking and listening 73

    English-speaking education:

    • completion of a bachelor or master degree in a recognised English-speaking country or completion of DUELI English for Teaching program, with a WAM of 60

    Admissions information

    Learn more about Deakin courses and how we compare to other universities when it comes to the quality of our teaching and learning.

    Not sure if you can get into Deakin postgraduate study? Postgraduate study doesn’t have to be a balancing act; we provide flexible course entry and exit options based on your desired career outcomes and the time you are able to commit to your study.

    Recognition of prior learning

    The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning which exceeds the normal entrance requirements for the course and is within the constraints of the course regulations. Students are required to complete a minimum of one-third of the course at Deakin University, or four credit points, whichever is the greater.

    Recognition of prior learning in the Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Education is restricted by the professional accreditation structures of the course. Students are encouraged to apply for credit for comparable curriculum discipline units completed at postgraduate level.

    Recognition is not available for any work experience whether paid or unpaid, qualified or unqualified teacher or teacher aide against the academic professional experience units.

    You can also refer to the Recognition of prior learning system which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - (CSP)?
    $4,445 for 1 yr full-time - Commonwealth Supported Place (HECS)

    Learn more about fees.

    The available fee places for this course are detailed above.

    Tuition fees are determined by your enrolment:

    • If you are offered a full fee paying place, your tuition fees are calculated based on your course.
    • If you are offered a Commonwealth supported place, your tuition fees are calculated depending on the units you choose. A limited number of Commonwealth supported places are available for this course.

    The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing this course within the same year as they started. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Recognition of prior learning.

    One year full-time study load is typically represented by eight credit points of study for Graduate Diplomas. Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together eight credit points of a typical combination of units for your course.

    You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.

    Learn more about fees and available payment options.

    FEE-HELP calculator

    What is FEE-HELP?

    FEE-HELP loans cover up to 100% of tuition fees for eligible students. By taking out a FEE-HELP loan, the government pays your tuition fees directly to Deakin, and the balance is repaid from your employment income - but only once you're earning over $51,550.

    Please note: fees shown by the calculator are indicative only and based on 2024 rates. Actual fees may vary. We advise confirming fees with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.

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    • $* is the estimated full cost for a Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Education (8 credit points), based on the 2024 fees.
    • is the annual FEE-HELP payment, based on your current salary
    • of your current salary be spent on FEE-HELP

    *Disclaimer

    Deakin University (Deakin):

    • gives no warranty and accepts no responsibility for the currency, accuracy or the completeness of the information provided;
    • advises users that no reliance should be placed upon on the information provided, and;
    • instructs users that they should confirm the actual course fee with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.

    This tool provides indicative information about the fees that will be payable in respect of courses and subjects offered to prospective students domiciled in Australia during the periods indicated.

    Please note that the fees shown by the calculator are indicative only and actual fees may vary. Users are advised to confirm the actual course fee with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.

    The estimated course fee is based on the tuition fee costs applicable to a domestic full time student commencing the course in Trimester 1 and studying full time for the duration of the course but:

    • does not include non-tuition costs that may apply, such as Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF);
    • does not take into account any scholarships or bursaries awarded to the student (including the 10% Deakin alumni discount);
    • assumes the maximum number of units that need to be successfully completed actual number completed may be reduced if recognition of prior learning is granted;
    • assumes that no exceptional, or non-typical, circumstances apply to the proposed course of study;
    • assumes that the options that the user selects are appropriate for the course of study that they intend to undertake;
    • where fees are estimated for future years those fee will be subject to annual increases in accordance with increases in the cost of course delivery.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship could help you pay for your course fees, living costs and study materials. If you've got something special to offer Deakin - or maybe you just need a bit of extra support - we've got a scholarship opportunity for you. Search or browse through our scholarships

    You may be eligible to receive up to $12,000 as part of the support provided by the Victorian Government to become an early childhood teacher. Visit vic.gov.au for details.

    Postgraduate bursary

    If you’re a Deakin alumnus commencing a postgraduate award course, you may be eligible to receive a 10% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees.

    Learn more about the 10% Deakin alumni discount

    Apply now

    Apply direct to Deakin

    Applications for Trimester 1, 2025 open in August.

    In the meantime, why not speak to our student advisers about your course and career options? It’s the best way for future students like you to get expert advice on preparing your application.

    Contact us

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For more information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage. If you're still having problems, please contact us for assistance.

    Contact information

    Our friendly advisers are available to speak to you one-on-one about your study options, support services and how we can help you further your career.

    Careers

    Career outcomes

    The education and training industry is one of the largest growing employment industries in Australia, and is projected to grow by 11.2% by May 2023 – that’s 11,300 new jobs.* Early childhood education teachers in particular are in high demand.

    As an early childhood education graduate, you could go on to secure teaching roles within early childhood settings across the private, independent, or public education sectors. You could also find employment in a range of other education-adjacent fields, including in early years service management, policy, consultancy, NGOs, research community and government organisations.

    *Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business, 2018 Employment Projections – for the five years to May 2023.

    For more information go to 'DeakinTALENT'

    Professional recognition

    This program is approved by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) as an early childhood teaching qualification in Australia. In line with recent changes to early childhood teacher registration, it is also mapped against the Australian professional standards for graduate teachers. Graduates of this course who are intending to apply for registration in Victoria or interstate may be required to provide further information. Applicants are advised to check the registration requirements in their state, carefully.

    Course learning outcomes

    Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.

    Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

    Course Learning Outcomes

    Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

    Critically analyse, consolidate, synthesise and apply knowledge, theory, principles and practices relevant to curriculum, ethical conduct, policy and regulations in early childhood education with advanced knowledge and evaluation of the theoretical underpinning.

    Communication

    Critically evaluate and use highly skilled communication strategies (oral, written, digital and nonverbal) to professionally transfer knowledge, complex ideas and theoretical concepts with diverse individuals and groups (such as children, families, parents and caregivers, colleagues and other professionals, community organisations).

    Digital literacy

    Critically evaluate and apply a range of technologies to collect, analyse, synthesise, evaluate, generate and transmit information for the purposes of advanced and ethically responsible teaching and learning practices in a rapidly changing global environment.

    Critical thinking

    Critically analyse, evaluate and reflect on contemporary issues, policies and research in educational and societal contexts to generate and transmit independent judgements that are ethical to complex situations relating to teaching and learning in early childhood education.

    Problem solving

    Apply analytical and practical skills to complex professional situations and ideas to make independent judgements related to teaching and learning. Generate and transmit creative, innovative and authentic solutions to real-life and complex problems encountered when working with diverse individuals and groups (such as children, families, parents and caregivers, colleagues and other professionals, community organisations).

    Self-management

    Use initiative and agency to apply evaluative and critically analytic knowledge and skills to demonstrate responsibility for own learning and professional practice (and in collaboration with others).

    Teamwork

    Actively and collaboratively participate in, and/or lead learning communities, involving learners, families, community members, colleagues and the broader profession to deepen knowledge and practice to optimise teaching for child learning and wellbeing.

    Global citizenship

    Adapt and apply advanced knowledge and skills that support inclusion of diversity in the professional context. This includes influences of Indigenous and intercultural issues, family contexts, gender and disability on development, learning and teaching.

    Approved by Faculty Board 2023

    * U.S. News & World Report, Best Global Universities Subject Rankings 2022–2023
    #  Australian Government Occupation Projections for 2026, 2021