Launch a rewarding and in-demand pre-school teaching career, with VU's one-year Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education.
Our graduate diploma allows graduates of degree programs to become early-childhood teachers. With the current 3-year-old kindergarten expansion in Victoria, this course places you in an excellent position to apply for work as a kinder teacher.
If you're a domestic student or you won’t be studying at VU on a student visa, you can study this course online.
This course is tailored to applicants with an undergraduate qualification in a discipline other than early childhood. If you hold an early childhood teaching degree and you're looking to advance your career, we recommend upskilling to a four year degree by applying for the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and Leadership.
You'll study units focused on children from birth to five years, learning how teaching practice can include children and families as capable participants in education.
You'll also gain hands-on work experience in a range of settings, including childcare and kindergartens, graduating with expertise in early-childhood learning built on a strong sense of social justice.
Gain insight into the early years by studying these fascinating areas:
- child development
- teaching practice that includes Aboriginal perspectives
- education and curriculum studies focused on childhood and relationships
- family and community contexts
- advocacy and activism in early-childhood settings
- history and philosophy of early childhood
- ethical early-childhood professional practice.
The Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education is recognised as the equivalent of a four-year degree.
Study in convenient four-week blocks
Following the overwhelming success of the revolutionary VU Block Model with undergraduate students, we have rolled out the Block Model to our postgraduate courses.
This course is delivered in four-week mode, which means you study one unit (subject) at a time over four weeks, rather than juggling several units at once. And with its focused timetables and smaller, collaborative classes, VU’s Block Model gives you more time to connect with your peers, lecturers and industry partners, helping you to build strong professional networks.
The VU Block Model has improved our student results and engagement, and has won multiple international awards for innovation and excellence.
Early childhood workplace experience
You'll complete 60 days of supervised professional experience, including:
- 15 days with children aged birth – 35 months
- 15 days with 3–5 year olds
- 5 days community playspace, with children aged birth – 8 years
- 25 days in a 3–4-year-old, or 4–5-year-old, kindergarten program (preschool).
We have many exciting projects, partnerships and initiatives to help you learn from experience working with young children.
Education authority approval
This course has been approved by Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), which oversees national quality frameworks in early-childhood education.
This means that you'll graduate with the latest early-childhood teaching methods and knowledge.
Early Childhood Scholarships & Incentives Program (domestic students only)
The Victorian Government offers the Early Childhood Scholarship and Incentives Program to individuals looking to start a rewarding career as an early childhood teacher. Educators wanting to upskill and take the next step to become degree-qualified are also eligible. Students applying for an approved qualification are eligible to receive up to $25,500.
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Childcare job openings are expecting massive growth (ACECQA).
Thanks to the essential experience you’ll get from teaching early-childhood settings during your placement, you’ll be work-ready when you graduate.
With an ACECQA approved early-childhood teacher qualification, our graduates can find employment in:
- public or private kindergartens (preschool)
- long-day-care centres
- early-childhood centres in the state of Victoria, Australia.
Interstate applicants should check with their state’s relevant teaching registration board or authority to see if their state requires early-childhood teacher registration and accepts this qualification.
Check the Labour Market Insights website to find the average salary for early-childhood teachers.
To attain the Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education students will be required to complete:
- 96 credit points of Core units and
- the '0' credit point unit ECE 6013 Professional Practice 2.
Course structure and units
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On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
|1.||Initiate teaching and learning practices that foster learner engagement in complex contexts and foreground Aboriginal standpoints in early childhood education;|
|2.||Critically review different ways of knowing, being, and doing founded on the view of children and families as capable contributors to conceptual and pedagogical decision-making in learning and teaching;|
|3.||Design teaching practices that reflect an ability to contextualise, question, resist, rethink, and act towards equity and the public good;|
|4.||Exhibit a broad and coherent body of knowledge of early childhood pedagogy, curriculum and assessment in relation to the changing nature of education in a rapidly-evolving global context;|
|5.||Appraise, adapt, and exemplify a range of oral and written communication techniques to engage and connect with learners, their parents/carers and the wider community;|
|6.||Create learning opportunities that embrace a rich and varied curriculum, reflecting culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds ensuring that learning and teaching approaches are based on sound ethical principles and foster reciprocal relationships in early childhood settings.|
What's a unit?
A unit or 'subject' is the actual class you'll attend in the process of completing a course.
Most courses have a mixture of compulsory 'core' units that you need to take and optional elective units that you can choose to take based on your area of interest, expertise or experience.
Each unit is worth a set amount of study credits based on the amount of time you study. Generally, 1 credit is equal to 1 hour of study per week.
Fees & scholarships
Fee type for this course: Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP)
Fee type definitions
The amount you pay for your course depends on whether you’re offered a Commonwealth supported place (CSP) or a full fee-paying place.
Students who enrol in a:
- Commonwealth supported place pay tuition fees that are partly subsidised by the Australian government
- full fee-paying place need to pay the full amount for all enrolled units before census each study period.
In addition to your tuition fees, you may also be charged a Student Services & Amenities Fee (SSAF).
Scholarships & assistance
Apply for a scholarship to help with your study costs.
We can help with fee assistance and advice.
Admission & pathways
Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course. Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.
If you do not meet the minimum requirements you may be eligible for one of our special admission programs. We also encourage you to explore our study pathways to help you reach your goal.
Find out more about how to apply for our courses, and our commitment to admissions transparency.
Completion of an Australian Bachelor degree (or equivalent) in any discipline.
Applicants with a Bachelor's degree from countries other than Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada or the Republic of Ireland will be required to complete IELTS: Overall 7.0 with Listening 7.5, Reading 6.5, Writing 6.5, Speaking 7.5.
OR the following scores that serve as equivalent scores for the IELTS:
• ISPLR: Overall (3+) L (4), R (3+), W (3+), S (4)
• TOEFL: Overall (94), L (27), R (21), W (24), S (24)
• PTE: Overall (65-72), L (73), R (58), W (58), S (73)
Applicants with a minimum of a 3 year Bachelor's degree from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada or the Republic of Ireland will not be required to complete IELTS.
Pathways from VU courses
There are many ways you can start your education journey at VU. Pathways offer an easy transition between courses at different levels, so that you can start with a certificate and progress right through to postgraduate study.
Find out more about pathways and credits.
Credit for skills and past study
Use our credit calculator to find out how much credit you could get towards your course, based on your previous study.
If you have completed study with another university or institution and believe you are eligible to receive credit for skills and past study, you can apply for advanced standing.
Applications for advanced standing can be made after a discussion with your course chair or academic adviser.
Pathways to further study
On completion of this course you will be guaranteed entry into the following degree and in some cases receive credit for your study:
You will be credited for up to 96 credit points of study.
Find out more about our study pathways to VU
Working with Children Check: Applicants must complete a Working with Children Check prior to undertaking placement.
This course is ACECQA accredited and is recognised by the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) for teaching registration in Victoria. It is not necessarily recognised in other states and territories in Australia.
Refer to VIT Registration information https://www.vit.vic.edu.au/registering-as-a-teacher/how-do-i-register-as....
How to apply
Available start dates:
- 1 May 2023
- 31 July 2023
- 2 October 2023
Before you apply
Before applying, you should consider whether you also want to apply for:
- Special admission programs: Depending on your life circumstances you may be eligible for special consideration of your application.
- Advanced standing: If you have significant experience or studies elsewhere you may be eligible for credit for some units of your course and not have to undertake them.
Find out more about applying for our courses.
Apply direct to VU
Direct applications are due on 23 April 2023 for our next intake which starts on 1 May 2023.
Already a VU student?
If you are already a VU student, apply direct to VU using our Admissions centre to transfer into this course. Remember it’s best to be accepted into your new course before withdrawing from your current one.
After you apply
- It’s important to check for emails from us (which may go to your spam/junk folder).
- Complete any requests for information by the given dates, otherwise your application may not be considered
Please fill out the form below, and we'll get back to you shortly.
- Visit a student service centre
- 1300 VIC UNI (1300 842 864)
- Request a call back
- Visit the glossary
At Victoria University, we aim to display accurate and complete course information online. However, we are unable to guarantee that every course change is currently displayed. You may contact the University directly on +61 3 9919 6100 to confirm the most up-to-date course fees, pathways and credit transfer, recognition of prior learning, admission and enrolment procedures, examinations and services available to our students.