2024: February, April, July, September

4 years

2024: A$15,500*
* fee per semester

Application due dates:
We are currently accepting applications for this course.


Give your early childhood career an edge by developing your leadership skills with a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and Leadership at Victoria University (VU).

Set yourself up for advanced career opportunities with this unique VU course, the only one of its kind that allows you to dedicate four years of study to early childhood education with a focus on leadership.

Your Bachelor of Early Childhood Education will prepare you for a rewarding career nurturing the development and wellbeing of children from birth to five years. As a degree-qualified early childhood teacher, you’ll:

  • support young children with the important foundations to set them up for success in life
  • develop techniques for involving families as important contributors to the learning process
  • set children up for effective transitions to school.  

At VU, you will learn to support children to feel capable and confident. You’ll build a strong sense of social justice, understand child development in the early years and develop ethical professional teaching practice that includes Indigenous perspectives.

By adding a fourth year to your bachelor degree, you will open the door to a higher-paid salary, senior roles in early childhood education and management positions in childcare centres. 

The Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and Leadership builds on our three-year Bachelor of Early Childhood Education with a fourth year dedicated to in-depth understanding of:

  • leadership skills
  • global perspectives in education
  • politics and policy of education
  • in-depth play-based education.

Plus, a key focus of your fourth year will be a research inquiry project on a topic of your choice relating to early childhood education.

If you have already completed a three-year degree in early childhood education, you can enter this course in fourth year to complete the one-year leadership component. 

If you study this course from first year, you’ll enjoy the supportive experience of our VU First Year College® in the heart of Melbourne in-person at our City Campus.

For years two and three, you can choose from three flexible study options:

  • in-person at Footscray Nicholson campus
  • online in real-time via Zoom, three nights per week
  • online self-paced, with one weekly support session.

In fourth year, you can study either in-person at Footscray Nicholson campus or online in real-time via Zoom.  

Studying at VU means taking advantage of our strong connections with community centres, local councils, childcare settings and kindergartens.

Your 80 days of supervised teaching experience includes:

  • 10 days in the unique VU playgroup program
  • 15 days with infants and toddlers in a childcare centre
  • 55 days with 3–5-year-olds in a childcare centre or funded kindergarten.

In our VU Play pop-up play spaces, you’ll create and maintain play spaces that encourage children to engage in self-directed play, using loose parts and various materials. You’ll adhere to the philosophy of ‘playwork’ to observe, reflect and analyse the children playing and intervene or make changes when needed. This program runs permanently at Footscray Nicholson campus and many other suitable locations.

Find out more about our practical programs in early childhood education.

Experience a range of cultures, histories and early childhood teaching styles to broaden your perspective. As a VU student, you’ll have access to our:

  • Study tour to Malaysia: complete a three-week placement in a Malaysian early childhood centre, enjoying a rich cultural immersion experience to learn different approaches to early childhood education.
  • Student exchange with Karlstad University in Sweden: spend six months in Sweden studying and completing practical placements that count towards your course, learning European approaches to early childhood education and broadening your cultural awareness.
  • Placements in the Northern Territory: spend four weeks in a remote Indigenous community in the Northern Territory, experiencing a rich culture and perspectives to inform your approach to early childhood teaching.

Find out more about:

If you have already completed a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care, enjoy guaranteed entry into this course and skip first year.

If you have already completed a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education, you can gain credit for the first three years of this course and study only fourth year.

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Kickstart your career

Now’s the time to kickstart your career as an early childhood teacher, with Victorian Government scholarships and financial incentives available to all early childhood teachers.


Take advantage of the high demand for bachelor-qualified early childhood teachers with funded three-year-old kindergarten rolling out across Victoria and an expected 21.6% growth in childcare jobs by 2026.

Thanks to the essential experience you’ll get from working in childcare and teaching in kindergartens during your placements, you’ll be ready to register as a teacher as soon as you graduate. With this nationally accredited degree, you can work around Australia and take on leadership roles in:

  • public or private kindergartens
  • long day care centres
  • early childhood centres in Australia
  • policy development with government bodies.

With strong growth expected for both early childhood teachers and childcare centre managers, you can expect to earn above-average wages while enjoying the rewards that come with nurturing the next generation. 

Course structure

To attain the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and Leadership students will be required to complete:

  • 384 credit points of Core studies

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

We are the first Australian university to use a 'block' model of learning, where you study one unit at a time rather than juggling several at once.

Introduced in 2018, the VU Block Model has improved our student results and achievements, and has won awards for innovation and excellence. Initially for first-year students, it now applies to all students studying at our Melbourne campuses.

You'll study in short bursts, called blocks, of three 2-3 hour face-to-face teaching sessions per week.

Each block focuses on one unit (subject) and is only four weeks long, with up to four days between. Our two semesters have four blocks each, and there are optional blocks over winter and summer where you can catch up on a missed unit.

Some courses have labs and pracs too, and these are generally scheduled on the same days as teaching sessions. There are also workshops where you'll develop your study skills and prepare for your future career.

Find out more about the VU Block Model.

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 and Torres Strait Islander standpoints in early childhood education.  
  2. Critically reflect on 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; undertake an advanced study of play and the image of the child in different communities.  
  3. Design teaching practices that reflect an ability to contextualise, question, resist, rethink, and act towards equity and the public good and design learning opportunities that embrace a rich and varied curriculum, ensure that learning and teaching approaches are based on sound ethical principles and foster reciprocal relationships in early childhood settings.  
  4. Exhibit a broad and coherent body of knowledge of pedagogy, curriculum and assessment in relation to the changing nature of education in a rapidly-evolving global context; undertake deep inquiry into local and global contexts of Early Childhood Education.  
  5. Critically review and articulate a range of oral and written communication techniques, including in the use of Information and Communication Technologies, to engage and connect with students, their parents/carers and the wider community,  
  6. Analyse models of leadership and advocacy and apply principles of ethical leadership in Early Childhood.  

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.


Victoria University is committed to providing a transparent admissions process. Find out more about how to apply for our courses, and our commitment to admissions transparency.

Applicants for this course will need to have met the academic requirements and prerequisites for this course outlined below.

Meeting the minimum admission criteria does not guarantee entry into this course. Past academic performance may be considered.

Entry requirements

Completion of an Australian Senior Secondary Certificate (VCE or equivalent) including Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 30 in English (EAL) or 25 in any other English (or equivalent).
Completion of an Australian Advanced Diploma or Diploma (or equivalent).
IELTS (or equivalent): Overall score or 6.5 (with no band less than 6.0 in Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking).
Completion of a Foundation course or equivalent.

Find out if you meet the entry requirements, including English language and academic requirements.

Additional information

Applicants with a 3 year ACECQA accredited degree not awarded in the previous 5 years must provide current VIT registration as an ECT and a CV prior to admission/credit being granted.

Students will require a Working with Children Check to be eligible to undertake and participate in workplace visits, placements or projects. Use the following site link to obtain additional information:

First Year students will complete their study at City Tower campus or in Online Real Time (ORT). The Online Self-Paced option (OSP) and In-Person delivery at Footscray Nicholson campus will be available from Year 2.

Pathways & credits

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.

If you have completed any of the following course(s), you will be guaranteed a place in this course. In some cases you may receive credit for your previous study, reducing the time it takes to complete your course.

You will be credited for up to 96 credit points of study.

You will be credited for up to 96 credit points of study.

You will be credited for up to 120 credit points of study.

You will be guaranteed entry only.

You will be guaranteed entry only.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

If you have completed any of the following course(s), you will be guaranteed a place in this course. In some cases you may receive credit for your previous study, reducing the time it takes to complete your course.

Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care

Bendigo Kangan Institute, Australia

You will be credited for up to 96 credit points of study.

Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care

Melbourne City Institute of Education, Australia

You will be credited for up to 96 credit points of study.

Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care

Bendigo Kangan Institute, Australia

You will be credited for up to 96 credit points of study.

Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care

Melbourne City Institute of Education, Australia

You will be credited for up to 96 credit points of study.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

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.

How to apply

We are currently accepting international applications, and we welcome you to apply for this course.

Click 'apply' to begin, and we will guide you through the application process.


If you have questions, please get in touch:

Information and fees listed above are for non-resident students. Fees are accurate at the time of viewing and will be subject to annual increases. Some courses require students to purchase equipment or clothing that they will need in the course. These equipment or clothing costs are not included in the course fees listed above – check your Letter of Offer for an estimate on non-tuition-fee-related expenses.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this course information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that course information is current with the Student Contact Centre.