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Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Education

Examine and reflect on your professional practice as an Early Childhood teacher and continue your development as a practicing educator with this postgraduate qualification. 
This course is only offered at one location, see below.
On-line Learning
Semester 1
Semester 2
Other intakes
On-line Learning
Semester 1
Semester 2
Other intakes
View all semester start dates
1 year full-time or part-time equivalent
(120 credit points = 1.0 EFTSL)
Entry requirements

The Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Education (ECE) is a post-graduate qualification at Level 8 of the Australian Qualifications Framework. 
The qualification aims to provide opportunities for self-motivated, socially engaged, knowledgeable and skilled teachers to develop their practice with the assistance of a university mentor and through engaged professional inquiry into their practice as an early childhood professional.
You are supported to build your expertise and inquire into your professional practice as a teacher in settings such as kindergartens, pre-schools and long day care centres, including special needs settings. 
The course aims to foster early childhood professionals who: 
•    critically evaluate their practice and seek to maintain a learning culture 
•    are lifelong learners and contribute to a wide range of learning communities
•    appreciate the learning needs of children as individuals, in groups, and in families and communities
•    provide children with enriching, stimulating and motivating learning environments that will cater for their diverse needs
•    have an understanding of the curriculum requirements of schools and early childhood settings
•    are innovative and enterprising in planning and organising learning environments
•    use integrated approaches to build on children’s skills and interests, using real-life situations to make learning engaging and relevant
•    value the culturally specific knowledge about children and their identity, wellbeing, learning and development that is embedded in their communities
•    use intentional teaching strategies that are always purposeful to support achievement of well-considered and identified goals
•    create physical and social environments that expose children to learning experiences and physical activity, both indoors and outdoors in the natural world
•    reflect on and inquire into their practice to build their expertise as effective teachers.
There are options to study full-time (one year) or part-time through blended delivery involving both online and on-campus study mode. 
Most students are admitted on the basis of satisfactory completion of a three-year Bachelor in Early Childhood Education or a bachelor degree with a significant ECE component.
The Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Education offers an upgrade to the equivalent of a four-year qualification for three-year qualified ECE teachers. This upgrade would secure an increase in pay for these teachers. The graduate diploma is also available to four-year qualified ECE teachers looking to complete a post-graduate qualification at diploma level.

  • Day care educator
  • Preschool teacher
  • Kindergarten teacher
  • Early childhood educator

Sample structures are just one example of the many options available within your chosen course.  Please contact Federation University for further information on available options.

Please note this is a sample structure only and is not to be used for enrolment purposes.  To enrol, please refer to the information provided to you by Federation University for your individual course structure or view our enrolment information page.

To view current unit information and cost, click on the individual unit name below, or click here to view current unit information and cost for ALL units.

Year 1

Semester 1

EDECE4002, 15 credit points

Semester 2

EDMED7074, 30 credit points
EDMED7075, 30 credit points

Contact hours can vary depending on requirements, however typical contact hours for full-time study are around 25-30 hours comprising of on-campus classes, online learning and self-directed study.

English language requirement

Overall IELTS band score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0


Extra requirements

Applicants will have completed a three bachelor degree in Early Childhood Education.

The application method varies depending on your circumstances, please visit our How to apply page for further information.

Direct application: Yes

Federation University code: TJ4

2024 Indicative Fees

Fee Type: Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP)

$4,445 student contribution amount

A Commonwealth Supported Place is subsidised by the Australian Government.  Your fees (student contribution amount) are set on an annual basis by the government and are determined by the discipline area and band of your individual units, not the overall course.  Each unit falls into a band which determines the student contribution.

2024 annual student contribution amounts for 1 EFTSL (equivalent full-time student load) range between $4,445 Band 1 to $16,323 Band 4.  To find the Band, EFTSL and contribution amount for each unit, check the Sample Structure or refer to the 2024 unit listing.

Fees are adjusted on an annual basis and the indicative amount should be used as a guide only.  It is based on a typical enrolment for a student undertaking the first year of study in this course.  For 0.5 EFTSL (60 credit point) courses the certificate fee is displayed.  Total cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the time it takes to complete your course and any approved credit you receive.

Other fees

You will also need to pay the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF).

Fee assistance

You may be eligible for a HECS-HELP loan, which can be used to defer payment of all or part of your student contribution.  You may also be eligible to defer payment of your SSAF through a SA-HELP loan.


Our scholarships and grants can help with your study costs.  Explore our scholarships to find an opportunity that's right for you.

Can your studies count towards a degree with us? Use our online Credit Search to get the details on completing your studies sooner.

To help you get the most from your online learning experience, it's important that you own or have frequent access to a fast and reliable computer that's ideally not more than two years old.

You will also need frequent access to a reliable high-speed internet connection.  You should expect to use approximately 5GB of data each month, per unit, just for study use.

For further information, visit the Minimum IT requirements for studying online webpage.

A range of student services are available at most campuses. For further information on these services or for course information, please contact us on 1800 333 864.

The commencement of all courses is subject to available funding and enrolment quotas.

All information contained in this course overview including the availability of courses and fees, is correct at the time of being published, however the University reserves the right to alter any course, procedure or fee. Students should check for any amendment prior to enrolment.

CRICOS Provider No.00103D
Please note: This training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding to eligible individuals.
National RTO Code: 4909

School department


Course coordinator

Susan Emmett