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Start date

2 year(s) full-time

Program Code

2020: AUD$ 30,300 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL)

English Language Requirements
  • IELTS total [7.0]
  • IELTS reading [7.0]
  • IELTS writing [7.0]
  • IELTS speaking [7.0]
  • IELTS listening [7.0]
Equivalent English qualifications (PDF)

International Admission by Country
See full entry requirements


Degree overview

  • Ranked #6 in Australia for international outlook.1
  • Gain practical experience with supervised field placements – starting in your first year.
  • This master degree has been approved by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA).
  • Enjoy further flexibility with a trimester degree structure, making it easier for you to prioritise field placements.
  • Benefit from flexible learning options, including part-time and some online study.
  • Study a master degree that is solely focused on early childhood education.  
  • Use this qualification as a pathway to further learning, including doctoral studies.
  • No. 2 in Australia for student services.2

1 THE  World University Rankings 2019
2 International Student Barometer (of 32 institutions in Australia surveyed) Campus Central Student Advisory Services 2018



This industry-relevant postgraduate qualification is for students who have already completed a three-year bachelor degree and would like to increase their employment prospects with an early childhood qualification.

The curriculum is practical in nature, and is solely focused on the education of children from birth to eight years of age. Practical learning is a major component and you will complete four supervised placements in child care, preschool/kindergarten and junior primary schools, totalling 80 days.

The Early Childhood specialisation is taught at the Magill campus only.

Advanced Standing
You may be eligible for Advanced Standing and complete the requirements of this qualification in one year. Please see the entry requirements for further details.

When applying through SATAC, please refer to the following codes. If you are uncertain about your eligibility for Advanced Standing, please include more than one SATAC code in your list of application preferences. 

  • 2 years- SATAC CODE 4CM111 
  • 1 year- SATAC CODE 4CM188

What you'll need

DCSI clearance

Students will be required to undertake a criminal history screening through the Department of Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI). The clearance will be valid for three years. The criminal history screening must be completed prior to being accepted for a placement and can take up to six to eight weeks to be processed. Strict confidentiality is maintained during the DCSI clearance process. If a student fails to obtain clearance for any reason, the University cannot accept responsibility for obtaining a professional experience placement or any other professional experience activity, which is a compulsory part of the degree and they cannot graduate with an education degree from the University.

Mandatory child-safe environments training

All education students who are completing any in-school or site (i.e. preschools and childcare settings) observations, activities or professional experience placements must undertake mandatory training in Responding to Abuse and Neglect prior to the commencement of the activities or placements. In South Australia, child protection legislation and policy require all organisations to establish and promote child safe environments. Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect training is required of all individuals working with children and young people. All undergraduate students undertaking professional experience placements in South Australian government and non-government schools and preschools must provide documented evidence (i.e. a certificate) that shows they have completed all the required training from one of the providers mentioned on the following website.

First aid training

Students must complete and provide evidence of completion of Basic Emergency Life Support (DECD) or Applied First Aid before commencing the degree.

Literacy and Numeracy Test

All students must meet the required standard in the national Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education (LANTITE) prior to graduation. Students will undertake the national literacy and numeracy tests during the first year of the degree. Students will be required to meet the standard of each test as a prerequisite for their final Professional Experience Placement course. The University will provide a range of supports for students who do not achieve the required standard in either the literacy or numeracy or both tests. Students will be allowed three attempts at each test. Any student who fails to meet the standard on three occasions in either the literacy or numeracy test will usually be counselled to transfer to an alternative degree.

Please note new entry requirements and learning area specialisations.

What you'll learn

What you Learn

This degree has been designed to develop skilled, committed and flexible early childhood educators.

The focus is on practical learning, particularly relating to the principles and concepts relevant to early childhood development and learning. You will focus on four major areas:

  • child development
  • curriculum studies
  • professional experience
  • education studies

You will also study mandatory courses in:

  • English
  • mathematics
  • science

Courses studied will include on-campus lectures and workshops; some courses will also be offered fully online or with online support. Learning will be supplemented with online lectures, learning activities, readings and discussion boards.

During the degree you will participate in four supervised placements in childcare, preschool/kindergarten and junior primary schools, totalling 80 days.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
English Education (Junior Primary) EDUC 5259 4.5 Rule(s): 6
Mathematics and Science Education (Years R-2) EDUC 5267 4.5 Rule(s): 6
Curriculum and Pedagogy 1 (HASS and Technologies) EDUC 5251 4.5 Rule(s): 6
Curriculum and Pedagogy 2 (Arts and Health and PE) EDUC 5252 4.5 Rule(s): 6
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Critical Perspectives of Education EDUC 5249 4.5 Rule(s): 6
Foundations of Learning and Development: A Child Centred Approach EDUC 5261 4.5 Rule(s): 6
Early Childhood Professional Experience and Reflection (Junior Primary) EDUC 5287 9 Rule(s): 1,5,6
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
English Education (Birth to 5) EDUC 5258 4.5
Mathematics and Science Education (Birth to 5) EDUC 5265 4.5
Play, Learning and Development EDUC 5270 4.5
Early Childhood Professional Experience and Reflection (Infant and Toddler) EDUC 5186 4.5 Rule(s): 1
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Mathematical Thinking and Numeracy EDUC 5264 4.5 Rule(s): 6
Curriculum Specialisation EDUC 5250 4.5
Early Childhood Professional Experience and Reflection (Preschool) EDUC 5257 9 Rule(s): 1

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects and contribute to online discussion forums (independent study). So as a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12 – 26 hours of study when at university and 14 – 28 hours of independent study per week.



Your studies will incorporate practical, professionally focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. You can expect them to include:

  • essays
  • projects
  • presentations
  • research project

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. Australian and international students may have the option to do an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas. We have links with universities worldwide. You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities

Why Master of Teaching (Early Childhood)

Why this Degree

We are South Australia’s largest tertiary school of education. Practical leaning is a major focus and you will gain industry experience starting in your first semester. 

You will also be invited to participate in a range of internships working at schools associated with the Gifted and Talented Program, National Exceptional Teaching for Disadvantaged Schools (NETDS), and Celebrating Cultural Diversity. There will also be the opportunity for you to work with vulnerable students who are affected by trauma, abuse and neglect as part of the Smart Schools program. As Australia’s university of enterprise:

  • we are No. 1 in South Australia for student satisfaction1
  • we are the largest university in South Australia with more than 31,000 students
  • we hold 26th spot in the QS World University Rankings for institutions under 50 years old in 20172

Our commitment to research with an industry focus is unprecedented in South Australia. In the 2015 nationwide Excellence in Research for Australia evaluation, 97 per cent of our assessed research was rated world-class or above. It’s a very good time to choose UniSA for your postgraduate study.

1QILT: Course Experience Questionnaire 2015-2016 Overall Satisfaction Item
2 2017 QS Top 50 Universities Aged Under 50

Real-world connections

Workplace learning is a major focus of this master degree and throughout your studies you will complete 80 days of field-based placements. Placements take place in childcare centres, preschools and junior primary settings. This practical experience will equip you with the skills and confidence needed after graduation and will help to build industry networks and relationships.

Male students will also be offered the opportunity to build professional and social networks with male educators who have successfully graduated as part of the University’s MENtor Program. We also host regular University-wide employee master classes and employment expos, and alumni events in Australia and overseas.

Career outcomes

Your career

If you want to make a difference, have an interest in childhood development, and have the patience, warmth, integrity and communication skills needed when working with young children, this master degree may be for you.

This specialised teaching field shows promising job prospects, with strong long-term growth. UniSA education degrees are also ranked number one in the state for graduate employment1. Careers to consider:

  • childcare educator: encourage the healthy intellectual and psychological growth of children aged from birth to four years of age
  • kindergarten teacher: responsible for a child’s first education experience; this role often encompasses introducing basic skills, including letters, numbers, social science and behavioural skills
  • preschool teacher: educate and care for children aged three to five years
  • junior primary teacher: develop lesson plans in line with curriculum objectives and facilitate classroom learning for children aged five to eight

1QILT Graduate Destinations 2014-2015 Full-time Employment Indicator and Australian Graduate Survey 2016

Professional accreditation and recognition

Successful completion of this program provides a recognised academic qualification which will enable graduates to apply for teacher registration in South Australia, interstate and some overseas countries. Applicants should note there are other criteria determining eligibility for registration by the Teachers Registration Board of South Australia and other registration and regulatory authorities. Applicants are advised to check registration requirements as they are subject to change.

This program has been approved by the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) as an Early Childhood Teaching Qualification for the purposes of the Education and Care Services National Law.

Industry facts


Employment for early childhood teachers in Australia is projected to increase by 9,800 (27.9 per cent) by November 20201.

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2015


By 2020 employment for childcare centre managers in Australia is projected to increase by 22.7 per cent1.

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2015


In 2016, there were 344,676 children aged four or five years old enrolled in a preschool program in Australia1.

1ABS, Preschool Education, Australia, 2016

How to apply

How to apply for international students will give you helpful information about the application process at the University of South Australia. When you are ready, apply through our International Application System. If you would like to talk to someone near you about studying at the University of South Australia, we have agents all over the world who can assist you. Find an Education Agent in your country.


Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

As a student at the University of South Australia you will have unique access to work placement opportunities, overseas study tours and exchanges, networking events, internships, guest speakers and more.

Our campuses are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments. These are all supported by the latest technologies and a 24/7 online learning platform. We have health services on campus, gymnasiums, technology zones and great student lounges. You will also have access to a range of community clinics, which provide professional and cost effective services in areas of health, law and psychology. There are campus sport activities to keep you active, and if you are keen to explore the social side of university life, there are movies, cooking demonstrations, parties and lots more.

Adelaide has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation or private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages for plenty of options. If you need somewhere to live, our new student accommodation by urbanest is on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, a perfect location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

International Student Services will make your life at university easier. We want you to be successful, and if you need help we will be there to assist. Support services include:

  • careers advice
  • help with student visas and health cover
  • personal counselling
  • academic counselling
  • fees and finance help
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • services offered through our student association, USASA
  • accommodation services 

We also offer study support from our Learning Advisers. You can work with them face-to-face or online. They are here to help you develop academically and professionally during your studies. They also offer help with the English language. When you become a UniSA student you can contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and any other questions you might have.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with advanced facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campuses.

Your program director

My vision is to work collaboratively to equip graduates with qualities that promote learner achievement and wellbeing, which transfers to productive citizenship.

Ms Wendy Piltz

Program Director

Portrait image for Ms Wendy Piltz
Portrait image for Ms Wendy Piltz

Ms Wendy Piltz

Program Director


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What others are saying

What I like most about my degree is the opportunity to engage with creative and engaging educators who stretch the boundaries of my mindset and challenge me to think critically about my teaching practice.

Joanna Loi

Master of Teaching (Early Childhood)

Joanna Loi

Joanna Loi

Master of Teaching (Early Childhood)