Start Date

2 year(s) full-time

Program Code

4CM111 (Internal)
4CM188 (Internal)

Study as
Full-time or part-time

Degree overview

  • 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.
  • UniSA's education degrees are number one in South Australia1 and top 150 in the world for education2.
  • Our curriculum is informed by our above world-class research in education3.

12021 QS Subject Rankings 
22021 QS Subject Rankings
3Results for Specialist Studies in Education – 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).



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 childcare, 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 therefore the student 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 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 this 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 (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)
Enhancing Mathematical Thinking in Early Childhood Education EDUC 5288 4.5 Rule(s): 6
Early Childhood Professional Experience and Reflection (Inquiry into Practice) EDUC 5293 13.5 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, as well as to contribute to online discussion forums. 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. You may have the option to undertake an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas while you study. We have links with universities worldwide, as well as a range of travel grants available to make going overseas much more accessible.

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 provider for education degrees. 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 the largest university in South Australia with more than 33,000 students
  • we hold 29th spot in the QS World University Rankings for institutions under 50 years old1

Our commitment to research with an industry focus is unprecedented in South Australia. In the 2018 nationwide Excellence in Research for Australia evaluation, 100 per cent of our assessed research was rated world-class or above2. It’s a very good time to choose UniSA for your postgraduate study.

12021 QS Top 50 Universities Aged Under 50
2Results for Specialist Studies in Education - 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia

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 you 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. UniSA offers an extensive range of career-related events and workshops online, on campus and around Adelaide to develop your skills and increase your knowledge.

Online study

Online study

Part, or all, of this degree can be studied online. This means that you can:

  • study online, including accessing videos and course resources
  • participate in an interactive online learning environment
  • submit your assignments and get feedback online
  • use discussion forums for team work and communication

With interactive online course materials and a 24/7 learning environment, you can organise your study to suit your lifestyle. 

Please note that for some degrees, some on-campus attendance (such as to attend seminars, workshops or examinations) and/or placements may apply. Any applicable requirements will be detailed on individual course pages.

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 very strong growth in Australia1. 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

1Australian Government, National Skills Commission, Job Outlook 2020.

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

Applying to study with us:

  • go to the top of this page and make note of the SATAC code, then click Apply
  • you will be redirected through to the SATAC website to continue your application
  • address the non-academic entry requirements

-----Additional entry requirements-----

In accordance with national teacher education program standards, please note that as part of your SATAC application, you are also required to meet non-academic entry requirements. 

All applicants will be required to submit a 400-word Education Statement with their SATAC application, about their motivation to teach, addressing the topic, ‘Why I want to be a teacher and my understanding of the role’. The Education Statement should include a list of relevant community service, volunteer or professional experiences and significant awards. Complete information on content, format and submission is available here


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

Our campuses have fantastic facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, tech zones, and spaces that simulate real work environments. You’ll also find student gyms and campus sport activities to keep you active. We also offer flexible study options, with online resources available for accessing lecture recordings, virtual classrooms, library resources and learning support. 

Adelaide also has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets should you need, from dedicated student accommodation to private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages or explore our student accommodation by urbanest on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal 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

Our student services provide you with all the support you need at university. You can access a full range of support services including academic and personal counselling, career advice, social support services, as well as those through our student association, USASA. When you become a UniSA student, you can also contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and more.

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 and laboratories, as well as spaces 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)