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Study Early Childhood in Australia

Institute of Early Childhood Macquarie University Australia

The Institute of Early Childhood (IEC) is situated in its own, new and attractive building on the Macquarie University campus. The quality of the IEC staff is considered a major determinant of the Institute's high standing in the early childhood community. With an outstanding complement of over 20 committed full-time staff and a large range of part-time staff and national and international guest presenters, the IEC can offer a unique diversity of academic expertise and practical knowledge.

The Institute's staff has a strong commitment to rigorous academic standards as well as quality and excellence in teaching and research. Our academics are highly qualified and many have extensive field experience and networks. They are constantly working to lead the way in the latest research, theory and knowledge within their chosen fields of specialisation.

The current Institute has a proud history of early childhood teacher education that spans over a hundred years.

Teacher Education

The Institute of Early Childhood (IEC) is the major provider of early childhood teacher education in NSW, offering courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level. It specialises in the education of teachers of children aged birth - 8 years in a range of children's services and schools. Students at the Institute are offered a balance of core professional studies and liberal studies. They have the opportunity to develop their skills in critical enquiry and to acquire a broad understanding of various traditions of learning. Students benefit from the integration of theory, observation, reflection and practice, through field-based practicum experiences and campus-based, distance and web-based study.

Graduates are employed as teachers and managers in a full range of educational settings for young children aged from birth to eight years. This includes long day care, pre-school and the first years of primary school.

Graduates may also find employment in areas such as adult education, tertiary teaching, media, museums, policy development and the administration of children's services or schools at all levels of government.

Research Activities

The Institute has a strong focus on excellence in research and scholarship.

Research activities include projects on the care, education and development of young children; the professional experiences and practices of early childhood educators; individual, family, child care and community influences on child development; language and literacy practices in early childhood settings; and the role and significance of the arts in early childhood.

National and international recognition of the Institute continues particularly in areas related to the arts in early childhood, the media and young children, the history of children's services, child development, family studies, early childhood special education, child and family-centred approaches to education and policy analysis.  The strong research profile is distinguished by the creative use of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

Institute staff have been very successful in winning competitive research grants from sources including the Australian Research Council, the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, the Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Technology, the NSW Department of Community Services and the Creswick Foundation. Staff publish widely in national and international journals and have written many textbooks in early childhood education.

For further information on staff profiles and research interests see: and

Programs of study

Undergraduate programs

Undergraduate programs at the Institute specialise in the preparation of teachers of children from birth through to age 8.

The Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education)

This program prepares students to teach and work with children from birth to eight years. This program involves four years of full-time study or equivalent part-time years. Graduates are recognised as four-year-trained early childhood teachers. This program is offered internally and by distance education.

Bachelor of Teaching (Birth to School Age)

This program is specifically designed for students with a Diploma of Children's Services (Centre Based Care) or a Diploma of Community Services (Children's Services-Centre Based Care) who have at least one year's experience as a qualified worker in a centre-based setting and are in current employment in long-day care, preschool, occasional care or an equivalent setting. The program is innovative in its work-based teaching approach and its combination of block teaching and distance education.

Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Services)

This program is designed specifically for Indigenous students with a

particular interest in teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. This degree qualifies graduates to work with children in services prior to school. Students interested in this program should contact Warawara, Macquarie's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs Unit on (02) 9850 8893 for more information. 

Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood

Existing degree qualifications can also be extended by completing one of three Graduate Diplomas in Early Childhood. One is designed for qualified primary school teachers who would like to teach the younger age group (birth to five years). Another is designed for those interested in working with children with special needs. The third option, designed for those wishing to advance their studies in early childhood, is especially useful for those B Teach (Early Childhood Services) graduates who wish to add the equivalent of a fourth year to their undergraduate degree.

Postgraduate Programs

The Institute is the largest established provider of early childhood education in Australia which offers named postgraduate degrees, diplomas and certificates in the speciality of Early Childhood. Postgraduate qualifications have been offered for over ten years with more than 100 graduates to date. Since amalgamating with Macquarie University, programs have been enriched by the breadth of University offerings. Local and international students can pursue both coursework and research-based masters degrees and doctoral degrees. Graduates work in diverse areas such as government policy, early intervention, children's media, ethics research, as well as early childhood management and teaching.

The IEC offers flexible, rigorous programs using a combination of internet technology and traditional distance mode. High levels of individualised student support is offered and on-campus days provide learning and networking opportunities. Students can build a program of study from a wide range of electives offered by the IEC and other Departments within the University. Students can choose to study part time or full time.

Coursework programs

Coursework programs are offered on-campus, on-line and in traditional external mode. On-linedelivery provides additional flexibility for those with heavy workloads as well as for distance and international students.

The following programs are available -

" Postgraduate Certificate in Early Childhood

" Postgraduate Diploma in Early Childhood

" Master of Early Childhood

" Postgraduate Certificate in Educational Leadership (ECE)

" Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership (ECE)

" Master of Educational Leadership (ECE)

" Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods (ACES)

Further details and application information about coursework programs are available at:

Research programs

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

For further undergraduate and postgraduate student information contact:


Student Services

Institute of Early Childhood

Macquarie University NSW 2109

Phone:  +61  2  9850 9824 or 9850 9820

Fax: +61  2  9850 9890



for unit descriptions and course outlines.

The Institute of Early Childhood has many opportunities for international students, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Enquiries should be directed to:

The International Office

http: //


Department Logo

CRICOS Provider No 00002J


Student Services

Institute of Early Childhood

Macquarie University NSW 2109


+61  2  9850 9824 or 9850 9820


Fax: +61  2  9850 9890




International Enquiries:

The International Office