Education (Early Childhood)

Groundbreaking changes to BEd (Early Childhood) degree to be launched in 2017

From 2017, undergraduates studying early childhood education at the University of Sydney will have access to a new program, based on the latest developments in the field and resulting from extensive consultation with current students at the school, their lecturers, early childhood education representatives and industry stakeholders, including state and federal government departments.

Program director Dr Marianne Fenech said the improvements to the program represented an innovative way of developing the knowledge and skills of early childhood teachers. The changes had been formulated after an external review of the existing program, conducted at the invitation of the Sydney School of Education and Social Work. It involved major providers of early childhood education, regulatory bodies, unions, and early childhood peak bodies and teachers.

Additions to the program from 2017, which will be unique to the University of Sydney are specialist units of study in leadership and advocacy in early childhood; introductory and advanced curriculum units; in-depth study of child development from birth to five years; and 90 days of professional experience in up to four different early childhood settings. The latter feature means graduates of the new program will not only have the opportunity to learn from a greater breadth of experience, they will also have exceeded, by 10 days, the requirements for preservice placements of early childhood teachers.

Inherent requirements for programs in early-childhood education

To assist students to make informed choices about their study, the Sydney School of Education and Social Work has identified inherent requirements for coursework-award courses in Early Childhood Education. For the successful completion of the course, we expect students to have a range of qualities in the following areas:

  • communication tasks
  • observation/sensory tasks
  • physical tasks
  • intellectual tasks
  • interpersonal and social interactions.

More in-depth information about the inherent requirements is available by downloading (pdf, 229kB).


Course duration: 4 years, full time
Assumed knowledge: depends on subjects chosen

Guaranteed ATAR/IB 2018: 77 / 27
UAC code: 511612
Course outline: Available through Sydney Courses

This course leads to a qualification as a teacher of children aged birth to five years, in preprimary childcare and early-childhood-education settings.

Why study at the University of Sydney?

This course – which has been revitalised for 2017 – will give you a professional qualification to teach children from aged birth to five years in early-childhood-education settings.

The innovative four-year teacher-education program incorporates introductory and advanced curriculum units, a strong social justice and leadership focus, placement experiences in early-childhood settings that exceed minimum requirements, scope to develop and apply research skills in an honours strand, and opportunities to develop strong practitioner-enquiry skills.

You will study specialist units in early-childhood education and development, complemented by generalist units in education and professional studies, as well as elective units of study in the sciences, social sciences and humanities offered by the University of Sydney Business School and faculties of Science, and Arts and Social Sciences.

As a graduate you will be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to become an outstanding early childhood teacher, professional decision maker, ethical leader and theoretical, practical and critical thinker.

You will be well prepared to meet the Australian Professional Teaching Standards and gain employment in diverse early childhood settings.

Course outcomes

Throughout your degree students will teach in a range of early-learning centres and preschools for children aged birth to five years. Qualified early-childhood teachers are in high demand and early-childhood education is a high priority for both Commonwealth and state governments in Australia. Australia has more early-childhood-care centres than schools. The BEd(Early Childhood) qualification is not suitable for teachers seeking employment in the primary-school sector; it is listed under the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) approved qualification list.

We aim for our graduates to have developed the necessary attitudes and attributes to complete complex tasks, as well as the humanity and maturity necessary for professional teaching. Graduates will be able to critically analyse not only their own professional development, but also professional and policy developments in the sector, and to use these analyses to construct and implement appropriate programs for infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children.