Master of Education (Early Childhood)

Be an agent of change for learners from birth to 8 years.

Studying for the Master of Education (Early Childhood) offers a model of supported and flexible study tailored to individual student needs through a responsive mixture of study options to advance your skills and capacity to act as an agent of change across diverse Early Childhood settings.

Prepare to be a highly effective early years practitioner or teacher through two bespoke specialisations that empower you to put the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) into action. The capstone subjects in this Early Childhood degree will provide you with a unique opportunity to undertake and publish reflective research where you pursue ways to improve your practice and to share your findings with the professional community. Offered 100% online, the Master of Education (Early Childhood) gives you the freedom to study when it suits you
When completing your Early Childhood course, you will be able to choose from two areas of specialisation:

Managing and Leading

  • Prepare to engage and involve team members in creative ideas, innovations, goals and visions to improve early childhood education across diverse settings.
  • Respond to the urgent need to assist early childhood educators to become competent and effective leaders who are prepared to develop pedagogical leadership by creating, promoting and reviewing an early childhood program’s mission and vision
  • Learn how to effectively and successfully recruit and evaluate staff, as well as facilitate their personal and professional growth.

Facilitating Learning and Development

  • Focus on relevant and culturally sensitive methods of instruction to improve literacy and numeracy for a broad range of learners.
  • Learn how to improve quality of teaching by rethinking the listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and design of print, digital and multimodal texts by focusing on their relationship to children’s language acquisition and emergent literacy practices.
  • Guide early years’ learners to think mathematically, to reason and to solve problems.

The culminating capstone subject requires you to engage in a reflective action research project over two trimesters with the goal of publishing your research. You will also be given an option to attend three ‘touch-point’ weekends per year (one per trimester) in either Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne.


Key Study Outcomes:

About the School

This course is provided and delivered by Torrens University Australia Ltd. CRICOS: 03389E

Read more about Torrens University Australia

Torrens University Australia

Course Delivery

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Workload and Assessment

No. of timetabled hours per week:

Torrens University Australia operates on a trimester system comprising of 3 study periods per year.

It is expected that each subject, whether studied online or on-campus, will involve a combined total of 120 hours of structured and self-directed learning, which equates to approximately 10 hours a week for subjects over 12-week trimesters.

Contact a Course and Career Advisor for more information on full-time and part-time workloads.

Typical assessment includes:

Subjects have a range of assessment options to suit the students requirements and circumstance.

Subject Information

The well-being of young children is vital to learning and later success in life. Through reviewing contemporary research and policies in early childhood education that are applicable globally, students will be encouraged to engage in a culture of professional inquiry and lifelong learning. Students will consider theoretical approaches to practice, child development and learning, new and emerging technologies, and their impact on curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. Students will also consider early growth and development, play-based learning and ways to facilitate positive relationships with families and communities. Through reflective practice, students are encouraged to think carefully about what, how and why their practices promote the best possible learning outcomes and the wellbeing of all children.

This subject requires students to critically examine typical and atypical physical, cognitive, language and social and emotional development. Topics include the powerful and important influence of cultural and linguistic diversity on the development of young children from the prenatal stage of their development through to the middle childhood period. New research related to the factors that foster and impede healthy development and learning is examined alongside the way adults can support the healthy development of young children. Additionally, education professionals will have the opportunity to observe children in a variety of settings in order to gain practical insights into the developing child in Australian and global settings.

The Early Childhood Capstone project provides students with an opportunity to plan and carry out an action research project over the course of two trimesters. Project B requires students to engage in an action research project over two cycles and author a research report that demonstrates competence in the research process. An additional subject aim is to assist students in presenting and/or publishing findings from their action research project at national conferences and in professional journals and publications.

The Early Childhood Capstone project provides students with an opportunity to plan and carry out an action research project over the course of two trimesters. Project A introduces and explores the methodology of action research where you critically and systematically reflect on your professional practice. Students will design an action research project around an issue or problem related to their current teaching or work-based practice. Action research projects will enable students to draw on their previous course work and apply theories, concepts and practices to improve an identified aspect of their practice through the process of cyclical critical reflection.

Research indicates that excellence in teaching is the single most powerful influence on student achievement. In this course, students explore what it means to be a high achieving professional educator in today’s diverse and changing educational landscape. Students will critically examine the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership’s (AITSL) Australian Professional Standards for Teachers at the lead teacher career stage. This assists them in developing a deeper understanding of their content area and articulating why their selected teaching practices and strategies are important in shaping learning in ways that are meaningful and valuable to diverse learners. The course also assists students in articulating why they are expert pedagogues able to make appropriate professional judgements that successfully shape the manner in which they teach and respond to their students’ learning.

It is not the setting that determines whether one is an early childhood educator; rather, it is the beliefs about the child, the curriculum, the environment and the family that should guide the educator. This is what differentiates an early childhood educator from a primary or junior primary trained teacher. This subject challenges students to rethink assessment in early childhood settings as being tied explicitly to everyday practice. They will learn how to plan and carry out assessment strategies including observing and talking to children and interpreting those observations – in context – to improve teaching and learning. Students will explore a different set of assumptions about assessment to foster learning and the healthy development of young children that is not only situated in practice, but also social activities within the Early Childhood setting and surrounding community. These understandings will guide students in planning for assessment and intervention in order that teaching and learning responds to the needs of learners, rather than standardised assessment practices. Students will also actively integrate theory into practice by engaging in reflective practice and considering ways to simultaneously involve children and their families in self-assessment and sharing practices.

This subject explores the roles and responsibilities of leaders in effectively managing and mentoring individuals and leading teams to ensure early childhood settings give children the best possible start in life. Students will gain an understanding of how to effectively and successfully recruit and evaluate staff, as well as facilitate their personal and professional growth by adopting a reflexive stance. Additionally, students will gain the skills and knowledge required to create positive environments and achieve individual and organisational goals through team building and networking. Students will explore ethical, legal and cultural implications in order to adopt respectful practices when working with diverse staff, children, families and communities. Students will learn how to communicate effectively and maintain productive and empowering relationships. While this subject focuses on the Australian context, the principles and practices can be applied internationally.

Effective early childhood educational leaders are responsible for planning, implementing, marketing and evaluating programs offered in their settings to ensure quality experiences for the diverse children and families they serve. This subject focuses on the roles and responsibilities of effective leaders including developing pedagogical leadership by creating, promoting and reviewing the program’s mission and vision. These roles are undertaken within the context of regulatory and accreditation requirements. Students also examine the importance of engaging in meaningful communication to build partnerships with parents, families, and communities. While this subject focuses on the Australian context, the principles and practices can be applied internationally.

Early years educators are critical in preparing young children to think mathematically, to reason, and to solve problems. Building the capacity to become a reflective practitioner who combines an understanding of early child development and mathematical thinking to critically engage in effective pedagogical approaches of numeracy in the early years is the focus of this subject. Students will apply knowledge to design engaging mathematical experiences including representing mathematical ideas in multiple ways through hands-on manipulatives, play and verbal and written forms. In this subject you will learn how to assess children’s mathematical knowledge and misconceptions to develop effective instruction, appropriate intervention and extension strategies to further children’s understandings. Students will integrate mathematics across curriculum areas and into the everyday experiences of children across diverse settings.

This subject prepares education students to understand the literacy experiences of children prior-to school and in the early years of schooling. Students will examine the development of listening, speaking, reading, writing and designing print, digital and multimodal texts and their relationship to children’s language acquisition and emergent literacy practices. Students will explore the interrelationship between early years literacy practices and a diversity of text types to extend children’s literacy learning experiences through meaningful engagement with texts that are relevant to their lifeworlds and draw on their family and community funds of knowledge. Additional topics include phonology, vocabulary and grammar related to early reading and writing; theories of reading comprehension; the development of children’s writing; assessment strategies; and planning differentiated instruction.