Key Info

The Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Education will grow your abilities to be a self-sufficient, versatile and creative early childhood educator. You will develop and advance your skills in supporting the learning needs of diverse learners across the curriculum from birth to five years of age. You will build effective relationships with children, families and communities to develop evidence based educational interventions.

Industry professional placement subjects are embedded in the course and are completed in a regulated early childhood education service.

A reflexive professional practitioner, you will be able to register with the Victorian Institute of Teaching to teach in an early childhood setting with children aged birth to five years.

Accredited by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Authority (ACECQA).Accredited by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Authority (ACECQA) students study early childhood cognitive, social and physical development along with education theory and curriculum development in historical context. Classroom management techniques as well as skills in teaching literacy and numeracy are taught in line with national and state early learning frameworks (EYLF and VEYLDF). Industry placement units are embedded into the course providing consistent opportunities for students to implement and develop their practical skills.

GDECE is Approved by the Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)


Students interested in progressing further in this area, may choose to study one of the following areas on completion of the Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Education:

  • Masters


Employment Opportunities

Graduates of the 106561H Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Education may find employment with government, private enterprises and not-for-profit organisations.

Graduate employment opportunities include:

  • Early learning and childcare centres
  • Kindergarten teaching (private or public)
  • Government agencies

Course Learning Outcomes

Interpret and integrate professional standards for teachers demonstrating 21st century skills.

Critically evaluate educational theory and research in the design and implementation of learning experience. 

Appraise different worldviews and socio political circumstances to design learning and interventions that promote engagement and inclusion.  

Generate safe and inclusive teaching practices to meet the needs of diverse learners. 

Course Learning Outcomes

Collaborate ethically with children, parents and colleagues as capable contributors. 

Demonstrate advanced curriculum and pedagogical knowledge to develop learning that empowers and develops 21st century skills in learners. 

Critically reflect on own professional practice

Formulate a personal teaching and professional practice philosophy that advocates for children’s rightsand the public good 

Semester 1

This subject investigates the historical, socio cultural and philosophical influences on contemporary educational systems and curriculum. Diverse family and community contexts and their role in constructions of childhood and identity are examined along with a range of strategies for working effectively with diverse parents/carers and the wider Australian community. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and epistemologies as well as issues of social justice and colonialism are also examined in relation to early childhood education in Australia.

Assessment :  Essay, Report

This subject examines theories of learning and development from birth to two years encompassing physical, personal, social-emotional, cognitive and spiritual aspects of infant and toddler development and learning as an integrated process. Theoretical perspectives from humanism, cognitivism and constructivism are included. The significance of interpersonal relationships, intrapersonal identity is examined as well as a focus on inclusive learning and teaching strategies to maximise development and learning for diverse children.

Assessment : Position Paper, Case Study Analyses

12.5 credit points

This subject investigates theories of learning and early literacy as well as the role of language and literacy in successful learning for children aged birth – five years. Evidence-based strategies, including intentional teaching and play-based pedagogies are examined. It addresses many components of early literacy including communication and storytelling, listening, printmaking, writing, music and bilingualism. Literacy rich environments including digital technologies are also examined along with families and adult interactions in the literacy environment.

Assessment : Learning Experiences, Report, Essay

Co-requisite : GDECE104

This is the first of two professional teaching practice units. Covering children from birth – two years, it has a theoretical as well as a practical component. Both components need to be passed in order to pass the subject. The practical placement is a 30-day placement in an early childhood setting. The subject will examine and apply evidence based theories including play based, intentional productive learning environments with a focus on health, safety and physical well-being.

You will study techniques for the observation and evaluation of early learners, as well as record keeping, report preparation and self- evaluation. Relevant national and state frameworks will be scrutinised and applied.

You are required to have a valid Working With Children Check before you can start your placement.

Assessment : Report, Professional ePortfolio, Demonstration of Professional Teaching Practice (Hurdle requirement), Critical reflection of Professional Practice

Pre-requisite :  GDECE 101 and GDECE102

Co-requisite : GDECE103

Semester 2

This subject further examines theoretical paradigms to refine your understanding of play based learning pedagogies including intentional teaching and scaffolding. It focuses on teaching practices and strategies for diverse learners including Indigenous learners and those with disabilities.  Child advocacy as well as educational leadership and management is also studied.

Assessment : Report, e-Resources, Oral Presentation

Pre-requisite : GDECE 101

This subject examines theories of learning and development in children from three to five years encompassing physical, personal, social-emotional, cognitive and spiritual aspects of early childhood development and learning as an integrated process. There is a focus on learning processes related to regulation, memory, attention and curiosity. The significance of family, friend and community relationships are examined as well as transitions between different education and care contexts. The VEYDLF, EYLF and relevant curriculum are studied with a focus on human culture (eg. history, philosophy, geography, religion).

Assessment : Quiz, Report, Curriculum Design

Pre-requisite : GDECE 102

12.5 credit points

This subject focuses on the pedagogy and knowledge of numeracy, science, technology and engineering for children in the early years. Curriculum and learning related to number, patterns and relationships, spatial awareness and shape, measurement, chance and data are studied along with  biological, chemical, earth and space, physical sciences and sustainability practices.  The subject  incorporates teaching strategies, content development, and planning and assessment incorporating appropriate digital technologies.

Assessment : Report, Oral Presentation, Examination

Pre-requisite : GDECE 105

Co-requisite : GDECE103

12.5 credit points

This is the second of two professional teaching practice units. It has a theoretical as well as a practical component; both components need to be passed in order to pass the subject. The practical placement is a 30-day placement in an early childhood setting with children for three to five years. The subject will examine and apply evidence based theories including play based, intentional productive learning environments with a focus on teaching for creativity and media arts. You will also study techniques for collecting evidence, identifying problems and providing  support for diverse, including indigenous, early learners. It also examines, indigenous perspectives and young people as diverse learners. Relevant national and state frameworks will be scrutinised and applied. Valid working with children checks are required.

Assessment : Report, Professional Portfolio, Demonstration of Professional Teaching Practice (Hurdle requirement), Critical Reflection

Pre-requisite : GDECE 104

English Proficiency Language Requirements

All Applicants must meet the approved English Language Proficiency Requirements listed below:

Postgraduate Programs

An applicant will be deemed to have sufficient English language proficiency if they have completed :
  1. Bachelor degree in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the USA, Canada or the Republic of Ireland.
  2. Successful attainment of the following:
IELTS Score of 7.0 overall (with no score less than 6.5 in written communication and no individual band score less than 6.0). Individual course entry levels may vary with advice from relevant industry consultation.
TOELF (iBT) Overall score of at least 94+ (no writing score less than 27, no reading & listening score less than 24 and speaking score less than 24).
TOEFL (paper based) 600 + (including a score of 5.0 or more in the Test of Written English.
OET Pass
Pearson (PTE) Overall score of at least 66 (with no score less than 56 in written communication and no less than 46 in other communication skills). Individual course entry levels may vary with advice from relevant industry consultation.
Cambridge English 185 + with no skill below 185.

Please note : English language requirements for teacher registration in Australian States and Territories may be different from those required for entry into SCEI-HE courses.

Verification Procedures

The enrolment officer will verify all English language proficiency test scores via the following means :

  • IELTS test scores submitted will be verified on the IELTS Test Report Form verification online service
  • TOEFL online score verification service is utilised to verify the applicants submitted report form
  • Cambridge English Language Assessment verification services is used to validate applicant’s Cambridge English examination results
  • The PTE Academic online score reporting system is used to view score reports and listen to applicant’s (test takers) personal introductions
  • The photo on the Test Reports will be verified with the applicants Passport photo

If an applicant is found to have submitted fraudulent English language proficiency documentation, SCEI-HE reserves the right to dismiss the applicant’s application or withdraw a letter of offer for admission to the Institute.

Academic Requirements

Postgraduate Courses – Graduate Diploma and Master Programs

To be eligible for an offer of admission, applicants will:

  • Hold a bachelor qualification (please refer to specific course information as entry requirements may vary).

Non – Academic Requirements

Applicants for education programs will need to complete a non-academic suitability test. The test measures attributes such as motivation to teach, attitude toward learning, interpersonal and communication skills, resilience, self-efficacy, how conscientious applicants are as well as organisation and planning skills.


SCEI-HE currently uses the computer based Casper Postgraduate Teacher Education test. The fee for students to take the test is met by student (approximately $80.00).

Altus Suite -

Casper and Snapshot

Altus Suite - Admissions Assessments of Non-Cognitive Skills

All applicants applying to Education courses at Southern Cross Education Institute – Higher Education are required to complete an online suite of assessments (Altus Suite), to assist with our selection process for the 2021-2022 Application Cycle.

How to Complete Altus Suite

In order to take Altus Suite, you will be responsible for securing access to a laptop or desktop computer with webcam and audio capabilities. You will require the following for both account creation and completing Altus Suite :
  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Valid email address (the same one you will use to submit your application)
  • Working webcam
  • Working microphone
  • Reliable high-speed internet connection
  1. Please go to to sign up for Altus Suite for Postgraduate Teacher Education (CSP-20409 – Australian Postgraduate Teacher Education) under your specific country, and register using a piece of government-issued photo ID.When making your Altus Suite account please ensure you use the exact name and email address you have used on your application to Southern Cross Education Institute as this information will be used to match your Casper score to your application.

  2. Select a Casper test date. You will be provided with a limited number of testing dates and times. Please note that these are the only testing dates available for your Casper test. There will be no additional tests scheduled. Please use an email address that you check regularly; there may be updates to the test schedule.

    Important : To account for identity verification and payment processing timeline, ensure that you register for your test at least 3 days before your preferred test date and time. Last- minute bookings are not recommended.

  3. Ensure you have selected Southern Cross Education Institute – Higher Education for distribution before the posted Distribution Deadline. Likely, there will be no additional tests scheduled, but the most up to date information can be found by browsing the Test Dates and Times.

  4. You may complete Snapshot any time after you have registered for your Casper test at and we recommend you complete it within 14 days of your Casper test to ensure that all components of your Altus Suite are available together to be considered by your program(s), if they are an admissions requirement as per the program website(s). You will still be able to access Snapshot and Duet after the recommended 14 days, but must complete them before your earliest program distribution deadline, as shown on the Test Dates and Times page.

  5. Please direct any inquiries on Altus Suite to Alternatively, you may use the chat bubble in the bottom right hand corner of your screen on the website.
Accommodations : If you require testing accommodations for Altus Suite you will need to submit the Accommodations Request Form signed by you and your qualified professional 3 weeks in advance of your desired test date. More information regarding accommodations can be found here.
More About Altus Suite
Altus Suite consists of a two-part online assessment of non-cognitive skills, interpersonal characteristics, and personal values and priorities that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program. Altus Suite will complement the other tools that we use for applicant screening. In implementing Altus Suite, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity in our selection process.
Altus Suite consists of :
  • Casper : a 60-90 minute online situational judgment test (SJT)
  • Snapshot : a 10-minute one-way interview with standardised questions.
About Casper
The Casper test comprises 12 sections of video and written scenarios. Following each scenario, you will be required to answer a set of probing questions under a time contract.
The test typically takes between 60-90 minutes to complete. Each response is graded by a different rater, giving a very robust and reliable view of personal and professional characteristics important to our program.
No studying is required for Casper, although you may want to familiarise yourself with the test structure at, and ensure you have a quiet environment to take the test. We strongly urge you to take advantage of the 12-section practice test, which will not only immerse you in the test environment, but will also ensure you meet the technical requirements to access and complete the test.
Casper test results are valid for one admissions cycle. Applicants who have already taken the test in previous years will therefore be expected to re-take it.
For a more detailed look at the Casper test, please see this video.
Play Video

About Snapshot

Snapshot is a one-way interview tool that takes 15 minutes to complete. It is used to help programs get to know their applicants better by assessing verbal and non-verbal communication skills, as well as motivation for the profession.

Snapshot includes 2 mandatory practice questions to allow applicants to get familiar with the format and to test your audio and video capabilities. After you complete the practice portion, you will move on to record responses to 3 standardised interview-style questions.

Applicants have 2 minutes to record each response. You will have time to read and consider each question during a 30-second reflection period before you begin recording. All recorded responses will be submitted to the program for review.

Applicants need to provide a :

Professional Practice

The aim of industry placement program is to prepare you for the world of work and assist in applying your newly acquired skills and knowledge in real lifework environments.

It also allows you to make meaningful connections with potential employers that may be able to employ you upon completion of your degree, or act as a work reference for other employment opportunities.

Placement Handbook

The placement handbook is an essential resource for students, identifying what to expect and how to conduct themselves whilst on placement.

Placement Contracts

For external placement organisations wishing to facilitate SCEI-HE students for placement, please download, populate and return our placement contract.

Placement Requirements

A document specifically outlining the student’s preparation requirements prior to attending placement is downloadable below.