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Specialisation: Early Childhood

Award(s) to which this specialisation belongs:
Specialisation Details

Early Childhood


Department of Educational Studies
Faculty of Human Sciences
Admission Requirements:
• Australian level 7 bachelor's qualification or recognised equivalent in early childhood • Two years full-time equivalent work experience in an early childhood context
Study Mode:
Full-time, Part-time
Attendance Mode:
Internal, External
North Ryde — Session 1 (February)
North Ryde — Session 2 (July)
External — Session 1 (February)
External — Session 2 (July)
Off-Shore — Session 1 (February)
Off-Shore — Session 2 (July)

This specialisation must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Specialisation:

Completion of a minimum of 32 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

800 level

Issues in Early Childhood Policy and Pedagogy (4)
Pedagogical Approaches to Early Childhood Curriculum (4)
Organisation of Early Childhood Education (4)
Minor Independent Investigation I (4)
Current Topics in Education (4)
16cp from
EDCN units at 800 level
ECED units at 800 level


Additional Information
Overview and Aims of the Program The Educational Leadership specialisation in Early Childhood Education enables students to enhance their knowledge, skills and understandings of the theory and practice of educational leadership operationalised within early childhood organisations, systems and jurisdictions in contemporary Australian society.

As a postgraduate degree, this program aims to develop graduates who are ethical, autonomous and critically reflective educational leaders and mentors. The program incorporates flexible modes of delivery for part-time study and is particularly suited for practising professionals who are either aspiring to become leaders or are currently working as leaders to consolidate their skills and knowledge in educational leadership.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an advanced, specialised and integrated knowledge and scholarly understanding of the theory, policy and practice of educational leadership in early childhood (K)
2. Synthesise, review and analyse a specialist body of knowledge covering contemporary developments in early childhood at an advanced level relevant to educational leadership (K, T, J)
3. Investigate complex ideas, concepts, problems and theories when working in diverse early childhood contexts by applying high-order analytical and integrative thinking skills (K, T, J, P)
4. Demonstrate capability in creative questioning, problem finding and problem solving in relation to the practice of educational leadership (T, P, E)
5. Design, implement and evaluate innovations in educational leadership in diverse early childhood settings and related community contexts (T, P, C, E, J)
6. Demonstrate an understanding of research methodologies in education settings (K, P, E)
7. Apply educational expertise with a high level of personal autonomy, accountability and initiative in undertaking research, policy or program development in a wide variety of early childhood contexts (T, P, C, E, J)
8. Use a range of communication strategies, media and technologies effectively in designing, implementing or evaluating innovations within early childhood community contexts (C, E, J)
9. Apply knowledge, skills, expert judgment, and adaptability as an educational leader when directing change in relation to professional responsibilities for social justice, inclusion and connectedness to the wider community (E, J).
Learning and Teaching Methods You are encouraged and supported through a variety of learning and teaching methods designed to facilitate your knowledge, skills and understanding of educational leadership within early childhood contexts. Most units in this program can be completed fully online. Day or evening face-to-face classes at the Ryde campus are also available in a number of units. Incorporating both local and international research literature focusing on educational leadership, we explore significant issues impacting the work of contemporary educational leaders. You will also have opportunities to engage with unit content through diverse methods including:
• recorded lectures and seminars with video capture content
• weekly readings based on scholarly literature and government policy work
• online discussions, blogs, and social media engagement through individual postings and reflections to create learning communities online
• attendance at conferences, public forums and professional workshops.

Your learning in the program will take place through the acquisition of new knowledge, inquiry, collaboration with peers and consideration of self-identified workplace challenges.
Assessment Assessment tasks in this program are aimed at fostering critical engagement with current research, theory and policy impacting the work of early childhood educational leaders. Assessment tasks are designed to align with the learning outcomes of the overall program as well as the specific units. A diverse range of assessment activities invites student engagement in unit content and include:
• essays and case studies analysing issues and trends in early childhood matters
• individual and group presentations involving collaborative team work and peer assessments
• reading journals to document thinking and learning both for the purposes of self reflection and collaboration with peers
• literature reviews to explore trends and gaps in current research, as a necessary first step in initiating new research.

In learning about research inquiry and methods, all students complete a major assignment with mentoring support from an academic supervisor. Formative and/or summative feedback is provided on individual and group work. These assessment tasks have been designed to scaffold learning and support you in achieving a high standard of academic writing appropriate for an educational leader in the early childhood sector. A capstone unit enables you to draw together capabilities of working as an educational leader based on understandings acquired across the program.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit. 

Domestic Students
For undergraduate RPL information visit
For domestic postgraduate RPL information visit

International Students
For RPL information visit

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability The Master of Educational Leadership (Early Childhood Education) degree is designed to enable graduates from early childhood education to obtain advanced knowledge of contemporary educational leadership theory and research. Graduates may be employed as educational leaders within early childhood centres, VET colleges, universities, as well as government and non-government organisations. High performing graduates can also gain access to higher degree research training programs at Macquarie University through the Master of Research degree.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

2017 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148