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Major: Early Childhood

Early Childhood


Department of Educational Studies
Faculty of Human Sciences

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

Requirements for the Major:

Completion of a minimum of 24 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

100 level

Play and Inquiry in Early Childhood (3)
Infancy and Early Development (3)

200 level

Child Development Preschool to Adolescence (3)
3cp from
ECH units at 200 level
ECHE units at 200 level
ECHL units at 200 level

300 level

9cp from
ECH units at 300 level
ECHE units at 300 level

400 level

Individual Educational Project (3)


Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Overview and Aims of the Program A major in early childhood enables graduates to work in a variety of areas including policy development, community services, and the media. The major in early childhood includes units of study which consider the learning, development and wellbeing of children aged birth to twelve years. Students explore a range of philosophical, theoretical and practical aspects related to the lives and learning of young children which will equip them to respond to the complexity and diversity of contemporary Australian society. Note: this is not an early childhood teaching qualification.
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. review and analyse in-depth knowledge of children’s learning and development across the age range birth to twelve years (K, T)
2. appraise and critically reflect on theory and practice in child development, health and wellbeing, early childhood curriculum and pedagogy (K, T)
3. use a variety of representational forms to communicate effectively to audiences across early childhood contexts (C, I, E)
4. differentiate and respond to the unique social, emotional and intellectual characteristics and needs of children from a range of backgrounds including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, children with diverse linguistic, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, and students with a disability (K, T, J, I)
5. generate solutions to complex early childhood related challenges within the contemporary Australian and global context (P, J, T, I)
6. critically evaluate early childhood policies and programs drawing on knowledge of early childhood educational research principles and methods (K, T, P, C).
Learning and Teaching Methods This specialisation reflects a multi-disciplinary approach. The learning and teaching methods are designed to develop both knowledge and capabilities in:
• integrating theories of child development with contemporary approaches to curriculum and pedagogy
• understanding theories of children’s learning and relating this to curriculum knowledge
• working with a diverse range of families
• understanding and applying the National Quality Framework as a tool for increasing the quality of education and care experiences for all children.

Content is delivered via a combination of live and on-line lectures, readings and on-line resources. Tutorials include individual and small group tasks aimed at providing you with the opportunity to apply knowledge and practice skills related to understanding, planning for and evaluating children’s learning and development, and working with children and families from diverse backgrounds.
Assessment A range of formative and summative assessment approaches are utilised that allow you to demonstrate your developing knowledge and skills related to children’s play, child development, health and wellbeing, educational theory, curriculum, pedagogy, and management and leadership. Assessment tasks vary across units depending on the focus of the unit and the learning outcomes being assessed. Some examples of assessment tasks include:
• essays and reports identifying and critically analysing themes and issues in the professional literature, contemporary research and media
• development of resources to support children’s learning
• development of resources for families aimed at supporting their children’s learning, development and wellbeing
• observation and analysis of learning in children’s play
• designing, planning and analysing children’s learning environments
• responding to course content and readings via online discussions/blogs
• online quizzes
• formal examinations.
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.

Information can be found at:

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 A major in early childhood enables graduates to apply an early childhood specialisation to their work in a variety of areas including policy development, community services, and the media.
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

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or program necessary for a student to successfully achieve the core learning outcomes of a course or program. Students must meet the inherent requirements to complete their Macquarie University course or program.

Inherent requirements for Macquarie University programs fall under the following categories:

Physical: The physical inherent requirement is to have the physical capabilities to safely and effectively perform the activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Cognition: The inherent requirement for cognition is possessing the intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative capabilities to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Communication: The inherent requirement for communication is the capacity to communicate information, thoughts and ideas through a variety of mediums and with a range of audiences.

Behavioural: The behavioural inherent requirement is the capacity to sustain appropriate behaviour over the duration of units of study to engage in activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

For more information see

2019 Unit Information

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