Accelerated Early Years degree

Turn your Diploma into a degree in just two years

The Bachelor of Education – The Early Years (Accelerated Pathway Program) has been specifically designed to support diploma qualified early childhood educators while they study to take their career to the next level. 

This exciting online program was developed by UOW in partnership with Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) and the NSW Department of Education. The course design builds upon the sector rich experience of diploma qualified educators through integrated work-based placement and innovative course delivery. The program is evidence-informed, contextually relevant, and sustainable, which supports equity of access and the online delivery allows you to continue to earn an income while undertaking your studies.

In addition to the unique course design and flexible professional experience, you will be connected with a mentor from the sector to ensure you receive ongoing support throughout the degree and will have access to university support services.

Flexibility, mentorships and career progression

These are just some of the reasons our first cohort of students chose to study the new evidence-informed accelerated Early Years degree at UOW.

Early childhood educator Emma Stevenson, wearing a black top, leans against a wall outside Early Start. Photo: Michael Gray

The Bachelor of Education – The Early Years (Accelerated Pathways Program) is only available to domestic students.

To be eligible for this accelerated degree, applicants must hold a recognised Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (or equivalent), plus have a minimum of two years’ work experience or equivalent in an early childhood setting.

When submitting your application, please select Wollongong as your campus and ‘Distance’ as the delivery method to ensure you apply for the correct course version.

Applications can be made directly to UOW. With your application, please include the following:

  • Copy of your Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (or equivalent) certificate and transcripts
  • Statement of Service/Letter of Employment from your employer to validate 2 years’ full-time work experience (or part-time equivalent) in an early childhood education and care setting

Applications close 21 June 2024. Late applications will be accepted, but applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to ensure an outcome is issued prior to the course commencement date on 12-13 July 2024.

When submitting your application, please select Wollongong as your campus and ‘Distance’ as the delivery method to ensure you apply for the correct course version.

The program features:

  • two to three online subjects per session that are grouped for cohesion in learning
  • assessments which are designed to support quality pedagogy and practice within the workplace
  • flexible options for professional placement experience

To ensure you complete this fully prescribed degree in two years, you will need to follow the course structure set out in the course handbook. Part time study is not available for this course and subjects will need to be completed over six consecutive sessions (Spring, Summer and Autumn).

See the Bachelor of Education - The Early Years Course Handbook for a breakdown of the course structure, practicals, and the subjects you will study in this accelerated degree.

Educators will receive credit for 20 days professional experience in acknowledgement of their teaching experience.  The remaining 60 days will be taken in 3 placements of 20 days each working with children of different ages. Placements may occur outside the educator’s own centre, but within another service in the educator's organisation, supporting continued employment while studying.

This course offers one intake per year, commencing in the Spring session (July) and operates across three sessions per academic year. Please see the Key Dates page for detailed session dates for the Spring, Summer, and Autumn sessions this course is delivered in.

Please note: Mandatory Course Commencement sessions will take place on Friday 12, and Saturday 13 July 2024, from 9 am-4 pm (AEST). 

I am currently studying an Early Years degree at UOW or another university. Am I able to switch to this accelerated program?

The accelerated Bachelor of Education – The Early Years is a prescribed full-time course that has been specifically designed for diploma qualified educators who have also completed a minimum of two years’ full-time (or equivalent) work experience in an early childhood education and care setting. For this reason, transfers will not always be possible and will need to be approved on a case-by-case basis.

UOW students enrolled in the first year of the four-year early years degree may apply to transfer if they meet the entry requirements.

External applicants may submit a direct application to UOW.  Requests for additional credit (on top of the 66 credit points) can be submitted upon acceptance into the program with supporting documentation.

How is this course delivered?

This degree will be delivered fully online across three academic sessions per year, and will contain a blend of recorded lectures, online activities and classes, forums, and practical placements within your employer’s network or in your local area.

Most classes and activities can be completed outside of work hours at the time that best suits you.  However, there will be some synchronous classes that require attendance (online) at set times on a fortnightly basis. As much as possible, these classes will be scheduled to fall outside of normal working hours to ensure you are able to continue your normal role.

I am an interstate applicant. Am I eligible for this course?

Yes, interstate applicants are welcome to apply for this course. You should discuss with your employer (or state-based accreditation authorities) your eligibility to complete this course and relevant professional experience.

Please note, this course provides an early childhood teacher education qualification for birth to 5 years.

How many weeks of placements do I need to complete? Can I complete those placements with my current employer?

You will complete approximately 60 days of placements across 14 weeks throughout the two-year degree.
Educators currently employed through an ELACCA-affiliated service will complete their placements at another ELACCA early childhood service within their local region. For educators not currently employed in the field, or who currently work at a non-ELACCA early childhood service, UOW’s Practical Experience (PEx) unit will assist in facilitating placements. 

How much will this degree cost?

This degree is offered as a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), meaning that a large percentage of your tuition fees are subsidised by the Commonwealth.

Tuition fees are charged each session based on how many subjects you are enrolled in for that given session. 

The student contribution amount can be deferred via a HECS-HELP loan or can be paid upfront.

Student contribution amounts are subject to change from year to year, so an exact total cost cannot be provided. Detailed fees information can be found on the webpage 'Understanding your student contribution'.

Can I study this degree part-time?

No. This is an accelerated degree that was designed to be completed within 2 years.  Subjects will need to be completed in the sequence set out in the course handbook. If you want to study part time, you might want to consider the four-year early years degree.

Can I defer my offer for the course?

Yes, you may defer your offer to the next intake.

Am I eligible to apply for the accelerated degree if I completed my diploma more than 10 years ago?

Yes, but you might be asked to demonstrate currency of learning against the learning outcomes.  The Faculty will assist you with this process if you receive a conditional offer.

What happens if I fail a subject?

Supplementary assessment and other support services will be made available. If all options are exhausted, consideration and case by case management will be provided regarding alternative degree options.

How is credit assessed?  

Credit will be assessed after places have been offered.

Entry into this degree is contingent on holding a Diploma in Early Childhood Education (or equivalent) and two years' experience working in the sector.

Current university students will receive a percentage of credit towards their studies at UOW.

How many hours per week will I be studying?  

You will complete three subjects per session, which equates to approximately 10 hours of study per week.

How does the mentoring program operate?

You will be paired with an experienced mentor from the sector to guide you through your two years of study, offering valuable insight and support. 

Keen to find out more?

Watch our Early Years information session on demand! In this recording, you will find detailed information about this exciting course, its admission and application requirements, how practicums work, and more.

Watch recorded session

Have a question?

If you have any general course or application enquiries, please reach out to our Future Students Advisors by email or call during business hours.