Bachelor Programme in Early Childhood Education and Care Programme description

Programme name, Norwegian
Bachelorstudium i barnehagelærerutdanning, heltid
Valid from
2022 FALL
ECTS credits
180 ECTS credits
6 semesters
Here you can find an example schedule for first year students.
Programme history


The programme description for the Bachelor’s Programme in Early Childhood Education and Care is based on the National Curriculum Regulations for Kindergarten Teacher Education adopted by the Ministry of Education and Research on 4 June 2012, the National Guidelines for Kindergarten Teacher Education of 17 October 2018, the Kindergarten Act adopted by the Ministry of Education and Research on 17 June 2005, and the National Qualification Framework for Lifelong Learning adopted by the Ministry of Education and Research on 15 December 2011.


The Early Childhood Education and Care programme at OsloMet aims to educate responsible, energetic and reflective ECEC teachers. The programme is profession-oriented, wide-ranging and builds on research-based knowledge. The programme qualifies students for work in today’s ECEC centres and on further developing the ECEC centres of tomorrow. The study programme forms the basis for further competence development, and qualifies students for further studies at master’s degree and PhD level.


The education shall take account of ECEC centres’ role in children’s formative development, and how they attend to all aspects of children’s development. The education emphasises the increasing diversity in ECEC centres, and the importance of cooperation, a mutual understanding and dialogue with the home and other bodies responsible for children’s upbringing.


The programme includes participation in the INTERACT: ‘The Same Child – Different Arenas’ initiative. INTERACT is part of a big initiative at OsloMet, the aim of which is to give students the knowledge and skills required to interact with other professions that work with children and adolescents, such as child welfare officers and health personnel. Participation in INTER1100, INTER1200 and INTER1300 is specified in the course descriptions.


General information for students

Changes are constantly taking place that affect students’ everyday lives, and OsloMet’s students have a responsibility to keep up to date. Important information channels include OsloMet’s website, StudentWeb and the university’s digital learning platform. Students are also expected to use their student email.


The programme description is the most important information document for everyone who has been accepted for the Early Childhood Education and Care programme, and all students have a duty to familiarise themselves with the programme description for their study programme.

Target group

All qualified applicants who wish to work as an ECEC teacher or educational supervisor in an ECEC centre.

Admission requirements

The Higher Education Entrance Qualification or prior learning and work experience.

Learning outcomes

After completing the programme, candidates are expected to have achieved learning outcomes in accordance with the learning outcome descriptions in the National Curriculum Regulations for Kindergarten Teacher Education. The learning outcomes are the foundation for educational work in ECEC centres. See also the course descriptions for the individual areas of knowledge.


The candidate

  • has knowledge of ECEC centres in Norway, including their distinctive nature, history, social mandate, legal basis and governing documents.

  • has broad knowledge of educational theory and subject areas relevant to early childhood education and care, about leading and facilitating educational work and about children’s play and learning processes.

  • has broad knowledge of children’s formative development, modern childhood, children’s culture, different conditions under which children grow up, backgrounds and social development in a society characterised by linguistic, social, religious/life stance and cultural diversity.

  • has broad knowledge of children’s linguistic development, about multilingualism and children’s social, physical and creative development.

  • has broad knowledge of children’s early digital, reading, writing and maths skills.

  • is familiar with national and international research and development work of relevance to the ECEC teaching profession, and is capable of updating their knowledge in the field.

  • has broad knowledge of children’s rights and what characterises an ECEC environment that prioritises inclusion, equality, health promotion and learning.

  • shall have knowledge of children in difficult life situations, including knowledge of violence and sexual abuse of children and how to implement necessary measures in accordance with applicable legislation


The candidate

  • can use their professional skills and relevant R&D results to lead and promote children’s play, sense of wonder, learning and development, and to justify their choices.

  • can assess, stimulate and support different children’s all-round development in cooperation with the home and other relevant parties.

  • can use their professional skills to promote improvisation in play, learning and communication

  • can assess, stimulate and support different children’s skills and take into account differences in their backgrounds and abilities.

  • can promote creative processes and cultural and nature-based experiences, focusing on children’s creative activities, overall learning and sense of mastery.

  • can use relevant professional tools, strategies and forms of expression in their own learning processes, in educational work, in cooperation with the home and with relevant external parties.

  • can identify special needs in individual children and quickly implement measures based on a professional assessment.

  • can lead and supervise co-workers, reflect critically on their own practice and adjust it under supervision.

  • can find, assess and refer to information and specialist literature and present it in such a way that it elucidates an issue.

  • can identify special needs in individual children, including identifying signs of violence or sexual abuse. Based on professional assessments, the candidate shall be capable of establishing cooperation with relevant interdisciplinary partners in the best interests of the child.

General competence

The candidate:

  • has insight into ethical dilemmas in the profession, especially in relation to responsibility, respect and power perspectives.

  • can plan, lead, carry out, document and reflect on educational work relating to the ECEC centre’s content and duties, in line with ethical requirements and guidelines and based on knowledge gained through research and experience.

  • masters the Norwegian language, both bokmål and nynorsk, at a qualified level and in a professional context.

  • can draw on global, national, regional, local and multicultural perspectives, characterised by respect and tolerance, in work in ECEC centres.

  • has change and developmental competence, is capable of leading educational development work and contributing to fresh thinking and innovation processes in the ECEC centres of the future.

  • can present important subject matter orally and in writing, participate in professional discussions in different areas of the programme and share their knowledge and experience with others.

Content and structure

The programme consists of the following knowledge areas and courses – in total 180 credits:

Areas of knowledge

  • Children`s development, play and learning (BULL) 20 credits

  • Nature, health and movement (NHB) 20 credits

  • Art, culture and creativity (KKK) 20 credits

  • Society, religion, life philosophies and ethics (SRLE) 20 credits

  • Language, text and mathematics (STM) 20 credits

  • Leadership, cooperation and development work (LSU) 15 credits


Other courses

  • Supplementary subject (20 credits)

  • Specialisation subject (30 credits)

  • Bachelor`s thesis (15 credits)



The programme is structured as follows:


First year:

  • Children`s development, play and learning (BULL) (20 credits)

  • Nature, health and movement (NHB) (20 credits)

  • Art, culture and creativity (KKK) (20 credits)

  • Practical training 40 days, 20 days in the autumn semester and 20 days in the spring semester


Second year:

  • Society, religion, life philosophies and ethics (SRLE) (20 credits)

  • Language, text and mathematics (STM) (20 credits)

  • Supplement to KKK, NHB og STM (20 credits)

  • Practical training 35 days, 20 days in the autumn semester and 15 days in the spring semester


Third year:

  • Specialisation (30 credits)

  • Leadership, cooperation and development work (15 credits)

  • Bachelor`s thesis (15 credits)

  • Practical training 25 days in the spring semester


The knowledge areas are research-based and profession-oriented, and they integrate educational and didactic knowledge that is adapted to the ECEC centre’s subject areas. The organisation and contents of the individual knowledge areas are outlined in the course descriptions.


The first five knowledge areas in the study programme, and Leadership, cooperation and development work in the last semester, are compulsory and identical for all students taking the full-time programme. Supplementary and specialisation subjects based on the knowledge areas are offered in the fourth and fifth semesters. The bachelor’s thesis shall be profession-oriented and thematically based on the knowledge areas, the supplementary subject or the specialisation subject.


Educational theory is incorporated into each knowledge area and is particularly important in relation to ensuring progress and making the study programme profession-oriented. Educational theory shall contribute to the students’ formative education and development of leadership skills, and to the integration of theory and practice.


The practical training shall be supervised, varied and subject to assessment, and it shall be an integral part of all the knowledge areas and the specialisation subject. There must be progress in the students’ teaching practice.

The training is particularly intended to strengthen the students’ competence in educational supervision and will gradually help the students to be perceived as professional practitioners by children, parents, colleagues and other partners.


General topics and academic profile

Cities, diversity and inclusion


OsloMet shall reflect urban environments and their diversity. Children, parents and staff bring different experience and different abilities and backgrounds to ECEC centres. Values such as democracy and equality shall characterise the study programme. Diversity shall be highlighted and valued. The programme shall enable the students to safeguard children’s rights, recognise different cultural expressions and make use of the many opportunities the city offers. The education shall promote students’ understanding of Sami culture and emphasise the status and rights of indigenous peoples.


Leadership and cooperation


ECEC teachers have a broad leadership responsibility. Educational supervision in an ECEC centre entails managing both groups of children and staff, and includes planning, organisation, implementation, documentation and evaluation. The programme shall teach the students about and give them experience of different forms of leadership in different types of ECEC centres. Throughout the programme, the students will gradually develop assurance, self-confidence and a reflective attitude to their future role as leaders. ECEC teachers supervise children’s learning and formative processes, manage personnel, participate in the management and development of the organisation and cooperate with parents and external parties.


Cooperation between the home and the ECEC centre is decisive for the children’s well-being, learning and formative development, and important in relation to the centre’s activities. Throughout the programme, the students will develop skills in communicating and cooperating with different people and families.

The students will learn about cooperation with other professions and institutions, for example primary schools, child welfare services, health services, cultural institutions and businesses.


The youngest children (0–3 years)


The youngest children now make up a large proportion of children in early education and care, and the programme is intended to give students special expertise in educational work with this age group. The expertise shall be based on research-based knowledge about and experience of the youngest children’s needs, care for the youngest children and children’s play, exploration, creativity, learning and formative development.




The students will learn about and gain experience of creative processes and innovation that is relevant to their future professional practice. Through student-active learning methods, such as group work, practical activity in workshops, seminars and practice in the professional field, the students will gain insight into and experience of how creativity, fresh thinking and innovation can contribute to competence-raising in ECEC centres. The programme aims to promote students’ understanding of ECEC centres as learning organisations and important institutions in society.


Sustainable development


Sustainable development is about environmental protection and about solidarity with and equality between all people. People are part of nature, and we need nature to carry on our social and cultural traditions and practices. ECEC centres are intended to promote children’s ethical reflection and commitment to sustainability, and thereby contribute to sustainable development for future generations.

Optional course Spans multiple semesters

1st year of study

Kunnskapsområde - alternativ NHB + KKK

1. semester
2. semester

Kunnskapsområde - alternativ KKK + NHB

1. semester
2. semester

3rd year of study

Valgfrie emner - alternativ 1

5. semester

Fordypning - Oppvekst og bærekraft

5. semester

Fordypning - Play, movement, nature and outdoor education

Valgfrie emner - alternativ 2

Valgfrie emner - alternativ 3

Fordypning - Fairytales and creativity - Nordic Childhoods

Valgfrie emner - alternativ 4

Fordypning - Pedagogisk arbeid med barn under 3 år

Fordypning - Utefag og ledelse

5. semester

Fordypning - Ledelse av kunst, håndverk og kultur i barnehagen

Fordypning - Dramatisk lek og læring

5. semester

Fordypning - Barndom, identitet og mangfold

5. semester

Fordypning - Barn med særlige behov

Fordypning - Musikk, samspill og ledelse

5. semester

Teaching and learning methods

The different learning arenas used in the study programme will vary throughout the programme, depending on what knowledge and skills the students are to acquire. The teaching shall be organised in a way that ensures that it is perceived as coherent by the students. The work and teaching methods shall be inclusive, student-active and relevant to activities in the ECEC centre.


In order to ensure a democratic learning environment, students shall be guaranteed dialogue and participation in the teaching, and shall take part in the planning, practical execution and evaluation of the education. The work methods shall help the students to develop the ability to actively seek knowledge and investigate different sources critically. Binding cooperation between the students’ ECEC centre, the centres in which they undergo training and OsloMet is necessary to ensure overall professional competence. The study programme is responsible for making appropriate arrangements for students from different backgrounds and for endeavouring to ensure that the students’ cultural and experience background is a resource for the learning environment.


The programme will build on research-based knowledge and establish arenas for binding cooperation between the educational institution and the professional field. The work and teaching methods used shall help the students to acquire professional knowledge, skills and attitudes. This will form the basis for the students’ action competence and ability to critically reflect on their own and the ECEC centre’s educational practice.


In the course of their studies, the students shall develop self-confidence and independence in their oral and written presentation skills, creative skills and cooperation skills. The students shall acquire written, oral, practical, aesthetic and digital skills that are relevant in a professional context.


Digital competence

The students shall acquire digital competence through creative, inventive and reflective use of digital tools and media during their studies.

The digital skills ECEC teachers need include the use of digital tools in documentation work in ECEC centres, in communication with parents and society, and as an educational tool.

The courses in digital tools are compulsory throughout the study programme.

Practical training

The university and the ECEC centres in which the students undergo training are equally important and integrated learning arenas, and the students’ learning during training periods is as important as their learning at the university.


During training periods, the students will acquire experience-based knowledge, which is developed through social processes. The theoretical and practical knowledge students acquire at the university is intended to shed light on different ways of acting in ECEC centres and give meaning and context to the theory.


The training periods include exploration and observation, planning, implementation, assessment and documentation of educational work with children. During the training, the students will, among other things, practise interaction with children, lead learning processes with children and carry out change and development work together with the ECEC centre staff.


The training is intended to give the students opportunities to practise their oral and written skills and to discuss different issues together with parents and ECEC centre staff. During the training, the students are required to use work methods that support the learning outcome descriptions in and across knowledge areas.


The training will help to make the students independent, give them self-confidence and the ability to take responsibility in educational and professional work in the ECEC centre, with particular emphasis on ethical issues relating to the profession.


The training is linked to the content of the knowledge areas and it is related to the students’ experience, background and competence. The training shall take place in close and binding cooperation between the ECEC centres where the training takes place, the practical training supervisors in the centres, students and lecturers at the university. Binding arenas will be established between the different parties for the purpose of planning and sharing experience.


The scheduling of training periods throughout the study programme is intended to ensure progress and continuity. The placement, organisation and duration of the training periods will be based on the learning outcome descriptions for the different knowledge areas.



The supervisors from the teacher training institutions, the practical training supervisor and the manager have joint responsibility for assessing students in practical training. The practical training supervisor sets the grade pass/fail in cooperation with OsloMet.


For more information about practical training, see ‘Guidelines for practical training’ and the booklet ‘Information about the practical training assignment’, which will be published on OsloMet’s digital learning platform before the period of practical training begins.


Attendance and absence from supervised training periods

Practical training is a compulsory part of the programme, and 100% attendance is required. The number of training days is set out in the National Curriculum Regulations for Kindergarten Teacher Education and specified in the programme description. The attendance requirement cannot be deviated from due to illness or for other reasons, nor can exceptions be made from this requirement. Only absence for valid reasons, meaning the student’s own or their child’s illness or approved leaves of absence, entitles students to an extension of the training period. The student must make up for their absence as soon as possible after the ordinary period of training, and by the end of the semester at the latest. Absence in excess of 30% means that the whole practical training period must be retaken, regardless of the reason for the absence. In such cases, the student will be delayed by one year. (Guidelines for practical training in the Early Childhood Education and Care programme)


Attendance is compulsory at activities in preparation for and follow-up of training periods. In the event of absence, students will be required to submit a compensatory assignment.


New period of practical training

Students who fail a supervised training period may complete the academic year they have started, but must then take a year out from their studies before they can continue the programme. The new period of practical training must be taken the next time an ordinary training period is held, normally the next academic year. If the student passes the training period at the second attempt, they may resume their studies. Students who fail the same training period twice will have to leave the programme.


Postponed training period

In the event of childbirth, military service or long-term illness, the student’s studies will be delayed by one year. The student may complete the year, but cannot proceed with the programme before they have taken and passed the training period. The student must take the postponed training period when it is organised for the next year-group.


Progress requirements

Students must complete their first-year training period before they can take the second year of the programme. Corresponding requirements apply to all years of the programme.


Students who fail the same training period twice will normally have to leave the programme. (Regulations relating to Studies and Examinations at OsloMet)


Guidelines for practical training

Guidelines for Practical Training is a document that contains information about:

  • the submission of transcripts of police records and documentation relating to MRSA/TUB

  • travel grants for training periods

  • attendance at the practical training institution

  • detailed information about absence during training periods

  • detailed information about new and postponed training periods


For more information about the guidelines, see www.oslomet.no 


In the final year of the programme, the students are given an opportunity to take part in an international exchange and take a practical training period abroad. The exchange period can be for one or two semesters. The exchange period replaces the specialisation subject and/or the final semester of the programme. Practical training in another country can replace ordinary training in the fourth, fifth and sixth semester.


OsloMet has a strategic focus on urban environments, diversity and internationalisation. Multicultural and international perspectives run through the whole study programme.


The students use literature and teaching materials in Scandinavian languages and English and relate to cultural expressions from all over the world. They also meet guest lecturers from partner institutions in a number of countries. Several of the specialisation subjects are taught in English and accept students from partner institutions in many different countries.

Work requirements

Required coursework and participation in certain teaching activities must be approved before the student can take the exam. The purpose of coursework requirements and academic activities with compulsory participation described in the individual course descriptions is to provide a sufficient basis to ensure that students receive academic follow-up relating to the contents of the course, and to assess the degree to which learning outcomes have been achieved.


Coursework requirements

The students must complete the required coursework specified in the individual course descriptions. This is intended to ensure active student participation and clear requirements as regards study effort and the achievement of learning outcomes.


Required coursework must be submitted/completed and approved within the deadlines set in the teaching plan. If not, the student will not be permitted to take the exam.


Absence for valid reasons documented by, e.g., a medical certificate does not exempt students from meeting the coursework requirements. Students who fail to submit/meet the coursework requirements by the deadline because of illness or for other documented, valid reasons can be given an extended deadline. A new deadline for meeting the coursework requirements must be agreed with the lecturer in each individual case. Students who, due to valid absence, are unable to submit and have the coursework approved by the stipulated second deadline will not be permitted to take the exam and must register for the next ordinary exam.


The required coursework is assessed as approved/not approved. Students who submit/complete the required coursework by the deadline, but whose work is assessed as not approved, will be given one opportunity to resubmit/redo the work. The students themselves must agree on the resubmission of the coursework in question with the lecturer. Students who do not submit/complete the coursework requirements by the deadline without a documented, valid reason will not be allowed to take the exam in the course.


More information about coursework requirements is available in the individual programme/course descriptions.


Teaching activities with compulsory participation

Through their studies, the students shall develop cooperation competence and skills that are important to the knowledge areas. Experience sharing and the development of practical skills, communication and relational competence are important parts of the learning. Such skills and competence cannot be acquired through self-study, but must be learned through interaction, practice and dialogue with, among others, fellow students and teachers, and through participation in teaching.


Which activities are subject to a participation requirement is clear from the course descriptions and specified in the teaching plan. In the event of absence, students must either attend the teaching session at another time or take part in an alternative academic arrangement.


An 80% attendance requirement applies to the teaching

The attendance requirement for all teaching activities is 80%. 


Assessment is an important element in qualifying students for the profession. It is based on coursework requirements, exams and practical training. It shall be possible to test the students in relation to the expected learning outcomes.


The students will be subject to different forms of assessment during the course of their studies. They will be tested by written, oral and practical forms of assessment. The different forms of assessment are intended to contribute to the students progressing in their education and to take account of the fact that students have different backgrounds, abilities and needs. Detailed descriptions of assessment forms are provided in the individual course descriptions.


Continuous assessment is based on the expectations and goals defined for the course/knowledge area as part of the learning process. Such assessments can be oral or written, formal or informal. The final assessment measures and approves the achieved learning outcome, and is related to exams and practical training.


The students are responsible for familiarising themselves with the different exam dates and any changes relating to exams. The students are responsible for ensuring that they have registered for the exam.




To provide an external perspective on all assessments, an external examiner or a programme supervisor will take part in the different assessments in the programme. A programme supervisor is an external examiner appointed to evaluate the assessment arrangement for a course or the study programme as a whole. The evaluation is documented in a report in which any proposals for changes to the assessment form or process are outlined.


Qualitative assessment criteria


The following general national assessment criteria form the basis for assessments:


A – Excellent: An excellent performance, clearly outstanding. The candidate demonstrates excellent judgement and a high degree of independent thinking.


B – Very good: A very good performance. The candidate demonstrates sound judgement and a very god degree of independent thinking.


C – Good: A good performance in most areas. The candidate demonstrates a reasonable degree of judgement and independent thinking in the most important areas.


D – Satisfactory: A satisfactory performance, but with significant shortcomings. The candidate demonstrates a limited degree of judgement and independent thinking.


E – Sufficient: A performance that meets the minimum criteria, but no more. The candidate demonstrates a very limited degree of judgement and independent thinking.


F – Fail: A performance that does not meet the minimum academic criteria. The candidate demonstrates an absence of both judgement and independent thinking.



Rights and obligations in connection with exams


The exam candidates’ rights and obligations are set out in the Regulations Relating to Studies and Examinations at OsloMet. The regulations describe, among other things, the conditions for resit/rescheduled exams, the right to appeal and what is considered cheating in an exam. The candidates are obliged to familiarise themselves with the provisions of these regulations. A description of each exam is found in the relevant course description.

Suitability assessment

Teacher education institutions are responsible for assessing whether students are suited to the teaching profession. Suitability assessments are carried out on a continuous basis throughout the study programme, and will be included in the overall assessment of the student’s professional and personal suitability for the teaching profession. A student who represents a potential threat to the life, physical or mental health, rights and security of children is not suited to the profession. Students who demonstrate little ability to master the profession of ECEC teacher must be informed of this at the earliest possible stage of the programme. They will be given supervision and advice to enable them to meet the requirements for suitability for the teaching profession, or be advised to leave the programme. The suitability assessment takes place continuously throughout the programme.

For further information about suitability, see http://www.oslomet.no/Studier/Skikkethetsvurdering.

Other information

Study progress

Pursuant to Section 3 of the National Curriculum Regulations for Kindergarten Teacher Education (Ministry of Education and Research, 2012), educational theory shall be a central and connective subject that is incorporated into each area of knowledge, and is particularly important in relation to ensuring progress and making the programme profession-oriented. According to the comments on the regulations, this means that knowledge about educational theory shall ensure a common, integrated professional foundation for all the knowledge areas and the specialisation subject, and thereby serve as a shared professional and scholarly platform in a coherent and integrated study programme. Furthermore, it is underlined in the comments that educational theory shall, in particular, contribute to the students’ formative development, personal growth and development, analytical skills, integration of theory and practice, insight into scientific thinking, and ethical reflection.


The responsibility for progress and professional orientation will be attended to by ensuring that key aspects of everyday life in ECEC centres are linked to relevant topics in each of the six knowledge areas.


Organisationally, the same aspects will be discussed in light of new perspectives in the field. Seminars will be held that focus on everyday life in ECEC centres. The intention of holding such seminars is to help the students, by repeatedly discussing the same topics and concepts in light of new perspectives that constantly arise in the field, to develop a deeper understanding of and insight into professional issues that concern everyday life in an ECEC centre. For the students, this repetition and recognition will entail taking part in formative processes that can be developed further through specialisation and work on the bachelor’s thesis, where the knowledge is applied in a scholarly and profession-oriented context.


Progress requirements

Normal progress for a full-time student is 60 credits in the course of an academic year. The Early Childhood Education and Care programme at OsloMet is subject to special progress requirements. This means that the students must meet the following requirements in order to be allowed to start the final year of the programme:


  • The student must have passed all knowledge areas from the first year in order to start the final year of the programme.

  • The student must have earned at least 80 credits by the end of the second year of the programme in order to start the final year.

  • The practical training period must be approved before the student can continue to the next year of the programme.

Students who do not meet the progress requirements must take a year out from their studies to resit exams / retake supervised practical training.