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Master of Mental Health Nursing

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Turn your passion for mental health nursing into a career specialisation with this contemporary online course, the first in Australia to be directly constructed from the Australian College of Mental Health Nursing’s National Framework for Postgraduate Studies in Mental Health Nursing.

This new course responds to contemporary mental health nursing research and policy and has been designed with the input of leading clinical and academic mental health nurses as well as consumers. It reflects the growing understanding that mental health nurses can provide specialist intervention in mental health teams across diverse settings.

Undertaking this course will enhance your clinical capabilities and theoretical knowledge of both current and future mental health nursing practice, for the benefit of mental health consumers, your professional discipline and yourself.

Each unit runs for seven weeks with six study periods per year and the course is offered exclusively online.

Please note: this course can be completed in two years of accelerated part-time study.

Course Learning Outcome

Critically evaluates and integrates models of treatment relevant to the care continuum, to inform co-constructed personalized care strategies which meet the consumer’s life needs as well as health needs.

Generates/translates novel information or theories, making a substantial contribution to the mental health nursing discipline through scholarly activities.

Engages creatively in therapeutic relationships with mental health consumers their families and significant others, which are characterized by co-construction of care and collaborative engagement.

Critically appraises the nature and extent of influences (social, political, economic and organizational) to overcome constraints in negotiation of options for clinical interventions.

Advocates for mental health consumers, challenging discrimination and public discourse, minimising stigma through the use of positive portrayal and working toward social inclusion and independence.

Interrogates and challenges the concepts of risk and safety from the basis of consumer centred care considering social protection, legal, moral and ethical principles to balance risk in recovery.

Exercises expert/enhanced clinical judgement and decision-making and insight in novel situations in specialist mental health nursing in the pursuit of optimal consumer outcomes.

Negotiates and executes the role of the mental health nursing discipline in a multidisciplinary and multi-professional approach.

Consistently demonstrates a high level of autonomy, accountability, adaptability and responsibility in self-directed work and learning.

Engages in and leads others in collaborative critical reflection on clinical practice and achievement of lifelong learning outcomes.

Develops and maintains partnerships in care (individually and with groups) with mental health consumers and their families which focuses on the recipient of care, the person’s right to choice and self-determination, and the person’s inherent capacity for recovery.

Consistently and judiciously uses information technology, compelling and authoritative written and verbal communications.

Respects individual worldviews and enhances their own critical thinking to lead others in challenging assumptions underpinning worldviews.

Adjusts clinical practices to incorporate consumer’s cultural perspectives into mental health planning and interventions.

Core units focus on contemporary mental health theory and practice, physical healthcare needs, evidence-based case formulation and common interventions within acute care contexts, in primary mental health as well contemporary applications of developmental psychology and psychological therapies. 

You will also choose an elective from a diverse range of subjects that include leadership, management, human resources and organisational issues in mental health settings.

Location Teaching period UAC code QTAC code
SCU Online Study Period 1 , Study Period 2 , Study Period 3 , Study Period 4 , Study Period 5 , Study Period 6 N/A N/A

Career Outcomes

This course has received provisional accreditation from the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses pending the first graduate of the course.



We encourage you to apply for the courses you most want to study. If you are not eligible to enter your chosen course right now, our team will work with you to find the best pathway option.

Before applying, make sure you double check all entry requirements, gather required documentation and review the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, noting any specifics listed below.

Course requirements

To be eligible to receive the Master of Mental Health Nursing, students must complete the equivalent of 12 units (144 credit points), comprising:

  • 11 core units (132 credit points), and
  • 1 elective unit (12 credit points).

Exit Awards

Students may be eligible to exit with the Graduate Diploma of Mental Health Nursing after completing the equivalent of 8 units (96 credit points), comprising the first 8 core units.

Students may be eligible to exit with the Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing after completing the equivalent of 4 units (48 credit points), comprising any 4 of the first 8 core units.

Course structure

Unit Code Unit Title Level of learning Notes
Core Units
NRS83001 Contemporary Mental Health Advanced
NRS83002 Mental Health Across the Lifespan Advanced
NRS83003 Mental Health in Community, Non-Government and Primary Health Settings Advanced
NRS83004 Acute Mental Health Advanced
PBH91001 Appraising Evidence Introductory
NRS93003 Physical Health Care in Mental Health Advanced
NRS93004 Supporting Behaviour Change in Mental Health Contexts Advanced
CMM91010 Healthcare Professional Portfolio A Introductory
Students may be eligible to exit with the Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing after completing any 4 of the above 8 units or with the Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing after completing all the above 8 units.
MHN93002 Applied Leadership in Mental Health Clinical Practice Advanced
MHN93001 Developing Skills in Contemporary Psychotherapies Advanced
HEA93002 Discovery and Enquiry in Health: The Critical Literature Review Advanced

Unit Code Unit Title Level of learning Notes
CMM93010 Health Systems, Policies and Practices Advanced
CMM93002 Leadership and Management in Health Intermediate
HEA93001 Leading Change in Healthcare Advanced
HEA93020 Principles and Practice of Clinical Accountability Advanced
CMM91025 Social and Emotional Competence in the Workplace Introductory
TCH93001 Teaching and Supervision in a Clinical Setting Intermediate
MNG91211 The Positive Leader (Online) Introductory
MKT82210 Marketing (Online) Intermediate
MNG91215 Organisational Change and Development (Online) Introductory
MNG93215 Human Resource Management (Online) Advanced
MNG82210 Organisational Behaviour (Online) Introductory
MNG91217 Project Management Principles Introductory
ACC81210 Accounting for Managers (Online) Introductory
MNG81002 Management Communication (Online) Introductory