Master of Mental Health Nursing

Available to:
Domestic students only.
  • Online

1.5 years full-time or equivalent part-time.

Domestic students


The Master of Mental Health Nursing aims to expand nursing clinicians’ knowledge and skills in mental health practice with evidence-based knowledge and practice enabling immediate application/translation in the workplace. Students have the option to pursue a project stream or a research stream within this course. As such, they may complete either a project and two elective subjects, or complete a research dissertation in their final semester.

Both streams consolidate learning from the Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing and Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing in research, specialist clinical skills and knowledge as well as clinical leadership.

  • evaluate issues and challenges confronting mental health practice
  • conceptualise new and creative approaches to clinical practice to support service delivery in culturally diverse health care contexts
  • connect theory, practice and research with regard to mental health practice
  • understand and use innovative solutions in contemporary health care
  • contribute to values based professional practice in dynamic and challenging environments.

Course duration

1.5 years full-time or equivalent part-time.

Campus availability and study mode

Campus availability

  • Online

Study mode definitions

Attendance: Face-to-face and/or via video conference, at an ACU campus or another location.

Multi-mode: A combination of Online and Attendance (including examinations, practicums, residentials, etc.).

Online: Fully online (including assessments).

Deferment, credit points & course units


Deferment is available for one year. Students must meet employment at the point of commencing studies. Find out more about deferment.

Credit Points


Exit Point

Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing
80 cp
Duration: 1 year full-time or equivalent part-time

Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing
40 cp
Duration: 1 year part-time.

Course Units (Subjects)

Schedule of Unit Offerings

Start dates

  • Semester 1 - Applications closed
  • Semester 2 - July

Course costs

  • Average first year fee: $19252 Fee-Paying (indicative only)

Important Note on Fees

All costs are calculated using current rates and are based on a full-time study load of 40 credit points (normally 4 units) per semester.

A student’s annual fee may vary in accordance with:

  • the number of units studied per semester;
  • the choice of major or specialisation; and
  • elective units.

The University reviews fees annually.

A 10% rebate on fees will be offered to domestic ACU graduates (from any faculty) enrolling in full fee-paying postgraduate studies in the Faculty of Health Sciences to commence studying in 2015 and until further notice. Conditions apply.

Essential requirements for admission

An applicant must also comply with the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy.

To be eligible for admission to the course, an applicant must :

  1. have completed a Bachelor of Nursing degree (or higher);
    have completed the Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing or Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing or equivalent; AND
  2. provide written confirmation from their employer that they are employed in a mental health.

*Disclaimer: The Course entry requirements above are for 2020 Admission.

Inherent Requirements

There are essential components of a course or unit that demonstrate the capabilities, knowledge and skills to achieve the core learning outcomes of the course or unit. Learn more about inherent requirements and how they affect you, and explore the requirements for your course.

Applying for admission

Direct Applications

Career paths

Graduates will be able to apply their theoretical and practical learning in a range of mental health settings.

Examples of potential employment settings include:

  • Public and private health care organisations
  • Child and adolescent, adult and older person mental health services
  • Acute, community, rehabilitation and long term care focused settings
  • Local, State and Commonwealth Government policy
  • Consumer and carer groups
  • Mental health based research

Examples of potential employment roles include:

  • Case manager/worker
  • Clinician
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Psychiatric consultation and liaison nurse
  • Service manager
  • Team leader
  • Triage manager

Professional experience

Students are required to be employed in a mental health service.

Professional recognition

This course is accredited under the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) National Framework for Postgraduate Mental Health Nursing Education. It meets the requirements of a postgraduate qualification for employment beyond entry level in mental health settings and for credentialing as a mental health nurse.

Other prerequisites to undertaking this course

Applicants need to provide written confirmation from their employer that they are employed in a mental health service.

Pathways to further study

Graduates may be eligible to apply for higher degree studies.

More course information

Current mental health postgraduate programs in Australia focus on either acute mental health care settings or generic mental health. ACU’s Master of Mental Health Nursing has been developed as a course specifically for nursing clinicians entering into the specialist area of mental health and aims to develop knowledge and skills at specialist and advanced levels for clinical practice in a wide range of mental health service settings including acute mental health care; aged mental health care; child and adolescent mental health care and; rehabilitation and community mental health care.

In the current period of mental health service provision reform, there has been a shift in focus from acute inpatient treatment to recovery-oriented practice, so the workforce requires professional development opportunities to keep pace with such changes.

The course is targeted to new nursing graduates and to those working in mental health but who have no formal postgraduate mental health qualifications. These clinicians have a wide range of skills in psychosocial interventions, learned over considerable years of practice. The course will support the acquisition of evidence based knowledge as a framework within which those skills may be utilised to achieve better outcomes for individuals who need to use mental health services and their family or carers.

Contacts for future students


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