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Start Date
February

Duration
1 year(s) full-time

Program Code
IGMG

SATAC Code
4GD048 (External)

Study as
Full-time or part-time

Key features

  • Gain advanced knowledge and practical skills in mental health nursing.
  • Learn from above world-class researchers in Nursing1, as well as from academics and industry experienced clinicians.
  • Gain valuable practical experience when you complete an industry placement.
  • Be supported by learning resources, available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Benefit from flexible learning options.

1 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)

Snapshot

Snapshot

This graduate diploma is for registered nurses who wish to specialise in the progressive area of mental health nursing.

You will gain advanced practical skills and knowledge needed to assess and deliver care to people experiencing mental health problems and mental illness, and will graduate with a qualification that qualifies you to provide mental health care for people of all ages and in all settings.

During your studies you will explore:

  • psychosocial and behavioural sciences
  • co-morbidity and pharmacology within mental health
  • legal and ethical aspects of practice

Due to a limited number of placements, applicants must complete a Statement of Employment – this must be submitted to the University as soon as possible after applying through SATAC.

What you'll need

On entry to the qualification you will be required to confirm that you meet the ‘Fitness to Practice in Clinical Placements’ requirements. 

You can find more about what you’ll need in the rules and notes below the courses you'll study.

Why Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing

Why this Degree

This graduate diploma is a great option for those wanting the flexibility that comes with online learning and workshops on campus – we offer accessible digital learning facilities, and dedicated support staff who are with you every step of the way. Together with teaching staff who are above world-class researchers in Nursing1 and industry-experienced, you are assured the very best in academic resources, learning facilities and support.

As Australia’s University of Enterprise:

  • we are No.1 in South Australia for student satisfaction2
  • we are the largest university in South Australia with more than 31,000 students
  • we are ranked 26th in the world’s top 50 under 503

Our commitment to research with an industry focus is unprecedented in South Australia. In the 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia evaluation, 97 per cent of our assessed research was rated world-class or above. We are fast becoming a renowned centre of innovation and enterprise in the sectors that will drive Australia's future, including health and biomedicine.

It’s a very good time to choose UniSA for your postgraduate study.

1 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)
2 QILT: Course Experience Questionnaire 2015-2016 Overall Satisfaction Item
3 2017 QS Top 50 Universities Aged Under 50

Real-world connections

Industry experience is a key focus of this graduate diploma, and you will complete clinical placements as part of your studies. During this time you will learn from qualified practitioners and mental health professionals, and build important industry networks.

You will also learn from award-winning teaching staff, academics and health professionals via our online forums and virtual classrooms.

We also host regular University-wide employee master classes and employment expos, and alumni events in Australia and overseas.

Online study

Online study

This qualification is offered online. With interactive online course materials and a 24/7 learning environment you can organise your study to suit your lifestyle. You can:

  • study online, including accessing videos and course resources
  • participate in an interactive online learning environment
  • submit your assignments and get feedback online
  • use online forums for team work and communication

Online study is available but some on-campus workshop attendance is required at the City East campus. These requirements are detailed on individual course pages. 

Your career

Mental health professionals aim to facilitate an improved quality of life for people with mental health problems and mental illness. They actively participate in the recognition, assessment and treatment of people with mental health and co-morbid related conditions, and provide support and assistance to families and friends.

There is an increasing prevalence of mental illness in Australia - in 2007, 45 per cent of Australians aged 16-85 years (or 7.3 million people) had at some point in their lifetime experienced a mental disorder1. Specialist training in the area of mental health will offer career diversity for graduates.

Mental health nurses can gain employment in a variety of settings in the private and public sectors, including:

  • hospital emergency departments
  • acute inpatient units
  • residential and non-residential rehabilitation programs
  • the justice system
  • community health services

1Australian Bureau of Statistics: 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing (SMHWB)

Industry facts

column-chart-growth

To November 2020, healthcare and social assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth in Australia - an increase of 250,200 jobs1.

1Australian Government Department of Employment 2017

line-graph-growth

Healthcare and social assistance has been the primary provider of new jobs in the Australian labour market since the 1990s1.

1Australian Government Department of Employment 2017

What others are saying

My involvement in the rural health club at university provided me with a different view into the health care system and offered great networking opportunities around Australia.

Martins Strikis, Registered Nurse, Mount Gambier Community Mental Health Service

Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing

Martins Strikis.jpg

Martins Strikis, Registered Nurse, Mount Gambier Community Mental Health Service

Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing

We offer high quality resources to assist student learning, including a simulated hospital and health service integrating the latest technologies, and our teaching is delivered by an outstanding group of nursing, midwifery, and allied health academics and clinicians.

Associate Professor Rachael Vernon

Associate Head of School: Academic, School of Nursing and Midwifery

Rachael Vernon

Associate Professor Rachael Vernon

Associate Head of School: Academic, School of Nursing and Midwifery

What you'll learn

What you Learn

This unique qualification will give you an in-depth understanding of mental health issues, as well as an understanding of how to best design intervention and evaluation strategies for diverse client groups.

The Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing prepares registered nurses to care for people experiencing mental illness, exploring bio-psychosocial and behavioural sciences, comorbidity, pharmacology and the provision of family support within mental health. Emphasis is also placed on the practice of mental health care for a culturally diverse society in metropolitan, rural and remote clinical settings.

You will also develop advanced interviewing and assessment skills.

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for learning activities. Depending on your study mode this may include online discussion forums, virtual classroom sessions, lectures, tutorials, workshops and seminars. Plus you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects. As a general rule most postgraduate study is completed part-time and if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12 – 26 hours of study when at university and 14 – 28 hours of independent study per week.

Assessment

Assessment

Your studies will incorporate practical, professionally-focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. You can expect them to include: 

  • presentations
  • clinical assessments
  • group project case presentations
  • case studies
  • online activities

Global opportunities

One of the key benefits of our School of Nursing and Midwifery is our ability to attract and retain internationally renowned researchers. You’ll learn from researchers and academics who are directly connected to industry and all of our clinical teaching staff combine teaching with industry experience. 

In addition, our diverse student population means you have the opportunity to gain global and cultural understanding, ideas and insights direct from your peers. 

Global opportunities

What courses you'll study

Structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
Perspectives in Mental Health Nursing NURS 5071 9 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 4
Theoretical Approaches to Mental Health Nursing Practice NURS 5159 9 Rule(s): 4
Therapeutic Encounters in Mental Health Nursing NURS 5160 9
Consolidation of Mental Health Nursing Practice NURS 5158 9 Rule(s): 2

I have worked as a clinician, manager, clinical educator, academic, researcher and board director, and have been at the helm of national and local changes to organisational systems in nursing practice. I have an interest in aged care in hospital settings, healthcare policy and funding.

Dr Terri Gibson

Program Director

Enquire
Portrait image for Dr Terri Gibson
Portrait image for Dr Terri Gibson

Dr Terri Gibson

Program Director

Enquire

Scholarships

Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarship search page for more.

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with advanced facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments.

Adelaide - City East campus

City East boasts impressive facilities such as purpose-built facilities, health clinics and a fitness centre, open to students and the public. It’s right in the heart of the CBD and adjacent to bustling Rundle Street, with some of Adelaide’s best dining and shopping experiences. Explore City East >

Your study experience

Our campuses have fantastic facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, tech zones, and areas that simulate real work environments. You’ll also find student gyms and campus sport activities to keep you active. We also offer flexible study options, with online resources available for accessing lecture recordings, virtual classrooms, library resources and learning support. 

Adelaide has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation or private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages for plenty of options. If you need somewhere to live, our new student accommodation by urbanest is on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, a perfect location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

Our student support services can make your life at university easier. We provide a full range of support services including academic and personal counselling. You can also access a range of services through our students association, USASA. When you become a UniSA student you can contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and any other questions you might have.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

How to apply

Applying to study with us:

  • go to the top of this page and make note of the SATAC code, then click Apply
  • you will be redirected through to the SATAC website to continue your application

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