Start Date

0.5 year(s) full-time

Program Code

4GC043 (External)

Study as
Part-time only

Degree overview

  • Broaden your expertise as a Registered Nurse in the specialty field of health and ageing.
  • Study at a university ranked in the World Top 100 for nursing.1
  • Enhance your learning through evidence-based practice and respond to the needs of Australia's ageing population.
  • Learn from industry-experienced clinicians at a university with well above world-class  research in nursing.2
  • Study at the No.1 university in South Australia for student satisfaction in nursing.3
  • Be supported by online learning resources, available to you 24/7.
  • UniSA is an unstoppable university for unstoppable people.4 As one of the World’s Top Young Universities,5 we’ll ensure you get the experience your future profession demands so it’ll feel like you’re studying one minute and in a career the next.

12020 QS Subject Rankings. 22018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). 3ComparED (QILT) Course Experience Questionnaire 2020-21 – Overall Satisfaction Indicator (Postgraduate). SA public universities. 4UNSTOPPABLE® is a Kellogg Company trade mark used under licence. 5Ranked #52, 2023 THE Young University Rankings.



In one year of part-time study, Registered Nurses can extend their existing knowledge and skills in the healthcare and wellbeing of older people.

This qualification has been designed to respond to the needs of Australia's ageing population, which is at the forefront of the healthcare agenda. It will enable you to advance your knowledge for your current workplace, and equip you to practice in the specialised field of aged care nursing.

What you'll learn

Postgraduate nursing students

You’ll develop an understanding of the structures and processes influencing ageing in contemporary society; and explore how nurses can influence the promotion of healthy lifestyles for older people. You’ll cover topics such as:

  • healthcare and wellbeing of older people
  • multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary care assessment
  • rehabilitative care
  • communication and counselling
  • supporting consumer directed care

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
Choose any two 9-unit courses from the schedule below
Comprehensive Care of the Older Person NURS 5163 9
Best Practice in Older People's Mental Health NURS 5165 9
Palliative Care Nursing NURS 5168 9

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. 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. As a general rule most postgraduate study is completed part-time.



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

  • discussion papers
  • case study analysis
  • online activities

Global opportunities

One of the key benefits of studying at UniSA is our ability to attract and retain internationally renowned researchers. You’ll learn from researchers and academics who are directly connected to industry. In fact, all of our clinical teaching staff combine teaching with industry experience. 

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

Global opportunities

Why Graduate Certificate in Nursing (Health and Ageing)

Postgraduate nursing students

With interactive online course materials and a 24/7 learning environment, you can tailor your study to suit your lifestyle.

You’ll learn from specialist postgraduate teaching staff, well above world-class researchers in nursing1, and industry-experienced clinicians. This assures you the very best in academic resources, learning facilities and support.

UniSA’s teaching is informed by cutting-edge research. We’re home to the Rosemary Bryant AO Research Centre, where leading researchers are working to strengthen the role of the nursing and midwifery professions across the health system.

Our flexible suite of postgraduate nursing qualifications are designed to recognise your prior learning and advance your career. Upon successful completion of this qualification, you could be eligible to gain credit into higher level qualifications.

12018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 

Real-world connections

Learn from award-winning teaching staff, academics and health professionals via our online forums and virtual classrooms, giving you the opportunity to learn from experienced clinicians in the field and build valuable industry networks and relationships.

We also host regular University-wide alumni events, employee master classes and employment expos 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:

  • access videos and course resources online
  • participate in an interactive online learning environment
  • submit your assignments and get feedback online
  • use online forums for teamwork and communication.

Some on-campus attendance (such as to attend seminars, workshops or examinations) and/or placements may apply. These requirements are detailed on individual course pages.

Career outcomes

Your career

With an ageing population, the Graduate Certificate in Nursing (Health and Ageing) will advance your knowledge for your current workplace, and will equip you to practice in the specialised field of aged care nursing. Graduates will be well-placed to find employment as Nurses in a wide variety of aged care settings, including:

  • hospitals
  • primary health and community support services
  • aged care
  • rehabilitative care
  • home care
  • community health

Industry facts


Employment for aged and disabled carers in Australia is projected to increase by 74,900 (28%) by 2026.

Australian Government National Skills Commission Employment Projections 2021


To November 2026, healthcare and social assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth in Australia – an increase of 301,000 jobs.

Australian Government National Skills Commission Employment Projections 2021


Employment for registered nursing professionals in Australia is projected to increase by 13.9% by November 2026.

Australian Government National Skills Commission Employment Projections 2021

How to apply

Applying to study with us:

  • Check you meet the full entry requirements for this program.
  • Go to the top of this page and make note of the SATAC code, then click Apply.
  • You’ll be redirected through to the SATAC website to continue your application.


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 scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

Our campuses have fantastic facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, tech zones, and spaces 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 also has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation and private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages, or explore our student accommodation by Scape on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal 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 services provide you with all the support you need at university. You can access a full range of support services including academic and personal counselling, career advice, social support services, as well as those through our student association, USASA. When you become a UniSA student, you can also contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and more.

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

Your campus

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

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your program director

I have worked as a clinician, academic and manager across many different areas of nursing practice. This has included intensive care, perioperative, infection prevention and control, and COVID-19 surveillance. As program director, I want to ensure that every registered nurse becomes a life-long learner upon completion of their program – that they are equipped with the best evidence, challenged in their thinking and taught innovative ways to tackle tomorrow’s nursing challenges.

Dr Allison Roderick

Program Director

Portrait image for Dr Allison Roderick
Portrait image for Dr Allison Roderick

Dr Allison Roderick

Program Director


Ask UniSA

More FAQs

What others are saying

The University of South Australia understands that quality teaching in nursing and midwifery goes hand-in-hand with industry partnerships. They work collaboratively across all health care services to design industry-informed curriculum.

Jennifer Fereday

Executive Director | Women’s and Children’s Health Network

Jennifer Fereday, Executive Director, Women's and Childrens Health Network.jpg

Jennifer Fereday

Executive Director | Women’s and Children’s Health Network

Staff who have upskilled with postgraduate study really shine through as motivated workers. We often employ people with postgraduate qualifications in our managerial positions as they have equipped themselves with those extra specialised skills.

Jo Boylans

Director of Operations | Southern Cross Care

Jo Boylans.jpg

Jo Boylans

Director of Operations | Southern Cross Care

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

Rachael Vernon

Associate Professor Rachael Vernon