Start Date

0.5 year(s) full-time

Program Code

4GC101 (External)

Study as
Part-time only

Degree overview

  • Further your career as a Registered Nurse by broadening your career prospects in the specialised field of mental health care.
  • Study at a university ranked in the World Top 100 for nursing.1
  • Learn from industry-experienced clinicians at a university with well above world-class research in nursing.2
  • Enhance your learning through evidence-based practice in an in-demand field.
  • Be supported by learning resources, available to you 24/7.
  • Join South Australia’s No.1 university for teaching quality in nursing.3
  • 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.

12022 QS Subject Rankings. 22018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). 3ComparED (QILT) Student Experience Survey 2019-20 (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 specialised field of mental health care.

Designed to respond to the increasing need in Australia to care for people with specific mental health needs, this qualification will advance your knowledge and career opportunities in your current workplace. This certificate is only offered online and part-time, which is great for busy working professionals who want to fit study around life commitments.

What you'll learn

What you Learn

You’ll learn how to meet healthcare delivery requirements for the 21st century and respond to Australian priorities for mental health care as identified in consultation with industry.

Choose from courses which cover topics such as:

  • foundations in mental health nursing
    older people's mental health
  • adolescent mental health
  • perinatal mental health 
  • skills for recovery practice in mental health

This qualification builds advanced knowledge and skills in mental health nursing and will equip you to take on clinical leadership roles and further study.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
Choose any two 9-unit courses from the schedule below
Foundations of Specialist Mental Health Nursing NURS 5166 9
Best Practice in Older People's Mental Health NURS 5165 9
Best Practice in Adolescent Mental Health NURS 5164 9
Perinatal Mental Health for Health Professionals NURS 5157 9
Skills for Recovery Practice in Mental Health NURS 5160 9
Perspectives in Mental Health Practice NURS 5071 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:

  • essays
  • discussion papers 
  • case study analysis
  • online activities
  • assignments
  • presentations

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. You may have the option to undertake an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas while you study. We have links with universities worldwide, as well as a range of travel grants available to make going overseas much more accessible.

You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities

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 be required.

Why Graduate Certificate in Nursing (Mental Health)

Why this Degree

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 is home to the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Research and Education, where our mental health researchers are recognised for undertaking research improving the lives of people in mental distress and at risk of suicide. Staff within the group contribute directly to the teaching of our postgraduate programs.

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

Part, or all, of this degree can be studied online. This means that 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 discussion forums for team work and communication

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

Please note that for some degrees, some on-campus attendance (such as to attend seminars, workshops or examinations) and/or placements may apply. Any applicable requirements will be detailed on individual course pages.

Career outcomes

Your career

Being at the forefront of healthcare service, graduates will be well-placed to find employment in a wide variety of nursing settings, including:

  • mental health settings
  • hospitals 
  • primary health and community support services
  • rehabilitative care
  • home care
  • community health

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


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


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