Start Date
February

Duration
1 year(s) full-time

Program Code
IGMG

SATAC Code
4GD048 (External)
4GD125 (External)

Study as
Full-time or part-time

Degree overview

  • Registered Nurses can advance their knowledge and skills in contemporary mental health patient 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
  • Join Australia’s No.1 university for student satisfaction in nursing.3
  • Benefit from flexible learning options on-campus and online.
  • Be supported by online learning resources, available to you 24/7.

12021 QS Subject Rankings. 22018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). 3ComparED (QILT) Course Experience Questionnaire 2019-20 — Overall Satisfaction Indicator (Postgraduate). Public universities only.

Snapshot

Monika Ferguson In two years of part-time study, Registered Nurses will be equipped with the skills to effectively respond to patients suffering from mental health challenges.  

UniSA will help you develop the knowledge and practical skills needed to assess and care for people experiencing mental illness.

The diploma explores psychosocial and behavioural sciences and the legal and ethical aspects of mental health nursing practice. As a mental health nurse, you’ll be able to work with people who have a mental illness like depression, postnatal depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or psychosis.

You’ll gain valuable practical experience with an industry placement, preparing you to provide mental health care in a variety of health care settings.

This qualification is offered with a blend of online learning and on-campus workshops.

What you'll need

Students who undertake activities where interaction with patients/the public is required for their degree, such as field or clinical placements/visits and in University clinics and gyms, must demonstrate they meet mandatory pre-placement conditional requirements. These include criminal history clearance, a Working with Children Check and immunisation requirements.

Due to the limited number of placements, applicants are requested to supply these documents along with a Statement of Employment to SATAC when applying. Please visit the Clinical Placement Unit for information on key requirements, and to access the full student checklists.

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 for the specific courses you'll study.

What you'll learn

What you Learn

You'll explore the bio-psychosocial and behavioural sciences, co-morbidities, pharmacology and the provision of family support within mental health. Emphasis is placed on the practice of mental health care for a culturally diverse society in metro, rural and remote clinical settings.

This unique qualification will give you an in-depth understanding of mental health issues and conditions, as well the ability to design intervention and evaluation strategies for patients across diverse backgrounds.

You'll also develop advanced interviewing, assessment skills and knowledge of support services.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
Perspectives in Mental Health Nursing NURS 5071 9 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 3
OR
Best Practice in Adolescent Mental Health NURS 5164 9 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 3
Theoretical Approaches to Mental Health Nursing Practice NURS 5159 9 Rule(s): 3
Skills for Recovery Practice in Mental Health Nursing NURS 5160 9
Consolidation of Mental Health Nursing Practice NURS 5158 9 Rule(s): 1,4

Study hours

For each course you study, you’ll 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’ll 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 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 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

Why Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing

Why this Degree

The Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing offers immediate application in the workplace and advanced career prospects for Registered Nurses.

You’ll learn from specialist postgraduate teaching staff, and be supported by internationally renowned researchers. Our curriculum is informed by above world-class research in nursing1, focused on outcomes relevant to improving mental health.

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.

As Australia’s University of Enterprise, we’re:

  • No.1 in Australia for quality education2
  • Ranked in the World’s Top 50 under 503
  • Ranked in the World Top 100 for nursing4
  • No.1 in Australia for student satisfaction in nursing5

12018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). 22020 THE University Impact Rankings. 3Ranked #29, 2021 QS Top 50 Universities Aged Under 50. 42021 QS Subject Rankings. 5ComparED (QILT): Course Experience Questionnaire 2018-19 — Overall Satisfaction Indicator (Postgraduate). Public universities only.

Real-world connections

Industry experience is a key focus of this graduate diploma. During your studies, you’ll learn from qualified practitioners and mental health professionals, and build important industry networks, including through clinical placements.

We have clinical arrangements with local health and rural health networks, major hospitals, healthcare providers, aged care services and mental health services, in the private and public sectors. 

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 workshop attendance is required at UniSA’s City East campus. These requirements are detailed on individual course pages.

Career outcomes

Your career

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

With an increasing prevalence of mental illness in Australia, this diploma is highly relevant to healthcare today. In 2017-18, more than 20% of Australians (4.8 million people) had a mental or behavioural condition.1 Specialist training in the area of mental health will further improve employment prospects for graduates, and offer career diversity.

Registered Nurses with extra mental health qualifications can broaden their employment prospects 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, National Health Survey: First Results 2017-18.

Industry facts

job-listings

Employment for health professionals is projected to increase by 15.2% by November 2025.

Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2020

chart-people

To November 2025, healthcare and social assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth in Australia – an increase of 249,500 jobs.

Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2020

buildings-city

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

Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2019

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 will be redirected through to the SATAC website to continue your application.

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 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 should you need, from dedicated student accommodation to private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages or explore our student accommodation by urbanest on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal 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 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 advanced facilities including modern 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, clinical educator and researcher, working extensively within the international and post-graduate portfolio. I am passionate about improving the learning experience for domestic and international students.

AsPr Paul Bennett

Program Director

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Portrait image for AsPr Paul Bennett
Portrait image for AsPr Paul Bennett

AsPr Paul Bennett

Program Director

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What others are saying

The Graduate Diploma has given me the skills to be a proficient mental health practitioner in a range of settings. I found the group work to be particularly beneficial, as it’s important to have the ability to communicate within a multi-disciplinary team.

Beata Mitchell

Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing
Care Coordinator | Eastern Community Mental Health

Beata Mitchell, Graduate

Beata Mitchell

Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing
Care Coordinator | Eastern Community Mental Health

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

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

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

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