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Course summary

Want to increase your specialist knowledge and employment outcomes in mental health?

This course responds to contemporary mental health research and policy and has been designed with the input of leading clinical and academic mental health professionals. Core units include contemporary mental health theory and practice.

For nursing graduates, this is a useful foundational qualification in mental health nursing, enabling a pathway to further studies in this field for credentialing as a Mental Health Nurse.

DurationLocationStudy Period

8mths P

SCU Online1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

This course includes a choice from the following units:

  • Contemporary Mental Health
  • Mental Health Across the Lifespan
  • Mental Health in Community, Non-Government and Primary Health Settings
  • Acute Mental Health
  • Supporting Behaviour Change in Mental Health Contexts
  • Physical Health Care in Mental Health
  • Appraising Evidence
  • Healthcare Professional Portfolio.

Course Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a course. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes.

Graduate AttributeCourse Learning Outcome
Intellectual rigour

Generates/translates novel information or theories, making a substantial contribution to the discipline through scholarly activities.


Critically appraises the nature and extent of influences (social, political, economic and organizational) to overcome constraints in negotiation of options for clinical interventions.

Ethical practice

Interrogates and challenges the concepts of risk and safety from the basis of consumer centred care considering social protection, legal, moral and ethical principles to balance risk in recovery.

Knowledge of a discipline

Exercises expert/enhanced clinical judgement and decision-making and insight in novel situations in specialist mental health disciplines in pursuit of optimal consumer outcomes.

Lifelong learning

Consistently demonstrates a high level of autonomy, accountability, adaptability and responsibility in self-directed work and learning.

Communication and social skills

Develops and maintains partnerships in care (individually and with groups) with mental health consumers and their families which focuses on the recipient of care, the person’s right to choice and self-determination, and the person’s inherent capacity for recovery.

Cultural competence

Respects individual worldviews and enhances their own critical thinking to lead others in challenging assumptions underpinning worldviews.

Assessments in this course include written essays, shorter critical reflections and developing holistic consumer-focused care plans based on evidence based practice. Weekly activities, readings and case studies are laid out with step-by-step instructions that are specifically designed to support you toward the successful completion of the assessment tasks. 

The course is completely online and offers flexibility for you to fit your study within other life commitments. Each student brings with them valuable knowledge and experience. The online platform and course design encourages you to read or view learning materials and then collaborate, discuss and debate ideas with fellow students and lecturers. Our multi-modal approach delivers content including video, audio and written materials designed to extend your mental health nursing practice capabilities.

For nursing graduates this may be a useful foundational qualification in mental health nursing. Graduates may wish to then further their studies by undertaking the Graduate Diploma of Mental Health Nursing or Master of Mental Health Nursing which are accredited and recognised by the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses as postgraduate qualifications for credentialing as a Mental Health Nurse.

Graduates may be eligible for up to four units of credit towards the Graduate Diploma of Mental Health Nursing or the Master of Mental Health Nursing at Southern Cross University.


The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this web page again before acting and see our disclaimer

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'