Course snapshot

Domestic snapshot

  • Start Date

    January, March, April, July, August, October

  • Duration

    16 months part-time

  • Location

    SCU Online

  • Placement

    Yes  Learn more

  • Course abbreviation

    GDMHN

  • Course code

    1108132

  • Credit points

    96

  • Equivalent units

    8

  • Scholarships

  • Indicative fee

Please note, some locations may not have all intake periods available. See the full availability details for further information.

International snapshot

  • Start Date

  • Duration

    16 months full-time

  • Location

  • Placement

    Yes  Learn more

Please note, some locations may not have all intake periods available. See the full availability details for further information.

Overview

The Graduate Diploma of Mental Health Nursing is a completely online course designed specifically for registered nurses who wish to increase their specialist knowledge and employment outcomes in mental health.

The course reflects 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, physical care, common interventions within acute care contexts, in primary mental health and in a range of health care settings.

Clinical Exercise Physiology student Vincent Manze at the Exercise lab on Gold Coast campus

“My experience at Southern Cross has been really good. There has been a vast array of opportunities for me. I've seen the whole spectrum of what I'm capable of doing."

The Southern Cross Model is a game-changer in higher education study.

Our students now engage in shorter, six-week unit structures designed around immersive and interactive learning experiences. The shorter unit structure gives students a greater sense of momentum as they achieve milestones quickly, resulting in increased student success rates, and course and teacher satisfaction. Lectures are a thing of the past - students will be engaged in active, interactive and discussion-based learning.

On-campus students experience a variety of teaching approaches including lectures, tutorials, online activities and video-linked or podcast virtual classes.

Our online study option is highly interactive and may include a combination of podcast or video-linked lectures, electronic study materials, workshops, online discussion forums and virtual classes.

The method of teaching and assessment may vary from unit to unit.

Learn more

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 (GA).

Course Learning Outcome

GA1: Intellectual rigour

Critically evaluates and integrates models of treatment relevant to the care continuum, to inform co-constructed personalized care strategies which meet the consumer’s life needs as well as health needs.

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

GA2: Creativity

Engages creatively in therapeutic relationships with mental health consumers their families and significant others, which are characterized by co-construction of care and collaborative engagement.

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

GA3: Ethical practice

Advocates for mental health consumers, challenging discrimination and public discourse, minimising stigma through the use of positive portrayal and working toward social inclusion and independence.

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.

GA4: 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.

Negotiates and executes the role of chosen mental health discipline in a multidisciplinary and multi-professional approach.

GA5: Lifelong learning

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

Engages in and leads others in collaborative critical reflection on clinical practice and achievement of lifelong learning outcomes.

GA6: 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.

Consistently and judiciously uses information technology, compelling and authoritative written and verbal communications.

GA7: Cultural competence

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

Adjusts clinical practices to incorporate consumer’s cultural perspectives into mental health planning and interventions.

No professional placement is required but it expected that students will have had some mental health nursing experience or access such experience over the course of their studies.

Location Teaching period
SCU OnlineSummer Term, Term  1, Term  2, Term  3, Term  4, Term  5

Career Outcomes

This course offers the opportunity to expand and refresh a nursing career, enter into a mental health nursing career or advance within the mental health nursing profession. 

Graduates can use this qualification as part of their application to the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses for credentialled Mental Health Nurse status, the only specialist award for the discipline. 

This course has received accreditation from the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses and completion meets the educational requirements for credentialling as a Mental Health Nurse.

Requirements

We encourage you to apply for the courses you most want to study. If you are not eligible to enter your chosen course right now, our team will work with you to find the best pathway option.

Before applying, make sure you double check all entry requirements, gather required documentation and review the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, noting any specifics listed below.

Entry requirements

A Bachelor degree or equivalent in a health, psychology or social science related discipline, and must be a Registered Nurse with access to Mental Health Nursing practice and to credentialed Mental Health Nurses during the course of their study.

Language requirements

English language requirements apply to International applicants and other applicants whose previous study was undertaken in a language other than English. The minimum English language requirements for such applicants for entry to this course are as follows

CategoryScore
Overall6.5
Listeningminimum 6.0
Speakingminimum 6.0
Readingminimum 6.0
Writingminimum 6.0

Course requirements

To be eligible to receive the Graduate Diploma of Mental Health Nursing, students must complete the equivalent of 8 units (96 credit points), comprising all 8 core units.

Exit Award:

Students may be eligible to exit with the Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing after completing the equivalent of 4 units (48 credit points), comprising any 4 of the first 6 core units.

Other things to consider

Credit for Prior Learning, also referred to as ‘Advanced Standing’ or Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL), is the process of looking at your prior study and/or experience to assess if you can be awarded academic credit or gain entry to a course on the basis of your existing knowledge and skills.

Learn more

The Early Offer program allows Year 12 students to secure a place in a Southern Cross University undergraduate degree before Year 12 results are released. It’s designed to remove some of the pressure from Year 12 and provide a pathway directly into university study that is not based solely on Year 12 results.

Learn more

Going straight from school to a degree is one way to start uni, but it’s not the only way.

Whether you are returning to study after some time or you just left school, Southern Cross University offer two excellent, fee-free academic preparation programs that develop the skills you need to be successful at university.

Learn more


Course structure

Your course progression is in the recommended order you should complete your course in. It is important that you follow this to ensure you meet the course requirements. For further assistance see How to Enrol in Units using My Enrolment.

Students should use course progression information to select units specific to their course and enrol in these units using My Enrolment.

Current Students should select their units by checking the Handbook for the year of their enrolment as these may be different.

View Student Handbook

Unit CodeUnit TitleAvailableCredit pointsNotes

Complete the following units to satisfy the Requirements of the Award

First Year

MHNS5001Contemporary Mental Health
Term2
12
LocationDomesticInternational
SCU Online
Term2
Term2
MHNS5002Mental Health Across the Lifespan
Term3
12
LocationDomesticInternational
SCU Online
Term3
Term3
MHNS5003Acute Mental Health
Summer Term
Term4
12
LocationDomesticInternational
SCU Online
Summer Term
Term4
Summer Term
Term4
MHNS6002Mental Health in Community, Non-Government and Primary Health Settings
Term1,5
12
LocationDomesticInternational
SCU Online
Term1,5
Term1,5

Second Year

MHNS5004Supporting Behaviour Change in Mental Health Contexts
Term2
12
LocationDomesticInternational
SCU Online
Term2
Term2
PBHL5006Building a Professional Portfolio
Term3
12
LocationDomesticInternational
SCU Online
Term3
Term3
MHNS6004Physical Health Care in Mental Health
Summer Term
Term4
12
LocationDomesticInternational
SCU Online
Summer Term
Term4
Summer Term
Term4
PBHL6004Leading Evidence-based Practice in Health
Term1,5
12
LocationDomesticInternational
SCU Online
Term1,5
Term1,5


Unit CodeUnit TitleNotes

Core Units

MHNS5001Contemporary Mental Health
MHNS5002Mental Health Across the Lifespan
MHNS6002Mental Health in Community, Non-Government and Primary Health Settings
MHNS5003Acute Mental Health
MHNS5004Supporting Behaviour Change in Mental Health Contexts
MHNS6004Physical Health Care in Mental Health
Students may be eligible to exit with the Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing after completing any 4 of the above 6 units.
PBHL6004Leading Evidence-based Practice in Health
PBHL5006Building a Professional Portfolio

Why Health at SCU

One of the best clinical lab facilities in Australia

Health Clinics on-campus provide safe and supervised environments for practicums

5-star health ratings

We are 5-star rated in psychology, nursing and health services and support

(GUG 2023)

Graduates in very high demand

Health graduates in very high demand as Health Care and Social Assistance is Australia's largest and fastest growing industry

Fees and Scholarships

Domestic students

You are a domestic student if you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, New Zealand citizen, or Australian humanitarian visa holder. Your course will either be a Commonwealth Supported Place or a full fee-paying place. This is noted in the course snapshot.

Commonwealth Supported Places:

In a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), the Government pays some of your fees and you pay the rest as the Student Contribution Amount (SCA).

SCA is calculated per unit, not per course. Eligible students can defer the SCA through a HECS-HELP loan.

Full Fee-Paying Places:

A full fee-paying place is where you pay the full (unsubsidised) tuition fee for your course. Eligible students can defer the payment of their tuition fees through the FEE-HELP scheme (including employer-reserved places for The Hotel School courses).

Also known as SSAF, the Student Services and Amenities Fee is a compulsory fee for most students used to provide important services and amenities to students both on and off campus. It’s charged per unit, based on the unit’s credit point value. Eligible domestic students have the option of deferring this fee through the SA-HELP loan scheme. More about SSAF

Depending on your course, your costs could also include computer equipment and software, books, stationery, field trips, uniforms or other course-specific expenses such as art materials, musical equipment or travel for practicums, internships, vaccinations or industry experience.

Southern Cross University offers a range of scholarships for undergraduate (your first degree), postgraduate, Indigenous Australian students as well as international students. There are also scholarships available to help you study overseas for a short period as an international exchange student. Scholarships range from a few hundred dollars a year to several thousand dollars a year.

More about scholarships

Further fee information

Fees and Scholarships

International Students

If you're an international student, you can find the annual course cost in Australian dollars (AUD$) on our International Courses and Fees page or on the web page for your course under fees.

Also known as SSAF, the Student Services and Amenities Fee is a compulsory fee for most students used to provide important services and amenities to students both on and off campus. It’s charged per unit, based on the unit’s credit point value. Eligible domestic students have the option of deferring this fee through the SA-HELP loan scheme. More about SSAF

Depending on your course, your costs could also include computer equipment and software, books, stationery, field trips, uniforms or other course-specific expenses such as art materials, musical equipment or travel for practicums, internships, vaccinations or industry experience.

Southern Cross University offers a range of scholarships for undergraduate (your first degree), postgraduate, Indigenous Australian students as well as international students. There are also scholarships available to help you study overseas for a short period as an international exchange student. Scholarships range from a few hundred dollars a year to several thousand dollars a year.

More about scholarships

Further fee information

Apply now

Preparing to apply

  1. Check requirements
  2. Get supporting documents ready
  3. Choose where and when from the available options

Applications can be made directly to the University through our Application Portal.

Choose where you want to study

SCU Online

Dates for the diary

Our shorter, more focused six-week unit structure gives students a greater sense of momentum and motivation as they achieve milestones quickly. Application dates per Term are shown on each course page however refer to our key dates and teaching calendar for detail on when enrolment opens, studies commence and when grades are published. There are also Dual Term and Tri Term calendars for those who have specific subjects.

See key dates

Credit Transfer

Get a head start on your degree. Find out if you’re eligible for credit from previous studies.

Go to credit assessor

Entry Pathway

We believe in equal access to further education, so we offer a range of pathways to university.

Find a pathway