16 months part-time

Advance standing

Call us to see if you qualify

Study periods

Jan, Mar, Apr, July, Sep, Nov


$2,300 per unit, find out about FEE-HELP




Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN)

Enhance your nursing practice with specialised skills

Study an online postgraduate mental health nursing course with Southern Cross University’s internationally recognised School of Health and Human Sciences. The Graduate Diploma of Mental Health Nursing will build your understanding of how to effectively respond to people experiencing a range of mental health challenges.

Mental health is a growing issue, so this qualification will help to prepare you for a variety of roles within public and private nursing and healthcare settings.

You will learn from leading and clinically active mental health nurse academics; and access current and clinically relevant, evidence-based coursework through a responsive and interactive learning environment.

This nursing course has accreditation under the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) and upon completion, you can use your new qualification as part of the requirements to become a credentialed mental health nurse. It’s also the first postgraduate program of its kind, developed against the latest mental health industry standards.


Current, clinically relevant coursework delivered by the internationally recognised School of Health and Human Sciences

Access an interactive and responsive learning platform, enabling fluid communication between students and academics


This postgraduate qualification is accredited by the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses

Ongoing support throughout your study journey from a dedicated Student Success Advisor



What you will study

The units that form part of the online mental health post grad courses have been designed to develop the skills required for nurses to effectively respond to challenges within the field of mental health.

You will learn to enhance your own practice, with the most up-to-date and clinically relevant knowledge embedded throughout the coursework.

Complete all eight units 

  • Acute Mental Health
  • Appraising Evidence
  • Contemporary Mental Health
  • Healthcare Professional Portfolio A


  • Mental Health Across the Lifespan
  • Mental Health in Community, Non-government and Private Settings
  • Physical Healthcare in Mental Health
  • Supporting Behaviour Change in Mental Health

Entry criteria

To qualify for entry into the Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing, all applicants must:

  • be a Registered Nurse and have access to mental health nurse practice or to mental health nurse practitioners during their course of study, and;
  • be proficient in English.

If you are not a registered nurse, you could also be eligible for the Graduate Diploma in Mental Health.

Find out more about Rules Relating to Awards and Specific Award Rules.

Flexible study options

Situations change, your priorities may shift – which is why we’ve built flexible completion points into our online Graduate Diploma of Mental Health qualification.

This means that you can enter into the Graduate Diploma, and if you need to exit early – if home or work demand your full attention – you could still receive a postgraduate qualification based on the units you’ve completed.

The best part? Everything you complete will be credited towards your online Masters degree in mental health nursing, should you choose to finish it off at a later stage.

  • Receive a Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing by choosing

  • Contemporary Mental Health
  • Mental Health Across the Lifespan
  • Mental Health in the Community, Non-government and Private Settings
  • Acute Mental Health
  • Receive a Graduate Certificate in Health and Human Sciences Nursing by choosing

    You will complete any four (4) units.

Career outlook

Whether you are commencing or extending your career in mental health, there are a number of career opportunities and pathways for graduates in this field. The theoretical and practical learning that underpins this degree can be applied across multiple health settings, including:

  • Public and private hospitals and healthcare organisations
  • Child adolescent, adult and older person mental health services
  • Psychiatric nursing facilities
  • Primary mental health settings
  • Acute, community, rehabilitation and long-term care-focused settings
  • Local, state and Commonwealth government
  • Mental health-based research

Learning with Southern Cross University Online

Southern Cross University’s online training courses fit around your work and your lifestyle. The units in the Masters programs in mental health are delivered by respected academics via a collaborative and responsive interface.

  • 100% online, shift-work friendly study – complete six units a year or skip a study period if life or work demands your full attention.
  • Student success support – from enquiry to graduation, we are there for you.
  • Networked for success – meet your future colleagues and collaborators.

Find out more about studying online by reading our FAQ or chatting to us via live chat down the bottom right of the window.

This information is correct at time of release and subject to change without notice. Copyright Southern Cross University February 2019.

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Bold, progressive and just 23 years of age – Southern Cross University is one of the Asia-Pacific’s Top 100 Universities and one of the world’s Top 50 Generation Y Universities.

SCU’s online programs meet all of the AQF guidelines, ensuring you a quality education.