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Why study the SCU Online MHL?


Dedicated, one-on-one student support 


Gain the skills to remain relevant in an evolving health system


Apply evidence-based thinking to a range of disciplines 


Broaden your opportunities beyond frontline care


Develop strong, strategic leadership capabilities 


User-friendly online learning environment


Designed for busy healthcare professionals

Download a course guide

With more detailed information specific to your course and field of study, including:

  • Full course information and entry requirements
  • Tips for online study success
  • Career opportunities and salaries information
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Quick facts


2 years part-time

Study mode

100% online


Jan, Mar, Apr, July, Sep, Nov




$2,500 per unit, FEE-HELP available

Master of Healthcare Leadership graduate, Belynda Abbott shares her online student experience and why she studied her Master's at Southern Cross University.

Belynda Abbott: "Hi, my name is Belynda Abbott and I'm the clinical nurse consultant on ward 2C Neurosciences in the division of Surgery at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane." Subheading: Why did you choose to study with Southern Cross University Online? Belynda: "There were other universities that offered courses around nursing leadership and health management, but Southern Cross University Online was the only one that offered the interdisciplinary approach I was looking for. This approach is the actual way of the future in health care in terms of working together with other departments to provide the best practice and the best patient and consumer outcomes." Subheading: How do you find the usability of the online learning platform? Belynda: "Blackboard, which is the online learning platform, was extremely easy to use and navigate. It was fantastic that I could communicate and receive feedback and support from other healthcare professionals during the course through the online discussion board." Subheading: Has your perception of online study changed? Belynda: "I think online study has become easy-to-use since the last postgraduate course I did back in 2005. The technology has improved and the experience is far more straightforward and user-friendly. The coursework is interactive, dynamic and engaging for students." Subheading: Were you satisfied with the support available? Belynda: "I receive support from my very own Student Success Advisor. They contacted me on a regular basis through phone calls and email. I always knew that there was support wherever and whenever I needed it. The academics and tutors were also very supportive and encouraging throughout the course." Subheading: What was your biggest challenge? Belynda: "I think the biggest challenge of online study for me was to balance family, full-time work and study but I constantly tried to reflect on the reason why I was undertaking the course, which enabled me to remain organised. I believe being self driven and motivated is so important. I also had to identify times where I'd fit in study and assignment work in amongst all my other commitments. I found that some of the work I was undertaking each week could be transferred over into my own assignments. I can strongly state that Southern Cross University online has been an extremely positive experience and I've gained so much over the last two years."

Want to be a leader in healthcare? 
It's your time.

The online Master of Healthcare Leadership is designed to give you a broad, interdisciplinary perspective on the changing face of healthcare. You might be a registered nurse with many years of experience and want to move out of direct care, or you might be from an allied health background, such as physiotherapy, osteopathy, counselling or optometry, wanting to start your own practice.

Whatever your health background, completing a Master’s in healthcare leadership online gives you more flexibility, more opportunities, and more transferable skills you can take with you into the future.

Learning outcomes
present solutions

Use contemporary theory to drive change

Lead positive change with the ability to research and present solutions to key stakeholders using the latest evidence-based theories in health practice. 


Become a strategic healthcare leader

Further, develop the interpersonal skills needed for effective healthcare leadership, from social and emotional competence, leading effective learning and development of strategy. 


Adapt to changing healthcare systems

Learn contemporary theory, compare health systems, practices and policies to improve quality and efficiencies of services by taking advantage of the latest technology. 

What you will study

The online Master of Healthcare Leadership has 11 core units and one elective unit. Learn more about the units you need to study as part of your online healthcare leadership degree below. 

This unit introduces you to an evidence-based approach to health practice. 

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This unit broadens and deepens your understanding of literature analysis and research design in relation to an area relevant to professional practice.

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In this unit, you will design and produce a research proposal for future work opportunities. 

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Evaluate and critically reflect on leadership, applying this knowledge to drive change and innovation.

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Examine health service management from a strategic and planning perspective.

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This unit explores health systems, policies and practices.

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Analyse the role of accountability, as well as evaluate the concepts of professional accountability within organisations.

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Extend your theoretical knowledge in addition to your social and emotional skills to improve communication, teamwork and client safety.

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This unit focuses on developing problem-solving skills that inform clinical practice.

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In this unit, you will reflect on your own professional practice and learning, planning strategies to collect, select and reflect on evidence to include in a professional portfolio.

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Hone your leadership skills in a clinical learning environment.

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This unit will expose you to critical exploration and practical application of the core contexts of mental health within the Australian healthcare system. 

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This unit emphasises the life stage and bio-psycho-social contexts specifically related to providing effective engagement and interventions.

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Explore the roles of a mental health professional in the 21st century, within the context of mental health outside of, but articulating with tertiary services. 

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Explore the experiences of people with complex mental health presentations, co-morbidity and risk behaviours.

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Ensure patient physical health needs are being addressed within holistic mental health assessment, diagnosis and interventions.

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In this unit, you will cover behaviour change as a construct, neurophysiology, motivational interviewing and the influences of mental health on behaviour.

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In this unit, you will study organisations and the individual, interpersonal and group processes and the organisational system.

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Examine knowledge management models.

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Explore a diverse range of leadership styles, preparing you for a bright future in leadership or management.

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This unit looks at the aims and goals of HR and its role in business.

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Early exit options

We know that plans change, which is why we’ve built flexible completion options into this course. If you need to exit early, you could still receive a graduate diploma or Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Leadership

Graduate Certificate
4 Units

Or continue studying

Graduate Diploma
+ 4 Units

Or continue studying

Masters Degree
+ 4 Units

A typical study period at SCU Online
Typical study period timeline

Next study period


Applications close in

28 days

Speak to an Enrolment Advisor to find out more.

Our study periods: Jan, Mar, Apr, July, Sep, Nov

Late applications may be considered under special circumstances up until the start of O'Week. For more information please speak with a Student Enrolment Advisor.

Entry requirements

To qualify for entry into the Master of Healthcare Leadership, all applicants must:

  • Have successfully completed a minimum three (3) year Bachelor qualification, or equivalent, in a health-related discipline;

  • Provide evidence of minimum one (1) year full-time and current work experience at degree level in a health-related field and/or as acceptable to the School Board;

  • Be proficient in English.

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

We may recognise and grant credit for past education, qualifications and/or work experience in a process called advanced standing. If you're eligible for advanced standing, this can impact the number of units you need to study, reducing the time and cost of your overall degree. 

Find out more about applying for advanced standing

We know that plans change. That’s why we’ve built flexible completion options into the online Master of Healthcare Leadership. This means that if you need to exit early—if home or work demands your full attention—you could still receive a postgraduate qualification based on the units you’ve completed.

Graduate Diploma in Healthcare Leadership 

To be eligible for the award of Graduate Diploma in Healthcare Leadership:

  • You will complete any eight (8) units.

Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Leadership

To be eligible for the award of Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Leadership:

  • You will complete the following four (4) units: Strategic Health Management, Health Systems Policies and Practices, Principles and Practices of Clinical Accountability and Leading Change in Healthcare.

Graduate Certificate in Health and Human Sciences 

To be eligible for the award of Graduate Certificate in Health and Human Sciences:

  • You will complete any four (4) units.

Ready to take the next step in your career? It's your time.

At Southern Cross University Online, we've helped thousands of people with real lives and real ambition to realise their goals and dreams by supporting them every step of the way.
We provide affordable courses, flexible learning and excellent student support, so you can achieve the impossible and make the most out of your time. 
It’s time to put yourself first. Follow your ambition. 

When you study online with SCU, you're not on your own. We're connected, together. 

Our teachers, academics and education designers have built these courses for people like you. Before commencing study, your dedicated Student Success Advisor will be in touch by phone, email or chat to help you plan your schedule. As you work towards your dream of achieving your degree, your advisor works like an extra pair of eyes and ears with support, advice and motivation throughout your study journey. 


scu ssa at his desk.

Our Accreditations & Endorsements

Australian Qualifications Framework logo

Our online programs meet all of the AQF guidelines, ensuring quality education.

Good Universities Guide Logo

5-STAR Rating for Institutional Student Support and Social Equity, Business and Management Teaching Quality, Teacher Education Learning Resources, Nursing Learning Resources and Skills Development.

The World Universities Rankings logo

Southern Cross University is one of the Asia-Pacific’s Top 150 Young Universities.

Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching logo

Our postgraduate student support and satisfaction both above the national average.

What our students say
Kamala- MHL - testimonial
MHL student Kamala.

The skills I have developed in this course have contributed to changes in my practice which have then been passed on to my staff and the organisation. No knowledge gained from this course has or will ever be wasted.

Kamala Skinner

Master of Healthcare Leadership Graduate

Carolyn- MHL - testimonial
MHL student Carolyn at a desk.

The course is challenging yet rewarding and relevant to healthcare professionals working in the complex environments of the Australian healthcare system. Some of the advantages of learning online is that you choose the times when you study to suit your lifestyle and being able to meet and learn with other healthcare professionals from around Australia and overseas.

Carolyn Baker

Master of Healthcare Leadership Graduate

Dave - MHL - testimonial
MHL graduate Dave wearing graduation cap and ground at SCU.

My learnings have enabled me to expand my knowledge of critical thinking and with this in mind, I feel I have developed better ways to problem solve. I have also focussed more on reflective practice and self-reflection.

Dave Levings

Graduate Certificate in Health and Human Sciences

Donna - MHL - testimonial
MHL graduate Donna.

As a mother of two children, and working as a Clinical Coordinator at St Vincent's Private Hospital, studying a MHL at SCU Online has provided flexibility for study time, family life and work committments.

Donna Kelly

Master of Healthcare Leadership Graduate and Clinical Coordinator at St Vincents Private Hospital

What our students do

Current SCU Online Master of Healthcare Leadership students and graduates work across many roles in the healthcare industry. Below is a snapshot of some of these roles and jobs. 

  • Acting Nurse Manager
  • Aboriginal Health Worker
  • Clinical Coach
  • Clinical Nurse
  • Social Work Department Manager
  • Nurse Unit Manager


  • Occupational Therapist
  • Registered Nurse
  • Speech Pathologist
Course Coordinator

Master of Healthcare Leadership Course Coordinator Dr Nasim Salehi discuss the core themes and learning outcomes of the online Master of Healthcare Leadership.

Dr Nasim Salehi: "The Master of Healthcare Leadership program is focused around four key themes. First, it’s about learning how to be an effective and strategic leader, and also how to be a socially and emotionally competent leader in today’s challenging healthcare system. Second, it allows you to compare different health systems, policies and practices and how to improve quality, and at the same time, efficiency of services by taking advantage of the latest technology. Third, the Master of Healthcare Leadership enables you to plan for innovative, evidence-based practices by critically analysing affecting factors in this rapidly changing healthcare environment. And finally, students will be able to interconnect clinical accountability and governance, and develop frameworks for service evaluation and improvement."

Meet our Course Coordinator

Dr Nasim Salehi has worked in health-related areas since 2004, specifically in health services management, public health and health promotion and has also been involved in a diverse range of multidisciplinary research projects. She has developed expertise in both the theoretical and practical areas of health care, community and social care systems which helped her to exchange ideas and share her experience in teaching, research and practice.

She has experience in a diverse range of managerial roles within different teaching hospitals and her responsibilities have included developing hospital strategies and policies, implementing new procedures/technologies, improving efficiency and ensuring quality delivery of healthcare services, budget planning, and workforce management.