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Why study Mental Health with SCU Online?


Gain immediately implementable skills


Course material is current and comprehensive


Become a well-rounded mental health care provider 


Learn from clinically experienced mental health academics 


Dedicated, one-on-one support


Flexible online learning environment


Affordable fees, FEE-HELP available

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  • 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

SCU Professor, John Hurley talks about the course and the exciting career potential for graduates, regardless of healthcare background. 

John Hurley: "Regardless of the graduate's discipline, whether they're from psychology or they're from nursing or social work, this course offers really exciting potential. This course has been developed with the help of mental health consumers. The course has been developed by active clinicians and it's been developed by academics who not only have a strong academic background, but also have a very clinical background. People who undertake this course through Southern Cross University are getting the very best. They're getting a combination of consumer insights, clinician insights, and academic skills. What they'll walk out with will be the capabilities that reflect that input in the first place. They'll be of enhanced academic capability, they'll be able to access and use evidence-based practice, they'll be able to have interpersonal capabilities to help consumers and they'll add to their clinical skills. For those who are undertaking the Masters of Mental Health Nursing, these graduates will be undertaking the first course that's been worked out from the Australian College of Mental Health Nursing national standards. They'll be undertaking a course that has provisional accreditation by the Australian College of Mental Health Nursing and they'll be on the pathway to becoming a credentialled mental health nurse as long as they fill in the other requirements for that. It's quite an exciting option for those who are thinking of undertaking mental health nursing as a career."

Develop the skills to effectively respond to patient needs

There is a growing need in our Australian healthcare system for highly skilled professionals who understand the complexities of mental health and can offer well-informed mental health clinical interventions. Southern Cross University’s online Master of Mental Health postgraduate course will enhance your understanding of mental health and psychology while building the skills needed to effectively respond to patients experiencing mild, moderate and severe mental health challenges.

This program is designed to prepare graduates for work within a range of health settings and disciplines. You will gain practical skills and specialised theoretical knowledge to extend or enhance your role in mental health.

Learning outcomes
mental health icon

Holistic mental health treatment

Gain the skills to be well-rounded mental health professional with the ability to work in a variety of mental health roles. 

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Contemporary mental health focus

Learn from clinically active academics and gain a contemporary understanding of emerging trends in mental health care. 

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Develop an evidence-based practice

Develop skills through evidence-based theories and knowledge that can be applied immediately in practice or hospital setting. 

What you will study

To gain your online Master of Mental Health degree, you will complete 11 core units and 1 elective unit. Coursework develops the skills required to effectively respond to challenges across a diverse range of mental health fields.

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 with children, adolescents and older persons. 

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This unit explores the varied roles of a mental health professional in the 21st century. 

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

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

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Enhance understanding and capability of mental health to ensure patient physical health needs are being addressed within holistic mental health assessment, diagnosis and interventions.

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Develop a deeper knowledge of psychological approaches and models of understanding that influence a consumer taking constructive change that supports recovery. 

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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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This unit emphasises on leading the translation and application of knowledge to clinical practice settings.

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Develop knowledge and capabilities in evidence-based and effective talk-based interventions, through a critical analysis of key therapies from behaviourist theory perspectives. 

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Broaden and deepen your understanding of literature analysis and research design in relation to an area relevant to professional practice.

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Analyse the current state of healthcare, while exploring the private and public sectors as well as their social and economic implications

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This unit looks at problem-solving challenges in the private and public sectors, as well as regulated and deregulated systems, comparing Australian review systems against the rest of the world. 

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This unit will guide you to evaluate and critically reflect on leadership to apply that knowledge to drive change and innovation within health and social care. 

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

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This unit will extend theoretical knowledge, in addition to social and emotional skills to improve communication, teamwork and client safety. 

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This unit hones your leadership skills in a clinical learning environment. 

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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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Explore digital marketing tools and techniques to develop well-structured digital marketing plans and undertake a digital marketing campaign.

In this unit, you will research and develop change strategies, and learn how to adapt.

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

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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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This unit covers the foundation elements of managing business projects.

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This unit covers important accounting principles that make up the core of business management.

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Develop effective written and verbal communication skills for business and management.

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Early exit option

We know that plans change, which is why we’ve built flexible completion options into the online Master of Mental Health. If you need to exit early, you could still receive a Graduate Certificate in Mental Health or a Graduate Diploma of Mental Health.

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

32 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 Mental Health Masters program, all applicants must:

  • Have successfully completed a minimum three-year Bachelor qualification, or equivalent, in a health, psychology or social science-related discipline, and;
  • Be proficient in English.

If you are a registered nurse, you could also be eligible for the Master of Mental Health Nursing degree. 

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

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

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
Victoria - MMH - testimonial
Master of Mental Health student Victoria.

Make time and do (this course). It is worth it and will help save the lives of those struggling. To be fully equipped is worth it and the patients will trust you more with their lives to recover from a relapse.

Victoria Koriaty

Online Graduate Diploma in Mental Health

Cassandra -MMHN - testimonial 2
Master of Mental Health Nursing student Cassandra.

I have been able to implement the skills I have learned already! I now spend more time using Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Skills to facilitate more engagement and I see positive results, for example, individuals exercise more. 

Cassandra Plesman

Master of Mental Health Nursing Student and Registered Nurse

What our students do

Our students work in a variety of mental health roles across Australia in both public and private healthcare. The study builds your capabilities to provide appropriate mental health care and will set you up to work in a range of community and healthcare settings. Below are some of the mental health roles our mental health master's students work in. 

  • Social Worker
  • Child Protection Officer
  • Counsellor
  • Occupational Therapist (Mental Health Clinician)
  • Registered Social Worker
  • Government Assessor


  • Art Therapist
  • Case Manager
  • Mental Health Worker
Course Coordinator

Meet our Course Coordinator

Dr Richard Lakeman is the course coordinator for the Master of Mental Health and Master of Mental Health Nursing programmes, and a Associate Professor at Southern Cross University’s Internationally recognised School of Health and Human Sciences. He has 30 years’ experience working in the mental health field as a mental health nurse, psychotherapist, researcher and teacher in New Zealand, Ireland and Australia.

Clinically he has focused on working with people with complex mental health needs. He has worked as a senior clinician in acute care settings, a mobile Intensive Treatment Team, managed a homeless out-reach service, worked in an Emergency Department, as a nurse navigator and in private practice. He has a wide-range of research interests in mental health and has published extensively on a range of topics including vicarious trauma, suicide, mental health recovery, hearing voices and other extraordinary experience and has a particular interest in psychotherapy for people with complex needs.

Richard Lakeman