The Graduate Diploma in Nursing is a 36-unit course offered by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

The course articulates with the Graduate Certificate in Nursing (specialisation) and the Master of Nursing, and the sequentially developed topics allow progression through the three awards.

Students who have completed a graduate certificate are normally awarded up to 18 units of credit towards the graduate diploma.

The specialisation chosen will be identified on the student''s transcript of academic record and on the parchment presented to the student on completion of the course.

Admission requirements

Applicants must normally hold a nursing degree or equivalent qualification approved by the Faculty Board and must be registered general nurses and hold a current practising certificate. Additional entry requirements may apply for each specialisation.

However, the Board may, under certain circumstances and subject to specific conditions, admit others who can show evidence of fitness for candidature.

International applicants must meet the eligibility requirements for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, and be registered with the Board prior to commencing the course.

International applicants for the Clinical Nursing specialisation must be currently registered in their country of residence. The specialisation will not lead to registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

Applicants for the Critical Care Nursing, Emergency Nursing and Child and Family Health Nursing specialisations must have a minimum of one year post-registration experience. For Critical Care Nursing and Emergency Nursing, 6 months of which should be in relevant clinical area. 

In addition, applicants for the Critical Care and Emergency Nursing specialisations must also complete and submit the required documentation, which can be downloaded at

Course aims

The course aims to provide students with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills in one of a selected range of practice-based specialisations and to extend their general theoretical preparation in nursing knowledge and research.

Learning outcomes

Graduates of this course are expected to be able to:

  • apply evidence based nursing practice in their clinical or specialised area
  • demonstrate the application of theory to nursing practice
  • evaluate nursing care using reflexive and critical thinking processes
  • articulate primary health care and population health as applied to nursing practice or specialty area
  • demonstrate leadership skills in the area of nursing practice, education and research
  • demonstrate advanced skills and knowledge in the relevant nursing practice or specialised area.


The program requires students to complete 18 units of core topics and 18 units of topics from one of the specialisations listed below:

If your program of study includes a Professional Experience Placement (PEP) you will be required to submit additional documentation prior to undertaking your placement.

Program of study

To qualify for the Graduate Diploma in Nursing, a student must complete 36 units with a grade of Pass or NGP or better in each topic, according to the program of study below.

A student who fails the clinical component of any topic will receive a Fail grade for the entire topic.

The award of a grade of Fail (F) in the same topic on more than one occasion or in 9 units or more, or failure to complete the course within three consecutive years may constitute prima facie evidence of unsatisfactory progress for the purpose of the University''s Policy on Student Progress.

Except with permission of the Faculty Board:

  • no topic may be attempted more than twice;
  • a student may not include a topic which repeats work previously undertaken;
  • the program must be completed full-time in two consecutive semesters or part-time in six consecutive semesters. 

Core topics 

18 units comprising:

 NURS9120  Evidence-based Clinical Practice  (4.5 units)
 NURS9125  Population Health  (4.5 units)*
 NURS9126  Leadership in Health Studies  (4.5 units)*
 NURS9621  Epidemiology for Nurses and Midwives  (4.5 units)*

Course specialisations

Students must complete the remaining 18 units by choosing one of the specialisations listed above or the Coursework specialisation - Elective topics as provided below.

*Students in Child and Family Health Nursing specialisation do not undertake NURS9125, NURS9126 and  NURS9621 and need to complete 4.5 units core topic NURS9120 and 31.5 units of specialisation topics.

Coursework specialisation - Elective topics

Select 18 units from the following:

 NURS8706  Context of Continence Across the Lifespan (4.5 units)
 NURS8708  Continence Nursing – Evidence for Practice (4.5 units)
 NURS8709  Continence Nursing through a Primary Health Care Approach (4.5 units)
 NURS9518  Independent Study  (4.5 units)
 NURS9707  Policy and Political Context of Health and Ageing  (4.5 units)
 NURS9708  Social Context of Health and Ageing  (4.5 units)
 NURS9709  Advanced Nursing Assessment  (4.5 units)
 NURS9710  The 3 Ds Dementia, Delirium and Depression  (4.5 units)
 NURS9711  Advanced Communication  (4.5 units)