Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing

Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing

POSTGRADUATE

Turn your passion for people's wellbeing into a career in mental health. 

Student type:
Mode of study:
On campus and blended learning
Entry score:

Not applicable

Duration:
Full-time 1 year
Part-time 2 years
Next intake:
February, July
Location:
Bundoora
Mode of study:
On campus and blended learning
Entry score:

Not applicable

Duration:
Full-time 1 year
Fees:

AU$31,680 (2023 total)

Next intake:
February, July
Location:
Bundoora

Overview

Graduate with a qualification in a vital nursing specialisation.

Mental Health Nurses are specialist registered nurses with key responsibilities to assess, plan and provide care for people who are often vulnerable and in crisis. Advance your nursing career with the Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing, which would enhance your ability to deliver recovery focused care in a variety of mental health settings.

Professionally recognised

This diploma is a core requirement that can be used in your application to be credentialed by the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses, which will allow you to practice as a recognised Mental Health Nurse. Upon graduation, you will be able to access a Graduate Diploma allowance under the Victorian Public Mental Health Nurses award and seek promotional positions that require this qualification. 

Learn from the best

RMIT University is at the forefront of nursing education and research. We are one of the longest running, and oldest providers of nursing education in Australia, with a history of industry partnership and strong graduate employability for over 40 years. The Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing is delivered by experienced mental health nurses with strong industry connections.

Are you ready for a future in health? 

Discover a rewarding career and seize your opportunities for professional development with a qualification from RMIT. 

Skills for the future

This graduate diploma is available on campus or on line to support nurses working in industry. This diploma is designed to provide you with up-to-date knowledge and practical experience. Because it's developed with current industry practitioners it will also give you the skills to extend your work-ready abilities and professional experience. 

Relevant and industry-based

RMIT’s focus on industry-based, practical learning is realised in the design and outcomes of our Graduate Diploma of Mental Health Nursing.

It has been developed in close consultation with industry and is based on the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) Credentialing Guidelines.

Teaching staff are experienced practitioners with strong industry connections. Learning activities and subjects are constantly updated to ensure your studies are linked to contemporary and evolving vocational practice.

Your career in mental health nursing

With almost half of Australians estimated to be living with a mental illness at some point in their lives, mental health nurses perform an essential role in a wide range of hospital and community settings.

I was particularly interested in RMIT’s Graduate Diploma of Mental Health Nursing as the course had a strong focus on psychotherapeutic interventions. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to learn in a specialised field. I felt relaxed and supported throughout the course, because our educators were very understanding of our needs.
Portrait of Susan Hua, Graduate Diploma of Mental Health Nursing Susan Hua, Graduate Diploma of Mental Health Nursing

Details

You'll study individual and group counselling, mental health treatment, contemporary mental health issues and research.

You will develop advanced, evidence-based mental health nursing knowledge and skills and be able to identify and address contemporary and emerging issues influencing mental health nursing practice.

The Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing will give you a strong understanding of how to apply diagnostic and therapeutic techniques in your clinical practice, as well the broader professional and social context of mental health nursing.

You will develop research skills and the ability to be reflective of your practice. You will also choose an area of specialisation with an elective subject in either narrative counselling or parent-infant mental health.

A work-integrated learning subject will further develop and apply your skills caring for clients in a variety of clinical settings with interaction and feedback from industry.

This diploma will enable you to:

  • critically analyse the impact of ideological and political discourses on the development of Australian healthcare policies and practices
  • critically analyse the impact of changing technologies on clinical practice
  • conceptualise future directions in healthcare policies and practices
  • explore the nature and implications of moral and legal accountability, responsibility and liability in professional practice
  • discuss the nature and implications of human rights and social justice considerations in healthcare domains
  • examine critically key ethical and legal issues relevant to professional healthcare practice in institutional and community-based settings
  • critically describe the models of health education, and the principles of adult learning and health promotion
  • analyse the concept of multiculturalism as applied to Australia with particular reference to the health care system
  • examine critically different approaches to health care research

You’ll undertake a range of learning activities through lectures, tutorial sessions and multi-disciplinary teamwork.

The graduate diploma will be delivered online for 2022. This includes recorded video lectures and online synchronous tutorials which are also recorded in case you are unable to attend in real time.

Learning activities in real-world contexts and situations will enable you to synthesise theory and knowledge with your clinical practice.

Blended learning options

Courses offered as part of blended learning programs include a meaningful blend of online, on-campus, and workplace based learning tailored to the type of study you undertake. This learning is active, prioritising tasks that involve exploration and development of skills and knowledge through interaction and engagement.

Online aspects provide positive benefits such as flexibility and adaptability using digital activities and materials, while also strengthening the interaction and connection with timetabled and on-campus experiences such as tutorials, practicals, or workshops.

RMIT’s mental health nursing qualifications are linked and supported by industry partners.

They are offered to nurses across Australia working in acute, forensic services, child and adolescent, aged mental health, addictions, homelessness teams and consultation liaison services.

The knowledge and skills you will acquire throughout this degree and how they can be applied in your career are described in the learning outcomes.

View the learning outcomes for each stream:

The knowledge and skills you will acquire throughout this degree and how they can be applied in your career are described in the learning outcomes.

The Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing is for registered nurses who have experience in mental health and want to seek promotional pathways through specialisation.

You will be a registered nurse with at least 840 hours (approximately six months) experience working in mental health clinical practice, or currently completing a graduate year in mental health nursing. 

This graduate diploma will give you an understanding of applying diagnostic and therapeutic techniques in your clinical practice, as well the broader professional and social context of mental health nursing. You will also develop research skills and the ability to be reflective of your practice.

You will choose an area of specialisation with an elective subject. A work-integrated learning subject will further develop your skills caring for clients in a variety of clinical settings with interaction and feedback from industry.

In this diploma, you will complete seven core subjects and one elective subject.

Core subjects

  • Foundations of Mental Health Nursing Partnerships (Semester 1)
  • Context of Mental Health Nursing (Semester 1)
  • Therapeutic Initiatives in Mental Health (Semester 1)
  • Dual Diagnosis and Community Work (Semester 1)
  • Mental Health Nursing Clinical Portfolio (Semester 2)
  • Assessment Analysis in Mental Health Nursing (Semester 2)
  • Health Inquiry Critique (Semester 2)

Elective subjects

  • Foundations of Narrative Counselling
  • Leadership and Management
  • Loss, Trauma and Grief
  • Parent-Infant Mental Health

Course structure

Choose a plan below to find out more about the subjects you will study and the course structure.

Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing
Program code: GD158

Title
Location
Duration
Plan code
CRICOS
Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing
Bundoora Campus
1 Year full-time, 2 Years part-time
GD158
073315K
Location
Bundoora Campus
Duration
1 Year full-time, 2 Years part-time
Plan code
GD158
CRICOS
073315K
Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing
Bundoora Campus
1 Year full-time
GD158
073315K
Location
Bundoora Campus
Duration
1 Year full-time
Plan code
GD158
CRICOS
073315K
Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing
Bundoora Campus
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
GD158DE
Location
Bundoora Campus
Duration
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Plan code
GD158DE
CRICOS

Note: International student visa holders can only study full-time.

Career

Nursing, including mental health nursing, is a large occupation with opportunities in many different locations and organisations.

Mental health nurses are the largest professional group within mental health settings.

According to the Australian Government, employment rates have increased steadily over the past ten years and are forecast to continue growing for the foreseeable future. A substantial workforce gap is projected for the mental health nursing sector to 2030.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimates that around $8.5 billion per annum is spent on mental health-related services in Australia.

You may work in across metropolitan and rural areas for public and private organisations, or go on to contribute to mental health policy and research.

Job Outlook projects that work opportunities for registered nurses are set to increase by 11.7% to 2024. Job Outlook also estimates that the most common annual salary for a mental health nurse in Australia is between $90,000 and $100,000, and for a nurse manager is between $120,000 and $140,000. In certain jurisdictions, you receive a certificate allowance through your employer if you possess a postgraduate degree in mental health nursing.  

The program is based on the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) Credentialing Guidelines. Graduates can join the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses and cite this qualification as part of your application for credentialing. Credentialed mental health nurses can be funded for employment under the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program.

Graduates can apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia which will allow you to obtain a provider number for private practice or practice in any Australian state or territory. To register you need English languages skills at IELTS academic level 7 or equivalent within the two years prior to registration.

Admissions

You need to satisfy all of the following entry requirements to be considered for entry into this degree.

  • An Australian bachelor degree in Nursing, or equivalent

OR 

  • an Australian bachelor degree in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing, or equivalent. 

AND  

  • Current registration or be eligible for registration as a Registered Nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. 

AND 

  • 840 hours of supervised clinical practice already completed in the field of mental health nursing OR you are completing this as part of a graduate year program in mental health nursing or supervised practice during the candidature.

*If your qualification was completed more than 10 years ago you will need to provide evidence of ongoing professional work and/or professional development in the same discipline as the program for which you are seeking entry to be granted credit.

There are no prerequisite subjects required for entry into this qualification.

A selection task is not required for entry into this qualification.

You must meet the University's minimum English language requirements to be eligible for a place in this program.

You need to satisfy all of the following requirements to be considered for entry into this degree.

  • An Australian bachelor degree in Nursing, or equivalent. OR · An Australian bachelor degree in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing, or equivalent. 

AND  

  • Current registration or be eligible for registration as a Registered Nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. 

AND 

  • 840 hours of supervised clinical practice already completed in the field of mental health nursing OR you are completing this as part of a graduate year program in mental health nursing or supervised practice during the candidature.

International qualifications are assessed for comparability to Australian qualifications according to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

There are no prerequisite subjects required for entry into this qualification.

A selection task is not required for entry into this qualification.

To study this course you will need to complete one of the following English proficiency tests:

  • IELTS (Academic): minimum overall band of 6.5 (with no individual band below 6.0)
  • TOEFL (Internet Based Test - IBT): minimum overall score of 79 (with minimum of 13 in Reading, 12 in Listening, 18 in Speaking and 21 in Writing)
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTE (A)): minimum score of 58 (with no communication band less than 50)
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): minimum of 176 with no less than 169 in any component.

For detailed information on English language requirements and other proficiency tests recognised by RMIT, visit English language requirements and equivalency information.

Don't meet the English language test scores? Complete an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Advanced Plus Certificate at RMIT English Worldwide.

Pathways

You can gain entry to this graduate diploma from a range of RMIT undergraduate programs, if you meet the entry requirements.

Credit, recognition of prior learning, professional experience and accreditation from a professional body can reduce the duration of your study by acknowledging your earlier, relevant experience.

Credit and exemptions will be assessed consistent with the principles of the RMIT Credit Policy.

Upon successful completion of this graduate diploma, you may be eligible for entry into a range of postgraduate programs at RMIT University.

You can gain entry into this degree from a range of RMIT undergraduate programs.

Credit

Credit may reduce the duration of your study by acknowledging your earlier, relevant study experience.

When you are submitting an application, please indicate that you want to be considered for credit and provide detailed course syllabus (also known as course outline), outlining volume of learning, course content and weekly topics, learning objectives/outcomes, assessment types and their weightings, and reference to the learning resources such as prescribed textbooks and recommended readings.

Credit and exemptions will be assessed consistent with the principles of the RMIT Credit Policy.

Upon successful completion of this graduate diploma, you may be eligible for entry into a range of postgraduate programs at RMIT University.

Fees

Entry for this program is primarily through Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs).

Government financial assistance is available to eligible students regardless of the type of place you enrol in.

2023 indicative fees

Commonwealth supported places

  • 2023 Commonwealth supported places (CSP) range from AU$4,124 to AU$15,142*.

Full-fee places

  • Full-fee places: AU$24,960*.

Additional expenses

  • Student services and amenities fee (SSAF): AU$326 maximum fee for 2023*.
  • Other items related to your program, including field trips, textbooks and equipment.

Annual fee adjustment*

Amounts quoted are indicative fees per annum, and are based on a standard year of full-time study (96 credit points). A proportionate fee applies for more or less than the full-time study load.

*Fees are adjusted on an annual basis and these fees should only be used as a guide.

Defer your payment

  • You may be eligible to apply for a HELP loan, which can be used to defer payment of up to the full amount of your student contribution fees. You may also be eligible to apply to defer payment of your SSAF through the SA-HELP loan scheme.
  • For more information and to learn how to calculate your exact tuition fees see postgraduate study fees.

Paying your fees and applying for refunds

For information on how to pay your fees or how to apply for a refund, please see Paying your fees and applying for refunds.

If you are offered a Commonwealth supported place, your tuition fees are subsidised by the Australian Government.

Your share of the fee (student contribution) is set on an annual basis by the government and is determined by the discipline areas (bands) of your individual enrolled courses, not the overall program.

How much can I expect to pay for my Commonwealth supported place?

The Australian Government has introduced changes to university funding and student contribution fees under its Job-ready Graduates Package

The fees in the table below apply to students who commence their program in 2023. Fees for continuing students are available at fees for Commonwealth supported students.

Each course (subject) falls into a band. The band determines the student contribution amount for the course.

Amounts listed in the table below are based on a standard, full-time study load (96 credit points per year) with all courses in the same band. A proportionate fee applies for more or less than the full-time study load or for enrolment in courses (subjects) from a combination of bands.

You can learn how to calculate your exact tuition fees for units from different bands at Fees for Commonwealth supported students.

Maximum student contribution amount for Commonwealth supported places in 2023 for commencing students

Student contribution band by course (subject)

Maximum annual student contribution amount (per EFTSL) in 2023

Education, Postgraduate Clinical Psychology, English, Mathematics, Statistics, Nursing, Indigenous and Foreign Languages, Agriculture $4,124 per standard year
$515 per standard (12 credit point) course
Allied Health, Other Health, Built Environment, Computing, Visual and Performing Arts, Professional Pathway Psychology, Professional Pathway Social Work, Engineering, Surveying, Environmental Studies, Science, Pathology $8,301 per standard year
$1,037 per standard (12 credit point) course
Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Science $11,800 per standard year
$1,475 per standard (12 credit point) course
Law, Accounting, Administration, Economics, Commerce, Communications, Society and Culture $15,142 per standard year
$1,892 per standard (12 credit point) course

Student Learning Entitlement

On 1 January 2022, the Government implemented the Student Learning Entitlement (SLE).

  • The SLE allows students 7 years of full-time subsidised study in Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP).
  • Your total SLE amount will be reduced in accordance with your overall study load in a CSP. 
  • Once you have utilised all your SLE, you can not longer study in a CSP.

For more information about SLE, visit Study Assist.

If you are offered a full-fee place, you will need to pay the full tuition costs of your program. However, eligible students (such as Australian citizens or holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa) may apply to defer payment of some or all of their tuition fees via the Commonwealth Government’s FEE-HELP loan scheme.

In addition to tuition fees, you will be charged an annual student services and amenities fee (SSAF), which is used to maintain and enhance services and amenities that improve your experience as an RMIT student.

The SSAF is calculated based on your enrolment load and the maximum fee for 2023 is $326. 

For more information about calculating your actual SSAF see Paying SSAF.

You may also be required to purchase other items related to your program, including field trips, textbooks and equipment. These additional fees and expenses vary from program to program.

HECS-HELP Loans

The Australian Government provides financial assistance via the HECS-HELP loan scheme, which allows eligible students (such as Australian citizens or holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa) to defer payment of up to the full amount of their student contribution.

FEE-HELP loans

Eligible students (such as Australian citizens or holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa) may apply to defer payment of some or all of their tuition fees via the Commonwealth Government’s FEE-HELP loan scheme.

SA-HELP Loans

You may be eligible to apply to defer payment of the Student services and amenities fee (SSAF) through the SA-HELP loan scheme. If you use SA-HELP, the amount will be added to your accumulated HELP debt.

How does a HELP loan work?

If your HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP and/or SA-HELP loan application is successful, the Australian Government will pay RMIT, on your behalf, up to 100% of your fees. This amount will become part of your accumulated HELP debt.

You only start repaying your accumulated HELP debt to the Australian Government once you earn above the minimum income threshold for repayment, which is set each year by the Australian Government (this also applies if you are still studying). The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will calculate your compulsory repayment for the year and include this on your income tax notice.

For more information about loan repayment options see Commonwealth assistance (HELP loans) or Study Assist.

This program is approved for income support.

You may be eligible for student income support payments from the Commonwealth Government if you are undertaking a graduate certificate, graduate diploma or an approved professionally oriented masters by coursework program. For more information see Income support for Masters students.

If you are enrolled in an eligible program you will also need to satisfy all other student payment eligibility requirements. You can contact Centrelink or Services Australia for further information about student income support entitlements, your eligibility and how to apply.

You may be eligible to apply for income tax deductions for education expenses linked to your employment.

See the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for more information.

RMIT awards more than 2000 scholarships every year to recognise academic achievement and assist students from a variety of backgrounds.

The total indicative tuition fee for 2023 commencement is AU$31,680.

In addition to tuition fees you also need to pay for:

You also need to account for your living expenses. Estimate the cost of living in Melbourne.

Find out more details about how fees are calculated and the expected annual increase.

Applying for refunds

Find information on how to apply for a refund as a continuing international student.

RMIT awards more than 2000 scholarships every year to recognise academic achievement and assist students from a variety of backgrounds.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Looking for answers or more general information?

Use our Frequently Asked Questions to learn about the application process and its equity access schemes, find out how to accept or defer your offer or request a leave of absence, discover information about your fees, refunds and scholarships, and explore the various student support and advocacy services, as well as how to find out more about your preferred program, and more.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.