Master of Advanced Clinical Nursing

Postgraduate coursework

Enhance your career in nursing with specialising advanced nursing practice and customise your graduate outcomes through a thesis or coursework.

Key facts

English language requirements

IELTS overall score of 6.5 with no individual band score less than 6 (or equivalent). More information is available at


3 years  part-time 

Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course overview

Take your nursing career to the next level by specialising in an area of advanced clinical nursing practice. Our Master of Advanced Clinical Nursing is a customisable specialist degree that will enhance your clinical decision-making skills to bolster health service delivery and improve patient outcomes.

Ranked 20th in the world,* our School of Nursing and Midwifery is one of Australia’s largest and most established. You will learn from the best with the school’s cutting-edge research recognised as well above world standard.^

Are you looking for a flexible clinical nursing degree where you can choose your specialisation and take a step forward in your nursing career?

You will enter this course with support from your health service to specialise in your chosen area of practice. This flexible degree enables you to pursue your chosen career pathway; whether you want to support patients through their surgical journey as a perioperative nurse or play a leading role advancing the care of the critically ill as an intensive care nurse. You can select from seven areas of advanced clinical nursing, which will be your focus for the first year of your course:

  • cardiac (including interventional cardiology)
  • critical care
  • emergency
  • intensive care
  • intraoperative
  • perianaesthesia
  • perioperative.

No matter your specialty area, you will further your essential skills in navigating patient care, communicating with patient’s families and working efficiently in a multidisciplinary care team. As an experienced registered nurse you will be challenged to advance your professional judgement, leadership and professionalism within modern healthcare practice.

You will explore and analyse ethical, transcultural and psychosocial concepts in the context of complicated grief, critical incident stresses and brain death.
Our course curriculum is shaped by industry insights and research from Deakin’s Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research (QPS). QPS is a leader in clinical research, quality and risk management, and has researchers within six of Victoria’s major health services. This means the course material is evidence-based, patient-focused and informed by academics, researchers and clinical experts who are leaders in their fields.

You will be in control of your learning, and have the opportunity to complement your specialty area with either a thesis stream or coursework stream.
The coursework stream allows you to customise your degree to match your career aspirations. You can choose from a mix of course and postgraduate electives from across the university.

The thesis stream sets you up to pursue a research pathway upon graduation, with four dedicated thesis units and two electives. Supported by a research supervision team and our expert staff you will create an individual research thesis in an area of specialty nursing practice.

Want to further your career in a shorter time? We offer graduate diplomas and graduate certificates for all specialty areas. If you wish to pursue a shorter qualification please enrol in them directly.  

Alternatively, if you are seeking a non-specialised postgraduate nursing qualification to advance into a senior position, our Master of Advanced Nursing prepares you to step up into nursing leadership, management or education without the need to specialise in a clinical specialty area. It is also a highly customisable course with a range of electives and the option of a thesis or coursework stream.

*2022 ShanghaiRankings Ranking of Academic Subjects.

^Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) 2018.

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Course information

Award granted
Master of Advanced Clinical Nursing

2023 course information

Deakin code
Higher Degree Coursework (Masters and Doctorates)
Approval status

This course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 9.

Course structure

To complete the Master of Advanced Clinical Nursing students must attain 12 credit points, chosen from a suite of units. Students may choose to complete the Master of Advanced Clinical Nursing by coursework or include a thesis. 

Students completing the coursework stream must complete a 4 credit point specialisation, 3 core units (compulsory) and 5 credit points of electives units, of which 3 credit points must be from the course electives. The remaining 2 credit points of electives units can be taken from anywhere in the University*.

Students completing the thesis stream must complete a 4 credit point specialisation, 2 core units, 4 credit points of thesis units and a further 2 credit points of electives of which 1 must from course electives units from the course electives. The remaining 1 credit point of elective unit can be taken from anywhere in the University*. Entry to the thesis is offered where academic requirements have been met.

The core nursing specialisation units are completed in year one of the course and are semester-based delivery.

*must be postgraduate level 7 units.

To qualify for a specialisation in Intraoperative or Perianaesthesia, students must have completed or be completing course electives HNN730 Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning and HNN749 Patient Safety and Risk Management to form their specialisation.

All commencing Faculty of Health course work students are required to complete HAI010 Academic Integrity in their first trimester of study (0 credit point compulsory unit).

Students are required to meet the University's academic progress and conduct requirements. Click here for more information.
Failure of a compulsory clinical component in a unit will normally lead to exclusion.

Coursework Pathway

1 unit set in a specialisation - comprising of 4 credit points


  • Inquiry Into Specialty Nursing Practice
  • Research in Nursing and Midwifery
  • Advanced Concepts in Specialty Nursing Practice
  • PLUS 3 course elective units and 2 level 7 elective units from anywhere in the University

    Thesis Pathway

    1 unit set in a specialisation - comprising of 4 credit points


  • Inquiry Into Specialty Nursing Practice
  • Advanced Concepts in Specialty Nursing Practice
  • Nursing Research Thesis A
  • Nursing Research Thesis B
  • Nursing Research Thesis C
  • Nursing Research Thesis D
  • PLUS 1 course elective unit and 1 level 7 elective unit from anywhere in the University 

    Course Electives

  • Pathophysiology of Diabetes
  • Management of Diabetes
  • Contemporary Approaches to Diabetes Education
  • Diabetes in Social and Psychological Contexts
  • Ethical Dimensions in Nursing
  • Leadership and Management in Nursing
  • Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning
  • Patient Safety and Risk Management
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' History, Culture and Health
  • Facilitating Clinical Learning
  • Healthcare in Low Resource/Complex Environments
  • Healthcare Management of Vulnerable Populations
  • Quality and Safety in Medication Management
  • Therapeutic Medication Management
  • Specialisations


    If you want to specialise in a particular area of advanced nursing, you can choose from the following streams:

    Specialist units are completed at Graduate Certificate (4 credit points of core units) and Graduate Diploma (6 credit points of core units and 2 elective units) levels. 

    To be eligible for a specialisation, you must independently secure employment of at least 24 hours per week with a collaborating hospital in Australia in your chosen specialty area.

    Intakes by location

    The availability of a course varies across locations and intakes. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Check each intake for up-to-date information on when and where you can commence your studies.

    Trimester 1 - March

    • Start date: March
    • Available at:
      • Online

    Trimester 2 - July

    • Start date: July
    • Available at:
      • Online

    Please note changes to the unit values in the Critical Care specialisations from 2023 onwards - refer to individual unit details in the course structure for more information. Please contact Student Central for further clarification. 

    Additional course information

    To undertake this course you must provide evidence of 24 months clinical experience in specialty practice in Australia and provide evidence of employment in a relevant specialty practice area or equivalent.

    Course duration - additional information

    Course duration may be affected by delays in accessing or undertaking clinical requirements.


    As an online student in the Faculty of Health you will be expected to spend 11-13 hours every week studying, interacting via CloudDeakin and completing assessment tasks for each unit in your course. Refer to the individual unit details in the course structure for more information. 

    Participation requirements

    Reasonable adjustments to participation and other course requirements will be made for students with a disability. Click here for more information.

    Work experience

    For those students commencing with a specialisation, success is contingent on the student having access to a suitable workplace in which to consolidate learning, enhance understanding, demonstrate skills and undertake assessments.

    Prior to entry to the course, each applicant’s workplace is considered in terms of its suitability and capacity to provide students with the necessary supports. Ongoing support for educators in the workplace is also provided by Deakin staff

    Entry requirements

    Entry information

    • Bachelor of Nursing or equivalent, and

    • Registration as a registered nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, with no conditions or restrictions and 

    • Applicants must have 24 months clinical experience in specialty practice in Australia and provide evidence of employment in a relevant specialty practice area or equivalent

    As the Specialisation pathways courses are offered collaboratively between the University and a range of partnership/ collaborating hospitals, student selection into the course is a joint process. Students must independently apply for and seek permanent employment within a collaborating hospital to support and provide a sound clinical learning environment for the clinical program requirements of the course. 

    Deakin University offers admission to postgraduate courses through a number of Admission categories. To be eligible for admission to this program, applicants must meet the course requirements.

    All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements.

    Please note: meeting minimum entry requirements does not guarantee an offer of a place. Entry into this program is based on competitive selection and there may be limited places available.

    For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection (Higher Education Courses) Policy visit the Deakin Policy Library

    Recognition of prior learning

    If you have completed previous studies which you believe may reduce the number of units you have to complete at Deakin, indicate in the appropriate section on your application that you wish to be considered for Recognition of Prior Learning. You will need to provide a certified copy of your previous course details so your credit can be determined. If you are eligible, your offer letter will then contain information about your Recognition of Prior Learning.

    You can also refer to the Recognition of Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

    The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Recognition of Prior Learning.

    One year full-time study load is typically represented by eight credit points of study. Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together eight credit points of a typical combination of units for your course.

    You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.

    Learn more about tuition fees.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship might change your life. If you've got something special to offer Deakin – or you just need the financial help to get you here – we may have a scholarship opportunity for you.

    Search or browse through our scholarships

    Postgraduate bursary

    If you’re a Deakin alumnus commencing a postgraduate award course, you may be eligible to receive a 10% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees.

    Learn more about the 10% Deakin alumni discount

    Apply now

    Apply through Deakin

    Applications can be made directly to the University through StudyLink Connect - Deakin University's International Student Application Service. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply web page.

    Deakin International office or Deakin representative

    Fill out the application form and submit to a Deakin International office or take your application form to a Deakin representative for assistance

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage
    If you’re still having problems, please contact Deakin International for assistance.

    Entry pathways

    This course can provide a pathway option to higher degree by research courses. 

    We offer Graduate Certificates and Graduate Diplomas in the following nursing specialty areas: intensive care, critical care, cardiac, emergency, perioperative, intraoperative and perianaesthesia. We recommend if you are commencing your nursing specialty qualifications you enter into one of these course offerings, as there are no alternative exits from the Master of Advanced Clinical Nursing

    Alternatively, if you are seeking a non-specialised postgraduate nursing qualification to advance into a senior position, our Master of Advanced Nursing prepares you to step up into nursing leadership, management or education without the need to specialise in a clinical specialty area. It is also a highly customisable course with a range of electives and the option of a thesis or coursework stream.


    Career outcomes

    With job growth of 13.9% projected for registered nurses and 23.1% for nurse managers by 2026,# there is strong industry demand for nurses with sophisticated specialty skills. Graduates of our Master of Advanced Clinical Nursing will be well placed to take advantage of this demand.

    Depending on the units you have completed, your expertise will allow you to pursue a range of roles, such as:  

    • clinical nurse educator 
    • clinical nurse specialist 
    • associate or unit manager 
    • research roles 
    • anaesthetic nurse  
    • cardiac care nurse  
    • circulating nurse 
    • critical care nurse 
    • emergency care nurse 
    • ICU nurse  
    • instrument nurse 
    • intensive care nurse 
    • perioperative nurse

    #2021 Employment Outlook – for the five years to November 2026, Australian Government National Skills Commission. 

    Professional recognition

    Nurses employed under the Victorian public hospital award receive a higher duties allowance.  

    Graduates of this course may be eligible to seek endorsement as a nurse practitioner via Pathway 2 as outlined on the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) website..  

    Course learning outcomes

    Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.

    Graduate Learning Outcomes

    Course Learning Outcomes

    Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

    Demonstrate expert specialty clinical practice commensurate with nursing theoretical knowledge, evidence-based practice, and person-centred care.


    Demonstrate expert communication skills to ensure the delivery of high quality, safe nursing care to patients in the specialty practice setting.

    Digital literacy

    Evaluate complex information using digital technologies to effectively disseminate relevant specialty care information to patients and/or the multidisciplinary team.

    Critical thinking

    Analyse, evaluate and critique complex data from multiple sources to inform clinical decision making in a specialty practice setting.

    Problem solving

    Apply expert nursing knowledge to complex problems in specialty practice to optimise patient outcomes. 


    Demonstrate professionalism, accountability, reflection, and personal autonomy as an expert specialist nurse.


    Establish, maintain, and lead inclusive, collaborative professional relationships with all members of the multidisciplinary team.

    Global citizenship

    Demonstrate accountability for, and expert professional judgement in behaviours that uphold ethical principles of practice within diverse social, cultural, and environmental contexts.