Master of Nursing Practice

Postgraduate coursework

Deepen your theoretical and practice knowledge with a Master of Nursing Practice at Deakin University. Learn more about this higher education course here.

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


1.5 years full-time or part-time equivalent, depending on your entry point


  • Cloud (online) 
Cloud (online)

Current Deakin Students

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

Course information

The Master of Nursing Practice aims to broaden and deepen theoretical and practice knowledge of registered nurses who work in a variety of specialty health care settings (such as Intensive Care, Cardiac Care, Emergency Care, Critical Care, and Perioperative nursing) or those desiring a career in nursing management, governance or leadership. Specialisation is optional and can be taken at a certificate or diploma level. Students wishing to complete a Master of Nursing Practice will choose either the Master of Nursing Practice (Minor Thesis) or Master of Nursing Practice (Coursework) pathway.

The Master of Nursing Practice aims to prepare graduates to practise effectively at an advanced practice level. Graduates will demonstrate ethical, safe, high quality, expert clinical decision making within an interdisciplinary team, and psychomotor skills commensurate with specialised theoretical knowledge, evidence-based practice and person or client-centred care. The course provides research training, as well as leadership and specialty expertise, to equip graduates for management, governance, education and leadership roles, and the requirements to undertake higher degrees by research such as a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

The course is predicated on the notion that registered nurses should practise in ways that extend beyond the technical and practical concerns of nursing and to provide leadership, research-based practice and advanced decision making as part of the multidisciplinary health team. This course therefore provides research training as well as leadership and specialty expertise to equip students for leadership roles, and the requirements to undertake higher degrees by research. The course has been designed with a flexible structure that allows students to choose from several sequences of study and /or from a range of units that support their career aspirations.

Studies can be undertaken in a variety of general acute care wards, educational, managerial, community and specialty critical care settings. The latter includes Intensive Care Units, Cardiac Catheter Laboratories, Cardiac Care Units, Emergency Departments, Critical Care Units, Operating Suites and Post Anaesthetic Care Units. Registered nurses delivering care to patients or clients in any setting will have the opportunity to extend their practice skills in the areas of advanced patient assessment skills, clinical decision making and diagnostic reasoning.

Eligible graduates of the Master of Nursing Practice can also seek endorsement as a nurse practitioner via Pathway 2 . To apply via Pathway 2, a program of study substantially equivalent* to a specific Nurse Practitioner Masters course is required by the NMBA (Registration standard: Endorsement as a nurse practitioner NMBA 2016). A definition of substantially equivalent is outlined in the below statement. The eligibility of students for endorsement is subject to meeting the requirements of the NMBA. Deakin University makes no representation that students will meet those requirements.

* A program that is substantially equivalent means a postgraduate nursing master’s degree that is relevant, clinically, to the context of the applicant’s advanced nursing practice, for which they are seeking endorsement as a nurse practitioner, and who have completed appropriate supplementary education. Supplementary education includes advanced health assessment, pharmacology for prescribing, therapeutics and diagnostics and research, however titled. Applicants will need to map evidence for assessment against the Nurse practitioner standards for practice (NMBA, 2016).

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Course structure

To complete the Master of Nursing Practice students must attain 12 credit points, chosen from a suite of units. HNN727 Research in Nursing and Midwifery, a 2 credit point unit, is core. Students may choose either the Master of Nursing Practice (Minor Thesis) or Master of Nursing Practice (Coursework) pathway.

For coursework units, at least 6 of the 12 credit points must normally be level 7 nursing units from the list below. Up to 4 credit points may be selected from the elective units listed or approved units from any postgraduate course at Deakin.

Students wishing to complete the Master of Nursing Practice including a minor thesis must complete HNN727 Research in Nursing and Midwifery (2 credit points). Providing the student meets academic entry requirements, students may then undertake the 4 credit-point minor thesis (HNN756 Nursing Research Thesis A, HNN757 Nursing Research Thesis B, HNN758 Nursing Research Thesis C and HNN759 Nursing Research Thesis D.

Students considering application for endorsement as a nurse practitioner under Pathway 2 are encouraged to complete units indicated(**) in the list under Master of Nursing Practice without specialisation. Students will have completed post graduate clinical studies to a graduate certificate level prior to undertaking these units.

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

The Master of Nursing Practice can be undertaken over 1½ years full time or 4 years part-time. Students wishing to seek employment in the specialty practice areas must undertake core specialty units and may exit either at the Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma level.

Students are required to meet the University's academic progress and conduct requirements. Click here for more information.

Master of Nursing Practice without Specialisation

Master units (core)

Master elective units - maximum 10

Each unit is worth 1 credit point unless otherwise specified. Offering is subject to demand and resources

Trimester 1

Trimester 2

*** Core unit for Master of Nursing Practice

Key information

Award granted
Master of Nursing Practice

2020 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.

Campuses by intake

Campus availability varies per trimester. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Read more to learn where this course will be offered throughout the year.

Trimester 1 - March

  • Start date: March
  • Available at:
    • Cloud Campus

Trimester 2 - July

  • Start date: July
  • Available at:
    • Cloud Campus

^ Specialty practice courses Graduate Certificate/Diploma of Nursing Practice (Intensive Care, Cardiac Care – including Interventional Cardiology, Emergency Care, Critical Care, Perioperative) are offered in Cloud (online) mode with significant campus requirements at Burwood (Melbourne)

Additional course information

Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs) are limited and are dependent on Government funding received by the University. Therefore a CSP is not guaranteed to all domestic students. CSPs are awarded based on prior academic merit. No other factors will be considered

Course duration - additional information

Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.

Mandatory student checks

Students in specialty courses i.e. critical care, perioperative nursing, intensive care, emergency and cardiac care nursing are employed by health services where a National Police Record Check and a Working with Children Check are required for employment.


As a student in a Cloud (online) course 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. For those enrolled in critical care and perioperative courses, you will also be required to attend Burwood (Melbourne) campus - refer to individual unit details in the course structure for more information.

Participation requirements

For the units pertaining to specialty courses, there are some on campus requirements. For those students not located close to Deakin Burwood, students are able to join and participate in classroom activities virtually via VMP and other similar technologies.

Placement can occur at any time, including during the standard holiday breaks listed here:

Elective units may be selected that include compulsory placements, work-based training, community-based learning or collaborative research training arrangements.

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 undertaking units in the specialty courses, success in the course 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

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 that meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee selection, which is based on merit, likelihood of success and availability of places in the course.

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

The minimum requirements are successful completion of a three-year undergraduate degree, or equivalent, from an approved university or other educational institution or successful completion of other equivalent qualifications gained by examination, or approved professional or industrial experience.

As the Specialty 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. Where concurrent employment is not possible, clinical practicums may be negotiated.

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 tuition fees you pay are calculated depending on the course you choose.

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 you have.

Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is calculated by adding together 8 credit points of a typical combination of units for that course. Eight credit points is used as it represents a typical full-time enrolment load for a year.

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 fees and available payment options.

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 15% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees. Your Immediate Family Members may also be eligible to apply for this bursary.

Learn more about Deakin’s 15% postgraduate bursary

Apply now

How to apply

Apply direct to Deakin

If you're applying to study in Trimester 3 (November), 2019:

Applications can be made directly to the University through the Course and Scholarship Applicant Portal.  For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply web page.  Please note that closing dates may vary for individual courses.

If you're applying to study in Trimester 1 (March), 2020:

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. Please note that closing dates may vary for individual courses.

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 and other postgraduate coursework programs. If you have a graduate certificate in the same discipline, you may be eligible for credit for 4 credit points(units), which means you need to complete 1 year full-time, or part-time equivalent (8 credit points).  If you have a graduate diploma in the same discipline, you may be eligible for credit for 8 credit points (units), which means you need to complete 1 year part-time (4 credit points)

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The Master of Nursing Practice comprises 12 credit points. Credit for prior learning is based on previous postgraduate qualifications and experience. Credit for prior learning is provided for elective units as per University CPL policy and assessed on case by case basis. There are 10 nested specialist practice courses at Certificate and Diploma level within the Master of Nursing Practice, with at least two intake points per year.

Frequently asked questions

What are the key study start dates?

Browse all start and finish dates for Deakin’s main study periods. You’ll also find dates relating to applications and prospective student events, plus a list of all public holidays and study breaks.

How much does it cost to study at Deakin?

Your tuition fees will depend on the type of student you are, the course you study and the year you start. Fees are based on an annual amount; they don't cover the entire duration of the course.

Use our fee estimator to gauge what your fees could be per year.

Can I speak to someone in person about my study options?

Yes! We regularly host a range of events including 1:1 consultations and information sessions, to assist you with your study options and career planning. Check out our upcoming events or contact our Prospective Student Enquiry Centre on 1800 693 888 for more information.

Am I eligible for a scholarship with this course?

Scholarships are available for domestic and international students at all study levels. Find a scholarship that works for you.

Can I claim recognition of prior learning (RPL) for this course?

In some courses, you can reduce your overall study time and tuition cost by getting your work and previous study experience recognised as recognition of prior learning (RPL).

Why choose Deakin

Career outcomes

Deakin’s postgraduate courses have been developed in collaboration with our industry partners, ensuring the teaching and learning is relevant to today’s industry needs. After successfully completing your chosen course you will have a qualification that is highly respected by industry and academia, and you will be qualified to gain employment within your chosen specialty in all states and territories of Australia, as well as overseas.

Health care reforms and workforce restructure in Australia, are clearly on the agenda of health policy makers to ensure the health workforce is appropriate for health care delivery in the 21st century. Increasingly it is evident to governments that registered nurses with advanced knowledge, complex decision making skills and clinical competencies for advanced practice can make a significant contribution to health care delivery and the sustainability of the Australian health system. Masters level preparation will further develop nurses’ skills to solve novel problems, think critically, autonomously exercise professional judgement and assume new roles which will enable them to contribute to the provision of safe, high quality, innovative and flexible health care delivery. Nurses with Masters level qualifications, working collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams, complement care provided by other health professionals, thereby promoting better patient outcomes.

Professional recognition

A Master degree is not a professional accreditation requirement. Enrolment in a Master degree course offers students a competitive edge in the job market and improves chances of promotion

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 ethical, safe, high quality, clinical decision making within an interdisciplinary team and psychomotor skills commensurate with general or specialised theoretical knowledge, evidence-based practices and person or client-centred care.


Demonstrate expertise in verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills using discipline-specific language and lay-terms necessary to assess and interpret data, convey ideas, develop plans of care and implement therapeutic interventions to ensure the delivery of high quality, safe general or specialised nursing care to patients/ clients.

Digital Literacy

Use appropriate technologies to locate authoritative discipline-specific information and justify the selection of this information; and demonstrate expertise in the ability to evaluate, synthesise and disseminate the information to members of the interdisciplinary health team, and general or specialised patients/clients in an ethical and professional manner.

Critical thinking

Demonstrate expertise in identifying, synthesising, analysing and critically evaluating complex data from multiple sources (e.g. healthcare team members, patients, digital technologies) to inform decision making in general or specialist areas that delivers safe, ethical  high quality nursing care in order to promote optimal patient/client outcomes.

Problem Solving

Effectively apply expert nursing knowledge and skills to routine, complex and ill-structured problems in general and specialised settings to achieve optimal patient/client outcomes.


Demonstrate high level personal autonomy, leadership, expert clinical judgement, professionalism, responsibility, accountability, and reflection as general or specialised nurse.


Establish and maintain collaborative professional respectful relationships demonstrating professionalism, expertise, highly developed communication skills, leadership, responsibility and accountability to the interdisciplinary team, patients/clients and carers.

Global Citizenship

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


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