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Online Master of Mental Health Nursing: Course Structure

Curriculum Details

12 subjects required

You can complete the online Master of Mental Health Nursing in just 18 months if you choose to study full time. If you qualify for advanced standing status, you could complete the degree in less time. Many students graduate within two years, but if your schedule becomes challenging, you may take up to four years to complete the course. For more information about advanced standing, duration or the course structure, speak with an enrolment adviser on (+61 3) 9917 3009 or request more information now.

Year 1


The Academic Integrity Module will introduce you to academic integrity standards, so you’re informed about how to avoid plagiarism and academic misconduct.  You’ll complete four parts that cover academic misconduct and academic integrity decisions, such as cheating, plagiarism and collusion.  You’ll learn about the text-matching tool, Turnitin, that is used at La Trobe, how to get help and where to go to develop referencing skills.

In this subject students will extend their knowledge and application of therapeutic skills to make high level, independent clinical decisions. Students will analyse and consolidate complex communication skills required in specialist mental health practice. Students will combine interpersonal skills with evidence-based therapies to attain specialist skills required for therapeutic interventions relevant to their professional practice.

In this subject students will develop fundamental knowledge and skills required in clinical mental health practice. Students will develop comprehensive assessment and management skills and recognise the interrelationship between a person’s medical, social and psychological health. This subject provides a theoretical and practical foundation that prepares students for ethically oriented professional practice. This subject enables students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and specialised clinical proficiency. Using independent judgment, you will plan, implement and evaluate practice in mental health contexts.

In this subject students will critically examine psychopathology, mental health diagnosis and associated co-morbidities. This subject enables students to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills to be clinically knowledgeable in assessment and diagnosis of mental illness. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)and International Classification of Diseases (ICD) classification systems are critically evaluated.

In this subject, students will explore the complexities that exercising choice and control poses for people with mental illness and develop knowledge and skills such as supported decision making and recovery orientated practice. It will also explore the challenges and strategies for ensuring the collective voices of people with mental illness are heard about systemic issues.

In this subject students will analyse the nature and extent of social, political, economic and organisational influences on mental health nursing care. Students will engage in collaborative critical reflection on mental health nursing practice and address constraints in negotiation of options for mental health care. Students will explore the role of mental health nursing in the context of mental health legislation, advocacy and recovery. Students will demonstrate the role of the mental health nurse in a multidisciplinary and multi-professional approach to treatment and recovery.
In this subject students will build on their knowledge and skills in mental health nursing practice. The subject emphasises advanced and specialist practice in mental health nursing. Students will develop cognitive and technical skills that demonstrate a broad understanding of a body of knowledge of underlying principles and theoretical concepts in mental health nursing., and an advanced understanding of mental health conditions and treatment planning in the context of recovery oriented practice.
In this subject students will critically examine theoretical frameworks for conducting advanced therapeutic skills in mental health nursing practice. Students will extend their understanding of therapeutic approaches including talk based therapy and working with people in crisis, using a problem-solving approach in the context of mental health care. Students will gain enhanced knowledge and skills required to undertake therapy with a specific focus on advanced communication and language. Students need to seek out work integrated learning experiences in which skills can be applied to real workplace context
In this subject students will develop knowledge and skills to identify the effects of medications on physiological, biochemical and pathophysiological body systems. Students will apply systematic clinical assessment and evidence based critical thinking skills to justify rationales for the initiation/instigation of therapeutic medications and treatment plans in mental health nursing practice

Year 2


In this subject, you will learn processes to develop quality improvement initiatives in the workplace. You will plan a quality improvement initiative based on your review of the literature and reflection on current workplace or community needs. This subject will develop your problem-solving skills and help you create an appropriate and ethical design to address a real-world need.

In this subject, you learn how to critically review research literature, focusing on research methods, ethics and study findings or results. Through building skills in critical evaluation of research methods and results you will be able to compare papers relevant to a given topic and assess their suitability and relevance to specific problems. You will learn to judge whether research studies are appropriately designed to address the problems that they aim to solve or explore.

In this subject, you will compare and critique the approaches taken in the research literature to gain understanding of how others have approached research problems and insight into how evidence is developed and established into practice. You will also use a local example to consider how a recent initiative related to research has been incorporated into practice, with consideration of the barriers and enablers to implementation. You will reflect on the ways that recommendations from research are framed and consider the elements needed for successful approaches for the translation of evidence into practice.

In this subject, you will consolidate your learning by preparing a report of the findings from a quality improvement project, developing evidence-based practice recommendations suitable for the workplace. This practice-focused subject will teach you professional skills and allow you to showcase your skills to your peers and the broader community.