Master of Nursing Science

Advance your nursing career

Nurses are an integral part of society. They are problem-solvers and pillars of strength. Through scholarship and leadership, nurses can challenge, reform, improve and enrich healthcare now and into the future. 

This advanced degree is suited to nurses with a solid foundation in clinical practice who want to pursue research or leadership positions.

What will you do?

Our Master of Nursing Science offers a comprehensive grounding in research methods and critical analysis. You will:

  • build clinical enquiry and management skills
  • take new courses in advanced clinical practice
  • gain hands-on experience in simulations and skills laboratories
  • partner with an expert in your field of study who’ll support and encourage your academic development
  • undertake a 12 unit research project, or conduct a systematic review (9 units).

If you want to continue to further PhD study, you’ll complete 12 units of research. An exit path for the Graduate Diploma in Nursing Science will be available after the first year.

Where could it take you?

You will open up global opportunities and senior management roles in the health sector. You could develop mental health programs for psychiatric wards or prisons. You might come up with innovative ways to support surgeons in emergency. Perhaps you’ll do large-scale research on cancer pain management or cardiovascular risk factors. 

Note: International students on a student visa are required to study on campus in Adelaide.

This degree is only available in blended mode and on-campus attendance is required.  if you are a continuing student in the degree and are unable to attend campus, please contact your program coordinator for program advice.

  • Adelaide Nursing School ranked 39th in the world*
  • 24% industry growth predicted by 2025^
  • Flexible online study

*QS World University Rankings by subject, 2020
^ Occupation projection

Entry Requirements

Please note: For programs including placements and/or study-related activities in settings where COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory, it is an inherent requirement that all students be fully vaccinated prior to undertaking the placement and/or study-related activity.
For our students who are studying offshore in 2022, the University will continue to offer high-quality access to the learning resources remotely for most programs. This includes all lectures, tutorials and other support material. Students will be advised in advance if there are course components that cannot be provided in remote mode and, wherever possible, offered alternative courses.
Please refer to the COVID-19 FAQ page for further information and a list of programs where in-person attendance is required.

Choose your applicant type to view the relevant admissions information for this program.
I am a:

Domestic applicants

SATAC Code 3CM077
Deferment Yes - 2 year
Intake February and July
Additional Entry Requirements
All applicants must upload the following documents as part of the SATAC application:

  • Current Curriculum Vitae (CV)

  • Current AHPRA registration certificate
Selection Criteria
Graduate entry

Higher Education Study A completed Graduate Diploma in Nursing Science or equivalent and at least two years post registration nursing experience.
How to Apply
SATAC Code: 3CM077

Fees and Scholarships

Choose your applicant type to view the relevant fees and scholarships information for this program.
I am a:

Domestic applicants

Indicative annual tuition fees
Commonwealth-supported place: $4,125

Where the standard duration of the program is less than one year the full cost of the program is displayed.


These scholarships, as well as many others funded by industry and non-profit organisations, are available to potential and currently enrolled students.

Find a Scholarship.


Career Readiness

Graduates are prepared for careers in senior nursing clinical practice or management, or can begin a career in nursing research.

The University of Adelaide Careers Service prepares, inspires and empowers students to achieve successful career transitions and connect with industry.

Graduate Attributes

The objective of this program is to produce graduates with specific attributes as outlined in University of Adelaide Graduate Attributes.
  1. Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth
  2. Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving
  3. Teamwork and communication skills
  4. Professionalism and leadership readiness
  5. Intercultural and ethical competency
  6. Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency
  7. Digital capabilities
  8. Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

Potential careers

Clinical Nurse Consultant, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Community Health Nurse, Nurse Educator, Nurse Manager, Nurse Researcher

Degree Structure

The program is structured in two stages:

Stage 1

Students must complete the courses as outlined under the study plan to exit with the Graduate Diploma in Nursing Science.

Stage 2

Students are required to complete a total of 24 units of study and are able to select one of two options:

  • Combination 1 (coursework and research study)
  • Combination 2 (coursework study only)

Academic Program Rules

The Calendar is a comprehensive handbook of the University's academic program rules.


Areas of Specialisation

  • Acute Care
  • Anaesthetic and Recovery
  • Cardiac
  • Emergency
  • Intensive Care
  • Oncology
  • Orthopaedic
  • Perioperative

Example Study Plan

This indicative study plan depicts the traditional pathway of a full-time domestic student through the Master of Nursing Science (no specialisation) undertaking the research pathway.
Indicative study plan
Year1 S1 Knowledge Translation Choose an elective from the stage 2 elective courses Choose an elective from the stage 2 elective courses
S2 Professional Practice Research Literacy Choose an elective from the stage 2 elective courses
Year2 S1 Research Part I Research Part II Undertaking nursing research Exploring Issues in clinical practice
S2 Research Part III Research Part IV Choose 1 or 2 electives with total value of 6 units from the stage 2 elective courses


May include essays, case studies, discussion board participation, presentations, poster presentations, research proposals and dissertation, portfolios, article for publication and exams.


The Master of Nursing Science strengthened my nursing foundation and developed my advanced nursing expertise.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.

Last updated: Thursday, 29 Sep 2022