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.

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. 

We offer unique specialisations in:

Acute Care Nursing (SATAC code 3CM143)
Anaesthetic and Recovery Nursing (SATAC code 3CM144)
Cardiac Nursing (SATAC code 3CM140)
Emergency Nursing (SATAC code 3CM142)
Intensive Care Nursing (SATAC code 3CM139)
Oncology Nursing (SATAC code 3CM135)
Orthopaedic Nursing (SATAC code 3CM136)
Perioperative Nursing (SATAC code 3CM132)

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 51-100 in the world*
  • 24% industry growth predicted by 2025^
  • Flexible online study

*QS World University Rankings by subject, 2023
^ Occupation projection

Entry Requirements

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 Bachelor of Nursing or equivalent; AND
- at least two years post registration nursing experience; AND
- be registered or be eligible for registration as a Registered Nurse in Australia; AND
- be employed at a minimum of 0.64 FTE.

  • Admissions Transparency Data
    Student Profile
    Applicant background Semester one/Full year intake 2023
    Number of students Percentage of all students
    International students 1 14.3%
    All students 7 100.0%

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

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: Wednesday, 13 Sep 2023