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Mental Health Postgraduate Courses Online

Postgraduate mental health courses are available for graduates in nursing, social care and the social sciences. You can do a graduate certificate, graduate diploma or masters, specialising in mental health or mental health nursing.
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An online postgraduate course in mental health prepares you to work with people who face psychological challenges. You're trained to understand and meet the needs of consumers with emotional and behavioural problems.

Online programs are open to graduates with degrees in fields such as social work, psychology, nursing or the social sciences. You can study for a graduate certificate, graduate diploma or masters in mental health. For registered nurses in Australia, online mental health nursing courses are available.

Postgraduate courses for everyone

Postgraduate courses for Registered Nurses

Graduate Certificate in Mental Health

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A popular way to start postgraduate studies in mental health practice is with a Graduate Certificate in Mental Health online. A graduate certificate typically forms part of a larger postgraduate program, with subjects counting as credit towards a graduate diploma or masters degree. It holds similar status to a degree despite being shorter.

SCU Online Graduate Certificate in Mental Health

The Graduate Certificate in Mental Health from Southern Cross University is a versatile 100% online course. You choose 4 subjects from topics that include: acute mental health, physical healthcare in mental health, supporting behaviour change, mental health across the lifespan, alternative mental health treatment settings, and contemporary issues. The course is open to graduates with a degree in a health, psychology or social science discipline. You can work full-time while studying and still finish in 8 months. Graduates of the program may continue on for a graduate diploma or masters.

UTS Online Graduate Certificate in Mental Health

The UTS Online Graduate Certificate in Mental Health is designed for health and social care professionals who require specialist skills to navigate mental health care and lead teams that provide advanced and holistic clinical practice. Delivered 100% online, with part-time study, you will develop a comprehensive understanding of trauma-informed and recovery-focused care to graduate with industry-recognised leadership capabilities that will prepare you for a successful future in mental health – one of Australia’s national health priority areas. The course is a pathway to a masters degree in health services management, public health or advanced nursing.

Graduate Diploma of Mental Health

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A Graduate Diploma in Mental Health sits halfway between a grad cert and masters in terms of both duration and cost. The post graduate diploma in mental health may be ideal if you want substantial mental health training but don't want to commit to a full masters. An online grad dip is a well recognised qualification that demonstrates significant knowledge and skill development in helping people with mental health problems.

SCU Online Graduate Diploma of Mental Health

Expand your skills in mental health practice with the Graduate Diploma of Mental Health from Southern Cross University. Students are able to complete 8 subjects one at a time over 16 months to earn the grad dip. You can do the online course while working full-time. You learn a holistic, well-rounded approach to care, equipping you to work across mental health settings and disciplines. Graduates work in roles such as social worker, counsellor, child protection officer, government assessor, case manager and art therapist.

Graduate Diploma in Psychology

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If you have a bachelor degree of any kind, you can study for a Graduate Diploma in Psychology online. The course is equivalent to a Bachelor of Psychology, giving you a foundational education in the psychology discipline.

The postgraduate psychology program will develop your knowledge of psychology broadly and provide a platform for becoming a registered psychologist. But be aware that further education steps would be required for registration, namely honours and masters-level courses.

Ten-subject programs can be completed online over 20 months of part-time study... READ MORE

Masters in Mental Health Online

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A Masters in Mental Health prepares you to effectively respond to patients experiencing mental health challenges. Programs are open to graduates from different disciplines, including health, psychology and the social sciences.

Online masters programs are available that allow you to study without having to take time away from work. An accelerated online course can be completed in 2 years of part-time study.

You can expect strong levels of online learning support, with students well connected to instructors and classmates... READ MORE

Become a Mental Health Nurse: Postgraduate Mental Health Nursing Courses

You can be recognised as a specialist mental health nurse after completing an accredited post graduate course. An accredited graduate diploma or masters degree in Mental Health Nursing gives the full 100 points needed for the Education component of the Specialist Nurse Credentialing Program.

A mental health nurse is a registered nurse who specialises in "working with people who have a mental illness like depression, postnatal depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and psychosis" (Health Direct). Postgraduate education is part of the credentialing framework of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses.

Mental health nurses attend to the general needs of patients, offering physical, emotional and social support. They usually work as part of a multidisciplinary team that may include doctors, psychologists, case workers, and other nurses and allied health professionals.

Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing

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A Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing is a 4-subject course that you can do online to expand your skills and knowledge. The post graduate course provides mental health training for nurses and may be used as a pathway for a graduate diploma or masters degree. Graduates are better equipped to use evidence-based practice professionally. Topics may include mental health across the lifespan, acute mental health, physical health care in mental health, and supporting behavioural change.

SCU Online Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing

The Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing from Southern Cross University is a foundation course for becoming a mental health specialist. Choose 4 subjects out of 6 from the masters program. After completion, you may choose to continue studying. Another 4 subjects gets you a Graduate Diploma of Mental Health Nursing or another 8 will earn you a Master of Mental Health Nursing. Both the grad dip and masters allow you to apply to be an accredited mental health nurse. The 100% online course is available to Registered Nurses (Division 1) with access to mental health nursing practice.

One of Australia's most popular postgrad courses for registered nurses is the online Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing. The program allows RNs to upgrade their skills and strategies for managing mentally ill patients.

Students learn about psychological assessment and interventions, psychopharmacology, therapeutic communication, and legal and ethical considerations surrounding patient care. Graduates can apply to become a credentialed MHN.

The grad diploma helps RNs access job opportunities for specialists in this growing field... READ MORE

Masters in Mental Health Nursing

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As a Registered Nurse, you have the opportunity to become a mental health nurse with an accredited Masters in Mental Health Nursing online. You'll need access to a mental health nursing practice or practitioners while studying.

A masters program is an expanded version of a Graduate Diploma of Mental Health Nursing. Students complete an extra 4 subjects. An accelerated masters takes 2 years of part-time study compared to 16 months for a grad dip.

Earning a masters degree is a significant accomplishment and may place you in a better position career-wise... READ MORE

Entry Requirements

To be eligible for postgraduate courses in mental health, you'll ideally have a broadly relevant bachelor degree. The degree could be in health, psychology or other discipline related to the social sciences. Healthcare experience, or even a current clinical position, may be a requirement for some programs. If you lack a degree, you could gain entry based on experience and vocational qualifications.

What You'll Study (Course Structure)

Any postgraduate course on mental health aims to provide knowledge and tools for managing clients. You'll study mental health issues Australian face, approaches to handling consumers and developing treatments, and professional practice in a health services setting.

To give you an idea of the kinds of topics covered, here are example subjects from graduate certificate courses.

Southern Cross University

UTS Online

Learning Outcomes

Graduates achieve specific learning outcomes from a postgraduate mental health course. These depend on the program, your area(s) of specialisation, and how many subjects you do. But you'll also develop versatile, transferrable competencies, including improved:

  • knowledge of the Australian healthcare system and services for mental health clients
  • perspectives on professional practice, giving insight into how to improve services in your field
  • sensitivity to issues people face and a better sense of how to deal with varied cases
  • familiarity with how systems interact and where to go for professional guidance.

Mental health is huge field, with diversity in clients and context. A postgrad course is an opportunity to look beyond the confines of a single workplace to gain new perspectives, knowledge and skills. Students may start with a graduate certificate, which is often worth doing by itself, before choosing whether to do longer studies.

Career Opportunities

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Expertise in managing mental health issues is in demand across many health and social care fields in Australia. As a graduate of a postgraduate mental health course, you can work in specialist or high-level roles to get the most out of your qualification. Jobs are available in diverse mental health settings, from aged care to specialty clinics.

Prospective job titles include youth worker, case manager, health services manager, counsellor, social worker, mental health clinician, mental health practitioner, and child protection officer. For nurses, you can qualify to become a mental health nurse, potentially taking on specialist roles or placements as a registered nurse, nurse coordinator or nursing manager.


† Online courses are available in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Gold Coast, Newcastle. Australia-wide.