Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing

Course J05AA (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Year and Campus: 2011 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Please contact Nursing


Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Level 5, 234 Queensberry St
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 8344 9401
F: +61 3 9347 4375

Course Overview:

The course provides the opportunity for nurses to extend their understanding of the relationship between the theory and practice of nursing in a specific area of specialty nursing. Students develop a depth and complexity of knowledge that enhances their specialty nursing practice in a variety of contexts and nursing roles. There is an emphasis on academic preparation for leadership in specialty nursing, specialty nursing education and patient education. This course does not include clinical components.

The course leads to a generic Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (PDN) or a Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (PDN) with a specialisation. The award of a specialisation is dependent on the program of study undertaken.


As a graduate of the PDN you will have:

  • proficiency in areas of professional scholarship
  • an understanding of the professional issues impacting upon specialty nursing and the wider nursing profession
  • a beginning understanding of the international context and sensitivities of the specialty area
  • a capacity to engage where appropriate with issues in contemporary society that impact on and are impacted by specialty nursing practice
  • an appreciation of the ways in which evidence based practice guides specialty practice and how specialty knowledge equips the student to offer leadership in the specialty area
  • an appreciation of the design, conduct and reporting of research as it relates to the development of evidence based practice
  • a capacity to transfer knowledge and understanding of specialty nursing in oral and written presentations to a wide range of professional and non-professional audiences
  • the ability to communicate an understanding of the theoretical basis for practice both verbally and in a written form
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The PDN is comprised of 100 credit points of coursework subjects. You will complete a mandated evidence-based subject and a range of theory coursework subjects contributing to either a generic or specialisation award.

Students enrolling in a specialisation may take up to 37.5 points of approved subjects offered outside the School of Nursing. Students enrolling in the generic program may take up to 25 points of approved subjects offered outside the School of Nursing.

Subject Options: Please visit the Nursing website for the specialty areas subject options.
Entry Requirements:

Please visit the Nursing website for Entry Requirements

Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s courses. This course requires all students to enrol in subjects where they must actively and safely contribute to clinical/field work activities. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Course Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.
Graduate Attributes: To be advised
Links to further information:

Download PDF version.