Master of Nursing Science

Course MC-NURSCI (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Year and Campus: 2012 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 225 credit points taken over 24 months full time.


Ms Robyn Faulkner


Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Level 1, 200 Berkeley St
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 13 MELB
F: +61 3 8344 4188
Course Overview: The Master of Nursing Science encourages a practice-oriented and evidence-based approach to learning as a means of ensuring close links between theory and practice and as a tool to support self-directed and life-long learning.

At the completion of the Master of Nursing Science graduates are expected to:

  • meet the competencies identified by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council as necessary for practice as a registered nurse;
  • demonstrate a well developed understanding of health from global, population, community, family and individual perspectives;
  • integrate knowledge from a range of disciplines that contribute to health and disease management in the provision of nursing to people experiencing alterations in their health;
  • perform nursing assessment and intervention within legal and ethical parameters and demonstrating accountability for their own practice;
  • work effectively as a member of the multidisciplinary team;
  • demonstrate the ability to critically appraise research evidence relevant to common health problems and to translate this evidence into development of nursing interventions to improve patient outcomes;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the Australian health care system in terms of policy and the organizational context of health service delivery;
  • practice effectively in health promotion and health education roles;
  • demonstrate the ability to identify knowledge gaps in the delivery of nursing care and to utilize research skills to address current gaps in practice in collaboration with researchers in nursing and allied disciplines.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The Master of Nursing Science (MNSc) comprises 225 credit points over 5 semesters of full time study, including a seven week summer semester.

All subjects are compulsory. All classes are on campus and supported with online learning materials. Several subjects have associated clinical practice or procedural skills and laboratory requirements.

Subject Options:

First Year

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
Semester 2

Second Year

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
Semester 1

Plus one of the following clinical electives

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2012
Not offered in 2012
Not offered in 2012
Entry Requirements:

The Selection Committee will consider applications from individuals with a three-year bachelor degree, or equivalent, in any discipline, completed within 10 years of application. Where this degree is older than ten years, the Selection Committee will call for curriculum vitae and consider any graduate study completed in the intervening period to determine current capacity for graduate study, or significant relevant professional experience of greater than five years full-time equivalent.

From all applicants, the Selection Committee will also call for:
• the contact details of two professional referees; and
• a supporting statement from applicants indicating their reasons for and ability to undertake the MNSc.

Applicants are assumed to have some grounding at a tertiary level in human anatomy before commencing the course. For applicants who do not possess this knowledge, the Department of Nursing will offer an online package in Human Anatomy twice a year.

The Selection Committee may conduct interviews to elucidate any of the matters referred to above.

English language requirements: IELTS = 6.5 (written 7.0 and no band less than 6.5) or TOEFL equivalent

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.

Further Study:

Graduates will be eligible to undertake the Master of Advanced Nursing Practice which prepares registered nurses for advanced practice in a select area of nursing specialty for example critical care, emergency, mental health, pediatric, primary health, cancer nursing or nurse practitioner.

Graduate Attributes:

The Melbourne Experience enables our graduates to become:

  • Academically excellent:
    • have a strong sense of intellectual integrity and the ethics of scholarship
    • have in-depth knowledge of their specialist discipline(s)
    • reach a high level of achievement in writing, generic research activities, problem-solving and communication
    • be critical and creative thinkers, with an aptitude for continued self-directed learning
    • be adept at learning in a range of ways, including through information and communication technologies
  • Knowledgeable across disciplines:
    • examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge across a broad range of disciplines
    • expand their analytical and cognitive skills through learning experiences in diverse subjects
    • have the capacity to participate fully in collaborative learning and to confront unfamiliar problems
    • have a set of flexible and transferable skills for different types of employment
  • Leaders in communities:
    • initiate and implement constructive change in their communities, including professions and workplaces
    • have excellent interpersonal and decision-making skills, including an awareness of personal strengths and limitations
    • mentor future generations of learners
    • engage in meaningful public discourse, with a profound awareness of community needs
  • Attuned to cultural diversity:
    • value different cultures
    • be well-informed citizens able to contribute to their communities wherever they choose to live and work
    • have an understanding of the social and cultural diversity in our community
    • respect indigenous knowledge, cultures and values
  • Active global citizens:
    • accept social and civic responsibilities
    • be advocates for improving the sustainability of the environment
    • have a broad global understanding, with a high regard for human rights, equity and ethics
Professional Accreditation:

Eligibility to register as a registered Nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia on successful completion of the course.

Generic Skills:

At the completion of the Master of Nursing Science graduates are expected to have gained knowledge and skills in each of the following domains:

Critical Thinking and problem-solving skills

  • generate curiosity as to the cause and effect of health and illness, and an ability to use clinical evidence and assessment to develop and implement nursing interventions;
  • analyse the determinants of health for an individual and a population, and evaluate the impact of such determinants for particular individuals;
  • identify the inter-relationship between biological, social and psychological factors in an individual's experience of health and illness;

Attitudes towards knowledge

  • identify ethical principles including autonomy, confidentiality and justice as they apply to the nurse-patient interaction, the information obtained, and apply these in their own interactions with patients;
  • value diversity of opinion within health care;
  • capacity for information seeking, evaluation and retrieval;
  • analyse the information required to solve health-related problems;
  • evaluate the depth and breadth of knowledge within own nursing practice and recognise knowledge of other members of health care team to inform and support nursing activities;
  • identify appropriate use of the information gathered, with respect for the privacy of the individual;
  • demonstrate physical examination and clinical nursing skills and identify appropriate use of these skills to gather information and implement nursing care.

Intercultural sensitivity

  • value diversity in health beliefs, lifestyles, ethnic and cultural background;
  • demonstrate a non-judgmental approach to their interactions within the health care system, with other health professionals and patients;
  • demonstrate the capacity to adjust nursing interventions to ensure safe and effective care for people of diverse backgrounds;

Communication skills

  • identify personal communication skills that can be developed to enhance the quality of nurse-patient and inter-professional relationships;
  • generate methods to provide information to patients in language which they can understand;
  • develop a patient-centred approach to communication, with respect for human dignity and human rights;
  • develop communication skills sufficient to describe a patient's presentation, symptom profile and physical signs to a colleague;
  • demonstrate skills in health teaching and patient education that enhance patient and family self-management;

Planning and time management

  • develop skills in conducting a health assessment and implementing nursing interventions under particular time constraints;
  • Teamwork skills;
  • evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of health care teams, analyse knowledge skills and attitudes that enhance such teams;
  • analyse their own contribution to a team.
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