Graduate Diploma in Nursing Science (GDipNSc)

Program Code


Academic Year


Special Notes

The following specialisation will not be offered in 2024:
- Perioperative Nursing

The following specialisations are not available to international students in 2024:

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

These Program Rules should be read in conjunction with the University's policies (


This program is designed to provide opportunities for nurses to develop advanced skills in clinical inquiry, practice and leadership in professional nursing. It provides students with knowledge and understanding of research methods, critical analysis, leadership and theoretical perspectives that inform nursing.

Students are able to specialise in: Acute Care Nursing; Anaesthetic and Recovery Nursing; Cardiac Nursing; Emergency Nursing;  Intensive Care Nursing and Oncology Nursing.

The Graduate Diploma in Nursing Science is an AQF Level 8 qualification with a standard full-time duration of 1 year.

Program Learning Outcome
1. Display a rigorous academic knowledge of the sciences that inform nursing practice in the specialty.
2. Demonstrate clinical and technological skills required to provide high quality effective nursing care in the chosen specialty.
3. Demonstrate the ability to work as team leaders and managers and to undertake the role of case management and care co-ordination in the chosen specialty.
4. Demonstrate the ability to apply critical thinking skills to problem solving in advanced specialty practice.
5. Demonstrate the ability to evaluate nursing care according to professional standards of practice within the chosen specialty.
6. Display highly developed communication skills and sound interpersonal skills to work effectively in a leadership role within the multidisciplinary team.
7. Display the attitudes and skills to practice person-centred nursing in a culturally sensitive and ethically sound manner in the chosen specialty.
8. Display commitment to and having the skills to continue lifelong learning to advance nursing practice in their specialty.
9. Demonstrate skills and knowledge to practice as a specialist nurse in a technologically dynamic environment.
10. Demonstrate the ability to effectively integrate skills and knowledge in order to facilitate quality nursing care in their specialty.
11. Demonstrate the skills, knowledge and attitudes to manage and implement care for the patient with complex health needs.
12. Display preparedness to promote safe practice in accordance with legislation, professional codes, and specialty competencies and guidelines.
13. Display the ability to critically analyse in order to evaluate the evidence and make decisions to implement specialist nursing care based on the best available evidence.
14. Demonstrate a sound understanding of the dynamics of the health care system and the sociological, cultural and political influences that influence specialty professional practice.

Condition of Admission
Student and Professional Registration: Students accepted into the program shall: 

  1. be registered, or be eligible for registration, as a Registered Nurse in Australia
  2. be employed at a minimum of 0.64 FTE in the specialty setting (except for the Graduate Diploma of Nursing Science, non-specialist)
  3. have qualified for a degree of Bachelor of Nursing, or equivalent that is accepted for the purposes by the University
  4. and have at least one year of experience as a registered nurse in the field of the specialisation to be undertaken (unless enrolling in the non-specialist option)

Condition of Enrolment
Immunisation: Prior to any clinical placement, students will need to provide evidence of immunisation status. Students are required to have the appropriate level of immunisation required by the Immunisation for Health Care Workers in South Australia Policy Directive for tuberculosis (TB) screening and clearance and criminal history clearances (CHC), Prescribed Communicable Infections (PCI) screening, including recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines. 

Interruption of program: Students must apply for permission from the Program Director or Delegate before taking a Leave of Absence. Absence without approval will result in the loss of place in the program. An application may be made to be re-admitted to the program subject to the admission procedures in place at the time.

Program Maximum Duration: As specified in Table 1 of the Coursework Academic Programs Policy, this program must be completed within a Maximum Duration which includes any periods of non-enrolment, leave of absence or approved study at other institutions for credit towards a Program. 

Academic Program Rules for Graduate Diploma in Nursing Science

There shall be a Graduate Diploma in Nursing Science.

Qualification Requirements
Academic Program: 

To qualify for the Graduate Diploma in Nursing Science, the student must complete satisfactorily a program of study from one of the following requirements with a combined total of not less than 24 units, comprising:

  1. Core courses to the value of 9 units
  2. One specialisation to the value of 15 units from the following:
    • Acute Care Nursing
    • Anaesthetic and Recovery Nursing
    • Cardiac Nursing
    • Emergency Nursing
    • Intensive Care Nursing
    • Oncology Nursing
    • Orthopaedic Nursing
    • Perioperative Nursing  
    • Non-specialist Graduate Diploma
Core Courses

To satisfy the requirements for Core Courses students must complete courses to the value of 9 units.

All of the following courses must be completed:

Subject / Catalogue Course Title Unit Value
NURSING 7102 Research Literacy 3
NURSING 7101 Professional Practice 3
NURSING 7100 Knowledge Translation 3