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Master of Specialist Health Practice

About this course

The Master of Specialist Health Practice has been developed for individuals with a background in a health science discipline including nursing and allied health professions.

The degree is focused on professional development to give current health practitioners a broad overview of the latest developments in various fields of health practice.

Career opportunities

This course gives health practitioners from diverse backgrounds including nursing and allied health professions, the opportunity to expand the range and scope of their knowledge of health service delivery. Completion of the degree provides graduates with enhanced career opportunities within primary health care, community outreach organisations, area health services, professional associations, hospitals, and local, state and federal policymaking agencies.

Major areas of study

Specialisations include:

  • Clinical Leadership
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disability (University approval pending)

The degree can also be completed without a specialisation by undertaking a selection of units in accordance with the award rules.

Please note: specialisations and units are offered subject to availability.

Assessment methods

Assessments vary for each unit and generally comprise written assignment tasks. Few units have an examination. Units are graded fail, pass, distinction, or high distinction.

Teaching methods

This course is delivered online using computer-assisted technologies. There are no on-campus attendance requirements. Units have a dedicated website on the MySCU online environment, which includes unit learning sites that are accessible upon enrolment. Academic staff are available by phone and email for student consultation. Students are expected to have computer and internet access. 

Advanced standing

Your previous learning experiences relevant to one or more units in this course may help you reduce the duration of your degree.

  • Recognition of formal and non-formal learning
    Credit may be awarded to a student for formal learning (gained through full or partial achievement of an accredited qualification or course) or non-formal learning (that takes place through a non-accredited course or program of learning) completed at Southern Cross University or in other learning settings in Australia and/or overseas.

To help you identify how much credit you may receive for your related prior learning visit SCU Pathways.

An application for advanced standing must be submitted so we can assess your prior learning. Please apply for advanced standing at the same time as you apply for admission into this course, because the amount of credit awarded will determine the sequence of units you will study.

 Go to course structure to see if specific advanced standing rules also apply to this course.

Learning support

Learning resources

MySCU is a student's point of entry to a range of online services and resources that support study and student life. The portal includes unit learning sites and information sites where students can access resources, communication tools and useful links that are integral to their studies.

The web-based study environment Blackboard Learn delivers an advanced online learning environment for students and lecturers to communicate and collaborate through virtual meeting spaces, classrooms, and discussion boards. They can share files, presentations and applications. If a tutorial or lecture is recorded, students can view it afterwards.

Learning materials include the provision of unit information guides, study guides and readings. Students may need to purchase or access prescribed text books.

The SCU Library provides a wide range of services that include face-to-face and online help, and access to print and electronic resources. To find out more, see the Library Toolbox.

The Academic Skills team supports student learning by offering online and on-campus academic skills workshops, assignment reviews and small group or one-on-one face-to-face, phone or Skype consultations during business hours 9am to 4.30pm. Appointments can be made via the MySCU Hub ‘Connect Now’ button or on the Academic Skills home page. Students can also book appointments online in Career Hub.

The YourTutor service provides online after-hours study support for SCU students. This service is available from 4pm to midnight Sunday to Friday via the 'Connect Now' button on MySCU Hub or from a link in nominated unit learning sites. The YourTutor service offers generic writing feedback and live online chat assistance for foundational concepts and study skills.

Equipment and facilities

Southern Cross University provides students with modern well equipped teaching spaces such as lecture theatres, classrooms, and studios or laboratories tailored to meet the needs of specific study disciplines. Contemporary audiovisual equipment is standard in most teaching venues, and students have access to computer labs for individual study purposes.

Course structure

See the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, in conjunction with the Specific Award Rules listed below.

Table of contents


Admission requirements

  1. Applicants not born and not schooled in one of the countries listed in Schedule A attached to Rule 2 Section 1 Clause (7):
    1. must have completed at least one year of full-time (or equivalent) study at the level of AQF Level 7 (or equivalent) or above and the language in which that qualification was taught was English; or
    2. must be able to demonstrate proof of English proficiency by obtaining an overall band score of not less than 6.5 in the International English Language Testing System (including a minimum score of 6.0 in the sub-bands) or equivalent TOEFL or comparable test as determined by the Academic Board.
  2. All applicants must have successfully completed a minimum 3 year Bachelor qualification in a health related discipline.

Course requirements

  1. To be eligible for the award of Master of Specialist Health Practice a candidate shall successfully complete twelve (12) units (144 credit points) comprising:
  1. all Core units; and
  2. a Specialisation; and
  3. the remaining units from the Electives options.

Exit points

  1. Students can exit with the Graduate Diploma of Health and Human Sciences if 96 credit points have been successfully completed comprising any eight (8) units.
  2. Students can exit with the Graduate Certificate in Health and Human Sciences if 48 credit points have been successfully completed comprising any four (4) units.
  3. Students can exit with the Graduate Diploma of Mental Health if 96 credit points have been successfully completed comprising all units listed in the Mental Health Specialisation.
  4. Students can exit with the Graduate Diploma of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities if 96 credit points have been successfully completed comprising all units listed in the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Specialisation and four (4) units from the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Electives.
  5. Students can exit with the Graduate Certificate in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities if 48 credit points have been successfully completed comprising all units listed in the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Specialisation.

Advanced standing

Advanced Standing shall not be granted for the units Graduate Studies Project Part I of II and Graduate Studies Project Part II of II

Schedule of units

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How to apply

Domestic students

Our enrolment advisors can help you move easily through the application process, including advance standing. Please call us on 1300 854 556 or apply now.

International students

The following international applicants are welcome to apply:

  • Applicants residing overseas from Australia, or
  • holders of a visitor, work or bridging visa with study entitlements or no limitations of study, apply now.

This course is not CRICOS registered and therefore Education Services for Overseas Students Commonwealth legislation (ESOS) and National Code regulations preclude international applicants who are holders of a Student Visa.

Those who would prefer to study in Australia as an International student and holder of a student visa, please refer to SCU International Study Options for onshore students for further information.

The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this page again before acting and see our disclaimer.

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'