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Study primary health care nursing at Sydney Nursing School

About us

Global leaders in health education

  • No.4 in the world

    The University is ranked first in Australia and fourth in the world for graduate employability in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020.

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  • World leaders in nursing

    We are ranked 13th in the world for nursing in the QS Subject Rankings 2020.

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Please note: there will not be an intake for this degree from Semester 1 2021.

The Graduate Diploma in Primary Health Care Nursing is tailored specifically for registered nurses working or intending to work in primary health care. You will develop the specialist knowledge and skills required to practise effectively within complex primary healthcare settings, focusing on the health needs of individuals, families and communities, and the importance of providing accessible and equitable healthcare.

Why study with us?

  • Learn from leading researchers as you integrate your learning with professional experience.
  • Explore the foundational principles and practices of primary health care. 
  • Strengthen your knowledge of chronic disease prevention and management, including relevant evidence-based decision-making processes and practices, concepts of self-management and coordinated quality care.
  • Extend your understanding of the determinants of health, community needs assessment, community participation, health promotion models, health education and health literacy and how these inform and underpin primary health care in the community. 
  • Enhance your understanding of primary health care educational and policy-based perspectives within the context of your own knowledge and personal practice. 
  • Make a significant contribution to the development of your own practice, the practice of others, inter-professional delivery of evidence-based care and evidence-informed policy.

Who should study this course?

Our postgraduate nursing degrees are designed for registered nurses who are looking to build their professional practice capabilities and advance to a leadership role in nursing.    

Financing your studies

  • We offer a number of scholarships to postgraduate nursing students. Find out more about the faculty-based opportunities available to you. You may also be eligible for a NSW Health postgraduate scholarship. Valued at up to $8000, these scholarships are available to registered nurses and midwives who are working in full or part-time permanent positions in the NSW public health system. 
  • Commonwealth Supported Places are available in all of our postgraduate nursing courses. This means your place is subsidised by the government and you pay a reduced fee. If your studies are related to your employment, out-of-pocket course fees may also be tax deductible. Find out more at the Australian Taxation Office.
  • You may also be eligible for HECS-HELP. This means your fee payment is deferred through a government loan.

Subject areas

There are no specialisations for this course.

Shared pool

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your admission criteria

English language proficiency

Find out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

For academic requirements check the ‘Admission criteria’ section on this page.

Your fee

How to apply

Please note: there will not be an intake for this degree from Semester 1 2021.

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Closing dates

Semester 1 - 11 February of the commencing year

We strongly encourage applicants to apply as early as possible, offers are made on a rolling basis and places are limited. Separate scholarship deadlines apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Please note: there will not be an intake for this degree from Semester 1 2021.

Starting date

What you'll study

The Graduate Certificate in Primary Health Care Nursing requires a total of 24 credit points. 

Each unit of study has up to four face-to-face study days. A normal part-time load is two units of study per semester. The graduate certificate is two semesters part-time.

Award units taken at graduate certificate level may also count towards a graduate diploma or a master's degree. Previously completed non-award units of study may be credited towards a graduate certificate.

Explore the Medicine and Health Postgraduate Handbook to learn more about what you will study as part of this degree:

Units of Study

Course structure

View the primary health care nursing structure (PDF, 53KB).

Admission criteria

A successful applicant for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Primary Health Care Nursing will hold a pre-registration nursing degree from the University of Sydney or equivalent qualification.

In exceptional circumstances the Dean may admit applicants without these qualifications who, in the opinion of the school, have qualifications and evidence of experience and achievement sufficient to successfully undertake the award.

In addition, the applicant is required to be a registered nurse in Australia and satisfy the English language proficiency requirements.

Inherent Requirements

To assist students to make informed choices about their study, we have identified and set out the Inherent Requirements for coursework award courses in nursing.

The University of Sydney welcomes and encourages applications from students with disabilities, and from diverse social and cultural backgrounds. Where there are physical, intellectual, cultural, religious or other factors that impact on a student's ability to meet the Inherent Requirements, the University will make reasonable adjustments to assist the student to meet the requirements. Please read the Inherent Requirements carefully as you consider your course choices.

Course opportunities

This program is available at multiple levels to suit your professional and personal needs. The courses are embedded, allowing you to step from one to the next at your own pace.

Completion of the Graduate Certificate program can be used as credit towards a Graduate Diploma or Masters degree in the discipline.

Career Pathways

With the rising incidence of complex, chronic diseases and an ageing population, the need for skilled primary healthcare nursing leaders is greater than ever. 

The Graduate Certificate in Primary Health Care Nursing will enable graduates to integrate and synthesise prior learning while critically exploring the professional context and sociopolitical climate in which contemporary primary health care is delivered. You will advance your capacity for complex clinical decision-making by critically analysing a range of relevant issues affecting primary health care from a nursing perspective. In doing so, you will deepen your conceptual knowledge and skills.

Graduates may gain employment in an array of health care settings, including:

  • general practice
  • community health
  • ambulatory care or hospital-based units
  • rural and remote areas
  • telehealth
  • Indigenous health care
  • justice health
  • aged care
  • sexual health
  • international health.

As a graduate of a specialist nursing degree, you can expect to progress your career through promotion and advance your salary by a minimum of 30 percent from that of an experienced registered nurse.*

* QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2018.

Domestic students

International students

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.