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Why I went back to University and became a nurse

A current student and recent alumna discuss how they overcame their fears about returning to study, and found job satisfaction through a career in nursing.

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Global leaders in health education

  • No. 1 in Australia

    The University is ranked first in Australia and fourth in the world for graduate employability in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022.

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  • World leaders

    We are ranked 1st in Australia and 12th in the world for nursing in the QS Subject Rankings 2022.

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In response to COVID-19, the University of Sydney has reviewed the availability of courses to be delivered remotely for students commencing their studies in 2021 and 2022.

Students commencing this course in 2021 and 2022 are required to commence their studies in-person on campus. Remote study is not available for this course. Applicants will be eligible for admission only if they are able to demonstrate they are physically present in Australia on the date specified in the offer made to them by the University.

About this course

Thrive in complex health environments. The Master of Nursing builds on your previous undergraduate education, preparing you for work in local, national and international healthcare settings. You will gain a comprehensive understanding of how to work with other health professionals to provide the highest quality person-centred care.

Throughout this two-year degree, you will learn from leading experts through hands-on learning as you develop a strong theoretical understanding of health and illness, and how care is provided and experienced.

As part of your degree, you will complete over 800 clinical placement hours in varied settings including emergency departments, intensive care units, paediatric units, oncology units, mental health facilities and community health centres.

Beyond clinical care, you will also study human biology, pharmacology, research and evidence-based practice, social contexts of health and illness, illness experiences, healthcare systems, leadership in healthcare and other professional topics, including legal and ethical issues in healthcare.

Choose your campus

Delivered as two distinct yet comparable cohorts, this program can be studied at either the University's Camperdown campus in Camperdown or at the Westmead precinct.

Here are the top six reasons to study a Master of Nursing at Westmead.

If you elect to complete your degree in Camperdown, you will have access to the new Susan Wakil Health Building opening in 2021. Comprising state-of-the-art clinical simulation programs and a multi-service clinic, this building was designed to be agile for multidisciplinary teaching and learning.

You will be able to select your preferred campus during the application process. Please choose carefully as multiple applications will not be accepted.

Applicants who are not successful in gaining an offer for the Westmead Precinct will be automatically considered for admission into the Master of Nursing. Camperdown campus program.

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 entry 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 requirements’ section on this page.

Your fee


Applications for Susan Wakil Scholarships are now open.

How to apply

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. All applicants will need to upload a completed English language declaration form to their application.

NB: you will be able to nominate your campus location preference during the interview process.

For further information please download a the Master of Nursing Admissions Guide (pdf, 1MB).

Domestic applications are managed in rounds. 

Application closing dates are:

  • Round 1: Sunday 31 July 2022, 11.59pm AEST
  • Round 2: Sunday 2 October 2022, 11.59pm AEST
  • Round 3: Monday 2 January 2023, 11.59pm AEDT

Starting date

Semester 1 

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. 

Applicants are encouraged to submit completed applications as soon as possible to be considered for an offer. In order for applicants to be considered for an interview, your application must be complete. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Download the Master of Nursing Admissions Guide (pdf, 1MB).

International applications are managed in rounds.

Application closing dates are:

  • Round 1: Sunday 31 July 2022, 11.59pm AEST
  • Round 2: Sunday 2 October 2022, 11.59pm AEST
  • Round 3: Monday 2 January 2023, 11.59pm AEDT

Starting date

Semester 1 

What you'll study

The Master of Nursing consists of 96 credit points and 16 units of study (each worth six credit points), with eight units of study offered in each academic year. In terms of workload, most six credit point units of study consist of attendance and lectures, tutorials and/or lab sessions on a regular basis.

There are also pre-reading and assessment items equating to approximately 10 hours per week. The course is offered only in on-campus mode.

In semester one of the first year, students undertake study in clinical nursing subjects together with subjects that explore the social context of nursing in particular, and the global and Australian health system more generally. During Semester Two the focus is on more specific clinical areas such as mental health and acute care nursing as well as illness experiences and drug therapies.

The second year of the course further considers the political aspects of the health care system and more detailed nursing practice in the areas of research in nursing practice, professional practice and the emerging role of nurses as global citizens, community nursing, mental health and acute/high dependency nursing. During this year, there is also an option to extend knowledge and practice in paediatrics, mental health, high acuity or clinical nursing.

Units of Study

Work component

Mandatory work component = 880 hours.

This translates to 40 hours per week.

This mandatory work component must be completed as part of the award requirements for the course.

Professional Experience Placement

The pre-registration nursing degrees are designed to introduce you to the profession of nursing through both clinical and theoretical components. An essential feature of all pre-registration nursing curricula offered by Sydney Nursing School is a structured off-campus Professional Experience Placement (also referred to as Student Clinical Experience) program undertaken in a variety of practice settings. You will complete more than 860 clinical hours during your degree. The length of the Professional Placement Experiences will vary and may range in duration from 2 to 4 weeks (40 hours per week), depending on the unit of study and placements may be consecutive. Before each clinical placement you will practice your skills in our clinical labs and high fidelity simulation wards.

The Professional Experience Placement program will enable you to gain professional experience in diverse clinical settings reflecting the current trends for the nursing profession. Clinical placement sites include private and public hospitals, mental health services, community health centres and, schools. The majority of clinical placements occur within the Sydney metropolitan area but you will have the opportunity to undertake clinical placements in regional or remote areas around NSW or interstate.

Admission criteria

In addition to meeting academic requirements, candidates are also required to take a literacy and numeracy test, as well as an interview. Applicants who successfully complete the online testing will be invited to an interview. Check the Master of Nursing Admissions Guide (pdf, 1MB) for details. 

You must have a previous Australian level bachelor degree (or equivalent) in any discipline other than nursing. However, overseas nursing qualifications are acceptable.

Qualifications used as the basis of admission must have been completed within 10 years prior to application. 

Qualifications older than 10 years will be considered subject to the applicant providing further information substantiating appropriate further education and development. In these cases, admission will be at the discretion of Sydney Nursing School. If you do not meet this criterion, you will need to undertake a tertiary unit of study prior to admission. Please contact admissions to discuss this further.

English requirements

Whether you are a domestic or an international student you must submit an English language declaration form (pdf, 59KB). If English is not your primary language*, you are required to undertake one of the following English language proficiency tests and achieve at least the minimum score required:

a) The IELTS (academic module) with a minimum overall score of 7 and a minimum score of 7 in each of the four components (listening, reading, writing and speaking).

b) The PTE Academic with a minimum overall score of 68 and a minimum score of 68 in each of the four communicative skills (listening, reading, writing and speaking).

c) The TOEFL iBT with a minimum total score of 96 and the following minimum score in each section of the test:

  • 24 for Listening
  • 24 for reading
  • 27 for writing
  • 23 for speaking

English language proficiency tests must be completed within two years of course commencement.

*Primary language means the language you primarily use and the language that you know best and are most comfortable with. You need to have completed at least six years of schooling including at last two years of secondary school (years 7-12) in English in one of the following countries: Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, United States, Canada, Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Handbooks Online and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents.

Inherent requirements

Inherent requirements are the essential tasks and activities necessary to be able to achieve the core learning outcomes of a course. They are specific to a particular course or discipline. To assist students to make informed choices about their study, we have identified and set out the inherent requirements for this course.

Financing your studies

Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) are available for this course for eligible domestic students. This means that your course fees are subsidised by the Australian Government and you pay a student contribution amount (SCA). CSP places are limited in number.

Credit for previous study

For more information about the University’s credit policy, please see the Credit for Previous Studies page.

Professional Registration

Graduates of this course are eligible to apply to register as a nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia which specifies certain conditions that applicants for registration as a nurse are required to meet.


Future study options

Sydney Nursing School offers a range of advanced learning postgraduate courses in various specialty areas of nursing including cancer and haematology nursing, advanced nursing practice, clinical trials practice, emergency nursing, intensive care nursing, mental health nursing, nurse practitioner and primary health care nursing. Masters degrees include capstone projects which prepare students for higher degrees by research.

Career Pathways

Graduates can select from a wide and growing range of practice areas in the public and private health care systems including acute care hospitals, children’s hospitals, trauma and emergency care, mental health nursing, ages care, community nursing, palliative care, home care nursing, drug and alcohol centres, operating rooms and other surgical settings, and rural and remote nursing and international health. Nurses also work in the pharmaceutical industry, clinical research trials and other health-related fields.

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Domestic students

International students

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