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What's involved in a Master of Nursing degree?

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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 can commence their studies remotely whilst the Australian border remains closed due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Remote study is not available for some units of study and/or placements essential to this course and you will be required to attend in-person on campus from Semester 1, Year 2.

About this course

The combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Nursing program cultivates the critical thinking skills and breadth of the sciences alongside the expertise and experience to become a registered nurse. It provides a wide range of career opportunities across both clinical and non-clinical settings.

Why study this course?

As a science and nursing student, you will learn from our leading academics from across the sciences and healthcare disciplines.

The Bachelor of Science emphasises fundamental principles and discovery research underpinned by critical analytical capabilities. You can major in one of many areas of science, with elective units allowing you the flexibility to explore different branches and interests.

You will gain an understanding of the impact of nursing practice within local and global health contexts, and across changing healthcare systems.

You can complete this combined degree program in four years of full-time study, after which you will graduate with two qualifications.

Upon graduating will be eligible to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

With a diverse range of experience and expertise, you will be highly employable in both clinical and non-clinical settings.

Ranked 15th globally by subject area, the University of Sydney is a world leader in nursing education and research.

Our Faculty of Science is ranked in the top 50 in the world for natural science, and you will learn in our state-of-the-art facilities including the Sydney Nanoscience Hub and the Charles Perkins Centre, with its focus on obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

How will you learn?

Both degrees are taught on campus, using a mixture of lectures and tutorials. You will also complete a substantial amount of practical work, with over 800 hours of clinical placements in the nursing component of your degree. 

What will you learn?

For your Bachelor of Science major, you can select your subjects from those offered by our academic schools:

Although there are no majors in the Master of Nursing, focus areas within this course include: acute care, aged care, chronic illness, clinical practice, Indigenous health, mental healthcare and management, pharmacology, physiology, professional practice, social and health policy.

Subject areas

You are required to choose one major from the Bachelor of Science listing below. 

Shared pool

Admission, fees and 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.

English language proficiency

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

Your fee

How to apply

Admission to this course is on the basis of a secondary school leaving qualification such as the NSW Higher School Certificate (including national and international equivalents), tertiary study or an approved preparation program. English language requirements must be met where these are not demonstrated by sufficient qualifications taught in English. Special admission pathways are open for domestic mature aged applicants who do not possess a school leaving qualification, educationally disadvantaged applicants and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Applicants are ranked by merit and offers for available places are issued according to the ranking.

In addition, it is required that applicants have the ability to undertake clinical placements and the School's Clinical Policy contains further details of the requirements.

Please note this course is not available to applicants who are already registered to practise as a nurse in Australia.

Refer to the UAC website .

Separate scholarship deadlines apply Visit the scholarships webpage for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (February)

Visit the How to apply page for detailed information on if you need to apply directly to the University or through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). If you are a direct applicant, when you are ready to apply select the `Apply’ button on this course page.

Current University of Sydney students applying to transfer from one bachelor's degree to another apply directly to the University. The exact process will depend on the course you are currently in and the course to which you wish to transfer. For more information visit the Change your course page.

Closing dates

Semester 1 - 15 January of the commencing year.

We strongly encourage international applicants to apply as early as possible to allow time for visa and travel arrangements. Separate scholarship deadlines apply - visit the scholarships webpage for details.

UAC Applicants: Refer to the UAC website

Starting date

Semester 1 (February)

What you'll study

Units of Study

Work component

Mandatory work component = 860 hours.

This translates to 40 hours per week.

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

Completion requirement

Progression rules

1. Candidates are required to complete their first 48 credit points with a weighted average mark of at least 65 to remain in the combined degree program. Candidates who do not achieve this mark may not continue in the program; however, they may elect to transfer to the single Bachelor of Science degree.

2.  Candidates may not commence Master of Nursing units of study until satisfactorily completing 48 credits points in the Bachelor of Science component. The Bachelor of Science component must be completed before continuing to the fourth and final year of the combined degree.

3. All candidates must successfully complete all first year Master of Nursing units of study before progressing to second year Master of Nursing units of study.

4. In exceptional circumstances a candidate may be allowed to progress to the next stage with approval by the Dean of the Sydney Nursing School.

What is an elective?

An elective is a unit of study within a degree, usually an option within a course. Electives allow more detailed study of a particular subject and may contribute to the completion of a major. You can select electives from the Faculty of Science or from other faculties and schools within the University, subject to permission from the Faculty of Science and Sydney Nursing School.

Assumed knowledge

Mathematics or HSC Mathematics Extension 1.

Admission criteria

Admission to this course is on the basis of the following:

  • English language requirements as detailed below.

Admission pathways are open to domestic applicants on the basis of equity or other adjustment factors, including for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants. For details, visit admission pathways.

It is required that applicants have the ability to undertake clinical placements and the Sydney Nursing School Clinical Placement Provisions 2020 contains further details of the requirements.

Applicants who are registered as a nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia are not eligible to apply for this course.

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


This course has a mathematics course prerequisite. For details on the prerequisite, and how it applies to you, visit: Mathematics course prerequisites.

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.

Credit for previous study

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

Course opportunities

The Master of Nursing component of this course requires completion of clinical placements which prepare graduates for professional practice. You will need to undertake more than 880 hours of clinical placements over your course of study and practise skills in the Sydney Nursing School's clinical laboratories and high-fidelity simulation wards. During the final year of the course, you will complete a four-week clinical placement in an area in which you choose to specialise: paediatrics, mental health, high acuity, or clinical nursing.


Professional Registration

Graduates of this course are eligible to apply for registration as a nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, the accrediting body for professional nursing practice in Australia.

Career Pathways

Career opportunities in clinical settings include:

  • Public and private healthcare systems
  • Acute care hospitals
  • Children's hospitals
  • Trauma and emergency care
  • Mental health nursing
  • Aged care
  • Community nursing
  • Home care nursing
  • Drug and alcohol centres
  • Rural and remote nursing
  • Overseas aid

Career opportunities in non-clinical settings include:

  • Scientific, medical and pharmaceutical companies
  • Health promotion
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Policy development
Future study options

If you wish to continue your studies in science or nursing, you may choose from a broad range of courses offered by the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sydney Nursing School. Eligible candidates may proceed to an honours year in the Bachelor of Science.

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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.