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Online Mental Health Courses

Explore Australian postgraduate mental health courses to find one to suit where you are coming from and where your are going. Start when you want, study at your own pace and learn from experts.

There are many factors contributing to the rise of mental illness cases in Australia including social isolation, long-term stress, bereavement, social disadvantage and long-term health conditions. According to the AIHW, mental health cases are on the rise in Australia. 43.7 per cent of Australians aged 16-85 are estimated to have experienced a mental disorder at some stage in their life. Between August 2021-2022, approximately 21.4 per cent of Australians have experienced a mental health disorder.

As a result, it’s crucial Australians can access the support and resources they need. Mental health expertise is in high demand and the need is particularly high outside of capital cities where mental health experts are in short supply.

Healthcare and non-healthcare professionals are eligible to study a postgraduate mental health course. Whether you’re a practicing healthcare worker looking to grow your skill set or you’re looking to make a career change within healthcare from another industry, there is a mental health course available for you. Keep reading to see the courses available that can equip you with the skills to make a positive impact on the mental health and wellbeing of Australians.

  • Meets the ACMHN​ Credential education requirements
  • Contemporary curriculum designed by mental health experts
  • Student support available 7 days a week
  • 24 months (part-time)
  • $2,600 to $2,700 per unit CSP & FEE-HELP available
  • 12 units
  • Learn from clinically experienced mental health academics
  • Skills for holistic mental health treatment
  • Develop an evidence-based practice
  • 24 months (part-time)
  • $2,500 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 12 units
  • Pathway to becoming a credentialed Mental Health Nurse
  • Course is accredited by the ACMHN
  • Learn from clinically experienced mental health academics
  • 24 months (part-time)
  • $2,500 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 12 units
  • Contemporary curriculum designed by mental health experts
  • Student support available 7 days a week
  • Award winning study model
  • 24 months (part-time)
  • $2,600 to $2,700 per unit CSP & FEE-HELP available
  • 12 units
  • Only Australian university child and adolescent mental health degree
  • Entry for educators and health and social care professionals
  • Student support available 7 days a week
  • 24 months (part-time)
  • $2,600 to $2,700 per unit CSP & FEE-HELP available
  • 12 units
  • #1 in Australia for academic reputation in Nursing
  • Pathway to range of health masters courses
  • Advanced and holistic clinical practice skills
  • 8 months (part-time)
  • $2,670 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 4 units
  • Designed by mental health nursing experts
  • Student support available 7 days a week
  • Award winning study model
  • 8 months (part-time)
  • $2,600 to $2,700 per unit CSP & FEE-HELP available
  • 4 units
  • Pathway to becoming a credentialled Mental Health Nurse
  • Learn from clinically experienced nursing academics
  • Enhance your nursing practice with immediately implementable skills
  • 8 months (part-time)
  • $2,500 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 4 units
  • Learn from clinically experienced mental health academics
  • Choose from a range of units
  • Flexible online learning environment
  • 8 months (part-time)
  • $2,500 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 4 units
  • Contemporary curriculum designed by mental health experts
  • Build your mental health practice
  • Award winning study model
  • 8 months (part-time)
  • $2,600 to $2,700 per unit CSP & FEE-HELP available
  • 4 units
  • Uniquely designed focus on child and adolescent mental health
  • Student support available 7 days a week
  • Award winning study model
  • 8 months (part-time)
  • $2,600 to $2,700 per unit CSP & FEE-HELP available
  • 4 units
  • Meets the ACMHN​ Credential education requirements
  • Student support available 7 days a week
  • Award winning study model
  • 16 months (part-time)
  • $2,600 to $2,700 per unit CSP & FEE-HELP available
  • 8 units
  • Learn from clinically experienced mental health academics
  • Skills for holistic mental health treatment
  • Flexible online learning environment
  • 16 months (part-time)
  • $2,500 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 8 units
  • Pathway to becoming a credentialed Mental Health Nurse
  • Course is accredited by the ACMHN
  • Learn from clinically experienced nurse academics
  • 16 months (part-time)
  • $2,500 per unit FEE HELP available
  • 8 units

Mental health care in Australia 

Mental health skills are sought after in a range of fields and relevant to a variety of healthcare roles. Mental health professionals are more likely to have a postgraduate qualification than the average healthcare professional. For some mental health professionals, postgraduate study is a required credential.

Attention, funding, jobs and awareness around the need for quality, integrated mental health practice and care is increasing. In 2021, around 75,000 mental-health-related job advertisements included high demand for clinical psychologists, welfare workers and registered mental health nurses. In the five years to 2020, job postings for occupational therapists also grew 127 per cent, with many postings requiring mental health training.

JobOutlook employment data predicts strong growth in the medium-to-long term for mental health nurses, social workers, counsellors and occupational therapists. Demand is particularly high outside the big cities, where specialists such as psychiatrists, mental health nurses and psychologists are in short supply.

Whether you want to progress your current career or you’re ready to make a change, postgraduate study in mental health can lead to careers in both the public and private sector, in hospitals, justice, inpatient facilities, education, government and more.

Who should study a mental health course?

Studying a postgraduate mental health course is a great option if you are looking to upskill in your healthcare career or change careers. Whether you are a nurse who wants to move into mental health nursing or move away from shift work or a psychologist who is looking for a change of pace, you'll likely find that you already have some of the relevant skills and the right mindset to make the transition. If you are passionate about the wellbeing of others and want to enter the healthcare industry, a mental health course could also be suited to you.

People working in human resources, social work, teaching, psychology and social work will also greatly benefit from studying a mental health course. The skills and knowledge you will learn can directly be applied to your job as you complete your postgraduate course.

Entry requirements for postgraduate mental health courses

Master’s degree

JCU

  • A completed three-year bachelor’s degree in a health, psychology or social science-related discipline.

VU

  • A completed bachelor’s degree in a discipline such as health science, psychology, education, social work, medicine or youth work.
  • A Graduate Certificate in Mental Health or a Graduate Certificate in Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

Graduate diploma

SCU

  • A completed bachelor’s degree in a health, psychology or social science discipline.

VU

  • A Bachelor of Nursing or an equivalent qualification.
  • Registration as registered nurse or midwife with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.
  • A written confirmation from your employer that you are employed in a mental health setting or completion of Victoria University’s Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Nursing.

Graduate certificate

SCU

  • A completed bachelor's degree in health, psychology or social science.

UTS

  • A completed bachelor’s degree in a health or society and culture related discipline. Students must also be currently employed in the healthcare industry and have one year of post-graduate clinical experience.

VU

  • A completed bachelor's degree in a discipline such as health, psychology, medicine, youth work, education or social work.

Skills gained and learning outcomes for online mental health postgraduate studies  

Want to develop your skills without disrupting your career? Studying a postgraduate mental health qualification online means you can do it all while you work. 

Online postgraduate study in mental health equips you with the knowledge and expertise you need to make a difference in people’s lives, including the following: 

  • Holistic mental health practice: Explore the impacts of mental health on individuals, families and communities.
     
  • Leadership: Learn to lead on an individual, team and organisational level. Draw on traditional and new practices to help you manage change.
     
  • Interagency collaboration and partnership: Prepare to work with different agencies to support those from diverse backgrounds such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the LGBTQIA+ community and refugees.
     
  • Partnerships: Learn to build and maintain partnerships with government, non-government organisations (NGOs) and existing health services when providing care and implementing mental health best practice. 

Depending on the program, you’ll cover topics including: 

  • Mental health and wellbeing for individuals, families and communities.
  • Recovery-focused and trauma-informed care, mental health and wellbeing, as they relate to holistic and integrated health care.
  • Evidence-based approach to mental health care, interpreting and applying the research to provide better outcomes.
  • In some programs, specialisations including child and adolescent mental health

Career outcomes for online mental health postgraduates 

With sought-after specialist mental health skills under your belt, you’ll be ready to take on a diverse range of opportunities.  

The specific career paths available to you will depend on two key things – your current qualifications and experience as well as the mental health qualification you choose to pursue. With that in mind, possibilities include the following roles, all of which have strong future growth prospects: 

Mental health clinician  

  • The average salary in 2021 was $109,000/year 
  • Job postings for mental health clinicians increased by 51 per cent between 2020 and 2021  
  • Mental health clinicians are usually qualified allied health and social care professionals (such as occupational therapists, psychologists, mental health nurses and social workers) with specialist mental health skills and expertise 

Mental health nurse 

  • Salary range: $79,000–$121,000/year 
  • Mental health nurses provide care and support for patients experiencing mental illness 
  • Very strong future growth is predicted for this job area, on top of a 15 per cent increase in jobs advertised in 2021 compared to 2020 
  • Registered nurses may choose to undertake a Master of Mental Health Nursing to gain mental health credentials  

Other possible career paths include: 

  • Mental health specialist occupational therapist  
  • Mental health social worker 
  • Child protection case worker 
  • Rehabilitation consultant 
  • Support worker 
  • Mental health nurse 
  • School counsellor  

Benefits of studying postgraduate mental health online 

Postgraduate study in mental health prepares you to become a capable leader and practitioner. Designed to complement your existing skillset, online postgraduate study allows you to:  

  • Fit study around your work and life – not the other way around.
  • Secure a specialist role in an area that's growing fast.
  • Build practical mental health skills you can start applying straight away.
  • Advocate for those experiencing mental health issues in a decision-making context. 
  • Improve patient outcomes with a holistic approach to care. 
  • Have a lifelong impact by supporting people at their most vulnerable moments. 

The healthcare industry is looking for the next generation of leaders. Are you ready to step up? 

Choosing the right online mental health course for you 

Studying mental health degrees online gives you future-focused skills you can apply to a range of different careers. With no requirement to attend campus, there’s no need to pause your current career. You can also graduate sooner than traditional part-time study allows. 

Master’s degrees allow you to build skills and knowledge across different areas of mental health – for example, holistic mental health practice, and leadership. Most have graduate certificate and graduate diploma qualifications embedded within them, so you can work toward your master’s at your own pace, acquiring new skills and career-boosting qualifications along the way.  

Look for a university that offers both specialist and generalist graduate certificates that lead to a master's degree. It's a good idea to look into the available electives too. 

If you know you want to study a specific area of mental health at a graduate certificate level, check out the graduate diplomas and master's degrees it's embedded within. Some graduate certificates are specialist, others are generalist. If you decide later down the track to study at a higher level, you want to ensure the course also aligns with your goals for further study. 

If you're looking at applying for a master's degree, make sure the program is appropriate to your needs. If you want to start with a graduate certificate with the option go on to complete a master’s, you should confirm that pathway is available.  

Start the process by reviewing the courses on offer in detail. If you have any questions or can't find all of the information you're looking for, speak with a Student Advisor

who can help you understand which course is right for you.  

 

Compile a list of key questions that might help you decide which course to do. You want to make sure the course fits in with your needs, goals and lifestyle. This list might include: 

  • How do the courses on offer differ from each other?
  • How do the universities differ? What are the key features of the universities that are of value to me? 
  • Does this program give me skills and knowledge I need to progress my career in mental health?  
  • If I pick a specialisation/major, can I change my mind part-way through and study a different specialisation or take a generalist path? 
  • If I decide to complete further study further down the line, does this course provide pathways? 
  • What support do the universities offer students? 
  • Are there any additional fees I need to be aware of? 
  • Who teaches the course?  

Why choose accelerated online study

We list programs from our Australian university partners that are offered in the online accelerated mode of study. This mode is specifically designed to cater for busy people, who are balancing work and life while continuing their education as they build or change their careers in health and social care roles.

Start when you want

New courses start every couple of months meaning that you can start at a time that fits in with your lifestyle.

Study at your own pace

If you want to fast track your study, you can take up to 6 units per year, or take breaks when you need.

Dedicated support

You get your own student success advisor with the sole purpose of supporting you through the course. 

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