2 years full time or longer for part time
Delivery mode: 
In Person


Conduct original research and contribute to the healthcare field with a Master of Nursing (By Research) at Victoria University.

This course is designed for registered nurses with a demonstrated ability to conduct extensive study and research in a focused area of nursing. It will allow you to make new discoveries and ultimately improve the health of individuals, families and communities.

You’ll plan, undertake and disseminate rigorous research into a specialised area of nursing. The course will provide you with excellent professional development as well as make a contribution to knowledge and clinical practice in nursing.

Nursing research at Victoria University was awarded a 2015 Excellence in Research in Australia ranking of ‘well above world standard’ (5/5), the highest possible award. Hence, you will work under the expert guidance of a supervisor with appropriate qualifications.

You will also be expected to demonstrate a high degree of independence. Successful completion of the course depends on your background knowledge, motivation, perseverance, time management skills, research skills and thesis.

You will learn from our expert academic staff who are leaders in the field of health and are held in high regard in Australia and globally. VU researchers specialise in areas of significant impact on the health of individuals and the community including:

  • mental health and substance use
  • acute and chronic medical illness nursing
  • maternal and child health
  • molecular and nutritional physiology and pharmacology
  • diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and nutritional interventions
  • cancer
  • nerve and muscle conditions
  • chronic inflammatory disorders
  • paramedic and pre-hospital medicine
  • chronic disease policy and advocacy
  • public health and health promotion
  • muscle and exercise metabolism
  • complementary medicine
  • healthier foods, sustainable production and distribution
  • food security.

Our key research groups focus on world-class research and development, translating innovation in experimental medicine into positive health results for the community, particularly in Melbourne’s west.

VU’s research is conducted in state-of-the-art facilities such as the Western Centre for Health Research and Education, an innovative teaching, training and research precinct based at Sunshine Hospital.

You’ll benefit from our strong partnerships with local and global health agencies and institutes including:

  • Turning Point
  • beyondblue
  • Western Health
  • NorthWestern Health
  • Werribee Mercy Hospital.

VU also hosts the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, which was established in 2013 to address the urgent need for research, action and intervention in chronic disease prevention and management in Australia. Its goal is to be a world-class research centre focused on fundamental and applied research into all aspects of chronic disease.

We have a strong commitment to healthy and active living. As well as our many nursing and health facilities and partnerships, we host leading research Institute of Sports, Exercise and Active Living.

We are proud of our Victoria University Public Health Network (VUPHN), which draws together colleges, institutes, departments and staff to strengthen our work in advancing public health.

As a leading health and fitness university, we have extensive sports services and facilities available for all students. These include quality fitness centres, campus sport programs, tennis courts and a swimming pool.

As a postgraduate student you might want to take up one of many opportunities to further develop your academic language and study skills. VU’s Learning Hubs are welcoming spaces where you can improve your study and employability skills.

We offer maths, writing, careers and English-language advice, and show you effective ways to study and manage your time.

Our programs include:

  • workshops
  • drop-in sessions
  • peer mentoring
  • maths and writing resources
  • resume and career guidance.

We also have accessibility support services and counselling services available for all students.

Careers in nursing

Through the research skills and knowledge you gain in this course, you will be able to provide leadership as a nurse at a local, national and international level.

You’ll be qualified for a research-related career in a wide range of public and private healthcare settings and in universities.

You could find employment as a nurse educator, academic or researcher. According to Labour Market Insights, job prospects are good with employment for these positions expected to grow. You will also be prepared for possible entry into a PhD program.

Course structure

The standard duration of a Masters Degree (Research) is two years of full-time study or part-time equivalent, although in certain circumstances the degree may be completed in eighteen months.

In some cases the student may be required to complete approved coursework units such as laboratory skills or research design as part of the Masters Degree (Research).

The course objectives are to produce graduates who have the following knowledge and skills:

  1. a body of knowledge that includes the understanding of recent developments in one or more discipline
  2. advanced knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to the field of work or learning
  3. cognitive skills to demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge and to reflect critically on theory and its application
  4. cognitive, technical and creative skills to investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories and to apply established theories to different bodies of knowledge or practice
  5. cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate complex ideas and concepts at an abstract level
  6. cognitive and technical skills to design, use and evaluate research and research method
  7. communication and technical skills to present a coherent and sustained argument and to disseminate research results to specialist and non-specialist audience
  8. technical and communication skills to design, evaluate, implement, analyse, theorise and disseminate research that makes a contribution to knowledge

This knowledge and these skills will be demonstrated through the planning and execution of a substantial piece of research:

  • with creativity and initiative
  • with a high level of personal autonomy and accountability, demonstrating expert judgement, adaptability and responsibility as a learner

What's a unit?

A unit or 'subject' is the actual class you'll attend in the process of completing a course.

Most courses have a mixture of compulsory 'core' units that you need to take and optional elective units that you can choose to take based on your area of interest, expertise or experience.


Each unit is worth a set amount of study credits based on the amount of time you study. Generally, 1 credit is equal to 1 hour of study per week.

Admission & pathways

Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course. Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.

If you do not meet the minimum requirements you may be eligible for one of our special admission programs. We also encourage you to explore our study pathways to help you reach your goal.

Find out more about how to apply for our courses, and our commitment to admissions transparency.

Entry requirements

Bachelor Degree in Nursing or other Health Science equivalent of meritorious standing (normally Distinction average in the final year).

There are many ways you can start your education journey at VU. Pathways offer an easy transition between courses at different levels, so that you can start with a certificate and progress right through to postgraduate study.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

Use our credit calculator to find out how much credit you could get towards your course, based on your previous study.

If you have completed study with another university or institution and believe you are eligible to receive credit for skills and past study, you can apply for advanced standing.

Applications for advanced standing can be made after a discussion with your course chair or academic adviser.

Additional information

(a) Academic achievement and preparation to a level that is sufficient to undertake masters level research demonstrated in any one or more of the following:
i. Qualified, at minimum, for a bachelors degree at a standard considered by the University to be sufficiently meritorious (normally Distinction average in the final year); or

ii. Qualified for any other award judged by the University to be of a relevant and appropriate standard and have:
•Produced evidence of professional experience; and
•Fulfilled any other conditions relating to prerequisite studies which the University may impose.

(b) Demonstrated competency in English sufficient to work at research masters level, through meeting one or more of the following criteria:
i. Successful completion of one of the degrees stipulated under a) i) – ii) above with English as the language of instruction and assessment and undertaken in a predominantly English speaking context; or
ii. Been taught for two of the past five years at a tertiary institution where English was the primary language of instruction; or
iii. Achieved an overall band score of not less than 6.5 in an International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) test with no individual band score below 6.0; or
iv. Achieved a score of not less than 92 and no section score less than 22 in the internet-based Teaching of English Foreign Language (TOEFL) test; or
v. Documented evidence of English proficiency equivalent to the above.

How to apply

Applications for this course are currently closed.

Please use the form below to enquire about application opening dates and anything else related to this course.

When applications are open, you will need to follow the six steps to becoming a research student.

There are steps you must take to prepare your application before it can be submitted. Visit how to apply for graduate research to find out more about preparing and submitting your application.

Enquire now

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