Doctor of Nursing Science

Course code





Medicine, Health and Molecular Sciences

Award Requirements


Academic Requirements

Course Structure





Advanced Standing

Award Details

Admission Requirements


Completion of a bachelor degree in nursing with Honours class I or IIA, the Higher Degrees by Research Sub-Committee (HDRS-C) on the advice of the Head of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition; or

Completion of a research masters degree in nursing or a related discipline approved by Head of School; or

Completion of a coursework masters degree in nursing or a related discipline, approved by the Head of School, comprising at least one-third research methodology and practice in which a Credit grade point average was obtained; or

Other qualifications and professional experience judged by the Head of School and the Dean of Postgraduate Studies to provide a preparation for study equivalent to that provided above and appropriate to commencing study in the Doctor of Nursing Science Program.

Special admission requirements

Applicants must have a minimum of five years post-registration experience or experience approved by the Head of School.


Confirmation of candidature

The candidate shall apply to have their candidature confirmed:

  • normally within the first six months of enrolment for a full-time candidate; or

  • normally within the first 12 months of enrolment for a part-time candidate.

Expected time to complete

3 years full-time or equivalent part-time

Maximum time to complete

10 years

Maximum leave of absence

1 year

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Minimum EFTSL (equivalent full-time student load) to complete


Expected EFTSL to complete


Additional course rules

A candidate must maintain regular contact with the School as required by the candidate’s Principal Supervisor.

Course Structure

Core Subjects

NS6210:06  Integrated Literature Review

PD7214:00  Professional Doctorate Research Thesis (Nursing Sciences)


Select 18 credit points of specified NS level 6 subjects

NS6020:03  Research: Theory and Methodology

NS6040:03  Clinical Governance Project

NS6070:06  Practice Development Project

NS6090:06  Community Engagement in Health Sciences

NS6095:06  Evidence Based Practice

NS6100:06  Doctoral Specialisation 1

NS6110:06  Doctoral Specialisation 2

NS6230:06  Politics for Nursing Leadership

NS6250:06  Traditions of Nursing Thought 1

NS6260:06  Traditions of Nursing Thought 2


Appointment of Supervisors

Candidates shall be assigned a Principal Supervisor and a co-Supervisor, both of whom shall be members of the staff of the University and on the Register of Supervisors of the University.

One associate supervisor will be appointed on account of his or her professional experience and special knowledge of the candidate’s intended program of study. This person need not be from the health service, but should have appropriate expertise and professional experience to provide an industry perspective.  These supervisors will provide support and advice to the candidate on matters pertaining to their overall performance.

Associate supervisors with the requisite methodological and specialist skills may be appointed for discrete research dissertations as deemed appropriate by the course coordinator.

Supervisors’ reports

The Principal Supervisor will be required to report annually on the candidate’s work. If, in the opinion of the Head of School, the candidate’s progress is unsatisfactory, the Head of School may recommend to the HDRS-C the termination of candidature or other action she or he deems necessary.


Progression requirements

A candidate’s course of study shall be subject to approval by the HDRS-C, on the recommendation of the Head of School, for each year of candidature.

Exit seminar

A candidate shall at a seminar present an overview and synthesis of major findings of the portfolio in a public forum during the final year of candidature.


Thesis requirements

A portfolio of work must be submitted for examination. The portfolio will include:

  • a 50,000 word collection of scholarly and research products from work completed in the structured doctoral specialisation and research tasks of the program (or permitted under the policy for advanced standing). Probable inclusions are: a conference presentation (slide show, text of presentation, published abstract); a research paper published in a refereed academic journal relevant to the professional career of the candidate; formal monograph used for dissemination of research findings within the candidate’s professional organisation;

  • an overview of 3,000-5,000 words that describes the relationship of the work to the professional practice of the candidate and to the work of others.

Candidates are encouraged to publish work during candidature and published works may be included in the portfolio provided they or their substantive content have not been submitted for advanced standing for another academic qualification.

An original and three copies of the portfolio must be submitted to the Graduate Research School for examination.

Appointment of Examiners

The Higher Degrees by Research Sub-Committee (HDRS-C) will appoint examiners on the advice of the relevant Head of School.

Examiners will be fully briefed on the nature of the Doctor of Nursing Science program and be made cognisant of the proportion of the program to be assessed through the material they examine.


Successful candidates must be judged through examination to have made a significant contribution to knowledge and practice in their profession.

The portfolio will be examined by a minimum of two and a maximum of three examiners. Two of the examiners must be external to the University.

The HDRS-C, on the recommendation of the examiners, may require the candidate to undertake a further written or oral examination on the topics covered in the portfolio.

Examiners’ reports

Examiners’ reports and the recommendations that follow from them will be dealt with in the same way as other doctoral degrees, that is, through a recommendation from the relevant Head of School to the Higher Degrees by Research Sub-Committee (HDRS-C).

The HDRS-C, on consideration of the reports of the examiners, may recommend:

  • the award of the degree; or

  • the award of the degree subject to revision of components of the portfolio to the satisfaction of the relevant Head of School; or

  • not award the degree; or

  • appoint another examiner; or

  • invite the candidate to resubmit the portfolio for an appropriate Masters degree; or

  • require the candidate to resubmit the portfolio or parts thereof either rewritten or containing further research material for re-examination for the degree of Doctor of Nursing Science.


Appeal procedures

As per the University appeals procedure for Doctor of Philosophy. See University Requirements for Doctor of Philosophy.

Advanced Standing


Advanced standing is permitted for previous work deemed to be at a doctoral level and any research or scholarly products from this work may be submitted as part of the portfolio up to a maximum of 10,000 words.

Maximum allowed

I year

Other restrictions

Advanced standing is granted at the discretion of the Dean of Postgraduate Studies on advice from the relevant Head of School.

Award Details

Inclusion of majors on testamur

Not applicable – this course does not have majors

Exit with a lesser award

Not applicable