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(08) 9433 0533 - WA (02) 8204 4404 - NSW

  • Duration 3 years full-time or equivalent part-time
  • Duration type Full time; Part time
  • Campus Fremantle; Sydney
  • Study mode External; On campus
  • Commencement Semester 1; Semester 2
  • Program code 6301
  • CRICOS code 052527E
  • Loan Scheme RTP

Doctor of Nursing

School of Nursing & Midwifery

Are you an experienced professional with an ambition to be at the forefront of your field? The University of Notre Dame Australia is dedicated to building a strong and innovative research culture. The Doctor of Nursing offers an applied three-year program to suitably qualified individuals, leading to a thesis of approximately 80,000 words. Your thesis should bridge the theory-practice gap and practically contribute to industry-based or professional knowledge. Make the most of your career today.

Why study this program?

The Professional Doctorate is a research degree designed to meet the needs of professionals who aspire to achieve academic excellence and lead the development of knowledge within their profession. The program seeks to examine crucial professional topics and integrate professional experience with scholarly inquiry.

In particular, it aims to generate a research-based approach, providing answers to questions relevant to the professions or industry and encouraging a systematic way of collecting, analysing and interpreting data. For this reason, we recommend you seek the support of a relevant professional body, employer or industry group in defining your research area.

Program summary

The Professional Doctorate comprises coursework and a substantial research component leading to the submission of a thesis. The coursework component includes four compulsory research training courses to be completed as a prerequisite to your individual research project.

  • RSCH7000 Quantitative Research Methods
  • RSCH7001 Qualitative Research Methods
  • RSCH7002 Scholarly Reading and Writing
  • RSCH7003 Developing a Research Proposal
  • RSCH7027 Supervised Research - Nursing

The coursework will provide opportunities for you to formulate substantial elements of your planned research (e.g. topic refinement, identification and justification of the preferred research method(s), preparation of a draft proposal), and to develop personal competencies in critical analysis and scholarly writing relevant to your profession.

The completion of the coursework is facilitated by a course delivery schedule which takes into consideration that you may also be in employment during your candidature.

Full details of the program are contained in the Program Requirements .

More information regarding courses can be found at the course descriptions pages  Fremantle Sydney .


As a doctoral candidate, you are required to have a minimum of two supervisors who will provide support and academic guidance throughout your degree. Your academic supervisors will be complemented by a professional mentor, who has expertise in the industry or profession relevant to your research area.

Your supervisors and professional mentors will assist you with the preparation of your research proposal, continuing to mentor and direct you throughout the research phase and through the process of examination.

Mode of study and assessment

You may undertake the program either in a full-time or part-time capacity. The standard time for completion (not including periods of approved leave of absence) will normally be three years for a full-time student and six years for a part-time student.

The assessment of the coursework component consists of written assignments while the research component is assessed by examination of the thesis by three external reviewers.

Entry requirements

The Pro Vice Chancellor-Research, on the advice of the Dean of the School, determines admission to the Doctor of Nursing Award.

Applicants to the doctoral program are expected to satisfy the following criteria:

  • Possession of a research Masters degree by thesis or dissertation appropriate to the professional field of the applicant; or
  • Possession of a Masters degree by coursework appropriate to the professional field of the applicant completed at a superior standard; or
  • Possession of a Bachelor’s degree with Honours (typically 1st Class or Class 2A Honours level or equivalent); or
  • Possession of a Master of Philosophy; or
  • In exceptional circumstances, an equivalent academic or professional background that is considered by the Dean of the School to be an appropriate preparation for independent study and research work at doctoral level.

An applicant may be required to satisfy the Dean of the School of the ability to understand and communicate in both written and spoken English at a level adequate for the purpose of pursuing the program of study. In addition to the academic criteria listed above, applicants are normally expected to satisfy the following:

  • have a minimum of 3 years of relevant professional practice;
  • have the support of an industry or professional mentor.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Doctor of Nursing graduates will be able to:

  • Apply expert, specialised cognitive and technical skills in the design and execution of a substantial research project that makes a significant and original contribution to knowledge, professional practice and/or creative practice
  • Synthesise, evaluate, and critically analyse a substantial and complex body of knowledge and/or practice at the frontier of a field/s of research
  • Communicate research findings clearly and fluently, to both peers and the community
  • Apply knowledge of research integrity, ethics and the rights and safety of others in the conduct of research and dissemination of research findings; and
  • Conduct research with intellectual independence, creativity, adaptability, responsibility, and accountability.

Career opportunities

A Doctor of Nursing can lead to careers such as nurse educator, nurse manager, nurse practitioner, nurse researcher or research manager.

Real-world experience

You will learn from our academics, who are leaders in their field. There are no practicum requirements for this program.

Domestic Students

In accordance with the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2017, domestic research students are eligible to have all Higher Degree by Research (HDR) course fees paid for by the Commonwealth Government through a Research Training Program (RTP) Fees Offset Scholarship for the length of their degree.

Domestic students are also encouraged to apply for stipend scholarships. These scholarships are very competitive and are awarded to students of exceptional research potential. The scholarships are for the purpose of assisting with general living costs for the duration of the research degree.

International Students

The University is keen to support high calibre international students, who are eligible to apply for Commonwealth Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarships (Fees Offset and/or Stipend), and the University International Fee Remission Research Scholarship (IFRRS). For more information, please refer to the International Prospectus or visit our Scholarships section. Unless in receipt of a scholarship, all international research students are required to pay full fees for the length of their research degree.

Fees and costs

This Program has the following loan scheme(s) available for eligible students:

RTP The Research Training Program (RTP) provides block grants to support students who are undertaking a Higher Degree by Research such as a Research Doctorate or Research Masters degree. You will receive support for a maximum of two years for a Research Masters and a maximum of four years for a Research Doctorate degree. Your offer will specify for which purpose(s) your grant may be used. This may include offset of your tuition fees, as a stipend for general living costs or as an allowance related to the ancillary cost of research degrees.

For indicative fees and information on Postgraduate and Research Scholarships available, please visit our HDR Scholarships page.

More information

Considering your uni options?

Talk to one of our career advisors for a personalised advice session . Our advisors provide support while choosing a program of study and completing our application process. Book my session.

For more information, please contact our Prospective Students Office.

All international enquiries should contact the International Students Office on  [email protected] .

Other programs you may like

  • Graduate Certificate in Clinical Leadership (Aspiring Leaders)
  • Graduate Certificate in Contemporary Nursing
  • Graduate Certificate in Nursing

Student stories

Nursing student

“It is much easier to learn when there are fewer people in a class.”


“The teaching staff have been incredible – they are all experts in their own field.”

Our students give us top marks

No.1 uni in Australia Overall Employment *

No.1 uni in NSW & WA Learner Engagement **

No.1 uni in WA Skills Development ***

*2021 Graduate Outcomes Survey-Longitudinal (medium term outcome), undergraduate category, **2021 Student Experience Survey, postgraduate category and ***2021 Student Experience Survey, postgraduate category - qilt.edu.au

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