Objectives To investigate the associations between knowledge and perceptions of diabetes mellitus (DM) among nursing students from Japan and Australia; and to compare curriculum differences. Research Design and Methods Cross-sectional study. Convenience sample of students from Japan (N��=��78) and Australia (N��=��85) in their final year were surveyed. Students reported demographic details, and perceptions towards caring for patients with DM. The 23-item Michigan Diabetes Knowledge Test (MDKT) was used to assess general knowledge, and seven additional questions were used to assess DM-related clinical knowledge (CDKT). Multivariate logistic regression models were used to determine the associations between knowledge and perceptions. The curricula of the two universities were compared through a review of teaching hours on DM, teaching methods, class sizes and self-reported number of DM patients cared for during clinical placement. Results Australian students were more likely to be aware of DM and identified caring for more patients on clinical placement during the course. They also performed better on the CDKT in comparison to the Japanese students (71.43% versus 65.02%). When teaching models were compared, the Japanese curriculum dedicated more hours to didactic classroom teaching on DM and had a smaller teacher to student ratio. While both groups felt they received enough classroom education on DM, the Japanese students self-reported lower perceived competency, self-confidence, and felt less prepared to care for DM patients. However Japanese students performed slightly better on the MDKT than Australian students (74.25% versus 70.03%). Being from Japan was a predictor for high MDKT score (>��73.91%), while perceived preparedness was a predictor for high CDKT score (>��71.43%). Conclusions Statistically significant differences in DM knowledge (CDKT score) between students were found. There remains room for improvement, particularly a need for increased teaching hours at University and greater clinical practice time caring for patients with DM, to further improve knowledge and skills.