In this study, a deformation mechanism map of metallic nanocrystalline materials (NCMs) using the phase mixture model is proposed. It is based on recent modelling that appears to provide a conclusive description of the phenomenology and the mechanisms underlying the mechanical properties of NCMs. The proposed models adopted the concept of a ‘phase mixture’ in which the grain interior and the grain boundaries are treated as separate phases. The volume fraction of this grain boundary ‘phase’ may be quite appreciable in a NCM. Based on the theoretical model that provides an adequate description of the grain size dependence of plasticity covering all grain size range from coarse down to the nanoscale, the tensile deformation response of NCMs, especially focusing on the deformation mechanisms was investigated. The deformation mechanism map is newly proposed with axes of strain rate, grain size and temperature.