Work Integrated Learning

About Work Placements

Depending on your discipline, work placements may also be referred to as internships, practicums, or clinical placements. Essentially, it is an extended period of time spent in the work environment of a host organisation undertaking a structured program of work with suitable workplace supervision.

Finding a work placement

In some courses, where work placements are a compulsory part of your studies, the School will have established relationships with workplace partners and ongoing support in placement arrangements that match you to a particular organisation.

In other disciplines specifically designed work placement units are available as elective options, usually in your final year. To request information about work placement units applicable to your degree program or discipline click here. Where this option is available to you available work placements, suitable for enrolment in a work placement unit, are advertised by the Work Integrated Learning program. Depending on your discipline, other opportunities may be made available through your School, and it may also be acceptable for you to source your own work placement position.

Academic credit

All work placements completed through the Work integrated Learning program are unpaid and are completed in conjunction with enrolment in a unit of study. Depending on the discipline, these units range from 3 to 12 credit points. Work placement units have assessment items that need to be satisfactorily completed, just like other units. The assessment will vary depending on the discipline, but common assessment items include a work proposal, a portfolio of your work or a report, a reflective journal, and a presentation to your peers, workplace supervisor and/or academic staff. In many cases a report from your workplace supervisor may be considered in your grade. The Unit Information and Learning Guide should provide you with detail on what is required.

Hours in the workplace

The Unit Information and Learning Guide will provide information on the number of hours required to be completed in the workplace. As a rule of thumb, you can expect to spend the equivalent of one week of full-time work (36-40 hours) per credit point. Often there is some flexibility in how these hours can be accumulated – for example 1 day / week, or as an intensive block working full-time during the summer semester. These hours do not include the time required for the completion of assessment. You may also be expected to attend some tutorials or workshops on campus during your work placement.

Productive work

All work placements should challenge you and extend your learning in a relevant professional environment. You will not just be observing, filing or making coffee. You will be expected to contribute productively to the organisation during your placement. The structured program of work will be arranged between you, your workplace supervisor and your academic supervisor to ensure that the experience enables you to meet the learning outcomes of the work placement unit.

There is an information booklet available to download, prepared specifically to help students learn how to make the most of Work Integrated Learning.