Work Integrated Learning

What is Work Integrated Learning?

Work Integrated learning (WIL) is the term given to educational activities that integrate academic learning of a discipline with its practical application in the workplace. The aim is to ensure that students develop the ability to integrate their learning through a combination of academic and work-related activities. At Murdoch University, our aspiration is to ensure that WIL is an explicit feature of our undergraduate and postgraduate programs, with an emphasis on student-centred learning.

Work Integrated Learning is embedded as a formal component of degree courses and is recognised through assessment and credit points. Learning activities are specifically designed that require students to integrate and appropriately apply previous learning and knowledge to make and justify decisions in a work-related context. In addition, students are taught and encouraged to reflect upon their own decisions and actions in those work-related activities to critically appraise themselves.

Employers are seeking graduates who can quickly become productive members of a business or an organisation. WIL is recognised as making a significant contribution to the transition of graduates to the workplace. Therefore Murdoch University is seeking to establish and maintain collaborative partnerships with business, industry, government and community organisations to prepare the workforce of the future.

Given the variety of study disciplines available at Murdoch University, there will always be a variety of expressions of WIL. Opportunities for our students to engage in WIL include:

Work placements

An opportunity for students to spend an extended period of time in an organisation where they undertake genuine work tasks with workplace supervision. Students learn to integrate previously studied theory with its practical application in the workplace and are able to develop professional competencies. Depending on the discipline, work placements may also be referred to as internships, practicums, or clinical placements.

Industry projects

Students work – either as individuals or as a team – on a real project for an industry or community partner. Projects are usually completed at one of our campuses, under the supervision of academic staff, but deliver on a brief from an industry or community client. As well as learning to integrate and apply previously studied theory, students are able to develop their skills in project management, client liaison, and may be required to work in multi-disciplinary teams.

Work simulations

Students experience a learning environment set up within the University – in consultation with industry – that simulates as many of the complexities of a real work situation as possible. Students are provided with an opportunity to integrate theory and practice as they experience a simulated work environment including prioritising multiple tasks, interpersonal dynamics, deadlines and other workplace pressures.