Work Integrated Learning

Work Integrated Learning (WIL) at UNSW is another aspect of our commitment to developing career ready graduates equipped to succeed in today’s professional world. WIL are student work learning experiences supported by the university that include professional development and reflective practice, to enhance student experience and employment outcomes. 

WIL is the next step in the journey towards your career. Getting industry experience while studying provides you with practical skills that will significantly improve your chances of getting the job you want when you graduate.  

UNSW Arts & Social Sciences has a range of WIL opportunities, from traditional placements to online project-based internships. We work with industry partners to create placements in Australia and overseas that you can undertake as a free or prescribed elective, a core course in your degree, or a course towards your major.  

WIL is an opportunity to gain a competitive edge and take part in an opportunity to fast-track your career.  

Benefits of Work Integrated Learning  

  • Gain credit towards your degree 
  • Develop essential soft skills including communication, team-work, time management, confidence and problem-solving
  • Strengthen your CV 
  • Apply theory to real life situations 
  • Gain real-word and practical experience in everyday work life and industry culture 
  • Build professional networks 
  • Gain a competitive edge as an entrepreneur or a job-seeker in a dynamic market

Find out how you can become a Work Integrated host organisation.


WIL refers to work learning experiences undertaken by you as part of your program of study.

WIL at UNSW must be:

  • Embedded in a course and have an assigned unit of credit value; and/or
  • A program requirement for those professions that require a minimum level of work experience to receive accreditation

The advantages of undertaking a WIL course include:

  • Accessing and exploring the world of work before you graduate
  • Building professional networks to support your transition into the workforce
  • Enhancing your CV with real-world experiences closely aligned with your career trajectory
  • Gaining degree credit for experiential learning that contributes to work-readiness
  • Undertaking an experience that is fully insured by UNSW
  • Undertaking work learning activities that are measured against quality benchmarks for learning and assessment

UNSW offers insurance for all students completing internships/ placements for course credit approved by UNSW. If you are paid, then you are considered an employee and would need to be covered by the employer for workers' compensation and professional liability. Please note that UNSW insurance does not cover you for incidents related to the use of a motor vehicle while undertaking an internship/ a placement and may not cover you for placements outside of Sydney.

Please refer to “Travel Insurance,” “ Professional Indemnity” and “Insurance Liability” under UNSW insurance for details.

It depends on the WIL course. There are specific time patterns for placements integrated into Education and Social Work Degrees, please refer to Education and Social Work for details.

ARTS3758 and ARTS3759 offered throughout all terms, however, opportunities vary depending on the mobility of host organisations.

For HUMS2000, HUMS2003, CRIM3025 and all Arts & Media WIL courses, you would undertake one of the courses alongside your internship. Please refer to the overview UNSW3+ internship timing in conjunction with the offering term(s) for your course.

Placements integrated into Education and Social Work Degrees are sourced and allocate by the WIL unit in the Faculty. Placement allocation is dependent on the offers that are made to the university by host organisations.

For other WIL courses, you are required to source your own internships. The best place to start is to begin by undertaking some research into the particular area of the industry that you would like to complete your internship.

There is a self-enrolling Moodle site provides details about current opportunities that are updated on a regular basis.

You may also find some ideas at UNSW Careers and Employment

Internships are also regularly advertised on Zoom, Seek, CareerOne and other specialist media career websites.

Placements integrated into Education and Social Work degrees are compulsory and they have strict working patterns. Please refer to Education and Social Work for details.

For other WIL course, you may undertake a full-time or part-time internship as long as the host organisation is agreeable, you do not miss classes, and you complete the minimum required hours. You may not undertake a full-time internship if it clashes with any of your timetabled classes in any unit of study. For this reason, full-time placements are usually undertaken during summer or term breaks

Students who wish to complete their required hours during the summer or term breaks must have it approved prior to starting their hours. Hours will not be counted retrospectively.

Social work field placements as a part of the Social Work programs and Professional Experience as a part of pre-service Education programs at UNSW are compulsory and unpaid.

For internships in other WIL courses, host organisation may also offer unpaid or paid internships. We recommend you review Fair Work Australia guidelines to understand your rights.

You cannot use an existing job. You cannot apply/enrol in a WIL course for work experience that has already concluded and you cannot receive course credit for it. The opportunity must have a start date and end date.

For general Arts Internships, Arts & Media Internships, Humanities & Languages Internships and Criminology Internship, please contact the WIL Team to express your interest in undertaking a degree credit WIL course.

For Social Work Placements, please email the Social Work WIL Team.

For Education Placements, please email the Education WIL Team.


Students have the option to enrol annually for all courses they would like to undertake the following year. There will still be an option to enrol on a term-by-term basis, but it should be noted that courses that have a capacity limit will be filled on a first in first served basis. Registration for classes (tutorials, lectures, labs) will open approximately 8-10 weeks before the start of each term, and students will register for classes on a term-by-term basis.

Generally, students have the option to change their enrolment up until the enrolment deadline for each term. Enrolments for new courses must be finalised by the end of week one of the relevant Term. Course withdrawals must be submitted by Census date occurring at the end of week 4 for Standard Terms to avoid financial penalty.

Note: For WIL courses, please apply at least 2 weeks before Census date as you need to undergo the application process. If you apply too close to Census day, you may not be able to enrol in WIL course It is recommended that you map out your university journey in advance and look at where you can fit in a WIL course. Every degree is different, and the requirements for the course are different, so it is important you do your research.

It is strongly recommended that you have a plan B for your studies that you can pursue if you are unable to secure an internship/work experience. We recommend that you enrol in your plan B options in October of the year before and then apply for the WIL course/vary your enrolment when you have secured an opportunity.

It depends on the WIL course. SOCW3012, SOCW3013, SOCW4017, SOCW4018, EDST6760, EDST6761, EDST5325 and EDST2002 as a part Social Work Degree and Education Degree are self-enrolled courses. Other WIL courses are by application.

You must have secured your own internship before applying to enrol in a WIL course.

To apply for enrolment into a WIL course, please refer:

• Faculty of Arts & Social Science

• School of the Arts & Media

• School of Humanities and Languages

Note: For WIL courses, please apply at least 2 weeks before Census date as you need to undergo the application process. If you submit your application to close to the Census date, you might not be able to enrol in the course even you are eligible. It is recommended that you map out your university journey in advance and look at where you can fit in a WIL course. Every degree is different, and the requirements for the course are different, so it is important you do your research.

Interstate and International internships are subject to the approval by the School. If you are considering an interstate or international internship, please email WIL unit at for advice before approaching a potential host.

To find out if you are eligible to undertake an internship, please contact the Study Abroad Office at UNSW. Eligible study abroad students are subject to the same rules and requirements as local students. Please see Study Abroad program for more information.

Yes, international students can undertake WIL following the same guidelines. However, it is of utmost importance for international students to seek advice from Student Development International (SDI) to understand any potential impacts to their study visa and be responsible for their own regular progression checks to ensure they stay on track.

Yes, if they adjust study load in other terms to compensate and not delay their progression. You'll need to apply for a reduced study load if you intend to take less than eight courses across the year. If progression is delayed, you'll need to explore visa extensions.

Yes, WIL is an academic component of a degree offered by UNSW and is therefore part of a CRICOS registered program and is reflected in the Confirmation of Enrolment. Students may be able to have their student visa granted to cover this part of the program. Where the student holds a valid student visa, they will be able to return to Australia to continue their study of the same program.

No, international students can take up to 30% of their studies online.

Yes, if the paid work hours are for fulfilling a WIL requirement, they will not be restricted to 40 hours per fortnight.

If in Australia, they cannot exceed hours stipulated in course/program outline. If outside of Australia, the student would need to check if there are local regulations they need to follow.