Work Integrated Learning

Integrating Study & Work Experience

UNSW School of Social Sciences aims to provide every student in undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs with the opportunity to undertake a placement, internship or practicum. We refer to this as ‘work integrated learning’ and it's an integral part of our engagement with external organisations.

Work integrated learning is all about putting theory into practice. Hear from students at UNSW School of Social Sciences and their host organisations as they share their first-hand experiences in this short video.

Field Placement

As a Social Work student, you have the opportunity to focus on particular contexts or methods of practice, directed by the elective courses and placements you chose.

You'll undertake two field placements during your degree:

  1. The first unpaid Social Work placement is in Terms 1 and 2 of third year and involves 70 days (490 hours in total) placement in an agency.
  2. The second unpaid Social Work placement is in Term 2 and 3 of fourth year and involves 70 days (490 hours in total) of placement in an agency.

Placements evolve from the School’s ongoing discussions with social work practitioners and students, and facilitate preparation for professional practice. Most students report increased motivation to continue their studies or enter the workforce, and many have received job offers upon graduation. Each placement also involves compulsory seminars on campus.

Testimonials

"My rural placement has provided the experience of working with the ongoing intergenerational disadvantage and marginalisation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in a community where they make up 40% of the population. Daily lunchtime walks along the spectacular Murray River are a great form of self-care."

Matthew, Dareton NSW 2017

"My time on both my placements has been fundamental to my ability to apply classroom and assignment knowledge to real world experiences. Understanding the bureaucratic, government funded workplace at Westmead Hospital enabled me to develop an appreciation of how social workers are able to influence and challenge the multidisciplinary team that we work with, advocating for change to better the experiences of our clients. Whilst my level four placement has challenged me to reflect on how I can professionally identify as a social worker in a very small non-government organisation in which social workers are a rarity. Recognising what I can offer not only to my clients but also my team has been just as important to me as being able to apply the theories and micro-skills that we learn along the university learning experience."

Libby Wyatt, Westmead Hospital 2018

"My social work placement through SOCW4014 really set the scene for what life would be like in the social work profession and how diverse the work could be. The connections I made, networks I became a part of and skills I developed on placement were invaluable."

Hannah Benjamin, St Vincent’s Hospital & The Mater Hospital 2018

Our Social Research and Policy degree gives you the opportunity to gain practical experience related to your area of interest. Work placements are provided as part of the core course for the Bachelor of Social Research & Policy. These evolve from the School’s ongoing discussions with industry partners, practitioners and students, and facilitate a supportive transition into the workplace by providing the best fit for all parties involved.

Third year students may be able to pursue a structured and supported vocational placement designed to provide an understanding of organisational contexts and the development of professional skills.

A range of placements will be offered to students including:

  • UNSW Research Centres
  • UNSW administrative branches and other relevant UNSW organisations
  • mentoring placement with UNSW academic staff members
  • organisations outside UNSW organised by the internship coordinator
  • organisations identified by the student and agreed upon by the Internship coordinator

Most students report increased motivation to continue their studies or enter the workforce, and many have received job offers upon graduation

Please follow the link below to fill out the registration form.

Use the self-enrolment key “student_SRAP3006” to access the Moodle page.

Testimonials

"SRAP3006 has been one of the most rewarding and valuable courses that I have undertaken during my studies at UNSW. Not only does this course show you what life is like beyond university, but it tailors your vocational placement for an industry that you are interested in. I believe that from this course I found the industry that is perfect for me, one I want to be a part of. From the connections I’ve made during my placement I am now excited to see what my future brings."

Josh Frumar, Oz Medicann Group 2018

Students in our undergraduate program have the opportunity to include a degree credit internship which provides the opportunity to gain valuable experience in a variety of development related organisations internationally.

If you are taking part in our undergraduate program, you have the opportunity to include a degree credit internship in your third year which provides the opportunity to gain valuable experience in a variety of development related organisations internationally. Through ARTS3758 Global Change Internship, you gain international exposure and a deeper understanding of the political, social and cultural context of a development context.

This internship provides a one-of-a-kind experience to help you understand context-sensitive development in practice and gain valuable professional experience. Past student interns have described it as a ‘life-changing experience’. ARTS3759 is a prepatory course which is completed in conjunction with ARTS3758.

If you are interested in applying, please note that student cannot enrol themselves into this course. This is obtained by submitting an EOI and undertaking a selection interview. Once successful the WIL Unit will enrol you into both courses.

Use the self-enrolment key “wil_internship” to access the Moodle page.

Testimonials

"My internship with ChildFund Laos was an empowering and rewarding experience. Through the hands-on learning, I was able to transfer some theory to real life practices, which elucidated to me the concepts of development and implications of ethical practices. The internship has given me an invaluable real-life taste of working in development. I have gained not only a better understanding of the professional expectations from the industry, but also an opportunity to enhance my cultural competence and essential soft skills required for future career development."

Sandy Wang, Laos 2018

Hear from the CEO of ChildFund with our students and the Vietnam team

FAQs

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When will ARTS3758 be offered?

Likely offered in Term 3 and another Term (TBC). We will announce the offer the Term before it occurs. By filling out an EOI on the information Moodle page , you will be made alert to when an opportunity is available.

It will be offered dependant on certain variables:

  • The location of the organisation
  • The needs of the organisation
  • Climate
  • Cultural events
  • Religious events

Can I enrol myself?

No. Students must fill out an application form and go through a selective interview process before they are accepted into the course. Work-integrated-learning will enrol you into ARTS3758 and ARTS3759 once you have been successful in applying.

Can I find my own internship?

No. The course convenor has developed relationships with partner organisations over time. The course convenor provides the internship opportunities

Who can apply?

The following are minimum guidelines:

  • Enrolled in a Major associated with the School of Social Sciences (Politics/IR, Sociology/Anthropology, Development Studies, Social Work, Criminology, Social Research and Policy)
  • Enrolled in a Development Studies Minor
  • A minimum of 84 UoC completed in your Degree
  • Responded to an internship call with an application
  • WAM of 75

Students will need to Major or Minor in Development studies for any ChildFund opportunities advertised.

Organisational units