Work Integrated Learning

What is Work Integrated Learning?

Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is an umbrella term that is used to describe a variety of learning activities, experiences, approaches and strategies which integrate academic theory with authentic real-world work experiences. This includes internships, work placements, community engagement opportunities, industry based learning, work experience etc. WIL represents the engagement between University staff, students and industries partners to collaboratively work together and enhance a learning journey which benefits all parties.

The Faculty of Arts aims to offer a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) opportunity to every student, both at undergraduate and graduate level. WIL subjects are designed to provide students with the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge and skills in the workplace with the assistance of the industry supervisor.

Why offer internships or industry project through WIL?

By partnering with the Faculty of Arts to offer an internship to students, you will be helping to build their experiences of the workplace and the world around them. It is vital that students are given a chance to put their theoretical knowledge into practice and develop their skills in communication, relationship building and leadership to ensure they become well-rounded graduates. WIL allows the industry partner and the university to help and develop Australia’s emerging talent and workforce.

Students who are offered a placement at your organisation will gain credit towards their degree.

When can I take a student for a WIL opportunity?

Semester 1 usually starts in February and ends in June. Semester 2 starts in July and ends in November. We usually ask students to start their WIL opportunity during the semester but the start date can be flexible. For example students enrolled in Semester 1, 2017 can start their WIL opportunity in December 2016. The student and host organisation are expected to negotiate start and finish dates between themselves.

Can I take an international student for a WIL opportunity?

Absolutely. International students will enhance diversity in your organisation. They are bilingual and being a University of Melbourne student, they are considered to be among the brightest from their home country.

Host benefits

There are many benefits to offering an internship or industry project to students. The benefits include:

  • Work with an enthusiastic and passionate University of Melbourne student, who will bring the latest theories, fresh ideas and practices to your organisation
  • Add to your workforce and gain assistance from motivated students to support a special project or general work tasks during busy times
  • Provide professional development for your current staff to gain vital experience within a supervisory or coaching role
  • Develop mutually beneficial partnerships with the Faculty of Arts and wider University of Melbourne
  • Be able to trial students or prospective employees before potentially taking on graduates in your organisation

Faculty of Arts students are passionate about learning and can bring this passion and enthusiasm to your organisation.

What is the process for offering a placement to a student?

There are a number of different types of WIL subjects in the Faculty of Arts at both undergraduate and graduate level. They have varying time commitments (between 80 hours and 150 hours) and student assignments (between 3,000 and 8,000 words). Depending on the work you have available to a student(s), Faculty staff will then align your position description with a specific course.

Hosts will complete the Host Placement Form which will be accompanied by a Position Description. Once the details of the placement are received, Faculty staff will assess your proposal and its alignment to Faculty of Arts courses, and the relevant internships coordinator will be in touch. The Faculty will then promote the opportunity to relevant students for them to apply directly to you within your allocated time frames. The Faculty can also assist with the pre-screening of the applications.

There are currently two options for taking on students:

  • Offering an internship where a student will join you at your organisation
  • Offering a project which students can work on from campus

Once you have decided on the best option for you, you can complete one of the forms below.

WIL: Offering an Internship EXPRESSION OF INTEREST form

WIL: Offering an Industry Project PROJECT BRIEF SUBMISSION form

Industry Projects Subject: Project brief submission

Complete the form to submit an Industry Project for a small team of students to work on. Students will try to learn as much as possible from your organisation's official website. You may however wish to emphasise your organisation's mission/vision statement, relevant historical facts, organisational chart, and other aspects especially relevant to the project.

For your project to be included in the Semester 2, 2017 project list, please complete this form before 31 March 2017.

Projects submitted after this will be included in the 2018 project list.

Read the full 'Offering an Industry Project' information including FAQs

WIL: Offering an Industry Project PROJECT BRIEF SUBMISSION form

Host organisation roles and responsibilities

Once you have recruited your student(s), the host organisation is required to:

  • Ensure that the student is appropriately inducted into the workplace, including educating the student on the rules, regulations and workplace requirements (including Occupational Health & Safety)
  • Contact the Internship Coordinator (or other contact person) if the student is absent, ill or injured
  • Inform staff of the organisation that the student is engaged in a WIL activity and ensure the nature of the student's work is understood

Key documents



Host organisation testimonials

Biheng Zhang - National Gallery Victoria (NGV)

"National Gallery Victoria (NGV) has hosted internships for Masters Students from the Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne for many years. In recent years, the NGV Foundation has enjoyed hosting Masters Students from Arts and Cultural Management. Interns have assisted with diverse tasks including prospect research, proposal development, events coordination and exhibition opening functions.

The quality of the interns has been excellent and we find they bring with them fresh ideas and their own unique experience which enriches the work of the Foundation team. The NGV is a proud learning partner of the University of Melbourne and as such being a part of the interns' development is very rewarding and also offers development opportunities for our own staff through the supervision and mentoring of the interns."

Grace McQuilten - The Social Studio

"The Social Studio is a not-for-profit organisation that primarily supports newly arrived migrants and refugees by creating pathways to training and employment. Fundamental to our mission is advocating for and creating awareness about the challenges humanitarian migrants face, as well as transforming public perceptions about settlement and migration through events and community initiatives.

There are a number of benefits to be realised through an internship program, not only for the intern but for the organisation as well. For us, participating in internship programs with Arts students is another form of advocacy, as well as creating an opportunity for dialogue and networking. Internships also provide a platform for an exchange of ideas and opportunities to improve our operations. My past experience, both as an intern and host, reinforces two key points: 1. You can learn an enormous amount simply spending time in an organisation, being "a fly on the wall"; and 2. Internships are most successful when the organisation has the resources to supervise and support the intern. The University of Melbourne interns we have hosted at the Studio have come on board with enthusiasm. They've developed great relationships, and have encouraged us to implement practices that have improved our performance."