Information for students interested in applying for the Parliamentary Internship program, Public Affairs Internship program and Masters of Development Studies Internship program.

The task of education should be, first and foremost, the transmission of ideas of value, of what to do with our lives. E.F. Schumacher

The School of Social and Political Sciences offers a range of internship subjects at undergraduate and graduate levels. Internships are a formal, structured period of holistic and tailored learning that combine class teaching, individual supervision and a substantial period of placement at a host organisation. Internships are integrated in, and credited to students' degrees.

These subjects offer curriculum and support in the context of workplace-based learning over a significant period of time, usually within a given semester. These experiences improve skills and sometimes also identify skill gaps in self-efficacy, professionalism, organisational and content knowledge. These subjects help to prepare students to enter the workforce, change career pathways and gain practice insights to enhance their studies.

What makes a great internship experience?

Every internship is unique. However, there are some common characteristics:

  • Teaches you different professional writing skills and/or report writing skills
  • Increases your self-awareness and helps you to identify good mentors
  • Gives you more confidence in your existing skill set and tells you where you can improve
  • Confirms or rejects your anticipated career choice (are you a fit with the industry/field…)
  • Gives you exponential learning experiences and challenges you
  • Exposes you to and increases your professional networks
  • Integrates your academic with your professional learning and brings both into critical interrogation

Eligibility requirements

Applications are assessed and are based on selection criteria outlined in the Handbook links below. Please be aware that limited numbers are accepted into each of the internship subjects and that BA students can only do one internship subject during their degree.


Third year Arts students majoring in Politics and International Studies

Third year Arts students majoring in Sociology


Honours and Masters in Criminology or Sociology

Master of International Relations

Master of Public Policy & Management, Master of Public Administration

Master of Social Policy

Master of Development Studies

Please note: All internship subjects require an application form to be submitted online. See application process.

Arts Internship (MULT20010 and MULT30019) is offered through the Faculty of Arts. For more information please visit the Faculty of Arts Internships web page.

Application process

All students, local and international, must apply using the application form in the Handbook by the deadline (see relevant Handbook entry). Honours students can apply after the due date, as soon as they have been admitted into the Honours program. Applications are assessed and based on selection criteria outlined in the Handbook links above. Students cannot enrol until they have obtained permission from the Coordinator. Students are advised to enrol in other subjects until they are notified and then change their enrolment.

The School runs information sessions to assist students to make informed choices regarding the internship experience.

Contact hours and assessment

Contact hours are to be determined in consultation with the placement organisation and the Internships Coordinator. However, the subject assumes a minimum of 200 hours in the placement, which is equivalent to about five weeks full-time. Most students take the placement on the basis of up to two days a week for the semester. This is indicative only.

Students are also required to attend briefing sessions with the Internships Coordinator. These cover issues to do with pre-placement support, preparing for, conducting, and writing up public policy research or portfolio work. Students will be informed of the dates and location of the sessions once enrolled in the subject and prior to the start of semester.

Internship assessment varies but usually consists of writing a report or portfolio for the placement agency and a reflection. See the Handbook for details.

Conduct during an internship

While in the workplace students represent the reputation of the programme and the University. It is important that students are aware that the impression they make and the work they do reflects on the School and on future interns. Students should not leave the placement without formally submitting a report or completing other assigned tasks, other than in exceptional circumstances, of which both the Coordinator and the workplace supervisor should be aware.

Risk assessment forms

These forms are crucial to commencing an internship. Students must ensure that these forms are completed and returned to the Internship Coordinator before commencing the internship.

Students must first be accepted into the internship subject before enrolling in that subject.


SSPS Internships