Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is an umbrella term used to describe learning experiences which integrate academic theory with authentic work experience.
The Faculty of Arts offers a number of WIL opportunities with government, community, corporate and industry organisations. This can include global and local internships, community volunteering, work experience, industry based learning and industry projects. WIL study programs serve as a bridge between study and work.
Work Integrated Learning activities
Discover the WIL subjects available to you as part of your degree.
Available online now, advice from students, hosts and internship professionals.
The Big Idea
An initiative from The Big Issue, designed as a competition between students from universities across Australia.
The opportunity for undergraduates to work on real business-cases in collaboration with industry partners.
Social Enterprise Incubator
The Social Enterprise Incubator subject involves designing, developing and pitching your own social enterprises over the course of a semester.
Gain an understanding of the community sector and community development through a substantial volunteer experience.
Community Volunteering Global
Delivered in partnership with Australian Volunteers International, Community Volunteering Global involves a substantial volunteer experience abroad.
Uni-Capitol Washington Internship Program
Politics and International Studies students are given the opportunity to participate in the Uni-Capitol Washington internship program, which establishes internships in the US Congress in Washington DC.
Victorian Parliamentary Internship Program
Running since 1990, the Victorian Parliamentary Internship Program places third year undergraduate students in state parliament.
Helpful resources to assist with your placement
Organising a placement
How to identify and approach potential host organisations.
Cover letter format
For use when approaching organisations, including a University of Melbourne letterhead.
Prepare a resume that stands out when you approach organisations.
You can use the University's EmployMe website to compile and download a personal resume, under the Job Applications tab. When preparing a resume for a WIL opportunity, remember to find value in your University studies. You may have studied subjects of particular relevance to your prospective placement.
The University of Melbourne is committed to ensuring the safe travel of students.
Students undertaking an internship must complete the relevant form below. The content of the submitted form will be reviewed by your internship coordinator in consultation with relevant OHS managers. Following approval, your form will be signed by your internship coordinator.
Please select your degree to discover WIL subjects
Executive Master of Arts
Master of Arts and Cultural Management
Master of Art Curatorship
Master of Arts (Professional & Applied Ethics)
Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing
Master of Criminology
Master of Cultural Material Conservation
Master of Development Studies
Master of Global Media and Communication
Master of International Relations
Master of Journalism
Master of Marketing Communications
Master of Public Administration (inc. Enhanced)
Master of Public Policy and Management
Master of Publishing and Communication
Master of Social Policy
Master of Translation (inc. Enhanced)
If studying a Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate, please refer to the relevant Masters degree listed alongside your course plan.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply?
For most Work Integrated Learning (WIL) subjects, you will be required to apply for permission to enrol.
If your WIL subject requires you to apply for permission, application details will be located in the Handbook entry for the WIL subject.
How do I find a placement?
For the most part, students are expected to source their own placements with industry. At times, the Faculty receives positions and projects from industry partners and advertises these to enrolled students.
The Faculty of Arts has prepared helpful resources and guides to assist you with the process of applying for a internship.
Can I take my placement outside of the semester?
Yes, however you must be enrolled in your WIL subject to undertake your placement.
You should arrange your placement at the most convenient time for yourself and your host organisation, enrolling in your WIL subject for the nearest semester to your intended start date.
Please advise your academic coordinator should your internship not coincide with the semester period of your enrolment.
What is a good internship?
A good internship will:
- expose you to your anticipated career path
- increase your professional networks
- give you experiential learning experiences and challenge you
- give you confidence in your existing skill set and tells you where you can improve
- integrate your academic with your professional learning and bring both into critical interrogation
You may also develop:
- capacity to reflect and exercise professional judgement
- self-awareness to identify appropriate goals, mentors and communication methods
- a realistic evaluation of your own hard and soft skills
- increase your ability to self-assess your preparedness for a task and negotiate help
- professional writing skills (sometimes including report writing skills)
I've enrolled, now what happens next?
Once you have successfully applied and enrolled in your WIL subject, you will be contacted by your academic coordinator and Faculty staff.
Before you begin your placement, it is important that you:
- Student conduct, risk management and health and safety forms
- Vocational Placement Letter of Agreement (VPLA)
- Establish your eligibility for relevant insurance policies, including workplace public liability insurance
- Establish your eligibility to receive course credit as a result of your WIL experience
- If travelling overseas, confirm your travel plans with global mobility
A timeline for the completion of these documents will be provided to you.
Vocational Placement Letter of Agreement (VPLA)
Before the placement can commence, it is important that your host organisation signs a VPLA. In order for Faculty staff to send your VPLA out to your host organisation, the following details of your internship will have to have been agreed on:
- Timing (start and end dates, including work days per week)
- Supervisors/co-supervisor at the host organisation
- Envisaged activities during the placement
It is generally recommended that your VPLA be agreed upon four weeks in advance of your start date. You will be required to sign the deed in this legal contract.
You may also be interested in the Internships Q&A
If you can't find what you need in our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs),
please get in touch