Academic and Research Network

The La Trobe Academic and Research Network (ARN) is the University's network of health and community services partners. The ARN contains organisations that link or partner with La Trobe to provide student placements, contribute to the delivery of education programs, collaborate in research or undertake other joint activities. The ARN includes La Trobe's Clinical Schools and several health research units.

The ARN is part of a long-term strategy for La Trobe's College of Science, Health and Engineering, and in particular the Schools of Nursing and Midwifery, Allied Health and La Trobe Rural Health School, to create a platform for collaboration and integration with health and community services. The ARN allows La Trobe to contribute to development of a stronger health workforce, to encourage the exchange of ideas, and to provide a continuum between research, theoretical concepts and practice.

The La Trobe ARN currently consists of three metropolitan regions: southern, northern and eastern, and one rural region. Each of these contains clusters of smaller and larger agencies grouped together by location, and roughly defining a catchment area for student placements and other ARN activities. Within each of these regions, La Trobe has dedicated 'hubs' including teaching spaces, Clinical Schools, clinics and research sites.

Additionally, these hubs are a central focus for La Trobe partnerships and connections with the surrounding and associated community facilities, including community health centres, mental health facilities, private hospitals and clinics, and DHS funded human service facilities.

Studying and placements in the ARN

The Academic and Research Network and Clinical Schools are the location for the majority of placements, lectures, workshops and practical skills classes for students in the final two years of undergraduate Nursing and Midwifery degrees, and the final 18 months to 2 years of Allied Health degrees including Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Speech Pathology, Dietetics and Social Work. La Trobe post-graduate courses in Nursing and Midwifery are also offered at ARN Clinical Schools.

The ARN and ARN Clinical Schools give students access to:

  • unique courses that are closely integrated with health services
  • challenging and rewarding clinical placements
  • state-of-the-art Clinical Simulation laboratories
  • opportunities for multi-disciplinary learning and the chance for students to mix with students of other disciplines
  • teaching, mentoring and support from both La Trobe academics and current experienced practitioners
  • exposure to cutting-edge clinical skills and techniques.

With direct access to health services for placement, and health organisation and clinician involvement in teaching, La Trobe graduates have:

  • experience gained from exposure to health workplaces
  • ability to develop links into services' job opportunities and recruitment networks and a sense of belonging with the organisation
  • up-to-date skills and experience with applying knowledge and theory directly in practice
  • health services' input into courses to ensure currency and relevance of the curriculum.


The ARN is a unique part of the broader La Trobe program of research, with researchers and affiliates from the schools of Allied Health, Nursing and Midwifery, Cancer Medicine and Public Health, and Psychology undertaking research in partnership with health and community services and their staff - often in partnership with other Universities.

Our ARN research programs aim to:

  • undertake world-class research that that addresses questions relevant and applicable to our health and community service partners, and involving the communities they serve
  • solve clinical questions to improve the care and health of the community
  • establish research collaborations that bring closer connections between researchers and health and community services, including research that draws together different health and academic disciplines
  • build research capacity and culture through supporting clinicians to develop research skills, and providing opportunity to complete research higher degrees with La Trobe

Details of the ARN Clinical Schools, teaching, researchers and research themes for each location is available on the following pages: