What are my options?
La Trobe University offers students a variety of placement opportunities both in industry or clinical settings and on campus in the form of industry projects.
- Placements for professional accreditation: Depending on your course of study, you may have a compulsory placement component which must be completed in order to gain professional accreditation to practice in your field. If you are studying a clinical discipline such as Nursing or Allied Health, or studying for a professional qualification such as Teacher Education, it is likely that you will have a compulsory placement component built into your course.
- Work Integrated Learning: Work Integrated Learning (WIL) subjects are practical subjects undertaken in an industry setting. Some courses include core WIL subjects which must be completed in order to be eligible for graduation (refer to your course map), and we also offer a range of elective WIL subjects, both cross-discipline and subject-specific. WIL subjects generally involve an application process as admittance often requires Subject Coordinator approval. This process can take a little bit of time so we encourage you to start planning your WIL subject the semester before your placement will take place.
- Industry Based Learning / Industry Projects: This usually consists of a project provided by a professional organisation, attached to an academic subject and undertaken for credit on completion of assessments. IBL is often undertaken in 2nd or 3rd year, with projects being completed as part of a team either on- or off-site of the organisation.
- Volunteering: If you don't have a free elective but would still like to gain some experience, the other option might be to consider volunteering (you will sometimes hear this referred to as a "co-curricular" opportunity). Volunteering can be a great way of getting to know people in your industry, working on your practical skills, and in disciplines with a broad focus (such as Science), volunteering can give you a better idea of which stream is right for you. Find out more about volunteering.
Work Integrated Learning (WIL) / Industry Based Learning (IBL)
An optional practical learning opportunity that enables you to apply what you learn at university to real workplace and increase your employability once you have graduated. WIL / IBL subjects are generally:
- undertaken as part of your course
- undertaken in a work environment relevant to your study area
- attached to an academic subject (e.g. SHE3FRW) in which you must be enrolled, and you will be expected to complete assessments based on your experience.
- for credit on successful completion of the subject.
- undertaken in 2nd or 3rd year.
A WIL / IBL placement does not guarantee a job on graduation, however undertaking a work placement can give you access to vital contacts and networks in your chosen field which can greatly help when it comes to securing employment after graduation. Regional students are also eligible to access additional support under the Regional Reward program.
Explore subject availability by college:
Health Placement (sometimes referred to as "Clinical Placement")
Health placements are an important part of many courses within the School of Allied Health, School of Nursing and Midwifery, School of Psychology and Public Health and the La Trobe Rural Health School. Health placements are a compulsory work practice experience which will allow you to link theory and practice in a meaningful way.
These placements may be undertaken in a variety of settings in a health or human service environment, and will usually involve patient or client interaction as well as observation or simulation.
Clinical experience is required for completion of all entry-to-practice courses, and also to register as a practicing health professional.
More information on discipline-specific placements can be found on the Health placements page.
Education Placement (sometimes referred to as "Professional Experience Placement")
An education placement is a practical work experience and a compulsory component of the University’s teacher education courses. It allows you to learn from an experienced practitioner and develop your skills and knowledge in real-life work settings.
These placements are undertaken with supervision, and students will usually start with observation and work with a small group in a school, education or care service. As you develop confidence and skills over a number of placements, you will take larger groups or whole class sessions.
You will need to complete the prescribed number of placement days in order to be eligible to register as a teacher or early childhood teacher with the Victorian Institute of Teaching and the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority.
You will find more information on placements in the early childhood, primary, secondary and technology education sectors at Education placements.
An optional practical learning opportunity that enables you to apply what you learn at university to real workplace and increase your employability once you have graduated. Undertaken alongside your studies, this type of placement allows you to gain experience and network in your chosen field. This type of placement is not related to any academic subject therefore you are generally not expected to complete any assignments, and you would not generally be eligible to earn credit for this type of work placement. Volunteering and other not-for-credit opportunities can be a great way of getting some extra experience, or trying out something new while exploring career options.
Benefits of Work Integrated Learning and Placements
In today's competitive jobs market, every bit of experience counts. Gain an extra advantage by completing a work placement, building your networks and learning about your future career in a hands on way!
By completing a work placement, you can:
- Develop work ready skills and boost your employability while you are studying
- Put theory into practice
- Be taught, mentored and supported by academics and experienced practitioners
- Network with colleagues and potential employers
- Get exposure to cutting-edge clinical skills and techniques