Master of Cultural Studies -- Internship information

Information for students

The Master of Cultural Studies program focuses on how to effectively research and analyse cultural forms and practices, including questions raised around identities, communities, representation, and the forms and practices of everyday life. The program provides students with tools to analyse how culture is produced, circulated and changed. These skills are profoundly enriching for study and work in the humanities and social sciences as well as law, the physical sciences, government and education.

The Master of Cultural Studies Internship offers an opportunity for direct work experience in a range of organisations, businesses and institutions undertaking or requiring cultural research or analysis. This may range from education, legal, policy or popular culture research to consumer or community ethnography. Students will complete two units: GCST5906 Cultural Studies Internship Placement, and GCST 5907 Cultural Studies Internship Project; a research project based on their internship placement experience. Both units develop students’ understanding of cultural research in theory and in practice and their capacity to conduct independent research.

When can I do my internship?

You may take your internship placement (GCST5906) at any time during your Masters or Graduate Diploma candidature.

Is the internship available to students who are not doing a Master of Cultural Studies?

Yes, in specific cases. The two internship units are postgraduate coursework units. They are available to students doing the Master of Cultural Studies and the Diploma of Cultural Studies. They are also available to students undertaking the Master of Arts by research, as well as students enrolled in the Doctor of Arts and Doctor of Social Sciences. Students enrolled in the PhD or MPhil who feel they would benefit from placement in a professional setting should consult with the Internship Officer about how to approach this.

How long is the internship?

Twenty working days (7 hours per day, 140 hours total). Please note that weekends, public holidays, sick leave, study commitments, etc. are not included in these twenty days.

I'm not sure what I would like to do for my internship. Where can I get some ideas?

Please feel free to contact the Internship Officer.

Will you organise my internship for me?

There will be a number of internships available every year. It is the Internship Officer’s job to secure this ‘return business’. Interns have an important role to play in this process, by displaying professional behaviour while out on placement. It is also the Internship Officer’s job to secure new internships year after year.

Can I organise my own internship?

If you prefer to find your own internship, you are quite welcome to do your own legwork. A letter of support is available from the Internship Coordinator. You must contact the Internship Officer to ensure that the placement you are going after meets our criteria. You are also responsible for getting the Internship Offer form filled out and back to the Internship Officer.

I have a job in a relevant industry - can I count this towards my internship?

Yes. If you already have a job that fits the general criteria of an MCS internship, then this can be credited towards your internship if you so wish. If you work in a relevant organisation then you may be able to negotiate with your employer to take on some relevant work. You are still welcome to do a placement somewhere else if you wish. Please note that you are not covered by the University's insurance if you are undertaking paid work.

I am thinking of doing an exchange during 3rd or 4th semester - can I do my internship overseas?

While you cannot complete an internship as part of your study load while on exchange, we are happy for students to undertake relevant internships while overseas. You may wish to do the internship before or after your exchange or while travelling. However, you must find your own internship position, subject to the approval of the Department. Contact the Internship Officer if you are considering this option.

Can I do the internship full-time or part-time?

Yes, either is acceptable to us, as long as the host organisation is agreeable and you complete the minimum 20 working days.

Can I do the internship in the Christmas or mid-year break?

Yes. In the interests of flexibility, we will allow you to complete the internship during the holidays. You would usually be enrolled in Summer or Winter School, or for the semester which follows.

When will my internship start?

Not all internships start at the beginning of semester. Many students will not start until later in the semester. However, everyone gets the same amount of time to complete their written work.

What is the assessment for the internship?

There are two units of study for the internship:
GCST5906 Cultural Studies Internship Placement and
GCST 5907 Cultural Studies Internship Project. Assessment information is available at the links provided.

I am interested, what do I do next?

Please complete the Expression of Interest form and return to the Internship Officerto start the process. The Internship Officer will contact you to arrange further information.

What if I have problems at my internship?

Unfortunately, sometimes students do face difficulties in internship placements. If you are concerned about any aspect of your internship, please phone the Internship Officer immediately on 9351 2473. The sooner that we are involved, the more likely that a positive outcome can be arranged. This includes the scenario where you are not given work appropriate to your degree level. Don't sit on the problem; let us know!