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NEXT Innovation Program


The 'NEXT' Innovation Accelerator is a national work integrated learning experience supported by Deloitte, Westpac, IAG, and CSIRO. NEXT provides an opportunity for university students to step through a 12 week innovation accelerator program, gain real industry experience and essential professional skills. Watch video.

NEXT is a for credit unit of study in the Masters of Commerce and Masters of Professional Accounting. Students are offered industry mentors, on-sight skills workshops, access to subject experts and the opportunity to pitch their innovations by Westpac, Deloitte, CSIRO and IAG.

Semester 2 2018

Course Duration

30 July - 24 November 2018

Formal Acceptance Made

30 April 2018

Student Information Session

24 May 2018, 4-5pm in Abercrombie Building, Lecture Theatre 2150 Register Now

Student Applications open

Applications now open, and will close at 11.59pm on 7 June 2018


Enrolment into the program or unit of study is selective and only those students who successfully proceed through the selection process are considered for placements. Students from the Masters of Commerce and the Masters of Professional Accounting are eligible to apply.

The selection criteria for NEXT is:

  • 60 second video explaining why you want to participate in NEXT
  • Students must be able to provide evidence of a credit average or above.
  • Successfully completed 48 Credit Points

Students are responsible for their own degree progression and must ensure they have sufficient room in their degree, or permission to overload. Students should contact Staff and Student Services for assistance with degree progressions.

Please note that you cannot enrol in this unit until you have been successful in the application process and have been offered a position in the NEXT Innovation Accelerator. Please do not try and enrol through Sydney Student until this time, but click on the APPLY tab above to apply for 2018.

About the partners

  • Deloitte is the brand under which thousands of professionals collaborate across a network of offices in Australia to provide audit, economics, financial advisory, human capital, tax and technology services. Deloitte Australia is committed to growth, client service and its people with more than 5400 people located in 16 offices and revenue of A$1.3 billion for 2015. To sustain its momentum, Deloitte continues to invest in innovative new services, products and people, while expanding its business through acquisitions, alliances and organic growth.

  • The CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) is one of the world’s leading applied R&D organisations, with a $1.2bn budget and 5500 staff in 55 locations in Australia and internationally. CSIRO has spun out more than 100 companies, is Australia’s largest patent holder and (among other things) invented the Wi-Fi technology used in 5 billion devices worldwide, Flu vaccines, polymer banknotes, and new crops that feed and clothe millions of people.

  • Westpac is Australia's first bank and first company. Westpac has 199 years' experience supporting customers to achieve their financial goals through good times and bad. With a strategic focus on Australia, New Zealand and the near Pacific, the Westpac Group provides a broad range of banking and financial services – including retail, business and institutional banking. Westpac also have offices in key financial centres around the world including London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore.

  • IAG is Australia and New Zealand's largest general insurance company whose purpose is to make your world a safer place, whether you are a customer, partner, employee, shareholder or part of the communities IAG serves across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. IAG’s businesses have helped people recover from natural disasters, accidents and loss since 1851. We employ more than 15,000 people in our operations in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam, providing insurance under many leading brands, including NRMA Insurance, CGU, SGIO, SGIC, WFI and Lumley Insurance (Australia); NZI, State, AMI and Lumley Insurance (New Zealand); Safety and NZI (Thailand); and AAA Assurance (Vietnam). We also have interests in general insurance joint ventures in Malaysia, India and China. Increasingly, IAG see their role extending beyond paying claims to increasing awareness of risk, and helping communities reduce and prevent risk. IAG believe it is their responsibility as an industry leader to use our influence and role as a major investor, purchaser and employer for the good of everyone.

Unit of Study

The NEXT Innovation program is a globally recognised award winning innovation program designed to give outstanding business and management students practical experience in business innovation. The program is delivered in full semester mode as a blended learning (online experience + in-person workshop activities) over 12 weeks. The program allows students to work with mentors and aims to replicate a corporate 'innovation community' between the students, corporate mentors, NEXT co-ordinators and additional participants.

Students will be enrolled in BUSS6505 (NEXT Innovation) - administered by the Business School. This unit is compulsory for all students accepted into the program.

Key assessments include completing online learning and collaboration activity, reflection blogs, and delivering interim PowerPoint style reports, videos and presentations.

Key Learning Objectives

  1. Create innovative solutions to business challenges using innovation methods
  2. Design a viable business model for the implementation of an innovation
  3. Integrate business skills, knowledge and experiences of a diverse team to solve complex business challenges
  4. Reflect on self and peers team-working skills and implement strategies to improve individual skills and overall team performance
  5. Exercise self-reflection, responsibility and accountability in relation to own learning, teamwork and professional practice.


The NEXT Innovation Accelerator application is a two-part process: an online application followed by a pre-approval and a formal approval after grades have been released.

STEP 1: Online Application

To complete your online application, you are required to submit the following information:

  1. A 60 second video explaining why you want to be in NEXT
  2. A copy of your academic record printed from Sydney Student

If successful during STEP 1 you will receive a pre-approval for the NEXT Innovation Accelerator

STEP 2: Formal Approval

After grades are released from the semester immediately preceding the semester you wish to enrol in NEXT you will receive a notification that you can now enrol in NEXT provided you meet the minimum academic requirements.

Please contact if you have any questions regarding the application process.

Applications for semester 2 2018 will close on 7 June 2018.

Apply now



Who can apply?

Postgraduate students enrolled in the Masters of Commerce and Masters of Professional Accounting may apply, with all disciplines being eligible. A minimum credit average and the equivalent of 2 full load semesters completed by the time the program commences are also required.

I am an undergraduate student - am I eligible to apply?

No, unfortunately NEXT Innovation Accelerator is only available for Masters of Commerce and Masters of Professional Accounting students at this stage.

My degree is not listed above but my major sits within the Business School - am I eligible to apply?

No, students must be enrolled in a Business School degree to be eligible to apply.

Are there any prerequisites to apply?

You must have completed the equivalent of 2 full load semesters with a minimum credit average, by the time the NEXT Innovation Accelerator commences.

I am an international student, can I still apply?

Yes, international students are encouraged to apply.

I am a first year student, can I apply?

Yes - you need to have completed the equivalent of 2 full load semesters and a credit average. This means if you are currently a first year student in your second semester you are eligible to apply to complete the NEXT Innovation Accelerator in the following year.

When do application open and close?

Application dates are available on the Apply page and will be updated periodically.

Are there fees to participate in this program?

The program is linked to a unit of study for which the usual unit of study fees apply. There are no additional fees applicable.

Are only high academic achievers accepted into the program?

No. A sound academic understanding of business reflected by a credit average or higher is only one element of a successful candidate.

To be successful in their application to the program students must also be able to demonstrate proficiency in a range of other attributes including sound business communication skills, critical thinking, teamwork leadership, business acumen, a proactive attitude, a willingness to learn and be involved.

To ensure your application conveys the above information we strongly recommend you utilise the resources and knowledge of the Business School Careers and Employability Office.

Application Process

Are all students who apply successful in obtaining entry into NEXT Innovation Accelerator?

No, the process is competitive with limited spaces available. Students will be shortlisted based on the selection process.

How do I apply?

All applications are accepted online. Click on the apply tab to get the link for the application form.

Do I need to provide a certified academic transcript?

No, a copy of your academic transcript printed from Sydney Student is acceptable. It is not necessary to have this certified by the Student Centre.

Can I participate in NEXT more than once over the course of my degree?

No, you can only complete the NEXT Innovation Accelerator once.

If my application is unsuccessful can I re-apply in future?

Yes, if your application is unsuccessful we encourage you to re-apply at a later date.

Is there a limit to the number of students who will be accepted?

The number of students accepted into the program is determined by how many places are available.

The Unit of Study

How much credit will I receive towards my degree?

Upon successful completion of the unit of study you will receive 6 credit points towards your degree. This is contingent upon completing all academic requirements.

How is the unit of study different?

The unit of study is an experiential unit of study. Students will work through a 12week innovation accelerator with the support of Industry Mentors and Industry Facilitators. There is a unit of study coordinator who is responsible for the academic grading of your work and to provide scaffolding workshops to help you get a better outcome.

How is my final mark for the unit assessed?

Your final mark is the culmination of all academic assessments completed throughout the unit of study.

Are there assessments in the unit of study?

Yes, the unit of study has deliverables as part of your innovation process that double as your academic assessment tasks. Further details on assessment can be found in the unit of study outline.

Can the unit of study contribute towards to my major/specialisation?

In the Master of Commerce degree this unit is an elective for the Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship specialisation. With all other specialisations it is an elective unit.

For the Masters of Professional Accounting degree it is an elective unit.

Can I enrol myself directly into the unit of study?

No. As this unit requires Faculty approval you will be enrolled by the Business School.

Can I exceed a standard semester full time load in order to participate?

No. The maximum number of concurrent units of study for a successful NEXT student is limited to 4 (24 credit points), including the NEXT unit of study.

Can I overload my degree in order to participate in NEXT?

Possibly - check with the Staff and Student Services office before you apply to find out what overloading restrictions apply to your degree.