Frequently Asked Questions for Organisations

Introducing our Program

Our Social Justice Student Placement program is offered to students in the Master of Human Rights; Master of Development Studies, Master Peace and Conflict Studies, Master of International Relations; Master of International Studies; Master of Public Policy, and; Master of International Security. In this program, we hope to partner with industry to deliver vocational training beyond the classroom. Also, to provide students an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the important work undertaken in the social justice sector. To participate in this program, students are required to enroll in the following units of study, which frames their vocational learning:

  • SCLG6923: Social Justice Vocational Project Design
    This unit of study provides students with practical training in experiential learning methodologies with application to working in the social justice sector. Students will also be introduced to cross-cutting issues in the sector, such as funding, and will receive training in vocational competencies, such as cultural competence and project management. Assessment in this unit of study allows students to critically apply their own area study and/or disciplinary lenses in setting professional development goals and planning a future project.
  • SCLG6913: Social Justice Vocational Placement
    The social justice internship offers students in Human Rights, Development Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies Masters programs the opportunity to work intensively in a domestic or international organisation, so as to gain a working knowledge of social justice practice. Under the supervision of a member of the organisation, students will undertake a specific focused task or set of tasks relevant to the organisation's mandate and work with faculty to draw links between their practical project and theoretical issues, reflecting a human rights, development studies and / or peace and conflict approach.

Why host a student placement?

Industry placements allow students to gain invaluable vocational experience providing an opportunity to apply and extend their learning in the classroom. They also provide valued industry partners with access to postgraduate students with experience training to make meaningful contributions to the work of host organisations. In conjunction with our valued industry partners, we offer ‘project based’ unpaid placements for credit within a structured academic program. Placements are 140 hour (approx. 20 days full-time or equivalent part-time). Previous partners include: World Wildlife Fund (WWF), NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS), People With Disability Australia (PWDA) and Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR).

What kind of organisations can participate?

Organisations that work in the social justice field or engage in work relevant to social justice issues. These could be government organisations, NGOs, networks or coalitions.

What sort of work can our students do?

We expect our students to work at a professional level, undertaking the kinds of tasks normally expected in your workplace. Past students have undertaken research; developed educational toolkits; drafted strategy papers; drafted policy; undertaken refugee casework; and program planning and evaluation.

What skills do our students bring to their student placements?

Our students are highly skilled and dedicated to gaining hands on practical experience in an organisation working in the social justice sector. To be accepted into their degree program, students must have an undergraduate degree in the humanities, law, social sciences, or equivalent. Many also have relevant work experience. In addition, by the time a student placement commences, students have successfully completed at least 24 credit points of study (or 4 units of study), honing their understanding of social justice issues and developing key communication skills.

What is involved?

  • Work with University to agree on a framework for student placements that will add value to your work
  • Prepare position description/s which the University will circulate inviting student applications at designated times (or accept resumes from interested students on an ongoing basis)
  • Vet students as per your preferred process
  • Host accepted students for 140 hours (typically 20 days) and sign-off on their completion
  • Access University support as required: Academic Placement Coordinator, Student Placement Officer, allocated Academic Supervisor

How long is the Placement and when is it offered?

The placement is a minimum of 140 hours (typically 20 working days of approximately 7 hours per day). It can be offered on a full-time or part-time basis. The placement is typically offered mid-year or at the end/beginning of the year (over the semester break and at the beginning of semester) to fit in with a student’s timetable. The timeframe is 2 – 4 months depending on the length of the winter break (approximately 1 month) and the summer break (approximately 3 months). Some students can accommodate a longer placement and at different times of the year. We will provide organisations with further details on the dates available at the beginning of a student’s application process.

If you require a placement of more than 140 hours, we can also advertise your placement opportunity as a ‘not-for-credit’ offering. Many students are keen for exposure to additional vocational training opportunities outside of the classroom.

What supervision is needed?

Students are expected to work independently under the guidance of a staff member/s, nominated by the host organisation as a suitable placement supervisor and mentor. However, for some interns it may be their first experience of working in the social justice field and they may require active supervision. At all times, our team is available to support the placement experience for both students and the organisation.

What kind of support can the University provide during a student’s placement?

We provide an active and extensive Student Placement Support team. This includes the appointment of an Academic supervisor, who students can liaise with during the placement. Our Student Placement Support Team, comprising the Academic Placement Coordinator and Student Placement Officer, are also available to work with participating organisations to resolve any problems that may emerge during the Placement. We will check in with organisations to ensure that the placement is going well, but a host organisation should also contact us at any time if they are experiencing any difficulties.

What about insurance?

All interns are fully covered by the University of Sydney policies for students on work experience/placement for: Public Liability, Professional Indemnity and Personal Accident. Please see the University of Sydney Insurance Policy.