What are the benefits of doing a student placement?

The Placement Program aims to equip students with the skills and understanding required to make a meaningful contribution to the human rights field. A placement will allow you to apply and develop the skills learned through your undergraduate and postgraduate studies in real life situations. You will gain valuable work experience; have an edge in the job market; network and make professional connections; apply classroom knowledge; gain confidence and; gain academic credit.

What are the pre-requisites for entry into the placement program?

Students must have successfully completed 4 Units of Study in their postgraduate coursework program, including SCLG6923 (also a stand-alone unit; note, completion does not guarantee a placement). The successful negotiation of an internship placement with a host organisation is required before entry into the SCLG6913: Social Justice Vocational Placement is permitted.

Is the Placement credited towards my studies?

Yes, the placement is credited to SCLG6913, worth 6 credit points. Students are required to complete a minimum 140-hour (approximately 20 days) placement as well as reflection activities for this unit of study.

Are Placements paid?

Placements are not paid. The student must cover all travel and accommodation expenses.

Can I complete a ‘not-for-credit’ placement?

Students often independently apply successfully to formal internship programs offered by Government, not for profit or corporate organisations. For some students, this is preferable to the ‘for-credit’ offerings and may also be favoured so they can access work experience opportunities outside our established partnerships. Please note, students may be eligible for University insurance for the duration of not-for-credit placements, provided they successfully register their placement with the University. For more information, please contact the SSPS Student Placement Officer. Please also see this list of organisations who advertise their own internship programs (this list is not exhaustive). Additionally, Arts Career Ready has paid not for credit placements advertised exclusive to students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, with some of Australia’s most reputable organisations.

How do I arrange my placement?

Students are required to apply through an advertised application round (see above for upcoming information sessions and application dates).

In order to apply for a student placement, you will be required to submit at minimum a current Resume, available transcripts and a sample of writing. We recommend students get a head start on preparing for an application by working on developing their Resume. The Careers Centre at the University of Sydney provides information and support in developing resumes.

Can I organise my own Placement?

In some instances, students may have an interest in an organisation outside advertised opportunities. Please be aware that the University only offers student placements with established industry partners. If you have arranged a placement or have interest in an organisation outside of advertised opportunities. Please contact the Academic Placement Coordinator and the SSPS Student Placement Officer to enquire whether there may be a possibility to explore a credited placement with this organisation. We are working to build our industry partnerships and continue to explore new partnerships to facilitate an expansion of our program and will accommodate where possible.

I am not sure what I would like to do for my Placement. Where can I get some ideas?

A student placement is not for everyone. It is important to consider the benefits a placement can bring (an opportunity to network, apply and extend your knowledge and skills in practice and gain mentorship), as well as the commitment required (e.g. unpaid work) and how this fits with your broader program of studies and other units of study you might be considering. Students should also think carefully on whether they prefer to pursue a placement opportunity earlier in their studies, or later, when they have gained more knowledge and skills through their degree program. It is often helpful to do some research on advertised placement opportunities (often posted on individual organisations websites), as well as organisations you might be interested in. In doing so, it is important to also think about the kind of work you would like to do. Research? Field work? Some hosts may seem ideal but the nature of the work may not be suited to your interests, so it’s important to clarify your learning goals and expectations early in the process and to communicate these in an application if you do proceed.

Can I do a Placement overseas?

Students interested in a placement overseas are advised that many of the overseas placement programs, such as those of the United Nations, have long application processes and often require a 3-5-month placement. This exceeds the requirements of our placement program and may not be feasible for every student. There is however, scope for students to register the remainder of their placement as ‘not-for-academic-credit’, so they can also be covered by University Insurance. We are able to facilitate enquiries for overseas placements and to negotiate arrangements for a successful applicant only where these prospective placements meet the requirements of our placement program and where an application can be made and approved during the semester. Students must first identify a suitable placement, which meets the requirements of the placement program before we will make further enquiries on your behalf.

Applicants wishing to apply for overseas internships must have a valid visa – which they must secure themselves. All travel, accommodation and living expenses must be covered by the student.

Can I do a Placement related to my undergraduate degree and/or my professional experience?

Yes. However, students should also draw on the skills and expertise they gain through their current postgraduate degree.

When do I enrol in the Placement electives?

Permission will be provided once a placement has been arranged and when it is evident that a student has successfully completed their first 4 Units of study including SCLG6923. In some instances, permission may be granted for a student to undertake SCLG6923 as a co-requisite with SCLG6913, so that they can take-up a placement opportunity.

How long are placements and when are they offered?

A placement is a minimum of 140 hours (typically 20 working days of approximately 7 hours per day). It can be done full or part-time. Placements are 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 study commitments (see Semester Dates at the University of Sydney).

Who will supervise my placement?

A member of staff at your host organisation will be assigned as your placement supervisor. You will also be assigned an Academic Supervisor for the duration of your placement.

Are there any additional considerations for International students interested in the placement program?

International students typically face visa restrictions which limit the hours they can work during semester (e.g. up to 20 hours per week) however, student visas typically make allowances for work that is considered a formal registered part of your coursework. In addition, work restrictions are typically lifted during semester break by allowing full-time work during university holidays. Students should ensure that they are familiar with their visa requirements before applying for an internship. Please consult the website for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship at for further information. You can also contact the International Office to discuss this further.

Does the University of Sydney provide insurance for my Placement?

Yes. The University maintains personal accident policy/professional indemnity insurance for all undergraduate and postgraduate students. The policy provides cover whilst the student is engaged in Campus/Course/University related activities and/or practical placement or community placement activities including travel insurance if applicable. The provisions of the University’s travel insurance policy apply to students on overseas placements related to their coursework. Click here for further information on insurance.

Please note, if you are in Australia on a student visa, you are not covered for medical expenses if you travel back to your home country.