Sandbox Program

Students sitting around a table

The UNSW Sandbox Program is a platform that empowers tripartite partnerships among industry, academics, and students to co-create solutions for contemporary business and societal problems.

  • Over 6,200 students have completed one or more Sandbox courses

  • 22 industry partners, and more than 140 industry representatives

  • Over 60 real-world projects completed; Over 630 unique solutions created

Currently accepting projects for 2023 in the areas of:

  • Information Systems innovation (mobile/web application development)
  • Cyber Security, including Cloud Architecture
  • Data Analytics, including Social Media Analytics
  • Business Analysis and UX Design
  • Financial Modelling and Forecasting
  • Global Business Management

How does the Sandbox Program Work?

Why partner with the UNSW Sandbox Program?

The Sandbox Program has created a transformative learning experience for students and brought fresh ideas to our industry partners. Students often describe their Sandbox experience as eye-opening, meaningful, and promoting their interest in different careers. Through the trilateral relationship established among students, academics, and industry, past Sandbox collaborations have developed into direct employment outcomes and research partnerships:


  • Contribute to the development of future-ready students through direct input into curriculum design and active involvement in challenge-driven education
  • Create greater visibility, gain direct access to talented students and subject matter experts while gaining fresh perspectives and creative solutions to current problems
  • Opportunity to work with students of high calibre and recruit students who demonstrate strong capabilities 
  • Gain opportunities to examine exploratory projects and develop meaningful relationships and connections with leading academics for further research


  • Expand experience by working on real industry challenges with support from academics and professionals from the industry
  • Cultivate transferable skills required for success in a dynamic and evolving work environment by solving complex challenges in a collaborative setting
  • Acquire professional and personal skills needed to address challenges that may be encountered
  • Participate in a purposeful learning experience to co-create knowledge and co-develop skills in collaboration with industry
  • Potential internship or direct employment opportunities


  • Cultivate graduates who are more work-ready 
  • Opportunity to apply knowledge in their research area to real-world challenges
  • Develop meaningful relationships with industry for continuous innovation in education and research 
  • Maintain continuous engagement with industry to develop trust for long-term partnership

Our Sandbox partners

Partnering with Us – 3 Simple Steps:

  1. Establish a meaningful challenge

    The starting point of a Sandbox is the identification of a meaningful problem. Industry partners are invited to propose enticing and important challenges – we are looking for challenges that would benefit from a fresh perspective and facilitate the acquisition of contemporary knowledge. The expected solutions of a challenge can take various forms, from proofs-of-concepts and information slide decks, to pitch videos and professional whitepapers.

    Academics with the relevant expertise will work with industry partners to scope the project, formulate requirements, and define appropriate expectations. The project will then be embedded in the appropriate course(s) as authentic assessments.

  2. Engage in co-creative problem solving

    Our Sandbox pedagogy offers flexible engagement options – our academics will support industry partners to identify the most appropriate engagement model based on criteria such as project scope and course level.

    In all Sandboxes, industry partners will facilitate a Project Launch session at the beginning of the academic term to introduce the project(s) and relevant background information to the students, supporting them in developing the most feasible solutions.  

  3. Enrich the Sandbox experience

    At the conclusion of a Sandbox, industry partners will review the solutions created by the students, provide feedback to support students’ reflection and consolidation of learnings. This usually includes a formal session where students present their solutions to the industry partners and obtain feedback. 

    The trilateral relationship developed from the Sandbox engagement will continue to grow beyond this point. Subsequent engagement can take various forms, including a longer-term mentoring program, work-shadowing and internship opportunities, co-hosting events, new research partnerships and more. Many of our students who have completed a Sandbox course commence their careers in graduate and vacationer positions at the partner organisation.

Sandbox Highlights

Watch our project showcase here

Our Student Experience

Zoe Kanginan Bachelor of Commerce Final Year Student

"Completing a Sandbox Project was enriching as it was very different to other courses. It encouraged me to be analytical and become aware of how companies operate and the complexity of cybersecurity in the digital space.

As I near the end of my degree, this project was memorable as it gave me a networking opportunity whilst also educating me about my own digital footprint.

After completing the course, my family members, friends, including myself have been more conscious about our online activity e.g., managing cookies. When I asked them about what they thought about the course, they mentioned that more courses should be designed like this where students are able to interact with companies whilst undertaking real-life experience as it is more enjoyable and sparks our interest/engagement!”

Zoe Kanginan Supplied / UNSW

Anthony Cho Bachelor of Civil Engineering & Commerce (Information Systems) Recent Graduate

“Working with an actual organisation raises the stakes of the project and incentivised every member to put in extra effort to attain an outstanding result, knowing that our work would be reviewed by professionals in the industry. It also provided useful insights into the state of cybersecurity at large organisations and how we can devise strategies to elevate an organisation's cybersecurity landscape. Overall, it was an amazing learning experience.”

Anthony Cho Supplied / UNSW

For our latest updates and project highlights, connect with us on LinkedIn

Contact us

Dr. Yenni Tim
Founding Director, UNSW Sandbox Program