The Co-op experience

Students talking with coffee at a table

It’s not just about the marks

A big benefit of the UNSW Co-op experience is the leadership and professional development training program to ensure our scholars are well-rounded professionals when they graduate and enter the workforce.

This is facilitated through challenging, skills based, hands-on interactive workshops and camps including, but not limited to our Kick Off event, in collaboration with the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), which is an opportunity to learn about personal presence, active engagement, effective communication and listening; our Co-op tailored leadership camp, which centers on leadership styles and teamwork skills, and other workshops that promote personal and professional growth through reflection and goal setting.

Accelerate your career journey

Co-op scholars graduate with up to 18-months of relevant industry experience with multiple companies during their degree, which provides invaluable insight into the real world of work in their chosen profession.

Final year scholars get the opportunity to showcase their unique talents and experience to our sponsor companies, as part of a bespoke Graduate Recruitment event. Whether meeting sponsors for the first time, or re-energising existing relationships, scholars can come away from this event with some great graduate possibilities, and even take the stress out of their final year by locking in graduate employment early on in their final year.


Graduate Outcomes

100+ Industry leading companies
sponsor the Co-op Program looking for graduates to hire.

These companies partner with UNSW to proudly develop and support the next generation of leaders.

Over 50% of our scholars
receive more than one job offer before they graduate.

Our scholars are sought after graduates, who are ready to hit the ground running. *Average between 2022 and 2023.

On average, 76% of our scholars
choose to work for sponsors after graduation.

Maintaining our Co-op partnerships, even after graduation builds lasting connections. *Average between 2019 and 2023.

Your impact, your way

Our goal is to provide a wide variety of experiences for all our scholars so that they can become not only well-rounded professionals but individuals. Our scholars are exposed to exciting opportunities outside of placement not only with our sponsors, but on a global scale.

  • Our Engineering scholars also get the opportunity to present about a project from an industry placement to peers and sponsors, showcasing their value and achievements while engaging with representatives within and outside their specialisations. These scholars also have the potential to be awarded an additional 5th year Honours scholarship when completing an industry-based thesis with one of our sponsor companies.

    Each year in collaboration with Global Voices, the Co-op Program offers two fully funded opportunities to our final year scholars to receive International Policy Scholarships offering the chance to attend and contribute to some of the world’s most prestigious and significant meetings, forums and events. Selected scholars meet and engage with high-level officials and government representatives and network with talented youth from around the world.

Co-op activities in my first year have set the right tone for the rest of my time at uni. The initiation day helped me connect with my peers before the first term started to feel supported and excited about this new journey. Leadership camp then gave me more confidence to head into my first professional placement.
Co-op Program
Helene Qu
Accounting scholar
The Co-op Program placements provide an unparalleled opportunity to learn from inspiring leaders and embrace real challenges in rewarding environments. My experience not only enriched my professional skills but also propelled my career forward, igniting a passion for growth and excellence.
Co-op Program
Lachlan Bamford
Marketing scholar

Some of the other fun stuff!

Throughout the Co-op Program, we run a range of events which help scholars create professional and social networks, make the most of university life, and cultivate skills essential for graduate recruitment and career development.

Our scholars are involved in a range of activities from representing the Co-op Program, to UNSW, to Australia and beyond!

  • Not only are the students in Co-op brochures, presentations and on this website our scholars, but we love to share and celebrate the achievement of scholars as they go through the Program. There isn’t just one ideal Co-op, but a collective of super talented people who make up our community, and we hope to see you here soon.

  • Whether it’s at UniGames, at International Case Competitions around the world, or at International Policy forums via Global Voices.

  • Some of our scholars have also had amazing opportunities to complete industry placements in other states/internationally, represent Australia in sports or other opportunities on a global platform.

Co-op is not just about the academic or the industries despite their importance, at the end of the day you find a group of people you thrive with.
Co-op Program
Micah Wang
Business Information Systems scholar
The Co-op Camp was a very great experience for new Co-ops: it developed not only leadership and teamwork skills, but also built rapport and friendship amongst the cohort. The challenges were difficult both intellectually and leadership­-wise and developed everyone to be better followers and leaders ...
Co-op Program
Ryan Nguyen
Software Engineering scholar

Global experience

The Co-op experience is truly global. Scholars have the opportunity to see the world through international exchange, international placements, and international policy scholarships, as well as connecting with alumni working all over the world.

There is an opportunity in every program stream to go on an international study exchange and the Co-op Program strongly encourages our scholars to take up that opportunity if they can.

Travelling abroad for study opens our scholars’ eyes to new cultures, new networks of people, and new ideas. We believe exchange pushes our scholars to develop their leadership skills, independence, resilience, cultural awareness and broaden their minds to think about new ways of life.

Meet our Scholars

Business Information Systems (BIS)

"My key tip for high school students is to be authentic and passionate about your degree that you’re applying for and to be proud of your achievements. Sponsors are interested about your learning process and how you have grown as a person from any challenges you've faced, so it is important to showcase that you are someone who is resilient and someone who considers themselves to be a lifelong learner. I recommend that you show your passion for the program by doing your research, looking at the associated sponsors and having clear career goals for the future."
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Actuarial Studies (ACT)

"The two key tips I would give to anyone applying to coop is one, be yourself and be natural. There is no benefit in putting on an act to be someone you’re not just to impress the interviewers or application readers. Be genuine and answer all questions how you would to your friends, back yourself and have some faith in your own ability. Secondly, I would say to keep all your responses succinct and do not waffle, get to the point, and avoid any unnecessary characters."
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Accounting & Business Management (ABM) 

"My core piece of advice to high school students is to apply for the Co-op Program to take advantage of a fabulous opportunity to conduct industry placement, learn from experts, and join an extremely supportive network."
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Software Engineering (SEN) 

"Apply as early as possible and ensure that your application reflects on your true self, including what might be your abilities, passions, and motivations. It is not necessarily only those who are most knowledgeable who will be offered a place in the program, but rather also those who are committed to learning and taking on challenges presented to them on every step of the way."
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Actuarial Studies (ACT)

"When approaching the application and interview process, I always kept in mind the advice to 'Just be yourself.' Whilst this may sound both cliché and obvious, it really did put things into perspective. I realised that I didn't have to put on a false persona to impress, and instead I just had to back myself and be confident. I think this mindset really helped me convey an authentic and genuine version of myself, further boosting my confidence."
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Accounting & Business Management (ABM)

"My number 1 tip is to be yourself and to prioritise displaying your passion and interest in whatever program you're applying for. Showing you have the qualities of a good Co-op scholar is important too, but what will differentiate you from all the other applicants is why you want to be a Co-op scholar."
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Accounting & Business Management (ABM) 

My key tip would be to show your passion in the process. Display your true self and avoid talking about generic experiences in your application - leverage personal experiences which not only give you an edge over others, but also truly show your passion for your chosen field."
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Chemical Engineering (CHM)

"My key tip to high school students for the application process for the Co-op Program is to be yourself. This means not lying in your answers in the written application and in the interview. This also means not applying for streams that you are not passionate about simply to increase your chances of receiving a scholarship offer. This is because the Program will be much more rewarding for you if you genuinely love the stream that you are in."
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Meet our Mentors

Chemical Engineering (CHM)

"Mentoring a fellow Co-op scholar is great! It really brings a lot of value to me, reflecting on my career, and learning new things from my mentee too. Giving back to the program that has been good to me brings a great sense of satisfaction. Highly recommend it to all Co-op alumni!"
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Accounting & Business Management (ABM)

"I've enjoyed mentoring Co-op scholars, revisiting some of the concerns faced by new entrants into the workforce and providing some guidance to make that transition easier. It's also great to see the high calibre students that the Co-op program continues to develop and motivate."
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Marketing (MKT)

"It's been really rewarding being able to help coach new scholars and share my own past experiences in the hopes of making their journey a little easier and more fruitful. More importantly, being able to encourage them and share what they could potentially achieve after graduating from the program I believe is hugely beneficial too. Of course, it's been an awesome learning experience for myself in learning how to become a better mentor!"
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Chemical Product Engineering (INC) 

"All my mentees have been very eager to experience the industry, but often daunted by the possible responsibilities and work demands. Being able to assist them in preparing for their first placement is definitely fulfilling for me. The mentor program Co-op offers not only helps scholars prepare for the workplace but also allows them to make the most out of that placement."
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