School WIL courses allow students to gain genuine work experience in a science or technology-related workplace via a work placement and gain elective credit towards their science degree.

A work placement is a core component of Science WIL courses, alongside professional development assessments. These are designed to prepare for a professional work environment and get the most out of your placement. Science WIL courses are credited towards your science program as a science or free elective. The work placement must be related to your science major. The courses are offered in all academic terms, including summer.

Find out more about the new WIL model:
Note: The above link is only accessible to current UNSW Science students and staff

Further information

Science work placements will improve your practical skills and confidence and you’ll gain genuine insights into your future career. Find further information on the program below.

  • Science WIL Placement courses enable undergraduate science students to apply their disciplinary knowledge and transferable skills in a professional context, through a work placement experience at an organisation external to UNSW. Students will have the opportunity to develop key professional skills that align with their career goals and contextualise their field of study in a professional workplace setting.

    The main component of the course is a work placement related to the student's field of study. The placement can be paid or unpaid. This supervised workplace experience is supported by professional development and discipline-specific modules that students can select from, in line with their individual career goals.

    The courses will count as a science or free elective and is graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

    The core work placement may vary in length and intensity depending on the enrolment pattern chosen:

    • Option A: minimum 105-hour placement completed in 1 term (worth 6 UOC)
    • Option B: minimum 210-hour placement completed in 1 term (worth 12 UOC)
    • Option C: minimum 210-hour placement completed over 2 terms (worth 12 UOC)

    Example: BABS3199 BABS Work Placement 1 and BABS3299 BABS Work Placement 2

    Science WIL Placement Enrolment Options Table UNSW
  • Science WIL Placement Courses currently available:

    Students should select the WIL Placement Option relevant to their specialisation or major of study. 

    • Aviation WIL Placement Courses: AVIA3199 and AVIA3299
    • BABS WIL Placement Courses: BABS3199 and BABS3299
    • BEES WIL Placement Courses: BEES3199 and BEES3299
    • Chemistry WIL Placement Courses: CHEM3199 and CHEM3299
    • Materials Science WIL Placement Courses: MATS3199 and MATS3299
    • Medical Science WIL Placement Courses: SOMS3199 and SOMS3299
    • Physics WIL Placement Courses: PHYS3199 and PHYS3299
    • Psychology WIL Placement Courses: PSYC3199 and PSYC3299
    • Science WIL Placement Course: SCIF3199 (for special programs only, and by invitation only)


    Students who studying a program or major in the School of Mathematics and Statistics should contact for information on how they can complete a WIL Placement. 

    Vision Science majors are currently excluded from Faculty of Science Work Placement courses.

  • Enrolment is subject to approval and completion of required pre-requisites.

    Permission to enrol will only be granted if the student:

    • Is completing a relevant major or specialisation for the WIL course/s they are applying for.
    • Has secured a supervised work placement compatible to their major of study, which has been reviewed and approved by the School.
    • Has completed the required pre-requisites (48 units of credit, minimum 65 WAM, passed pre-requisite Preparation for WIL modules).

    Please note:

    • The course is only available to students who are commencing a new work placement compatible to their major of study. Students seeking to enrol with paid or unpaid work they are already undertaking outside their studies will not be considered.
    • Students are required to experience a job hunting/recruitment process and secure a relevant work placement prior to seeking approval for enrolment. Work placements are not provided for students.
    • It is the student’s responsibility to check if they have space in their program for this elective.
    • This course cannot be taken during an Honours year.


    Students must have their work placement approved and enrolment finalised before their work placement starts. 

    Students must also meet the standard UNSW enrolment deadlines. 

  • During a work placement, you will be working as an intern at an external organisation. The work you will do will be related to your specialisation or major of study, and you'll also work on key transferable skills relevant for any workplace such as communication, teamwork and critical thinking. You will contribute productively to a project or series of activities set up by the organisation, and complete assessments alongside your work. 

    You build on your discipline-specific and transferrable skills, with guidance from a work placement supervisor and a UNSW academic coordinator. 

    The specific nature of your work experience depends on the organisation you are working for, but here are some broad examples. 

    • Interns may spend time shadowing members of staff in science-related roles, contributing in an assisting capacity to a range of activities.
    • As an intern, you may be asked to be a team member on a project for the duration of the internship. It may be an ongoing project, or one that is completed during the internship.
    • Interns may be assigned to an individual project that can be completed within the hours of the placement.
    • Specific tasks may be largely office-based, including literature searches, data entry, preparation of figures for presentation or marketing materials.
    • There may be also opportunities for hands-on laboratory work and field-based activities.
  • Your work placement experience is supported by coursework and assessments. This will help you to prepare for the workplace, develop your professional skills and reflect on your professional experience with your peers and course teaching staff. 

  • Students should consider this advice before confirming a placement and seeking approval for WIL Course enrolment. Please contact if you have further questions.   

    Local placements

    Working arrangements are permitted if they satisfy the following conditions:

    • The placement is consistent with Government directives and guidelines relating to travel, social distancing and hygiene measures.
    • The placement meets standard Science WIL Course requirements.

    If the placement is conducted remotely (the student is required to work from home), additional safety parameters must be followed:

    • Students will complete a workplace safety assessment prior to receiving approval to work at home.
    • Students will ‘clock in’ and ‘clock out’ to maintain a real time record of their work hours.
    • Students will only work between 8am to 6pm on workdays.
    • Students will report any incidents of accident or injury within one business day.   

    International placements

    International work placement experiences are open. International students currently residing in their home country are permitted to undertake a WIL Course work placement with an organisation in their home country. Past examples include the Paraguay Virtual Internships (Environmental Conservation) and Virtual Science Internships: Malaysia. Please contact if you have further questions.   

  • Students must apply for enrolment into a Faculty of Science WIL course.  Applications will be assessed according to the eligibility criteria and suitability of the work placement. 

    There are two pathways for applying, based on how you secured your work placement:

    1. Faculty advertised work placements.
    2. Student sourced work placements.

    Faculty advertised work placements

    UNSW Science negotiates placements with employers and advertises pre-approved opportunities to students. These are advertised via email to relevant student cohort and the Current opportunities page. Application processes will mimic a real job application, requiring students to submit a Resume and Cover Letter as a minimum. Specific application requirements is provided for each Faculty advertised opportunity. If students are successful in securing a placement, they will be contacted with further instructions on how to apply for enrolment approval. 

    Student sourced work placements

    Students approach employers to apply for placements and once secured, applies to UNSW Science for approval and enrolment. This is the most common form of sourcing placements, and students encouraged to be proactive and search for opportunities relevant to your career goals. Work placements must be related to your major of study. Each application will be assessed to ensure that the work placement is relevant. 

    Here are the steps normally taken by students sourcing their own placement:

    Step 1: Research & networking

    Start researching organisations to intern for.

    Think about what sort of career path or industry interests you and what kind of organisation could offer this kind of experience. Undertaking the STEM Career Launchpad program will help you with this career planning process. 

    Also ask your fellow students, supervisors, family and friends if they know anyone you could contact within their networks. Try to find a connection within the area you are interested in.

    Networking is very helpful when searching for work placement opportunities and when looking for work after you finish your studies. Make sure the organisation you approach for a placement will be able to provide an experience that is relevant to your Science degree and desired career direction. This page offers more detailed advice on how to approach organisations for a work placement. 

    Step 2: Provide information to your host organisation

    Once you have made contact with an organisation or company, you should send them information for host organisations.  This will let them know of what’s required as a host. If your internship host company has any questions you cannot answer, ask them to contact the Science Education Team via

    Step 3: Complete the recruitment process

    Under most circumstances, there will be a recruitment process and you'll need to submit a written application and do a job interview. If you are successful and are offered a role, make sure your employer is happy to proceed with a WIL Placement course experience. It is very important that you discuss the WIL placement program with your employer (including your day-to-day supervisor) and have their permission to proceed with an application for a WIL course.  

    Step 4: Approval

    You must apply to UNSW Science for approval. We will assess your application according to the eligibility criteria and suitability of the work placement (remember - your placement must be directly related to your major of study). 

     Please contact for details on how to apply. 

  • If you have any questions about the suite of Science WIL Placement courses, please contact 

Contact us if you are interested in completing a WIL course.

Work placement and COVID-19

If you are considering undertaking a science work placement, please: