Under Australian Law, unpaid placements/internships are not allowed unless they are for credit towards your course or if it is for a not-for-profit organisation. 
Please contact relevant the faculty (see below for more details) for information on the maximum allowable duration for an unpaid placement.  
For more information, please see Fair Work Ombudsman – Work Experience & Internships

WIL Placements

Get career ready and build your professional network, while gaining course credit.

Internships are a unique opportunity for you to observe professional practice first hand, acquire professional networks, and gain a competitive edge in the job market.

An internship experience combines hands-on workplace experience with your discipline-specific skills, and earns academic credit towards your course. Arranging your internship involves three steps, preparing, securing, and registering.

The 1-2-3 of Work integrated learning placements

Gaining work experience is one of the most important things you can do to secure graduate employment. As a Deakin student you are able to undertake a professional work experience placement as part of you degree through our work integrated learning (WIL) programs.  Apart from developing work-readiness, WIL placements give you the opportunity to develop professional networks, broaden your career exploration and find mentors, referees and role models. Given that a majority of jobs are found through professional networks, the professional connections made during a placement are invaluable.

There are a range of WIL options at Deakin, and it is essential you know how a WIL placement fits in your degree.  By referring to your course rules, you might discover you have one or more WIL ‘Internship’, ‘Placement’ or ‘Practicum’ units that are core units in your degree and are arranged for you by your Faculty.  These are typically found in vocational courses such as Teaching or Nursing.

Alternatively you might have core WIL placement units in your degree that require you to find your own placement, or you might have open electives in your degree that give you the opportunity to fit as many WIL placements as you’d like to complete. 

    A WIL Placement Must be Linked to a Unit as a Core or Elective Unit

IDENTIFY A WIL UNIT TO ENROL IN Compulsory discipline specific placement unit WIL unit in an elective spot Speak to your WIL team for advice

Identify a WIL Unit & Trimester to Enrol In

By referring to your course rules in the Deakin Handbook, you can identify if you have core WIL Placement units in your degree or if you have elective space to fit a WIL placement unit in your degree.  In some cases you might have both. 

If you need help understanding your course rules and how WIL fits in to your degree, please chat to a Student Adviser in Student Central or speak to your Faculty WIL Team.   It’s important you start this conversation as early as possible.

CONSIDER THE PLACEMENT SETTING External organisation Deakin Division or Faculty Workplace on Campus

Consider the Placement Setting

Make an informed decision about the best placement setting (location) for you. An external placement in industry is likely to generate broader outcomes, but a placement located within a Deakin University division may be more convenient to combine with your study.

You might want to consider a WIL placement in an urban city anywhere around the world or you might prefer a regional or remote placement in a small community. Either way, one of the aims of the WIL placement is to help you learn to fit into a professional workplace so make sure the placement setting is authentic. Placements can be paid or unpaid positions. Unpaid placements typically should not exceed 160 hours in total duration.

If you need guidance about your rights and responsibilities on a WIL placement, please speak to your Faculty WIL team.

FIND YOUR PLACEMENT DeakinTALENT Jobs and Internships Board Faculty sourced placements Approach employers directly or through networks

Find Your Placement

The nature of the work undertaken on a placement can be discipline focused or generic but it must be authentic work that develops you as a professional. Professional work-readiness is essential for graduate employment and best developed in the workplace so a generic placement that enables you to apply and build the transferable skills developed in your course delivers a long-term return.

Other factors to consider are whether or not you would have client or stakeholder engagement as part of your role, and whether you would work as part of a team. Both develop skills and experience that are valued by employers.

If your placement is a course requirement, the nature of the work undertaken will be specified. If you are undertaking the WIL placement as an elective you may have more flexibility but the work must still meet the requirements of the chosen WIL unit.




Find out everything you need to know about your rights and responsibilities at
the website of the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Ensure your Course Map has space for you to enroll in an internship unit. Make an appointment with a Faculty Course Advisor to discuss this further.  If you do not have the capacity to undertake an internship unit for credit, consider volunteering and other opportunities like vacation programs to get experience and build skills. 

Also, please note laws around internships and work experience.

The DeakinTALENT Baseline Rubric is designed to screen for resumes that have the structure, format and presentation most employers require and does not reflect badly on the applicant. This resume review is for a generic resume that is not tailored for a specific role.  Find out more about the baseline resume review.

The review for job applications includes a resume and/or cover letter that is tailored for a specific role/industry or program. Students are advised to ensure they first start with a resume that meets baseline expectations before tailoring it for a specific employment opportunity. Find out more about the job application review.

It is essential to look at both advertised internships, as well as finding and approaching employers of interest directly. Please see a list (not extensive) below to find opportunities:

Approach employers directly:

In order to gain experience during your degree you will need to know how to approach employers and to successfully brand yourself to be competitive.

Write a proposal to submit to a prospective employer outlining what you would like to achieve in your placement and how you will contribute and add value to their organisation.

Once you get the go ahead from the employer, you will need to contact your faculty to get your internship approved. See your faculty’s WIL page for more information: