Skip to Content

Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

What is Industry Engaged Learning (IEL)?

Industry Engaged Learning is a structured learning experience that involves active engagement with industry. IEL encompasses a broad range of programs in which students are given the opportunity to engage with industry.

What IEL programs are currently available?

There are a range of IEL programs available, including: Industry-Based Learning, industry placements, internships, Capstone Projects and study tours.

What are Capstone Projects?

Capstones connect organisations that require assistance with a short term project, with a cohort of final year undergraduate students who will tackle these challenges using innovative and creative solutions. A capstone unit may take the form of an industry or community project, a competition, a research-based project or an internally-developed project brief.

What are internships?

Internships place a student with an organisation to work on a research project or undertake work experience under the guidance of industry and academic supervision. Placements generally take place for two or three days a week throughout the semester.

What are study tours?

Study tours provide students with an opportunity to travel overseas and be exposed to international business practices. The tours include visits to a wide range of organisations and allow you to experience how culture impacts on international business activities.

Can students undertake unpaid placements?

Students can only undertake unpaid placements if these are a formal part of their learning, such as part of a unit or subject in their degree. FairWork Australia does not support unpaid work placements, unless this takes the form of volunteering in a registered not-for-profit organisation. For more information please visit the FairWork website.

Industry-Based Learning FAQs

What is Industry-Based Learning (IBL)?

Industry-Based Learning (IBL) is all about helping you gain industry experience before you graduate. The program provides you with an opportunity to undertake a paid placement in an area relevant to your studies, for either 6 or 12 months. Most placements are full-time however part-time placements can sometimes be accommodated.

What are Industry Placements (IP)?

Industry Placements are offered for design students. IP is similar to IBL although students have greater contact with the university during the placement. Students typically spend one day per week at university and four days on their placement.

What is the difference between an IBL scholarship and IBL Direct Hire?

The difference is in regards to how the student's pay is administered. The IBL Scholarship funds are provided by the host organisation to the university who then administers the payments to the student.

Alternatively, direct hire students are on a salary, equivalent to the relevant Modern Award Rate or Minimum Award Rate as applicable which is paid directly to the student through the organisation's payroll.

Can international students participate in IBL?

The optional year of Industry-Based Learning in Australia is not available to international students without permanent resident status. This is because Student Visas pose strict limitations on the number of hours that students can work. However IBL may be possible for international students in a student's home country or other country subject to approval by the appropriate IBL Manager.

Can any undergraduate Swinburne student participate in IBL?

IBL is available to students who have finished their second year of study. In addition, in most courses, entry into the IBL program has certain eligibility requirements determined by each faculty. These are usually based on academic results. Contact us for specific requirements.

Can I be placed overseas?

Students are encouraged to undertake overseas placements where these are available. The number of available placements is likely to increase as more links with overseas university partners are developed.

What types of organisations host IBL students?

IBL is offered throughout a wide variety of organisations including small to large companies, the government and not-for-profit sectors and local and international companies.

Who usually finds the IBL placement?

Most placements are found by the IBL Managers and advertised to students through Blackboard.

Can I find my own position?

Yes. Students that are interested in a placement within a specific organisation may find their own position as long as the organisation is considered appropriate by the faculty. Students are asked to discuss their placement ideas with their IBL managers before contacting any organisations.

Do all eligible students who want an IBL placement get one?

There are generally no guarantees that placements will be available for all eligible students, but every effort is made to assist as many students as possible to obtain a placement.

How long are placements and are they full-time?

Placements are usually offered for either 6 or 12 months. Most placements are offered on a full-time basis and you will need to contact your IBL manager if you wish to discuss part-time opportunities.

Who determines what my duties are while on placement?

The host organisation provides a Position Description or Duty Statement outlining the nature of work to be undertaken during the placement.

When can I participate in IBL?

IBL is usually taken in the year prior to the final year of study however requirements may vary by faculty. This ensures that IBL students have the skills appropriate to the tasks being set and you have a chance to apply knowledge and skills learned at university to practical situations. You cannot participate in IBL if you have already finished your studies.

Can I continue to study part-time while on placement?

Please contact your faculty to discuss whether you are eligible to study whilst on placement.

What help can I get with resumes and interview skills in preparation for my placement?

You are able to seek assistance from Swinburne's Careers and Employment Unit for assistance on how to write an interesting cover letter and CV and how to present and prepare for an interview.

What support can I expect from Swinburne while on placement?

Students on placement are allocated a Swinburne supervisor by the university. The supervisor will usually visit the student at their workplace and support them as necessary. IBL Managers are also available to support students where required.

What happens when I finish IBL?

Upon completion of a placement, students are normally expected to return to university to complete their academic studies. If students have been offered further employment with the host organisation (full or part-time) study may be completed part-time. This can be negotiated between the student and the organisation and any post-IBL employment contracts or agreements are quite separate from the IBL placement.

Is IBL classified as a subject?

Yes, IBL has a subject code within the university which gives it subject status and therefore students must officially enrol in the unit. In most cases IBL will not constitute as one of the compulsory subjects required to complete a course. An IBL subject is passed/failed based upon an assessment and recorded on a student's Statement of Results.

Am I still classified as a Swinburne student whilst undertaking an IBL placement?

While on an IBL placement you are still a student, and all university resources - including Counselling, Careers, Finance, Library and Health Services - are still available to you. Remember that you can still use a student concession card for travel on public transport.

Is IBL paid, and at what rate?

IBL is paid at a rate appropriate to the level of duties being undertaken in the placement, subject to the applicable Victorian Common Rule award. IBL salaries are paid at a rate equivalent to the relevant modern award or minimum wage. There are variations to this in individual disciplines and industry sectors.

For more information about particular awards/industries/occupations common rule awards, visit:

Do I have to declare my earnings in my tax return?

Students on an IBL Scholarship receive a scholarship stipend which is tax free.

If you are a direct hire student you will receive a salary and be required to lodge a tax return. You will be able to make a claim against any expenses incurred in earning your income. You should keep receipts for any expenses which are directly related to earning your salary. At the end of June, your employer will issue a group certificate showing the details of earnings in the previous 12 months. It is your responsibility to lodge a tax return annually.

For more information, go to

Will I receive superannuation whilst on placement?

Students receiving an IBL scholarship are not eligible for superannuation.

However, if you are under a direct hire it is compulsory for your employer to pay 9% of your salary into a superannuation account which you will not be able to access until you reach retirement age. The superannuation payment should be itemised on your pay slip with details of the amount and the fund into which it is paid.

Can I still receive Youth Allowance whilst on an IBL placement?

If you are on Youth Allowance (YA) or Austudy you must notify Centrelink of your new income immediately. You are still eligible for YA or Austudy as you have a HECS loading of 0.5 (HECS Exempt), but your income during IBL usually takes you over the income threshold for one of these allowances, which could terminate the allowance.

If you need a Status Letter, this can be obtained via this link or you can contact an IBL Manager if you need more specific information.

Are there any costs involved?

Students enrolling in an IBL unit will incur a Student Contribution Fee: $3,000 for a 12 month placement or $1,500 for a 6 month placement. Students eligible for HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP will be able to defer this fee through the HELP scheme.

Am I required by the university to undertake any assessable work while on an IBL placement?

IBL units of study are assessed as pass/fail. However you may need to complete reflective reports and ongoing self-assessment as part of your placement. Assessment requirements are faculty specific so check with us for more information on what will be required of you.

What official recognition does the university give to IBL?

A student who satisfactorily completes the IBL requirements will get acknowledgment on their testamur when they graduate. IBL results are also noted on a student's Statement of Results at the end of the IBL year acknowledging the satisfactory completion of IBL for that course.