Work Integrated Learning Policy


This policy describes the requirements and principles governing work integrated learning activities at Swinburne.


This policy aims to:

  • ensure students have high quality learning experiences that prepare them for their future careers
  • guide decisions regarding the design, approval and delivery of work integrated learning activities and maintain Swinburne’s standards for academic quality and integrity of outcomes
  • foster engagement with industry partners through activities that are of mutual benefit to partners, students and the University
  • ensure that work integrated learning activities are compliant with regulatory and other legal requirements


This policy applies to work integrated learning activities that form components of accredited courses and units.

Industry partners include industry, business, government and community organisations who work with Swinburne on the development and delivery of work integrated learning activities.


  • Volunteering, work experience and other work-related activities that occur outside of the accredited curriculum. These not-for-credit work related activities may be subject to legal, workplace and regulatory requirements also and proponents should seek appropriate advice.

1. Work Integrated Learning Principles

Work integrated learning is where students work in, with or for industry partners to achieve authentic, real-world learning experiences relevant to their course of study. Authentic learning opportunities are planned for and assessed as part the student’s course of study.

When developing and delivering work integrated learning activities, the University should be guided by the principles of:

  • purposeful design into the curriculum of a course and/or unit with learning outcomes that are assessed
  • co-designed with or for industry partners and, where applicable, professional registration bodies and of benefit to Swinburne, its students and industry partners
  • authentic course-related engagement for students with industry partners who are able to deliver the required experiences in appropriate settings to support the achievement of learning outcomes
  • appropriate preparation, guidance and support for students, staff and workplace supervisors, including ongoing access to essential learning resources and support services for students
  • quality monitoring and appropriate supervision
  • assessment and management of risk associated with the activity and compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements.

2. Types of Work Integrated Learning

Work integrated learning approaches may include:

  • Workplace learning, where students engage in course-related work while embedded within industry partner environment (e.g. placements, internships, clinical placements)
  • Practice based learning, where students engage in a real-world learning activity with and for an industry partner where the partner acts as a mentor and/or client in the student learning activity (e.g. industry-linked projects)
  • Immersive learning where students engage with industry partners in an immersive experience to learn experientially (e.g. industry study tours, field trips)

The development of work integrated learning models and approaches will be informed by intelligence from industry partners to ensure they will be attractive to partners and mutually beneficial.

3. Agreements

Arrangements for work integrated learning activities are formalised in agreements that set out the roles and expectations for all parties involved (student, Swinburne and industry partner). 

Where appropriate, intellectual property considerations will be addressed in agreements. 

When making decisions on the approval or renewal of an agreement, the University will consider:

  • the work integrated learning principles listed in Section 1
  • Identification, assessment and management of key risks
  • The capability and capacity of all parties to deliver and participate in work integrated learning activities and outcomes

Agreements must be executed in accordance with the delegations and guidelines set by Council and the Vice-Chancellor.

4. Monitoring and Review

The University will determine processes for monitoring and reviewing the quality and regulatory compliance of work integrated learning activities.

A regular report will be provided to the Academic Senate on academic quality and regulatory compliance of work integrated learning activities, which includes evaluation of stakeholder survey data.

5. Complaints, reviews and appeals

A person dissatisfied with a decision under this policy may lodge a complaint, subject to the requirements of the complaints, review and appeals provision of the Review and Appeals Regulations 2012.