More partners, more projects for Sydney Uni students

26 October 2017

The University of Sydney has partnered with 11 major industry, government and community partners to deliver new project-based units of study in 2018. Students will tackle real issues, as part of the reimagined curriculum.

Over the course of a semester, third-year students from across the University will work together in small groups. They will collaborate on projects that are devised by leading Australian businesses and organisations such as Blackmores, Westpac, CSIRO and the Art Gallery of NSW.

The interdisciplinary groups will take on a significant challenge identified by each business or organisation, such as the effects of artificial intelligence on banking, the feasibility of off-grid electricity solutions and how to better engage art gallery patrons from China.

The project units are key to the transformed undergraduate curriculum, which emphasises real-world experiences and collaboration with external partners.

“These units are fundamentally about ensuring that our graduates leave university with the key attributes of critical thinking, problem solving, effective communication and the resilience to overcome real problems,” said Professor Richard Miles, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education – Enterprise and Engagement).

By working with students from different faculties and schools, participants will develop new ways of approaching a brief.  These collaborative skills will imbue participants with superior graduate qualities, giving them a competitive advantage in the job market.

The new industry partnerships and units of study follow the success of a pilot conducted this year, in which 20 students worked with the NSW Department of Parliamentary Services to investigate the use of drones and social media.

Chief Executive of the NSW Department of Parliamentary Services Mark Webb said the pilot project was a success for all involved.

“The opportunity to engage with such amazing young minds has been a joy for my team. We’re looking forward to an ongoing relationship with the University of Sydney,” said Mr Webb.

Fourth-year philosophy student Victoria Zerbst was one of the 20 students who completed the 2017 pilot. She said she was drawn in by the idea of working with students from other parts of the University.

“I thought, that’s cool! I love figuring out how things work, and accessing parts of the world I wouldn’t have access to otherwise,” said Victoria.

Mark Jeyaraj, a commerce student who completed the pilot, also relished the challenge of collaborating with others and immersing himself into real-world project work.

“It was interesting to step out of my comfort zone,” he said, “I’m used to convincing someone through argument and commerce. It was very different.”

The new partnerships will allow 250 students to undertake the project work in Semester 1 2018. It will expand to 750 places in Semester 2, with even more partners coming on board.

Semester 1 2018 projects

Project name


Disconnecting from the grid


Millennials and the future of work


Engaging Chinese visitors

Art Gallery of NSW

Maximising patient satisfaction


Pharmaceuticals/nutritional combinations/mash-ups


Resettlement of asylum seekers and refugees

Career Seekers

Data analytics for decision support

Data61 | CSIRO

Development and ownership of green space

Glebe Community Development

Auction system for the Sydney Produce Market

NSW Farmer’s Association

Diversity in leadership

Public Service Commission

The impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on banking


Enrolments for Semester 1 projects open 15 December 2017.  Numbers are limited, register your interest to be amongst the first to receive information, by emailing us with your name and email address. 

Register your interest

Enrolments for Semester 1 are open from 15 December to 14 January.
Email us to find out more