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Course-required placements

Many of the courses at the University have compulsory placements or professional experience. These form a core part of your learning, giving you the opportunity to develop your skills and gain experience in a supervised workplace environment.

Different faculties or schools will have different terms for compulsory placements – this includes practical experience, field education, professional experience, internships and clinical placements.

The requirements for each will vary depending on your faculty or school and degree. In many cases you need to complete certain checks or clearances before your placement. This is outlined in the content below.

Depending on your course, additional placement or internship opportunities may be available.

Insurance cover

The University maintains a personal accident insurance policy that covers you while you are undertaking course related activities, including placements. Find out more about this insurance cover, including how to make a claim.

Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications)

If you are completing the Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications), you are required to complete an internship as part of your program.

The internship allows you to gain professional training in the media and communications field. Find out more information about your intership


If you are undertaking an early childhood, primary, secondary or school counselling teacher education program, you will usually complete professional experience placements and an internship.

  • Professional experience placements provide the opportunity for experienced professionals in the field to assess your suitability, performance and effectiveness as a beginning teacher.
  • Internships give you more independence in the classroom and bridge the end of your pre-service professional learning and your first year of teaching.

You need to get a Working With Children Check and complete training in anaphylaxis before you can register for your placement.

Refer to the Education Professional Experience site for information on professional experience and internships.


It is important you are aware that all people working at school or in early education and care facilities, including students on placement, are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19:  see the Public Health (COVID-19 Vaccination of Education and Care Workers) Order 2021. An exemption from vaccination is available only if you are unable to be vaccinated in the rare situation of a medical contraindication and you can provide the required evidence.  While the Order is a temporary measure under the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW), the government may make further similar orders, and educational facilities that provide placements to students may also introduce their own vaccination requirements. It is therefore possible that vaccination against COVID-19 will be a continuing requirement to meet the requirements of your degree and practice in your profession. If you choose not to be vaccinated against COVID-19, you will not be able to undertake placement(s) at facilities covered by the Order or facilities with their own vaccination requirements.  This may result in you being unable to complete your degree.

Social Work

If you are undertaking a social work program, you need to complete at least two placements referred to as field education.

Before attending placements, you need to get a national criminal record check. Depending on your placement, you may also need a Working With Children Check.

If your placement is in a NSW Health facility, you need to meet certain requirements and be verified by the NSW Ministry of Health. If your placement is at another provider, you may still need to meet some or all of these requirements.

Refer to the faculty website for information on social work field education.

Practical experience is a compulsory part of all Bachelor of Engineering (including combined degrees) and Master of Professional Engineering courses. You will complete at least 12 weeks of practical experience (or an acceptable alternative) during your degree to gain exposure to professional engineering practice. Log into Canvas for information on your practical experience.

Sydney Dental School

If you are undertaking a dentistry or oral health program, you will complete clinical experience during your degree. 

Before you can attend a clinical experience placement, you need to have certain clinical placement checks and clearances. 

Sydney School of Health Sciences

If you are undertaking a professional right of entry program, placements form a significant part of your program and give you the opportunity to apply what you have learnt at university in the workplace. All placements are provided with the aim of meeting the program requirements, Australian professional accreditation requirements and (where appropriate) Australian professional registration requirements.

Before undertaking a placement, there are additional factors that you need to be aware of.

  • Placements often take place outside the standard semester periods.
  • You will need to complete at least one placement in a rural area during your program.
  • You need to complete the pre-placement requirements within the outlined timeframes before your placement commences. This includes certain clinical checks and clearances to complete the NSW Ministry of Health verification.
  • If your placement is child-related, or you are studying Exercise and Sports Science, Exercise Physiology, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy or Speech Pathology, you’ll need a Working With Children Check.

You can find information on clinical and work placements on the faculty website.

If you are completing a course to become a physiotherapist, medical radiation practitioner or occupational therapist, you are required to be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

Your placement will be managed through Sonia. Log in to Sonia.

Sydney Medical School

Sydney Medical Program (MD or MBBS)

If you are enrolled in the Sydney Medical Program, you will participate in clinical training and experience in health care facilities throughout your studies. In particular, you will undertake clinical training in the Sydney Medical School’s clinical schools. You will automatically be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

Clarification of Insurance coverage for Sydney Medical Program (pdf, 72KB) students undertaking approved placements.

Postgraduate Courses

Other postgraduate courses may require you to complete clinical training. You need to have certain checks and clearances before you can undertake any training in a clinical environment. You can check these requirements with your course coordinator. 

If you are enrolled in the Master of Genetic Counselling Program at the Northern Clinical School, you need to attend clinical placements in hospitals throughout Australia and internationally.

Sydney Nursing School

If you are completing a pre-registration course at the Sydney Nursing School, you are required to complete a significant amount of off-campus clinical placements. Placements take place in private and public hospitals, mental health services, community health centres and schools.

You need to have certain clinical checks and clearances and a Working With Children Check before you can attend any clinical placements. A NSW Ministry of Health verification is required, even if your placement is not in a NSW Health facility. You should start the verification process as soon as you enrol, or know you will be enrolling in a pre-registration nursing degree, as it can be time consuming. If you’re not verified, it will affect your ability to progress in the degree.

Your placement will be managed through Sonia. Log in to Sonia.

Sydney Pharmacy School

If you are studying the Bachelor of Pharmacy, Bachelor of Pharmacy and Management or Master of Pharmacy, you are required to complete clinical placements as part of your course.

Before you can attend a placement, you need to have certain clinical placement checks and clearances. You’ll need a criminal records check and evidence of vaccinations.

If you are enrolled in a pharmacy program, you are required to be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

After completing your degree, you need to undertake an internship before you can apply for general registration. Find more information on the intern training program.

Faculty of Science

Nutrition and Dietetics

If you are completing the Master of Nutrition and Dietetics, you are required to complete a semester of clinical placements in the second year of your program.

Before you can attend a placement, you need to have certain clinical placement checks and clearances.

Clinical Psychology

If you are completing the Master of Clinical Psychology, you are required to complete both internal and external placements. These placements start during the first semester of your program.   

Before you can attend a placement, you need to hold provisional registration with AHPRA's Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA) and have certain clinical placement checks and clearances.

Faculty of Veterinary Science

If you are undertaking a veterinary science degree, you will complete compulsory placements and an intern program throughout your course.

You will complete a range of preclinical placements as part of the Extramural Studies (EMS) Program. These placements are completed from the first to fourth year of your degree and include:

  • pre-clinical industry placements (animal husbandry placements)
  • Veterinary Student Abattoir Program
  • preparatory clinical placements.

In your final year of study, you will complete a clinical studies intern program.

You need to meet the Q fever vaccination requirements before you can complete any placements.

Your placement preferences and EMS records are managed through the SONIA Placement Management System. You can access such information by logging into SONIA Online Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Placements.

Animal and Veterinary Bioscience

If you are completing the Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience, you need to complete a Professional Development Program. This involves at least five professional experience placements between the first and third year of your degree.

Veterinary Public Health Management

If you are completing a postgraduate program in Veterinary Public Health Management, you need to complete two or three leadership and project management residential sessions as part of your course.

If you are completing a Veterinary Public Health program, you may choose to complete the residential units of study as electives.

Residential sessions are intensive blocks (three to five days), held at the University’s Camperdown Campus during February and July.

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Last updated: 22 December 2021

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