Information for students

Co-operative education program to improve graduate career outcomes

Ashlee Evans

I’m studying a double degree of Materials Engineering and Science, majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Astrophysics (I really like space). My Co-operative Education program intern placement at Ensign Laboratories has been a valuable learning experience. The greatest source of learning has come from the people I have interacted with, from line setters to formulators to engineers and managers, as they have taught me many amazing things over the last few months – procedures and insights that are near unobtainable from regular university classwork.

I have gained a new appreciation of the recyclability of products thanks to a research project I was given to complete for the program. My project was to investigate a client’s business need, which was environmentally-friendly packaging solutions and present my findings to the executive of a leading toothpaste brand. In all, the entire Co-op program has been an immensely valuable eye opener to true workplace life and I have been offered a position with the company after I graduate.

Ashlee Evans - B.Materials Engineering(Honours) and B.Science

Why choose Co-op?

The Co-op program is not just an internship, it promotes continuous learning by alternating study with meaningful work-based learning to provide an enriched experience and equip you for your future career as an engineer. You can explore different industry sectors, understand what it is to be a working engineer, and connect your experience to your studies in a more practical way. You will develop relevant skills and experience that will hold you in good stead when applying for graduate programs. Studies show Co-op students find employment sooner post-graduation, have higher salaries, and are more likely to find a job relevant to their specific degree.

Co-op is optional and not for academic credit. If you undertake Co-op, the duration of your degree may extend but you will not attract any tuition fees for your Co-op terms. You can do your Co-op over summer and/or a semester and the Co-op unit will be listed on your academic transcript.

We provide you with job ready skills to help you prepare yourself for your Co-op interviews and employment. And we provide you with access to paid internships based on your area of interest that are secured via an interview process.

You can use your Co-op terms towards your required Continuous Professional Development (CPD) hours

How it works

  • Co-op is not for credit but you remain enrolled in the degree whilst completing each Co-op term.
  • You can complete a minimum of 2 terms. After the successful completion of 2 work terms, the Co-op program will be listed on your academic transcript as 0 credit point units.
  • There are no tuition fees payable for Co-op.
  • Co-op terms have a minimum of 12 weeks (summer), and up to 6 months (whole semester). Year long Co-op terms will be considered on a case by case basis.

Student remuneration

Co-op is based on an employer and employee relationship for the 3 or 6 month term.  You are employed on a full time basis and receive a salary paid by the employer.

Cost to student

The Faculty of Engineering will provide you with employability skills training by way of a targeted program offered only to Co-op students and aimed at preparing you for your Co-op experience. You will be provided with exclusive access to internship positions not usually available to the rest of the student cohort. Upon receiving confirmation a successful Co-op term a fee of $400 is payable. This payment is payable for each Co-op term but does not have to be paid until you are receiving payment from your employer. The selection process for Co-op positions is determined at the discretion of the employer.

Employability Skills Program

As a Co-op student you will attend a compulsory robust employability skills program to ensure you are significantly prepared to work with your organisation. This program provides modules run in conjunction with Career Connect such as:

  • CV writing
  • Interview skills “how to” workshop
  • LinkedIn profiles
  • Working in Australia and workplace talk (International students only)

Interactive workshops and components specifically designed for the program include:

  • Plan your career
  • Meet an engineer
  • Mock interviews
  • Leadership Essentials
  • Personal growth videos

The Employability Skills Program will either be offered on a weekly basis or a combination of full days and evenings.

Self-sourced Co-op placements

We recognise that students sometimes have their own networks and may be offered a position outside of the Co-op recruitment process. If you are a Co-op student and you have found your own placement please contact us to determine its suitability to be recognised as part of the Co-op program. If your self-sourced placement is approved and your employer decides to take a subsequent Co-op student in the future, your placement fee will be refunded.

How to apply to the Co-op Program

Students are required to make a formal on line application to the Co-op by completing the on line application questions and submitting a CV


You must:

  • Be enrolled in a single or double engineering degree;
  • Students must have obtained a minimum WAM of 60;
  • Have completed at least 72 points of engineering studies and have more than 48 points of engineering studies remaining;
  • Be eligible to work in Australia.