Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

Professional practicum

Further Information

Stamps-Career-Student 

Required practicum documents

Cover Sheet [PDF, 121.4 KB]
Updated 3 Dec 2015


Cover Sheet [RTF, 699.1 KB]
Updated 3 Dec 2015


Report Template [RTF, 576.8 KB]
Updated 4 Mar 2016


Students surveying If you are enrolled in the Bachelor of Engineering, the Bachelor of Computer Science (and degrees combined with these) or the Master of Professional Engineering, you must complete relevant, discipline-related work experience.

The primary aims of the professional practicum are: to provide you with important insights into the work of engineers / computer scientists; to allow you to apply theory in practice, and to help you develop generic competencies that will assist you in your future career.

You will not be able to graduate until this work experience is completed and a report submitted and assessed as acceptable. Reports can be submitted at any time but must be received by the last day of your final semester at the latest to ensure that you can graduate on time.

This page explains the expectations of the practicum and the assessment requirements.


  1. Weeks of work experience required
  2. Expected outcomes
  3. Category 1: Discipline specific work experience
  4. Category 2, 3 and 4: Other work experience
  5. Assessment
  6. Reporting requirements
  7. Resources
  8. FAQs

Weeks of work experience required

Course Course Code

Weeks Req.
(see note 1)

Hours Req. (approx.)
(see note 2)
 
MPE 62550 12 450 (see NOTE 3)
 
BCompSc 60130 8 300
 
BCompSc/ BCom 61020 8 300
 
BCompSc/ BEc 61010 8 300
 
BE 60110 12 450 (see NOTE 3)  
BSc/BE 51160 12 450 (see NOTE 3)  
BE/BCom 61140 12 450 (see NOTE 3)  
BE/BEc 61190 12 450 (see NOTE 3)  
BE/BA 61110 12 450 (see NOTE 3)  
BE/BA
(AsSt)
61120 12 450 (see NOTE 3)  
BE/BA
(CommSt)
61130 12 450 (see NOTE 3)  
BCM/BE 61100 12 450 (see NOTE 3)  
BMus/BE 61040 12 450 (see NOTE 3)  
BCompSc/ BE 61160 16 600

 


Note 1: The number of weeks indicated is based on full-time employment at 37.5 hours per week. If your employment for an engineering company requires you to work on a roster of more than 37.5 hours per week, then you may be able to complete your professional practicum hours in less than the number of weeks stated. You will need to provide evidence. You cannot claim occasional overtime in a job that is usually 37.5 hours per week. Part time work is acceptable. For example, if a MPE student is working 15 hours per week, then they should complete 30 weeks for the practicum.

Note 2: You may use a number of placements to complete the professional practicum requirement. If you plan to accept unpaid work, please refer to the FAQs on insurance cover.

Note 3: A minimum of 300 hours must be completed in an engineering work environment (see Category 1: Discipline specific work experience for more information about this requirement). It is strongly recommended that the other 150 hours be also accrued in this manner. However, if this is not possible, then you can accrue up to 150 hours by undertaking other engineering activities, or by obtaining relevant practicum experience in a non-engineering work environment. Conditions apply. See Categories 2, 3, 4: Other work experience for details.

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Expected outcomes

You are responsible for organising your own work placements and accruing the required number of professional practicum hours. This expectation requires you to demonstrate initiative and a proactive demeanour, which are identified by Engineers Australia as necessary attributes of professional engineers.

As part of the practicum you are expected to:

  • contact and liaise with employers to organise work experience
  • perform satisfactorily as assessed by an employer
  • develop an understanding of future roles as a professional engineer or computer scientist
  • reflect on work experiences and articulate professional benefits
  • constructively critique workplace practices ;
  • write a clear and concise report in English covering the above items.

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 At least 300 hours (600 hours for students enrolled in the CompSc/BE) of your practicum should comprise placements that are relevant to the discipline you are studying, and where appropriate allow you to apply your technical engineering / computer science knowledge.

This category includes:

  • Paid or unpaid industry placements in an engineering / computer science work environment
  • Voluntary work in an engineering capacity for a recognised non-governmental organisation (NGO) or not-for profit organisation (NFP or NPO)
  • National service in an engineering role as a conscript, reservist or military scholarship holder
  • Working as an intern for a UWA (or equivalent) engineering research group
  • Completing a full CEED project

If you plan to accept unpaid work, please refer to the FAQ on insurance cover

A Certificate of Work Performed will need to be completed by your work supervisor. Ideally your supervisor will be an experienced member of your profession.

If you are unsure whether your placement is appropriate, please contact the ECM Student Office who will confirm with the relevant school.

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Categories 2, 3 and 4: Other work experience

This option is not available to students enrolled in the BCompSc or degrees combined with the BCompSc, including the BCompSc/BE.

Up to 150 hours of your professional practicum can be accrued by undertaking other engineering activities or in a non-engineering work environment under certain conditions. Suitable activities and employment are detailed below.

Other engineering activities

Other engineering activities can be loosely defined as educational or service tasks that help to develop your understanding of a particular aspect of the engineering profession.

Category 2

Examples in this category include:

  • Attending Engineers Australia (or equivalent) short courses, workshops, seminars or conferences
  • Attending invited guest lectures from industry-based engineers (the lectures must not be a part of the formal requirements of a unit)
  • Presenting at a conference or school on an engineering related topic (the presentation must not be a part of the formal requirements of a unit); and
  • Formal site visits of engineering works


Evidence will need to be provided as proof of participation in the above activities; for example, a receipt of attendance, a letter of thanks from a school, etc.

Category 3

Examples in this category include:

  • Service to the engineering profession, including elected roles on the executive of engineering student clubs and societies. For more information on claiming hours for a role on an engineering student club committee, please refer to the FAQ on engineering student clubs.
  • Participation in local, national or international engineering competitions.
  • Assisting an academic staff member with engineering consulting work
  • Completing a 3/4 CEED project;
  • Working as a tutor, facilitator or lab demonstrator in an engineering unit.


Work experience in this category will need to be supervised in some capacity so that someone with appropriate authority, who has direct knowledge of your contribution, can complete a Certificate of Work Performed.

Practicum experience in a non-engineering work environment

What constitutes suitable practicum experience in a non-engineering environment is still being refined, but will require students to demonstrate the development of generic competencies that are relevant to a professional engineering career. Roles that require leadership, management and strong interpersonal skills would be deemed appropriate.

Category 4

Examples in this category include:

  • Work experience in a complementary profession (e.g. accounting firm, law practice)
  • A coaching, management or officiating role for a UWA, state, national or international sporting organisation
  • Work as a qualified instructor (e.g. AUSTSWIM instructor, licensed driving instructor)
  • Volunteer work in a non-engineering capacity for a recognised non-governmental organisation (NGO) or not-for profit organisation (NFP or NPO)
  • National service in a non-engineering role as a conscript, reservist or military scholarship holder
  • Volunteer work for approved activities of an engineering student club or society. For more information, please refer to the FAQ on engineering student clubs.
  • Volunteer work for UWA or the Faculty (e.g. UniMentor, ECM mentorship of international students, etc.)
  • A management role in the retail or food industries;
  • An elected role in a registered organisation (e.g. a member of the UWA Guild Council)


Work experience in this category will need to be supervised in some capacity so that someone with appropriate authority, who has direct knowledge of your contribution, can complete a Certificate of Work Performed.

It is expected that the above list will grow over time. Students may submit proposals for activities or roles that they think may fulfil the criteria to the ECM Student Office for consideration. Proposals must include a clear explanation as to why the activity might be considered a suitable practicum experience and will be evaluated on individual merit.

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Assessment

In order to pass the professional practicum, you must:

  • Complete the required number of hours
  • Perform satisfactorily as assessed by your employer(s); and
  • Prepare and submit a satisfactory professional practicum report


Details on what is expected in the report and the submission process are provided in reporting requirements.

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Reporting requirements

It is strongly recommended that you keep a journal or log of your practicum experiences, which you can then refer to when writing your report. Note down any information that will help you with the required content of the report, including important dates, names of the people that you deal with, points of interest, personal observations of the work place, your role(s), and what you have learnt from the experience(s). Also, where appropriate and with permission, it may be useful to keep a photographic record of the work site and the equipment that you see and/or use.

Report Structure and Content

Your report should include the following:
  • A Professional Practicum Coversheet – a report template is available in the right hand sidebar. You must summarise your professional practicum hours in the table on the reverse side of the coversheet.
  • Title page
  • An executive summary that provides a brief overview of the main aims, actions and outcomes
  • Table of contents
  • An Introduction that describes the purpose of the report, its contents and how you have completed the required number of practicum hours
  • A section on each placement in Categories 1, 3 and 4 that briefly describes:
    • How you obtained your practicum work
    • The business that you worked for and its organisational structure
    • The projects / activities that you were involved with and your contribution
    • Observations of inter-professional relationships
    • Where appropriate, observations of management and labour relationships
  • A critical assessment of the value of your practicum experience(s) including reflection on your development as a professional. Your critical assessment and reflection should consider how all of your practicum experience(s) in Categories 1 to 4 have contributed to your professional development, and where appropriate you should refer to the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standard for Professional Engineer. A link to this standard is given in Resources.
  • Conclusions
  • Acknowledgements (if applicable) – should thank individuals or groups that have helped you beyond their normal duties
  • References (if applicable) – views other than your own should be acknowledged in the text and referenced appropriately.
  • Appendices, including a signed Certificate of Work Performed for each placement in Categories 1, 3 and 4 and appropriate evidence for Category 2, to show you have completed the required practicum hours.

Report Layout and Writing Style

Your report should be typed and clearly laid out with headings, sub-headings and page numbers.

Please use the following:
  • A4 page layout
  • 2cm page margins
  • 12pt Times or Times Roman font
  • Double-spaced lines

2000 words for the main body of the report should be sufficient, with diagrams and pictures to help illustrate particular points.

Report Submission Process

Reports can be submitted via LMS at any time but must be submitted by the last day of your final semester at the latest in order to ensure that you can graduate on time. If you don't have access to the LMS page, then please contact the ECM Student Office.

To facilitate processing, Engineering Science students should not submit their report until they are enrolled in the Master of Professional Engineering.

Please keep a copy of your report and certificates, as they will not be returned.

Report Grading

Your report will be assessed against the above criteria and your ability to write a concise and informative report in English. It will be awarded either Ungraded Pass (UP) or Ungraded Fail (UF). Unsatisfactory reports must be resubmitted until a grade of UP is awarded. Work experience that is deemed to be unsuitable for your discipline will result in a UF.

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Resources

You may find the following resources useful.

Tips on seeking work

Trevelyan, JP. (2014). ‘Seeking Work’ in: The making of an expert engineer, CRC Press, London, pp. 511-528. Copies available in the UWA library.

Prof Trevelyan works in the School of Mechanical & Chemical Engineering at UWA is a world-leading expert on engineering practice research.

ECM Student Experience on LMS

Keep an eye on the LMS unit ECM Student Experience, as the Faculty and student clubs organise a number of career information and networking sessions throughout the year.

UWA Career Hub

All students have access to UWA CareerHub (using your studentID and pheme password). You can use this resource to keep up to date with current employment opportunities. Fact sheets and workshops on resume and cover letter writing, networking, job search strategies and interview tips can also be accessed in CareerHub.  

For details of other Careers Centre services refer to the Careers Centre website.

Engineers Australia

Engineers Australia (EA) represents professional engineering in Australia and is responsible for accrediting our BE and MPE programmes. Graduates of accredited degrees are expected at a minimum to demonstrate the competencies outlined in the Stage 1 Competency Standard for Professional Engineer and are eligible for graduate membership of EA.

EA is also responsible for awarding chartered status, which allows professional engineers to join the National Professional Engineers Register (NPER), and has reciprocal agreements with a number of engineering accreditation bodies in other countries, which allow their members to work world-wide.

EA advertises internships and graduate positions through EA Connect.  You will need to be a student member of EA to use this facility. EA student membership is free and offers a range of benefits. More information is available from the Engineers Australia membership page.

Computer Science and Software Engineering

These companies can provide industry experience that fulfils the requirements of both the BCompSc and the BE(SE) degree programmes, and have indicated a willingness to consider written applications by students for vacation employment.

Other Websites

The following websites advertise vacation work opportunities:

Some company websites also advertise positions. Check their sites directly, or type ‘engineering vacation work internships’ into Google and follow your nose.

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FAQs

What is a Certificate of Work Performed?

A template for the Certificate of Work Performed is available in the right hand sidebar.

The Certificate of Work Performed allows your employer / supervisor to confirm the number of hours you have worked, describe the tasks you have undertaken, and comment on your conduct during the placement.  

You will need to submit a Certificate of Work Performed for each placement in Categories 1, 3 and 4.

Do I need to enrol in a professional practicum unit?

You do not enrol in the professional practicum units. You will be automatically enrolled in the professional practicum unit in your final semester or upon successful completion of the unit and the result will be released together with the other enrolled units for the semester.

When is the best time to complete my professional practicum?

The practicum is your opportunity to apply the knowledge you are developing in your studies to real-world situations, so you should wait until you have completed some specialisation units before you undertake your placement. If you are enrolled in a pre-2012 course, it is recommended that you commence your practicum during the final few years of your degree. If you are enrolled in the Engineering Science major or the Master of Professional Engineering, then it is recommended that you complete at leaste two level 3 pathway units before seeking placements.

Does my CEED Project count towards the Professional Practicum?

If you complete a full CEED project, then you are automatically credited with the full number of hours required for the professional practicum for your particular degree. A Certificate of Work Performed must be completed by your industry supervisor and submitted with your Professional Practicum report.

If you are doing a 3/4 CEED project for your final year project, then you can claim four weeks towards your professional practicum under the Category 3 of other work experience category. A Certificate of Work Performed must be completed by your academic supervisor and submitted with your Professional Practicum report.

How do I claim hours for my contribution to an engineering student club?

The club or society must be listed on the Faculty Student Clubs page.

You are be able to claim up to a maximum of 150 hours towards your practicum if you are an elected member of an engineering student club or society, or you have volunteered to assist with one of their approved activities.

You are expected to keep a log of all of your club activities and the hours involved. You may be requested to submit your log for verification of the hours claimed.

You must submit a Certificate of Work Performed with your practicum report. The certificate should include a summary of the club activities that you contributed to and the total number of hours. The certificate must be signed by the following:

  • If you are the president of an engineering club or society, then the certificate must be signed by the chair of the Student Association Council.
  • If you are an elected member of an engineering club or society, other than the president, then the certificate must be signed by the president of the club.
  • If you are not an elected member, but volunteer to help at an approved engineering student club activity, then the certificate must be signed by the president or vice-president of the club.

An overview of the activities claimed must be included in the club’s annual report.

Can I accrue hours using multiple placements?

You can accrue practicum hours with more than one employer. A separate Certificate of Work Performed must be completed for each placement.

Can I complete a placement overseas?

Your work placement(s) can be completed in Australia or overseas.

Do I have insurance cover during my practicum?

If you are being paid, then your employer is expected to provide adequate insurance cover during the period of employment. If you are unsure, ask your employer for clarification.

If you are not being paid, then you are covered by the University’s insurance policy.  UWA’s Student Placement Cover is only available to students currently enrolled at UWA who are undertaking unpaid work as part of their professional practicum. You need to obtain a certificate of currency from the ECM Student Office before you commence any unpaid employment.


For any other enquiries regarding the Professional Practicum, contact the ECM Student Office.

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This Page

Last updated:
Wednesday, 20 April, 2016 11:37 AM

http://www.ecm.uwa.edu.au/2322817