Examples by study area
JCU's goal is for you to be work-ready when you finish your degree. Find out about placement, project and fieldwork opportunities by study area:
All students who are enrolled in JCU's Bachelor of Arts have the opportunity to take part in a hands-on experience in the final semester of study - our capstone subject gives you the chance to consolidate your skills and reflect on your knowledge in a career development or research capacity.
In addition, our majors offer a variety of placements and projects, for example:
- Archaeology students participate in field trips around northern Queensland including heritage site excavations and Aboriginal Australian rock art sites. There are also exciting opportunities to participate in South-East Asian field trips.
- Criminology students gain practical and personal skills while participating in a group research project in third year conducted with local agencies in Cairns and Townsville.
- History students study in the northern Queensland environment on field trips, and Human Geography students undertake placements and project work opportunities with partners including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage.
- Human Services students experience close research and working relationships with government agencies and local community groups that ensure your learning is relevant and practical.
- If you study Politics and International Relations you will take part in parliamentary internships to develop problem-solving skills that help you prepare for work.
- Our Multimedia Journalism and Writing and English majors give you practical training in creative writing, multimedia journalism, public relations, and your will develop the essential oral and written communication skills that employers are looking for.
- The highlight of JCU's Modern Languages program is our overseas exchange opportunity, which is designed to achieve better fluency and deeper cultural knowledge. For the past six years, we have sent over 60 students to the Pacific Islands, including Vanuatu and New Caledonia. We also have semester exchanges at our partner universities in Japan, Germany, Italy, France and New Caledonia.
Our Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences students learn practical skills in teaching and research laboratories which have tissue culture suites, histology processing and microscopy, a radioisotope suite, clinical pathology suites and post-mortem suites. Most subjects include a substantial practical component, drawing on JCU’s close links with local hospitals and private laboratories. You will be involved in clinical investigations in the areas of cardiac, respiratory, sleep and neurological sciences. You can also gain hands-on experience in animal biomedical science.
The Bachelor of Clinical Sciences is a four-year degree, and your final year of study offers clinical placements; you will take part in 12 weeks of clinical rotation in professional medical or clinical science laboratories, and then another 12 week placement to complete your clinical training. This profession supports the care of patients in hospital and offers different placement experiences aligned to your career goals. Students successfully completing professional placements in the Clinical Sciences major develop high level skills in cardiac, respiratory, sleep and neuro-sciences.
As a JCU business student, you will be able to conclude your studies with a core Work Integrated Learning (WIL) experience that connects you to the business community. This gives you the opportunity to put theory into practice and showcase your skills to potential employers.
WIL subjects are designed to provide flexibility, and they include internships, work-based projects (for students who are in employment), or a small group project that investigates and develops a solution for a project sourced from our industry partners.
As a business student, you will start preparing for your WIL experience from your first year onwards through the use of career development modules and quizzes which are embedded in the curriculum.
Professional Development Certificate (PDC)
Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Business also have the opportunity to achieve recognition through participating in the Professional Development Certificate (PDC). The PDC is voluntary and involves completion of extra-curricular activities such as volunteering, networking and developing a LinkedIn profile, to further develop the essential employability skills for transitioning into your chosen career.
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Bachelor of Dental Surgery students complete over 2000 hours of supervised clinical placements in a variety of settings, including private practices as well as rural and remote community health facilities across northern Queensland.
Our impressive $75 million dental teaching complex on the Cairns campus includes state-of-the-art facilities, including a prosthodontics laboratory which seats 40 students and a microbiology/ physiology laboratory which seats 60 students.
JCUDental is our fully operational dental clinic fitted with 84 dental chairs open to the public, as well as one master treatment room. JCUDental also operates a clinic in the Clinical Practice Building in Townsville, where final year students provide services for the general public.
Professional experience forms a key part of all JCU's education courses with practical classroom skills beginning in your first year of study. Quality teaching staff, great facilities and small class sizes are distinctive features of our courses. There are also exciting opportunities for international experiences and an internship option in your final year.
As a JCU Education student you will acquire specialist skills for teaching in rural and remote areas. You will also be equipped to help improve education outcomes for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Teachers inspire and educate, helping young people develop skills that prepare them for adult life.
In addition to professional skills we will help you develop a sense of civic responsibility, working in the community. You will be part of our learning partnerships with community agencies, industry and business. When you enrol in our Service Learning for Sustainable Futures subject, you will complete a minimum of 50 hours of work in an approved organisation either in Australia or overseas. Your service learning project relates to the concept of sustainability and will suit your skills, interests and circumstances. You can usually complete your service learning in a block or throughout a study period.
JCU offers an internationally recognised engineering program shaped by industry. Our Engineering degrees are accredited by Engineers Australia, and this means that you undertake 60 days of hands-on practical experience as part of your study. Your 60 days (12 weeks) of Vacation Practice is usually taken in your third or final year of study.
You will also participate in field trips, laboratory and design work and group projects with other engineering students. Industry partners actively support our Engineering students by providing advice on course content, specialist guest lecturers and cutting-edge design and research projects.
Our study areas are aligned with the jobs of the future: Internet of Things (IoT), Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Electrical Engineering. JCU graduates are immediately eligible for graduate membership of Engineers Australia. Huawei Technologies are one of our partners offering placement and project opportunities to our IoT students.
As a JCU Bachelor of Information Technology student you will gain valuable hands-on experience which culminates in a final year capstone subject. The subject may be an internship in the IT industry or an individual or group project. Your group project can involve working with other students and our industry partners to apply complex problem-solving skills to find and enact a successful real-world project outcome.
Each year, JCU's IT students gain real-world experience by taking part in Technology Design Sprints - this two-day event involves face-to-face interaction with clients. Employers at our Design Sprints present authentic projects that require solutions. They help you build networks and improve employability skills such as design thinking, teamwork and effective communication. In your final year of study you will build on this by taking part in a student placement and working directly on these projects with business and industry.
JCU's Bachelor of Laws degree has strong emphasis on social justice, professionalism, collaboration, multi-disciplinary problem solving and regional legal practice. Legal experiences and placements help you to gain valuable skills, establish professional relationships and develop a realistic view of how our legal system operates.
Placement opportunities include Community Legal Services, Government departments, and Not-for-Profit organisations. For example, the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (Qld) welcomes JCU students to workplaces across Queensland, including Cairns and Townsville. Students studying law, justice, Indigenous studies, advocacy, or a combination relevant to the organisation's vision and mission are encouraged to apply.
If you are aspiring to advocacy work, we offer training and experience in criminal law sentencing and advocacy before judges, magistrates and barristers. In your final year, you may also have the opportunity to collaborate on a project with students from Business; you will work together to design, implement and evaluate a real-life project sourced from one of our industry partner organisations.
- Our Marine Science students:
- Use advanced marine technology to measure aspects of the marine environment
- Gain experience with a wide-range of marine sensors in field work at sea
- Learn how to analyse large marine data sets to extract important information
- Work on Orpheus Island Research Station
- Participate in practical work and experiments aboard research vessels
- Conduct on-location research: coral reefs, islands, seagrass beds and mangroves
- Study in JCU's advanced research aquariums and laboratories.
JCU Nursing students gain valuable experience in rural and remote health settings and understand the health needs of diverse communities including those of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In addition, with over 800 hours of professional experience placements throughout your course, you will graduate with work-ready skills for a range of health settings in cities, towns or remote regions.
You will also develop clinical skills right from your first year with simulated experiences that lead to clinical placements in our network of partner hospitals, health centres and community facilities around northern Queensland.
Students in the Bachelor of Nursing Science-Bachelor of Midwifery also develop clinical skills from the first year and complete a total of 47 weeks of supervised clinical placements.
JCU's Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery includes a variety of clinical placements in a range of locations. Your extensive training involves over 4000 hours of clinical practice.
Hands-on experience starts in your first year of study, and continues throughout your degree: In your fourth year you will be based in either Townsville or Cairns, and in years five and six you will experience our clinical school sites in Cairns, Mackay, Darwin and Townsville, plus extended placements in rural and remote communities. You will also have the opportunity to study overseas.
Underpinning our work is a shared commitment to social justice, a passion for innovation and a commitment to excellence
Planning students integrate their knowledge in practical workplace settings through specialised industry placement opportunities. You also get the chance to work on planning projects to hone your skills in areas such as environmental impact and legislation.
Placement opportunities overseas in tropical urbanism and design include field studies in Singapore.
JCU's Bachelor of Planning is accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA). Our graduates are eligible for immediate membership of the Urban and Regional Chapter of the Planning Institute of Australia and, after two years’ professional planning experience, are eligible to become corporate members (MPIA).
JCU's Bachelor of Pharmacy students have the opportunity to gain a wealth of skills - you will gain up to 600 hours of placement experience working with rural, urban and under-served populations to gain clinical skills of the highest standard. You will also work alongside experts during your professional placements.
Throughout your course you will have the opportunity to speak to volunteer patients who will role-play pharmacy scenarios to improve your communication skills.
Visit our future students' Pharmacy webpage for more information and a video tour of our facilities.
Physiotherapy at JCU has a focus on developing work-ready practitioners, and offers individual attention. During your first year you will be mentored by a staff member who will help you create an individual learning plan, set goals and identify strategies to achieve success in your studies.
You will complete more than 30 weeks of supervised clinical placements in urban, rural and remote locations to develop your clinical skills. Placements are available at the JCU Health Physiotherapy Clinic on our Townsville campus, as well as internationally. You will gain valuable experience in rural and remote health settings, and learn about the health needs of diverse communities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Psychology is renowned for its undergraduate courses and postgraduate clinical programs accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council.
A minimum 6-year sequence of education and supervised training is required to become eligible for registration as a psychologist. Your clinical placements take place in the postgraduate years of study, where you undertake two years of supervised practice.
JCU’s Bachelor of Occupational Therapy Honours offers extensive practical work. You will gain experience working with clients in a range of rural and urban locations, totalling at least 1000 hours of placements.
The JCU Health Occupational Therapy Clinic, located on-campus in Townsville, is one such facility where you will observe, learn and develop clinical skills under supervision. You may be able to spend an exciting six months at a partner university in Sweden, or a six-week placement in Vietnam to add an extra dimension to your Occupational Therapy studies.
JCU's Speech Pathology students gain work-ready skills through professional placements in a variety of specialty settings. At JCU you will work with real clients under the supervision of practicing speech pathologists. You may also have the opportunity to work in schools with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and to pursue overseas and interstate placements.
JCU’s modern facilities for speech pathology students are state of-the-art. The JCU Speech Pathology Clinic in Townsville is where you will observe, learn and develop your professional skills under the supervision of expert clinical educators.
As a JCU science student, you will build industry networks, join presentations by experts, and build key employability skills throughout your degree.
Field trips to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park are a key part of studying marine biology and marine science at JCU. Our students benefit from hands-on study at JCU's research station on Orpheus Island which gives you an authentic opportunity to study, collect samples and experience first-hand the coral reefs and marine life of our tropical region. There is a strong focus on applying new technologies in practical settings.
Aquaculture students also benefit from our outstanding facilities, including the Aquarium Complex in Townsville. You will work in the field while having easy access to temperature-controlled rooms, laboratories and lecture theatres. JCU's direct links with the aquaculture industry give you practical and research experiences that ensure our teaching programs deliver the latest in aquaculture teaching practices. For example, you can build key hands-on aquaculture employability skills in our ‘Hatchery Techniques’ subject, offered at our Townsville campus.
Students studying geology and earth sciences benefit from JCU’s location and easy access to geological areas including lava tubes, ancient volcanoes and large areas of mineral deposits. Through field trips to these areas you will have opportunities to perform data collection and analysis on location.
Our zoology and ecology students benefit from learning in the biodiversity of northern Queensland, the various environments of the Wet Tropics and field trips to JCU's Daintree Rainforest Observatory. There are also opportunities to study in the unique eco-system of Malaysian Borneo.
Additionally, JCU's Bachelor of Environmental Practice was introduced in 2016 to respond to employer demand for graduates with environmental, social and economic (triple bottom-line) skills and knowledge. A placement forms part of your final year of study, giving you the opportunity to put what you have learned into practice. You may work on issues including conservation planning, land and water quality assessment, planning, protection and remediation, coastal management and planning, river and floodplain management, community risk assessment to natural hazards such as storm surge and sea level rise.
Social Work at JCU places strong emphasis on hands-on experience, and workshops and practical skills are embedded throughout your degree. In years three and four you will be part of the exciting transition to real-world situations through field placements where you have the opportunity to put your knowledge into practice.
JCU carefully arranges your field placements so they align with your skills, interests and ambitions. Your two placements (500 hours each) will usually be with one government and one non-government organisation, to give you a rounded and varied experience.
Social Work offers a diverse range of career possibilities. JCU's Bachelor of Social Work is professionally accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). That means your learning is aligned with the professional requirements that employers look for, and you will be able to work in our local communities and throughout Australia.
Sport and Exercise Science students gain extensive practical experience during their degree. You will complete 140 hours of placements working with clients in community health centres, hospitals, sporting clubs, fitness centres, and with other allied health services.
JCU’s Sport and Exercise Science clinic in Townsville is home to technical testing facilities and carries out research with the Australian Defence Force and sporting codes to improve performance in the Tropics. You can spend an exciting six months at a partner university in Canada, the US, UK, Korea, or Denmark to add an extra dimension.
JCU's Exercise Physiology is also a highly practical degree where you will receive extensive clinical experience. You will develop your personal and professional skills with a minimum of 500 hours supervised placements in hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, fitness centres and care homes around northern Queensland and Australia-wide.
Bachelor of Veterinary Science students begin hands-on training and animal handling in their first year of study. As well as regular practical work and field trips, you will complete a series of clinical placements in your final two years of study, in rural or urban settings in Queensland, around Australia, or even overseas.
As a JCU Veterinary Science student, you will have full access to our modern and innovative facilities, including teaching laboratories, the JCU Veterinary Emergency Centre and Hospital In Townsville, JCU’s Fletcherview working cattle station and the JCU Tableland Veterinary Teaching Resource Centre In Malanda.
JCU's Bachelor of Veterinary Science is accredited by the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC), and our graduates are eligible to practice as Veterinarians in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.