Health Sciences Practicum
Introduction and Eligibility
The Health Sciences Practicum unit (HSH322) enables students to incorporate a fieldwork placement as part of their degree.
These placements will give students first-hand experience from professionals in their field of study, increasing their employability and allowing them to gain the necessary skills that will be transferrable once they graduate.
HSH322 is currently an elective unit and enrolment numbers are capped. Therefore students must meet certain eligibility criteria to apply, and will be subject to an application/screening process.
The Practicum Unit is offered in all three Trimesters, and is open to students from any campus.
Students must be enrolled in the Bachelor of Health Sciences (H300) or Bachelor of Health Sciences/Bachelor of Arts (D391) and be completing at least one of the following majors from the School of Health & Social Development (HSD):
- Health Promotion
- Family, Society & Health
- People, Society & Disability
- Environmental Health
- Health & Sustainability
Students must have completed at least 16 credit points, with at least 4 of these being from one of the HSD major sequences listed above.
How to Apply
Download and complete the 2-page Expression of Interest Form, and return to the Fieldwork Officer by the deadline for your Trimester of preference.
Your application will be assessed, and you may be invited to attend an interview as part of the screening process. Once you have been offered a place in the Practicum, you will need to ensure that you have an elective space available so that you can be enrolled in the unit (self-enrolment is not available).
Where will I go for placement?
Our practicum agencies include local councils, community health centres, not-for-profit organisations, government departments, private companies, research organisations and other community-based support organisations.
Agencies can be local, regional/rural, interstate and overseas. Students wishing to complete a practicum overseas should contact the Fieldwork Officer as early as possible to discuss the options available. Students generally find that Trimester 3 is the best time for completing a placement overseas or outside of the local area, generally because they will need to commit to a full-time block of 4 weeks. This can be difficult to manage in Trimester 1 or 2 if the student has other study/work commitments, unless the practicum can be completed over one of the longer Trimester breaks.
Eligible students may be able to apply for an OS-HELP loan, which can help to cover the cost of completing a placement overseas. Scholarships and other WIL-support bursaries may be available for students completing local or regional/rural placements.
What to Expect on Placement
Students will be required to attend 2 x 3-hour face to face seminars at the university, (one pre-placement and one post-placement). Generally, the pre-placement seminar will be held the week prior to when the Trimester teaching period begins. This allows students to start making contact with their placement agency/supervisor in week 1 and to get started as soon as possible.
Students will be allocated to an agency and will complete approximately 120 hours (15 days) in the field. The 120 hours can be completed as a full-time block of 3-4 weeks, but most students choose to spread out the hours over the Trimester around their other study/work commitments. Attending placement 2 days per week will allow the student to complete their total required hours over an 8 week period.
Students have the option to source their own placement if they have a particular agency they would like to approach, or a specific area of health they would like to work in. In these cases, it's a good idea to get in touch with the Fieldwork Officer (to assess suitability) prior to making contact with the relevant organisation or professional.
As well as the practical hours, students will also complete assessment tasks for the unit in their own private study time (please see handbook entry for details).
Student Experiences and Practicum Supervisors
Ellen Crocker undertook her placement with the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority and shares her experiences in the following video.
Ellen Crocker, Student Placement
Aileen Thoms is the Health Promotion Manager at Koo Wee Rup Health Service, a health service centre providing allied health support and health promotion programs in southern Victoria.
Aileen Thoms, Placement Supervisor, Koo Wee Rup Health Service
If you have any enquiries about the Health Sciences Practicum, please contact the Fieldwork Officer or one of the Unit Chairs for HSH322:
Fieldwork Officer – Health
Ph: (03) 9251-7748
Burwood Campus, Building BC
Health Sciences Practicum Unit Chair (T1 and T3)
Burwood Campus, Building BC
Phone : +61 3 9244 6500
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Consultation Times: Available Tuesday and Thursday
Health Sciences Practicum Unit Chair (T2)
Geelong Waterfront campus
Phone : +61 3 5227 8468
Email : email@example.com