Health Sciences Practicum
Introduction and Eligibility
The Health Sciences Practicum (HSH322) is an elective unit that 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.
The Practicum Unit is offered in all three Trimesters, and is open to students from any campus.
Students must be enrolled in either 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 and Health
- Disability and Inclusion (formerly People Society and Disability)
- Environmental Health
- Health and Sustainability
Students must have completed at least 16 credit points (8 of these must be at Level 2 or 3), and at least 4 units must be from one of the HSD major sequences listed above.
Student are advised to download and read the Student Information Booklet below prior to enrolling in the unit.
Students can also make an appointment with the Fieldwork Officer to ask any questions they may have about the unit.
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 outside of Melbourne or Geelong 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, because they will need to commit to a full-time block of 3-4 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 or between Trimesters.
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 to students.
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). The pre-placement seminar is held in Week 1, which is also when students submit preferences.
Students will be allocated to an agency in Week 2 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 a 7-8 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, students are advised to get in touch with the Fieldwork Officer (to assess suitability and identify existing contacts) prior to making any arrangements. Self-sourced placements must be approved by the Fieldwork Officer and Unit Chair prior to commencement.
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 3788
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Health Sciences Practicum Unit Chair (T2)
Geelong Waterfront campus
Phone : +61 3 5227 8468
Email : email@example.com