Engineering Professional Practice | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Engineering Professional Practice

All Bachelor of Engineering students are required to complete at least 12 weeks (60 working days) of relevant practical engineering professional practice whilst undertaking their undergraduate program prior to graduating. This professional practice may be obtained via employment during vacations, or via permanent or casual employment undertaken concurrently whilst studying. This latter possibility recognises that many students need to work while they are studying. Professional practice does not need to involve payment, but it must be relevant to the student’s undergraduate degree program.

You must register your professional practice placements through Sonia Online (UniSC’s on-line system for managing and recording engineering professional practice), and have it approved by the engineering professional practice co-ordinator before you start your professional practice. Professional practice can only be claimed while you are studying for your degree. Retrospective claims will not normally be approved. It is the responsibility of each student to arrange their own engineering professional practice.

You will also need to produce an Engineering Professional practice Report once you have undertaken your 60 days (minimum). Please refer to the Engineering Professional practice Guidelines on Sonia Online.

Steps Involved in Registering for and getting Approvals for your Engineering Professional Practice:

  • Identify a potential organisation (host) for you to undertake professional practice with.
  • Discuss the potential professional practice tasks with the host supervisor to ensure that the work is relevant and appropriate for your engineering degree.
  • You complete and submit the online Professional Practice Student Application form (after logging in to Sonia Online)
  • Engineering professional practice co-ordinator provides in-principle approval for intended Professional practice placement.
  • The details you provide will be checked by the University, and you will be allocated (within the Sonia Online system) to the Host Organisation.
  • After you receive your in-principle approval, the following documents become available in Sonia Online for you to action:

    • PrePlace Modules (Accessable in Canvas)
    • Engineering Code of Conduct form
    • UniSC Generic Engineering Risk Assessment form
    • Student Placement Agreement
  • At the same time as you receive your in-principle approval:
    • UniSC sends a UniSC Placement Partner Agreement to host organisation for review and approval. Host sends signed agreement back to UniSC.
    • After the agreement is received back from the host, the Head of School countersigns the agreement and this is filed (Copy to host).
  • You will receive an email notification when all your forms and tasks have been successfully approved. This notification allows you to commence your professional practice placement.
  • Within one week of commencing your professional practice, you must submit (in Sonia Online) a copy of all internal risk assessments and safe work method statements you have developed with the host organisation to manage your potential risks while you are undertaking your professional practice.

Please understand that all these approvals and checks take time, so please allow a minimum of two weeks’ after you submit your application before you should expect to receive official approval to commence your professional practice.

Please be aware that you are not permitted to commence your professional practice before you have successfully completed all your Sonia Online tasks and received official notification that you are allowed to commence your professional practice. Claims for professional practice undertaken before official approval is received will not be considered. You will also not be covered by University insurances before you receive your official notification to commence your professional practice.


For further information, please contact:

Dr Adrian McCallum

BSc(Hons) NSW, BE(Hons) W.Aust., GradDip(Meteorology) BoM, PhD Cantab
School of Science and Engineering
University of the Sunshine Coast (Sunshine Coast Campus)

Office: H1.2.46 (Building H1, level 2, room 46)
QLD 4558 Australia
Tel: +61 7 5459 4576
Homepage: Dr Adrian McCallum