Science Work Placement Unit

SCIE2205 - Science Work Placement unit helps students bridge the gap between theory and practice by providing opportunities to gain hands-on, practical experience and network with industry professionals.

Applications for Semester 2, 2021 open on 1 March and close on 22 May

Students will have the opportunity to:
  • Develop first-hand knowledge and ask questions about their field of interest
  • Gain valuable and transferable skills, discovering the importance of each
  • Be confident in their ability to master new skills
  • Make connections and create a professional network
  • Explore their options and taste the opportunities that exist upon graduation
  • Strengthen their CV and job interview with examples of work experience and industry referees
  • Build awareness of the expectations at work and the culture of their industry
Unit information
  • 6 points – elective credit at Level 2
  • Ungraded Pass/Fail
  • Work placement paired with learning content and assessment
  • Up to 50 placements available in Semester 1 and 2
  • Please note: At this level, clinical placements are not available
  • More information from UWA Handbook
Eligibility criteria
  • Enrolled in a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Biomedical Science or Bachelor of Philosophy with a Science major
  • At least 60 points achieved (or on track to be achieved by the end of your current semester)
  • Sufficient space remaining in course to receive 6 points credit
  • Good academic standing with a WAM of 65 or higher
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Good written and spoken communication skills
Programs and Scholarships
Barry Marshall MicroBlitz Internship Program

Barry Marshall MicroBlitz Internship provides multidisciplinary training and community outreach experiences to science students at the University of Western Australia.

Specifically, the Internship offers second and third year science students the opportunity to be trained in cutting edge science and public outreach across two UWA research centres:

  • the Marshall Centre Helicobacter Research Laboratory, and
  • MicroBlitz Soil Science Laboratory.

Interns wills also be engaged in science outreach within the wider community, by delivering experiments to school children in a metropolitan and regional school.

MicroBlitz logo

Eight students will be awarded the chance to participate in the program each semester. Students receive academic credit for the Internship Program through the Science Work Placement unit (SCIE2205). Interested students must apply to the Science Work Placement unit to be considered.

Info sessions
All information sessions will now be digitally recorded and made available for you to access online in the very near future. If you have any questions or queries in the meantime, please email the WIL Team on
How to apply

The Science WIL Placement program uses a placement management portal called SoniaOnline to assist students on their placement journey.

To apply, submit your Expression of Interest (EOI) via SoniaOnline. If you are a current UWA student, you will be able to log into SoniaOnline via this link using your UWA Pheme username and password. Once you have logged in, click on the 'Placements' tab at the top and you will see the "Expression of Interest for WIL Science Placement' group, click the green button "+Join" and you will be able to join the Placement Group. There will be detailed instructions on how to navigate SoniaOnline after you have logged in.

As part of the Expression of Interest stage, you will be required to submit the following documents:

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Letter of Reference
  • Faculty Approval Form
  • Expression of Interest form

Applications for Semester 2, 2021 is open now and will close on 22 May.

If you have any difficulty logging in or navigating SoniaOnline, please email the Science WIL Placement Team -


What is involved in the Science Placement and Practicum units?
The placement and practicum units involve 80 to 100 hours of time spent completing your work placement, plus academic content. Most students complete their placement hours over the course of semester, by attending their workplace one day a week or two half days a week. These arrangements can be discussed in more detail with your placement supervisor. Each unit also includes some contact hours (workshops, lectures, seminars) and several assessment items that are designed for you to reflect on your placement experience. More information about the assignment requirements can be found UWA Handbook.
Who can I request a letter of reference from?
Your letter of reference should come from someone who is able to address your communication and interpersonal skills. This may be a former or current employer, a tutor or lecturer, a coach, or someone with whom you have volunteered. No specific style or format is prescribed and a page or less will be sufficient.
What do I include in my cover letter?
Your cover letter should be addressed to the Science Placement Coordinator and should explain your reasons for applying to the unit, rather than any specific placement. It is important to include your intentions, key skills and why you believe you are a good candidate. If you wish to include information about your placement preferences or a specific placement you have in mind, please do so.
How does the selection process work?

Once applications close, the Placement Officer creates a shortlist of candidates, based on the eligibility criteria for each unit. Eligible applicants will then be invited for a brief, informal interview where they will be asked a series of interview questions. Each applicant will be notified of the outcome of their application via their student email account, following the interview stage.

Do I need to find my own placement?
The Placement Officer usually sources a placement for each student, though it is possible to self-source your own placement if you have already arranged something, through your own network. You will still need to apply for the Science Work Placement unit and attend an interview.
How does the placement matching process work?
Placements are arranged on an individual basis, according (as much as possible) to the student’s preferences. Most students prefer a placement related to their major but not all. After applications close, shortlisted students are invited for an interview to discuss placement preferences. A placement is then sought, which matches these preferences. It is important to note that placements can be arranged with an established placement partner or an entirely new partner, as partners are added each semester.
What happens if a placement cannot be found for me?
The thing to remember is that there is an element of uncertainty with applying to the placement and practicum units. This reflects the uncertainty there is when applying for a job. Your application may be unsuccessful or it may be successful but a suitable placement is not available for you. We work to the deadline of the last day to add a unit and encourage our students to have an alternative unit selective in case a placement cannot be found. This way, should you not be placed or should you decide against the placement you are offered, you are not put at a disadvantage.
Are clinical placements available?
As this is an undergraduate unit, clinical placements (i.e. for medicine, psychology, pathology) are not available but related experiences are sought to complement your studies. For example, a medical science student may complete their placement in a hospital, under the supervision of a Doctor conducting research into a particular area of medicine.
I will be travelling when applications close. Will this affect my chances of being accepted?
If you are travelling overseas during the semester break, the selection process can be facilitated over Skype and email. Please just remember to check your student email account regularly while you are away and let the Placement Officer know you are overseas when interview times are being arranged.
I am interested in the Barry Marshall MicroBlitz Internship program. How do I apply?
To apply for the MicroBlitz Internship program, students must submit an application to the Science Work Placement unit, for their preferred semester. Successful applicants will need to be available for a two week (10 days) Laboratory Intensive during University holidays in February for Semester 1 or June/July for Semester 2.
How will an Ungraded Pass affect my GPA?
If you successfully pass the unit, an ungraded pass will have no effect on your GPA and the grades for the remaining 23 units in your degree will be weighted more heavily.
I have advanced standing from my previous course/university study, will that count towards the credit point eligibility?
Yes, if you have gained credits from your previous course or study, those credit points can be counted towards the credit point eligibility. However, you will still need to have your study plan checked by your Student Office to ensure you have space to fit this elective in your course.

Contact us

If you have any questions about how to get involved

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The Science Student Office Agriculture Central building, Hackett Drive on the UWA Perth campus.

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