Welcome to the Co-op Program

Co-op offers unique experiences to learn & grow through:

  •     Meaningful and challenging industry training experience
  •     Leadership training & professional development
  •     Social and professional networking opportunities  
  •     Academic, peer and alumni mentoring

with financial support of $19,600 p.a. for four years.

"This scholarship was the best thing to have ever happened to me. My Co-op experience really made my university experience - having friends from different degrees, truly getting a taste of what my career would be like during university, having a streamlined recruitment process, networking, mentoring, soft skill development, leadership camp, giving back to the Program as an ambassador and having a steady stream of income so that I can fully immerse myself in the university experience."

Sonia Songberg, Actuarial Studies scholar


Scholars are selected for their leadership potential and receive training throughout the program to help them realise this aspiration. A feature of this training is our Leadership Camp, an absolute highlight of the Co-op experience for most scholars.

“I had an amazing time on the Co-op leadership camp. We completed difficult, thought-provoking and sometimes completely crazy challenges and these were exciting and incredibly satisfying to work out! The need to work together brought us closer together as a cohort and this coupled with the exhilarating atmosphere throughout the 3 days made it an invaluable experience.   Understanding the psychology behind leadership, teamwork and problem solving and practicing the skills to identify and analyse situations are core to facilitating a successful outcome. This toolkit of skills is something that I’ve been able to implement in all aspects of my life, equipping me to face challenges in both my personal and professional endeavours.”

Sonia Parulekar, Commerce Information Systems scholar

The Co-op Program encourages its scholars to take up the leadership challenge in whatever they do and some of our scholars gain some amazing experiences as a result.

Professional Development

Beyond the placement opportunities, Co-op also provides a professional development program which assists scholars to prepare for and make a smooth transition to the workplace as well as develop the graduate attributes that differentiate them from other students.

The workshops that are offered throughout the scholarship are designed to provide an interactive environment for scholars to learn about professional expectations, reflect on their own experiences, share the highs and the lows with their peers support, and gain advice from industry representatives.

"The Co-op experience is incredible, challenging and rewarding. It has given me so many opportunities to learn and grow in my professional and leadership skills."

Jessica Liew, Commerce Information Systems scholar

industry training expectations
Industry Training

UNSW Co-op Program scholars receive between 9 and 18 months structured Industry Experience and gain valuable work experience with up to four different sponsors.

This is exposure to the real world of work! Scholars are given industry specific work relevant to their degree and provide real value to the company. Each placement is an invaluable learning experience which complements academic studies.

"Being part of the UNSW Co-op Program means that you will have developed solid interpersonal and technical skills by the time you complete your degree. It will provide you with a real insight on how the working world operates and the transition between university and a full-time job won't be as daunting as it may be for others.

UNSW Co-ops have the opportunity to experience real client work in an environment where every day is different. Many of our Co-ops work on client sites and some are even offered the opportunity to travel interstate as part of their internship with us. Through an internship with PwC, Co-ops will get a real insight on what a graduate career could look like upon completion of their degree."

Elisabeth Wan - Campus Relationship Manager, PwC

Industry Training


During the placements scholars are treated like employees and expected to conform to professional standards of performance, dress, business hours and undertake appropriate duties and responsibilities. Depending on the size of the sponsor pool each year, scholars will experience working life with different companies for each placement. Contact with all sponsors of the UNSW Co-op Program will be possible over the duration of the program through company visits, guest lectures and social events.


Studies During Placement

Scholars studying Business, BIS and Computer Science will be required to complete at least one course whilst on placement. These classes are usually held in the evening. Each degree has different timing and duration for placements. To review a particular program’s schedule go to Programs and select your program of choice.

Employment After Graduation

After graduation there is no formal obligation on Co-op scholars to be employed by any of the sponsors. Likewise, there is no obligation for sponsors to offer employment. However, employers recognise that the program produces the kind of graduates they are very keen to attract for challenging positions in their organisations. It is expected that students will consider employment with a sponsor organisation first.

Graduate Recruitment














Financial Support

From 2020, Co-op scholars receive $19,600* per year for 4 years of their Co-op Program paid in fortnightly instalments. The scholarship money will be paid directly to the scholar’s bank account and can be used to support the scholar throughout their time at university, pay HECS or accommodation fees, etc.

*Mining Engineering scholars will receive $12,350 per year (tax-exempt) in scholarship payments. Unlike other programs, Mining Engineering scholars will be paid by the sponsor company while on IT placement at a minimum wage of $740.78 per week, which is taxable.

“To me, being offered a Co-op scholarship is incredibly exciting as it means I will be given so many amazing opportunities to develop myself as both a person and in my professional career. Coming from interstate to UNSW, the move down to Sydney could be daunting and difficult, however the Co-op scholarship allows me to be a part of a driven, supportive and like-minded community which will become my new family and I can't wait to be a part of it!”

Aurora Hagemann, Accounting & Business Management scholar

Networking and Social Events

Co-op helps scholars to create and extend their social and professional networks. There are countless opportunities for them to meet their peers, sponsors and broader members of the UNSW community throughout their time as a Co-op scholar and beyond.

“The people I met through Co-op were fantastic. The opportunity to get to know your peers across multiple disciplines who then become your friends and later a part of your larger global professional network is irreplaceable.”

Andy Yeo, Marketing alumnus

"The Co-op Program was the most defining experience of my university life. It set me up with a close group of friends who have organised trips every year of my degree. It gave me the opportunity to travel around Australia and New Zealand, and also removed any stress that might be involved with job-searching or professional development. I am excited to begin working as a graduate with my sponsor company in Brisbane."

Gajan Shivaramanan, Material Science and Engineering alumnus

"My fondest memories of Co-op are of the group of people I met and the bond and experiences we shared. They also continue to be some of my best friends, and best sources of advice - even as we all move across the globe!"
Kate Fitch, Actuarial Studies Alumni,

Meet our Scholars

Mentoring and Support

Co-op provides scholars with access to a range of support networks. An academic mentor is assigned to each program cohort to offer specific program advice and guidance, and all first years have an opportunity to connect with a Co-op alumnus to help them prepare for placements.

Scholars are encouraged to visit the Co-op office to ask questions, discuss any issues they may be facing or to simply say hello!

The Co-op scholar community is tight knit and peers going through the same shared experience can also often offer the greatest support to each other. Co-op friendships form quickly and these bonds can last a lifetime.

“The Co-op Alumni Mentoring program has been extremely valuable to me. Over the last 4 years my mentor has given me a fantastic insight into how to set smart development objectives for my industry placements as well as the career opportunities that are available to me (and how to get there). I even got to catch up with him and his wife in San Francisco!”

Ben Munns, Commerce Information Systems scholar

Co-op Achievements

Our scholars achieve amazing things. From international representation in sporting competitions to innovation prizes for entrepreneurship. Some of our alumni even feature on BRW’s Young Rich list!

Find out more about our Alumni