The Politics and History discipline at Swinburne University runs semester-long Internships in Political Research (POL30003 Applied Political Research). The purpose of these internships is to provide outstanding students with first‐hand experience of conducting research in a work environment. Students undertake research that is developed in tandem with, and of use to, the host organisation. The work that a student might undertake includes: a small research project; a substantial literature review; analysis of existing data; or assistance with and expansion of an existing project.

Realistically, we expect that students might attend the host organisation for at least one full day (no more than two) per week, and also spend one further day a week undertaking their research task. All students are supervised, in addition to their supervision by the host organisation, by the Internship Coordinator at the university.

Students undertaking internships in the Politics strand need to contact the convenor to discuss a placement of their choice. In the past, students have been placed in a variety of organisations including Victorian Parliamentary Committees, Parliamentary offices, the Institute for Social Research, various community and not-for-profit organisations (including PBS, the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project, the Oaktree Foundation, Street Swags).

POL30003 is a 25-credit point unit and therefore counts as two units of study.

This Internship is challenging but very rewarding. This is a competitive entry unit. Students are required to have a distinction average in Politics and International Relations, History, International Studies or Security and Counter Terrorism and are required to write an application to the Unit Convenor. These applications should include a cover page setting out reasons for undertaking the placement. Students should also include a transcript of their grades and a CV. Please note that due to Federal Government rules, international students are unfortunately unable to apply.

There are three internship streams. The first is a general stream where we try to place you with a host organisation of your choice, the second is the Parliamentary Internship; and the third is the US Consulate.  Contact the Unit Convenor for enquiries and applications.

Internship Convenor (Victorian Parliamentary Internship Program)
Damon Alexander
Mail H98, 400 Burwood Road, Hawthorn VIC 3122, Tel: 92145798.

Internship Convenor (General & US Consulate)
Julie Kimber
Mail H98, 400 Burwood Road, Hawthorn VIC 3122, Tel: 9214 8103

Read Jo Hajjar’s recent post about her 2016 internship experience at CHART.


Internships: a student perspective

Veronica Meredith took part in Swinburne’s Political Internship program. She was given the opportunity to work with the National Child Protection Clearing House (NCPC), investigating the relationship between Alcohol Abuse and Child Maltreatment. With the support of her supervisor, Veronica developed a resource sheet that was published on the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) website, to be utilised by a variety of practitioners, including child protection workers.

Veronica has spoken highly of the internship program, describing her experience as the highlight of her time at university. Despite the challenges she was faced with, she felt the support network was strong and integral to internship experience. Click here to read about Veronica’s publication.

Source:  LSS Link (18).

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