Gaining professional experience through placements

The Professional Experience Unit (PEU)

Real-world experience is invaluable to employment prospects.

Our degrees are designed in consultation with health sector associations to ensure you are well-prepared for what the industry needs. Not only that, at Southern Cross University our established professional relationships across the health sector and with hospitals across the Gold Coast, Northern Rivers and Mid North Coast of NSW provide ideal opportunities for students.

Professional experience not only fulfils accreditation requirements for many of our degrees, it enables our students to develop workplace relationships and career networks.

If you require further information you can email the Professional Experience Unit  or call them on +61 7 5589 3439.

Here are the placement hours and types of experience you will complete during your undergraduate degree:


Bachelor of Nursing

880 hours (approx.) of supervised clinical placements provide you with nursing experience in public and private hospitals and health agencies. These may include acute and low care health facilities; community settings; mental health facilities; extended residential aged care; GP practices; Indigenous health; health promotion and education; intensive care; paediatrics; health clinics; accident and emergency; palliative care; primary health care settings and related nursing and health service. Elective opportunities include rural and remote, and international placements.

Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying)

1,000 hours of supervised practice completed in two separate organisations in different fields of practice so that students gain a diversity of experience. The Social Work Field Placement I unit involves 400 hours (57 days) in the first year (of full-time study), with a minimum of three days per week spent on placement. In addition, the Social Work Field Placement II unit involves 600 hours (86 days) in the second year (of full-time study), with a minimum of three days per week spent on placement. These time commitments apply to both full-time and part-time students.

Bachelor of Speech Pathology

1000 hours (approx.) of placements in diverse settings which might include the University’s on-campus Health Clinics, public hospitals, private practice, community health, rehabilitation centres, aged care facilities, schools and rural health locations.

Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science

140 hours of placement in the final year of the course. This may be within clinical settings, the health and fitness industry, community and professional sport, elite programs of state and national sport organisations, schools, academies of sport, and within the wider sport, recreation and leisure industries.

Bachelor of Podiatry, Bachelor of Pedorthics

2000 hours (approx.) of placement activity in various settings. Refer to the individual degrees for details.

Bachelor of Nursing (for Enrolled Nurses)

680 hours (approx.) of placements are spread across several units within the course. These placements are located across a variety of settings, including large tertiary acute facilities, private hospitals, rural and remote settings, GP clinics or community health settings, mental health in both inpatient and community settings, low care, rehabilitation, palliative care and aged care organisations, to name a few. Included are several specifically designed professional experience placements for the Enrolled Nurse Pathway students to facilitate progression towards the role of a registered nurse.

Bachelor of Community Welfare

400 hours of supervised on-the-job training. This is completed in two separate organisations in different fields of practice so that you gain a diversity of experience. Placements may include working across a variety of client groups, such as older people, or young people and families at the individual, group, organisational or community level of practice. You may undertake placements in social welfare settings such as child protection, drugs and alcohol, criminal justice, community education, housing, emergency relief, family interventions and domestic violence.

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

1000 hours (approx.) of placements to build clinical and practical skills in settings that may include hospitals, community health, disability and mental health services, primary schools, work environments, aged care and private practice.

Bachelor of Exercise Science and Psychological Science

140 hours of placement in the fourth year of the course. Placements might be in health and sporting centres, clubs, schools and academies or sport and recreation centres. 

Bachelor of Pedorthics

1000 hours (approx.) of practical placements in a range of health settings throughout your studies.

Graduate Certificate in Diabetes Education and Management

40 hours of clinical placement within a recognised diabetes service with, as a minimum, a credentialled diabetes educator as a mentor. The importance of linking theory to practice is fundamental to student learning and to ensure graduates have the confidence to apply their knowledge and skills with clients in professional settings.

Bachelor of Midwifery

1000 hours (approx.) of placements to meet the practice requirements of a registered midwife. You will attend antenatal and postnatal assessments/visits with women; provide direct care to women during labour; assist women during birth and support women and their babies with diverse needs across pregnancy, labour and birth, and the postnatal period.

Bachelor of Social Work

1,000 hours of supervised placement in a human service organisation as part of your course. 

Bachelor of Clinical Sciences (Osteopathic Studies)

320 hours (approx.) of experience under the supervision of a qualified practitioner in the practice of safe and effective manual therapy and the application of a wide range of treatment and management plans. You have opportunities to work with a diverse range of patients in areas including injury and illness prevention and management, rehabilitation and health promotion. Clinical practice-based learning is also undertaken at our Southern Cross University Health Clinics, located at the Lismore and Gold Coast campuses.

Bachelor of Biomedical Science

420 hours of placements provide invaluable work experience in health and research facilities, such as pathology labs or research labs.  

Master of Professional Psychology

300 hours of professional placement providing students with  the opportunity to develop skills in supervised clinical settings. 

Bachelor of Podiatry

1000 hours (approx.) of placements. Pre-clinical simulation and University clinics build skills and the capacity to work with children and adults, athletes and elderly people to examine sporting injuries, gait, biomechanics and acute foot conditions.

Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology

360 hours of clinical placement is required to meet accreditation requirements for Exercise Physiology. A proportion of these clinical placement hours occurs in the on-campus Southern Cross University Health Clinics where students see a wide range of clients with chronic conditions, injuries and disabilities.  Placements are also at external locations such as hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, private exercise physiology practices and aged care facilities.

If you require further information you can email the Professional Experience Unit or call them on +61 07 5589 3439.


Contact the Faculty of Health

Executive Assistant to the Executive Dean

T: +61 7 5589 3224

E: ExecDeanHealth@scu.edu.au

Associate Dean Education

T: +61 7 5589 3470

E: fiona.naumann@scu.edu.au

Associate Dean Research

T: +61 427 633 708

E: marianne.wallis@scu.edu.au

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