Co-op structure

Co-op structure

three people talking

What the combined degree offers

  • Work ready graduates - students are applying both discipline knowledge and professional practice skills in the workplace and reflecting on their experiences
  • Academic rigour - learning is demonstrated through reflection and assessments
  • Scaffolded and supported learning from first year - alternating between periods of study and periods of work offers students the chance to scaffold knowledge gained in the classroom to improve performance in the workplace, and apply workplace experience in the classroom to ensure classroom studies are professionally current and relevant

The Co-op Program at Macquarie University is offered through a Bachelor of Professional Practice combined with a standard degree. The Professional Practice degree adds one year to a standard three or four-year degree.

The Bachelor of Professional Practice component of the Co-op Program provides a program-based approach where students integrate their understanding from the workplace with their studies through reflective practices scaffolded throughout the curriculum. This supports their learning before, during and after placement.

Vocational Placements

Students alternate between classroom studies and workplace experience in the form of vocational placements, one up to three months and two longer placements up to six months over a four-year course. These workplace experiences offer opportunities for students to develop professional skills and networks and bring their practical experience back to the classroom to further enhance their studies. Students graduate with practical knowledge, strong professional networks and enhanced employability in their chosen field.

The table below gives an overview of the sequencing for vocational placements in the Co-op Program.

Year Summer Vacation (January-February) Session 1 Winter Vacation Session 2 Session 3 Summer Vacation (December)
1
Study
Study Vocational placement #1 (3 months: December-February)
2 Vocational Placement #1 contd. (3 months: December-February) Study
Study
3 Vocational Placement #2 (6 months: January-June) Vocational placement #3 (6 months: July-December)
4
Study
Study

Bachelor of Professional Practice curriculum

The Bachelor of Professional Practice consists of five units (27 credit points in total) taken over the course of the four-year Co-op program.

Year 1st year, Session 2 1st year, Session 3 3rd year, Session 1 3rd year, Session 2 4th year, Session 1
BPP Unit Code COOP101 COOP201 COOP301 COOP302 COOP499
BPP Unit Name Introduction to Professional Practice Stage 1 Professional Practice Stage 2 Professional Practice Stage 3 Professional Practice Stage 4 Professional Practice
Delivery Classroom-based, career identity, professional expectations In coordination with 3 month placement In coordination with 6 month placement In coordination with 6 month placement Classroom-based, Capstone unit
Credit Points 3 cp 3 cp 9 cp 9 cp 3 cp

COOP101
This first unit in the Bachelor of Professional Practice program offers an introduction to professional practice. Students will have opportunities to develop fundamental workplace skills, including communication, teamwork, decision-making, networking and reflective practice. Students will reflect on their personal skills, attributes and abilities, engage in career planning and goal setting, and undertake organisation/industry/occupation exploration. The unit is designed to help students begin to explore their professional identity while preparing them to complete successful practical experiences in professional workplaces as they progress through their degrees.

COOP201
This unit, the second in the Bachelor of Professional Practice, offers an academic foundation for a stage 1 professional experience in a workplace. Students will further develop their professional communication skills, understanding of professional ethics and application of reflective practice. Students will explore and develop project management skills based on their experience in the workplace, including the use of technology to support project planning and management. Students will begin or continue work with their academic mentor, a peer support network or both.

COOP301
This unit provides curriculum support for students to scaffold their learning during an extended vocational placement. Students will further develop their skills in reflective practice and management of their professional self. Students will have opportunities to develop professional skills, such as self-efficacy, creativity and resilience. Students will explore themes in the unit, including the relationship between theory and practice and elements of active global citizenship. The unit draws on experiences in the workplace, seminars and learning through an online, modularised curriculum.

COOP302
This unit provides curriculum support for students to scaffold their learning during an extended vocational placement. Students will further develop their skills in reflective practice and management of their professional self. Students will have opportunities to develop professional skills, such as problem-solving, leadership and entrepreneurship. Students will explore themes in the unit, including workplace cultures, institutional values and professional codes of conduct. The unit draws on experiences in the workplace, seminars and learning through an online, modularised curriculum.

COOP499
This capstone unit provides students with opportunities to integrate and reflect on their workplace and classroom experiences throughout their degree. Students further develop their skills in reflective practice and management of their professional self. The unit offers opportunities to learn from their reflections on inter-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary experiences in the classroom and/or the workplace. The unit is designed to support students’ transitions to the next phase of their career and ongoing learning journey.

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