FAQs Actuarial Studies Co-op

FAQs Actuarial Studies Co-op

Program overview

Macquarie University’s Cooperative Education (Co-op) program is offered through a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies with the degree of Bachelor of Professional Practice, and adds one year to the standard three-year degree.

What does the Co-op program offer?
The Co-op program offers opportunities for students to develop professional skills and networks and to bring their practical experience back to the classroom to further enhance their studies. This is achieved through three vocational placements combined with on-campus preparatory and reflective practice components. Students graduate with practical knowledge, strong professional networks and enhanced employability in their chosen field.

Can I do a double degree with the Co-op program?
As the Co-op program involves undertaking a combined degree (Bachelor of Actuarial Studies with a Bachelor of Professional Practice) it is not possible to undertake a third degree.

Can the program be undertaken part-time?
No, the program must be undertaken on a full-time basis.

If I am accepted into the program, can I defer my place?
No, you are unable to defer your place. If you decide to take a gap year you will need to reapply the following year.

Will the program allow me to gain exemptions from the Actuaries Institute’s professional exams?
The Bachelor of Actuarial Studies with Bachelor of Professional Practice is accredited by the Actuaries Institute and allows you to complete Part I and one unit of Part II of the Actuaries Institute’s professional requirements (subject to your academic performance in the relevant units).

Vocational Placements

How many vocational placements will I undertake in the program? 

You will undertake three vocational placements over the course of the four-year combined degree (approximately 15 months in total). One placement is completed over approximately three months; the other two placements are undertaken for approximately six months each.

When are the vocational placements? 

The first placement is for approximately three months at the end of first year (over the summer vacation), and the second and third placements are approximately six months each, undertaken throughout third year.

Where will I undertake the vocational placements? 

Vocational placements are undertaken at the premises of sponsor organisations. Each placement is generally undertaken at a different sponsor organisation.

What will I be doing while undertaking vocational placements? 

Vocational placements are carefully structured and closely supervised learning experiences that give you the opportunity to put your learning into practice in the workplace. You will be undertaking activities that align with the learning outcomes of the placement unit, and will be expected to abide by the sponsor companies’ professional codes of conduct.

Can vocational placements be undertaken part-time? 

It is expected that vocational placements will be undertaken on a full-time basis.

Am I covered for insurance during my vocational placements? 

Yes, you will be covered by a combination of the University’s and the sponsor organisation’s insurance cover.

Will I get paid while I’m undertaking a vocational placement? 

No, the sponsor organisation will not pay you while you are undertaking vocational placements. However, you will continue to receive your scholarship ($18,200 per annum) via fortnightly installments while you are undertaking your placements.


How do I know if I am eligible for this program? 

You must meet all the following criteria:

  • be completing or have completed the HSC
  • be studying or have studied HSC Mathematics Extension 2
  • show a genuine interest and motivation to enter the actuarial profession
  • be active in school and/or community activities
  • demonstrate exceptional communication, teamwork, problem solving, innovation, service and leadership skills
  • be an Australian/New Zealand citizen or permanent visa holder
  • be expecting or have achieved a minimum ATAR of 98.5 (or equivalent admissions rank). Students expecting an ATAR of 97 or above are strongly encouraged to apply. No bonus points (except Educational Access Scheme http://www.mq.edu.au/study/admissions/how-to-apply/applying/bonus-points/educational-access-scheme) will be considered.

I’m studying for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme; can I apply for the Co-op program? 

Yes. Find out more

I’m an Australian citizen or permanent resident studying overseas or interstate; can I apply for the Co-op program? 

Yes. Your interstate or international high school qualification will be considered in the application process.

I’m an international student; can I apply for the Co-op program?

No, to be eligible for the program you must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, New Zealand citizen or humanitarian visa holder.

I completed my HSC or equivalent prior to 2018, can I still apply for the Co-op program? 

Yes, you can apply for the Co-op program if you meet all the eligibility criteria.

Application process

When do applications open? 

Applications open 30 April 2018.

When do applications close? 

Applications close at 5pm (AEST) on 28 September 2018.

How do I apply for this program?

To apply, you need to register online. Please revisit this site in March 2018 for further details.

You must also apply through the University Admissions Centre (UAC) and list the Bachelor of Actuarial Studies with the degree of Bachelor of Professional Practice (300230) as one of your preferences.

To receive your official offer from UAC in the December Round 2 offer in 2018, you will need to ensure that the Bachelor of Actuarial Studies with the degree of Bachelor of Professional Practice (300230) is listed as your highest eligible preference in your UAC application. You will also need to satisfy the condition/s as stated in your early offer advice from Macquarie University.

What do I need to submit for my online application to Macquarie? 

If you are completing your HSC (or equivalent) in 2018, there are two parts to the application:

Part 1

You will be asked to enter your details and nominate a referee from your current school (e.g. career adviser, head teacher, principal or similar).

An email will be sent to your nominated school referee to request an academic reference for your application and your trial results showing all your subject rankings (for example, Maths Extension 2, second out of 41 students).

Part 2 

You will be asked to respond to a set of application questions and submit a one-page résumé.

Important: You can start working on Part 2 as soon as you request your school reference. Please allow sufficient time for your school referee to submit the academic reference and trial results. It is your responsibility to ensure that both parts are submitted before the application closing deadline of 5pm (AEST) on 28 September 2018.

Note: If you are not completing your HSC (or equivalent) in 2018 you will be required to answer a set of application questions and submit a one-page résumé and academic reference by the application close date and time (5pm [AEST] on 28 September 2018).

How will I know that my application has been received?

You will receive an email confirmation once you have submitted your application.

How will my application be assessed?

Co-op students are selected on academic merit and assessment of their interests, qualities and skills. The selection panel will likely include academics and representatives from industry.

The selection panel will be looking for evidence that:

  • you show a genuine interest and motivation to enter the actuarial profession
  • you are active in school and/or community activities
  • you are able to demonstrate exceptional communication, teamwork, problem-solving, innovation, service and leadership skills.

When will I know if I have been shortlisted for an interview? 

Applications will be assessed after the closing date. If your application is shortlisted, you will be contacted during the first week of November 2018 to schedule an interview. Interviews will be held at Macquarie University during the week of 26-30 November 2018.

If you are successful at interview, you’ll receive a conditional offer in early December for the Bachelor of Actuarial Studies with the degree of Bachelor of Professional Practice Co-op program, pending all final ATAR (or equivalent admissions rank) results.


How much is the scholarship? 

Co-op students will receive $18,200 per annum over the duration of the four-year program, paid in fortnightly installments.

How many scholarships will be offered? 

The number of scholarships offered depends on the number of sponsors supporting each new cohort of Co-op students. This may vary year by year.

Is my scholarship taxable? 

Macquarie recommends that you seek advice based on your personal circumstances. You may wish to consult the Australian Taxation Office.

Can I accept other scholarships at Macquarie University while receiving this scholarship? 

Generally, no, however, there are exceptions. If you have been offered more than one scholarship, contact the Coursework Scholarships and Prizes Unit on +61 (2) 9850 7337 or by email for advice.

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