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HUMS401 Internship Practicum

Relevant work experience undertaken in an approved workplace, enabling the application of skills acquired in an academic environment.

Students across the Division of Humanities now have the opportunity to make connections with employers and gain valuable workplace experience through internships. Completing an internship can enhance students' employability on completion of their qualification.

The University of Otago has a number of internship papers, usually related to specific and often professional courses. This paper offers the opportunities identified in those papers for students studying in the Humanities Division.

Paper title Internship Practicum
Paper code HUMS401
Subject Humanities
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points 20 points 20 points
Teaching period(s) First Semester, Second Semester, Summer School
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,120.06
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,439.89

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EDCR 360, SOWK 392, SOWK 492
Limited to
BA(Hons), PGDipArts
Candidates must undergo a selection process; admission is subject to approval from the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities)

The paper may be taken by full-time students from any of the Humanities disciplines, providing that there is a suitable and relevant work placement available and that the students are successful in the selection process.

Excellent all-round students are to be considered and selected for placements. While academic achievement is a critically important element, it must be supported by personal and interpersonal skills of a high order.

The following are essential elements of a selection process:

  1. An academic record demonstrating high grades (normally a B+ average) over the previous year's level of study
  2. Endorsement by academic staff
  3. Provision of a curriculum vitae (CV) that demonstrates relevant work and/or voluntary experience, and if this is not possible, then you must submit a statement justifying why you want to undertake a placement.

Entry to HUMS 301/401 must be approved by both the Departmental liaison and the HUMS co-ordinator. All students must get their admission to this paper formally signed off. All students are strongly encouraged to discuss their admission and the proposed internship with the Departmental liaison person prior to applying for the paper. There is no automatic right of entry for admission to either HUMS 301 or HUMS 401.

Please note: International students should contact the International Office to discuss eligibility.

Enrolments for this paper require departmental permission. View more information about departmental permission.


Associate Professor Alex Trapeznik or

Please note: International students should contact the International Office to discuss eligibility.

Teaching staff

Staff involved with the paper are:

  1. The allocated workplace co-ordinator
  2. A staff member from the department managing the placement
  3. Associate Professor Alex Trapeznik - HUMS 301/401 co-ordinator

Paper Structure
Description of main tasks:

For HUMS 301 and 401 you will work on a project for an organisation and be based with an organisation. The project type is flexible but will generally be working on a project, task or research for an organisation. The work will be relevant to the student's degree and will be negotiated between the student, the organisation and the supporting department. It will provide academic, work-based and personal skill development.

HUMS 301/401 enables Humanities students in a variety of subjects to undertake work placements with relevance to their disciplines and, in so doing, earn credit towards their degrees. Placements are tailored to suit specific disciplines and their related workplaces. The fundamental objective of this paper is to provide an opportunity for students - in carefully selected and controlled contexts - to link the development of generic and specific skills occurring in the academic context with the opportunity to practise those skills in a 'real work environment'.

Learning outcomes will be identified in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by all three parties (the student, the University and the placement provider) that are very specifically related to the student's particular discipline.
Teaching Arrangements
There will be three components to the assessment programme:
  1. Reflective Field Notes: In this exercise, the student will complete a weekly diary of work events that they reflect upon, comparing practice to theory and noting the differences they have experienced as interns. Students are to submit reflective field notes monthly to their academic mentor as a single document.
  2. Preparation of a report or a portfolio by the student for submission at end of placement, which is designed to develop student's research skills within a work environment using a variety of sources from both the work place and academia. It is also designed to demonstrate the student's ability to undertake an applied task or research-based assignment with a quantifiable outcome.
  3. Participation in an end-of-placement symposium. At the symposium students will give a presentation of their work to fellow student interns, their organisation representatives and department supervisors.
Textbooks are not required for this paper.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will
  1. Demonstrate development of a range of personal and interpersonal skills, particularly communication, teamwork, priority setting and time-management skills (Internship and Final Report/Portfolio)
  2. Apply, integrate and evaluate the body of knowledge and the method of inquiry of a discipline or field via first-hand participation (Internship and Final Report/Portfolio)
  3. Show the ability to learn the expectations of employers and the reality of the workplace (Internship and Reflective Field Notes)
  4. Present evidence of internship experiences clearly and appropriately (Internship and Final Report/Portfolio)
  5. Critically reflect on the experiences and learning derived from the internship (Internship and End of Placement Symposium)
  6. Investigate a topic relevant to the internship context or experience

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system

Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system

Summer School

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system