BUSN20020 - Business Internship

General Information

Unit Synopsis

A professional internship or work placement provides you with experience in a professional environment relevant to your chosen discipline. The process of combining theoretical knowledge with practical experience will assist you in understanding the relevance of material presented during discipline studies and further expand your professional knowledge and work-readiness with practical experience. Following a detailed application and selection process in the Term prior to your BUSN20020 enrolment term, once you are placed with a host organisation, you will be engaged in work-integrated learning (WIL) while being supported by the School. You will undertake applied organisational research with a focus on your host organisation's approach to systems, processes and strategies related to your discipline, i.e. human resource management, marketing, management or accounting, with a view to improving organisational effectiveness. You will also be required to document and reflect on your work placement experiences to assess professional growth, recognise and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, and develop an action plan for future professional development. This unit involves a company placement organised and coordinated by a number of partner Internships organisations, external companies contracted by CQU to manage this aspect of the Internship unit for postgraduate Business students. Because of the involvement of these external companies, this unit is only available to full-time on-campus international students normally based on the Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane campuses. This unit involves some on-campus classes as well as an intensive placement in a host organisation. The unit assessment centres upon an organisational analysis and applied research project on a particular aspect of your host organisation’s operations.


Level Postgraduate
Unit Level 9
Credit Points 12
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 4
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.25
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites


  • For non-MPA students, successful completion of BUSN20017 Effective Business Communications and BUSN20016 Research in Business; OR
  • For MPA students, successful completion of ACCT20074 Contemporary Accounting Theory, ACCT20075 Auditing and Ethics, and ACCT20080 Ethics and Governance; and
  • No Failures on the student’s Academic Record, and
  • Must be on track to complete all units (other than BUSN20020) of their course prior to final Term of enrolment. BUSN20020 must be the only unit undertaken in the final Term of enrolment.

Enrolment in this unit is subject to your successful application through the Postgraduate Business Internship Moodle site early in the term prior to your final term of enrolment. This process will involve lodging a formal application on the Postgraduate Business Internship Moodle site, an examination of your academic record, then interviews with external organisations including possible host organisations. A placement is not guaranteed, but students will be notified of their success or otherwise in plenty of time to enrol in other electives in their final term.

Once accepted for placement in a host organisation, students will follow normal office hours for four days per week over 10 consecutive weeks for the work placement component of BUSN20020.

In addition to being successfully placed in a host organisation through the Internship Application process (see the Postgraduate Business Internship Moodle site), consent from the the student's Head of Course is required for enrolment in this unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2024

Term 1 - 2024 Profile
Term 2 - 2024 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 12-credit Postgraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 25 hours of study per week, making a total of 300 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 20%
2. Written Assessment 40%
3. Reflective Practice Assignment 40%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 2 - 2023 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 100.00% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 57.14% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Student and staff feedback.
Students are not well informed about the internship opportunity, requirements, and benefits.
Enhanced promotional activities should take place for students, starting from their first term of enrolment.
Action Taken
Multiple online briefing sessions were offered and promoted via a dedicated internships Moodle site, as well as campus posters. Campus-based "internship cafe" sessions were piloted and regular emails were sent from the Moodle site.
Source: Student feedback.
It is important to provide up-to-date examples and literature to students.
Currently, the slides contain few examples as these are provided by staff in the classroom - it is recommended to complement these with asynchronously available up-to-date written examples available on Moodle. Some of the frameworks used in this unit are well established and thus their original publications are 'old' - however, more recent literature applying those frameworks to current businesses will be included in the unit.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Apply conceptual and discipline-based knowledge to a professional work role context.
  2. Analyse a workplace issue or problem and apply research skills to analyse and generate solutions to the problem relevant to specific cognate or discipline area.
  3. Develop communication and interpersonal skills in the workplace.
  4. Critical reflect on the internship experience and the application of management, leadership and discipline specific content, and its relevance to future professional practice
  5. Demonstrate the ability to work professionally and ethically with colleagues in the organisation, clients and other stakeholders.


Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Reflective Practice Assignment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Knowledge
2 - Communication
3 - Cognitive, technical and creative skills
4 - Research
5 - Self-management
6 - Ethical and Professional Responsibility
7 - Leadership
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Reflective Practice Assignment