Business Systems Cooperative Education Program

Monash University

Ian Martin
Clayton School of IT
Phone: + 61 3 9905 5806

May 2008


Vignette title and details

Bachelor of Business Systems Cooperative Education Program incorporating two full time industry-based learning placements of 22 weeks each and a scholarship of $36,000.


Information Technology

Employment sector

Multi sector

Student numbers

35 to 40 students per year.


Compulsory for students in the industry based learning stream of the Bachelor of Business Systems. Optional for students in the Bachelor of Commerce/Business Information Systems.

Credit bearing

Students are assessed on placement and receive a mark & grade for their industry based learning placements; each placement is equivalent to three coursework units.


Written mid-placement performance evaluation by industry supervisor 20%.
Written end-placement performance evaluation by industry supervisor 30%.
Oral presentation at Monash University 25%.
Daily log and written reports 25%.


The students are paid tax-free scholarships by Monash funded by the industry partners of the program. The level of scholarships is determined from time to time by the steering committee of the program.

  • First year $6,000,
  • Second year $15,000.
  • Third year $15,000.

Number of staff involved

  • One director of IBL program (academic staff)
  • One full-time manager of IBL program (admin staff)
  • Course leader of Bachelor f Business Information Systems


Key words

Monash University; Industry based learning; Cooperative Education Program


The program was set up in 1998 as a cooperative education project, at the initiative of the Business Council of Australia and with the support of the Federal Government, between industry and Monash University. The program is managed by a steering committee consisting of representatives from industry partners, current and past students, and the Clayton School of Information Technology. The objectives of the program are as follows.

Structure of program

The program started in the Business and Economics faculty in 1988 and moved in 1990 to the Information Technology faculty. Processes and practices have been refined over time. The Melbourne business community is well aware of the program. Many alumni now provide placements for students because of their successful involvement as students.

Benefits for employers

Benefits for students

Special features

Successful placement of students

Managing the students on placement

Each IBL student is visited three times on each placement by the director of the IBL program or the Bachelor of Business Information Systems course leader, who meet with the student and supervisor to ensure the supervisor understands his or her program obligations and to review placement progress.

Preparing students for graduate employment

Graduate outcomes are outstanding. All graduating IBL stream students, who enter the graduate employment market, receive graduate offers. Many students receive multiple offers. The great majority of offers come from industry partners.

Graduate outcomes




Employed by industry partners




Employed by others




Further study












Feedback from IBL students

I would like to thank you for all the support and encouragement during my time in the IBL program. Over the last three years I have learnt so much (especially since I came from an extremely non-IT background). The IBL program has helped me become a more confident and mature individual. I would not be in the position I am if it werent for IBL. So thank you very much for allowing me the opportunity to be part of such a beneficial program and for helping me to grow into the person I am today.

I have found myself learning things I never imagined I would learn on placement. My goals and future aspirations have been changed dramatically by the conversations I have had and by my experiences. My placement has provided me with an understanding about the industry I will soon be entering that I thought would never have normally been available to me as a student.

I gained a wealth of new skills on the project, many of which I could not have learnt from university classes simply because they are non-technical in nature and are to do with adapting to a professional workplace. Although I dont wish to take away from the value of the new technical skills I acquired, it is the new business skills I acquired which I feel was the most beneficial aspect of the IBL program.

Future work

Industry based learning opportunities have recently been extended to undergraduate Computer Science and Software Engineering students at the Clayton campus. Students studying those degrees commenced placements for the first time in January, 2008 at Coles, IBM and ManageSoft.

In 2008, industry based learning opportunities are being proposed for undergraduate students in Information Technology and Systems at Caulfield and Berwick campuses.

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