The Professional Experience Unit manages the teaching practicum placements that are compulsory for students enrolled in many School of Education programs

Professional Experience Unit

Professional Experience in Education

The Professional Experience Unit manages the teaching practicum placements that are compulsory for students enrolled in many School of Education programs. These placements play a critical role in ensuring that our graduates have a the prerequisite knowledge, skills and dispositions for a successful career in teaching.

To view professional experience placements, go to the SONIA Placement System.

Student placement information

Placement requirements

In order for students to attend a placement in a NSW Department of Education and Communities facility or other NSW school or service, all students must meet the following criteria... read placement requirements.

Before the Professional Experience

See important information for students before they undertake their placement, including information on unacceptable placements, out of area placements and pregnancy - potential risks and requirements.

At the placement

See important information for students during their placement, including acceptable dress, required paperwork and certificates, what to do in the event of illness or injury and receiving your completion report.

International placements

Students in the third year of their Education program can apply to undertake their professional experience (PE) placement outside of Australia.

We have created an International placement approval process: a visual guide to guide students through the application process.

You can also watch videos about School of Education (SoE) students who have travelled abroad for their education placements on the SoE International Profile website under the link titled A Global Student Community

Organising an international PE placement successfully will take time and careful research and planning. It is a good idea to start your research and planning at least a year in advance of the PE placement. It is also always a good idea to consult with your Program Convenor while planning for your international PE placement. You can organise an international PE placement in one of two ways. You can work with a UON Partner University to identify an appropriate school for your PE placement OR you can contact a school independently and organise your PE placement.

In the last two years, SoE students have successfully organised placements through UON partner universities such as Dortmund University (Germany) and the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Arkansas (USA). Please contact the UON Global International Office for a current list of Partner Universities that may be able to assist you in organising a placement in an English-speaking school. Please note that not all the universities that partner with UON for student exchange are in a position to facilitate appropriate Professional Experience placements for SoE students. Also in the last two years, students have independently organised their placements in schools in diverse locations including Vietnam, Sweden, New Zealand, Vanuatu, UK, USA and China.

Students should be aware that they are required to meet ALL costs incurred for the international PE placement including but not limited to transport, airfares, accommodation, living costs and travel insurance. For more information on funding support from the federal government and other sources, please contact staff from UON Global International Office.

To start the process: 

  • Email the Professional Experience Unit  (PEU) and request to be given access to the SONIA online SoE International Expression of Interest form
  • Closing date:  30 April 2016  (Applications submitted after this date will not be considered)


Important: Applicants should:
- have a minimum Grade Point Average of 4.75.
- be prepared to attend a pre-approval interview with the Director, Professional Experience Unit. Interview times  will be scheduled by the Professional Experience Unit (PEU) early April 2016. 

Applicants seeking international placements at a UON Partner University should contact UON Global International Office for specific partner university application cut off dates. Some partner universities may require applications to be received prior to the SoE 30 April 2016 submission deadline. If this is the case, please notify the Professional Experience Unit to ensure your application is processed as soon as possible.

Interstate placements

Students who have permission to undertake professional experience outside of New South Wales will need to meet that State's child protection requirements. Students should contact the Department of Education within the State they are seeking to undertake placement in to confirm mandatory requirements for preservice teacher placements.

Mandatory documentation must be shown to the placement sites supervisor and a copy sent to the Professional Experience Unit at least six weeks prior to commencing the professional experience.

When considering an interstate placement, please be aware that interstate school term dates and some independent and catholic schools school term dates differ to NSW school term dates.