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. SoE students have successfully organised placements through UON partner universities such as Dortmund University (Germany) and the University of Arkansas (USA).  Applicants seeking international placements at a UON Partner University should contact UON Global to discuss available options, obtain a current list of Partner Universities and obtain application cut off dates for each Partner University (as cut off dates may differ for each Partner University).
    OR
  • You can contact a school independently and organise your PE placement. Students have independently organised their placements in schools in diverse locations including Vietnam, Sweden, New Zealand, Vanuatu, UK, USA and China.

To start the process: 

  • Email the Professional Experience Unit  (PEU) peu@newcastle.edu.au and request to be given access to the SONIA online SoE International Expression of Interest form
  • Closing date:  5 May 2017  (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.

Students intending to undertake an International placement should read and be familiar with the following:

Students who have permission to undertake their PE placement in an international setting will need to ensure they can meet any Country specific compliance requirement/s. Please note that it is the student's responsibility to ensure that they meet all Country specific requirements. Students should be aware that they are required to meet ALL costs incurred for the international placement including but not limited to, any transport, airfares, accommodation and living costs.

IMPORTANT: To meet UON Travel Policy requirements, students must register their placement travel details into SOS Personal Travel Locator (PTL) (International SOS) prior to leaving Australia. Contact the Professional Experience Unit peu@newcastle.edu.au if you require assistance.

Please note: Requests to travel to High Risk Countries require an additional layer of UON risk assessment approval. Students should be aware that applications to High Risk Countries may not be approved. A high risk country is any country to which the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) advisories warn travellers to "reconsider" or "advise not to" travel to. Refer to smartraveller.gov.au for up to date travel ratings.


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.