Work-integrated learning @ Massey

Work-integrated learning (WIL) has been a fundamental component of Massey’s commitment to enabling excellence for over 75 years. The extensive range of programmes are designed to offer students significant and effective real-world learning experiences, practical and relevant work, and opportunities to advance their student career and professional development.

Through these learning experiences, students integrate theory with practice in their chosen area of study and develop meaningful industry knowledge and partnerships that contribute to their degree and future careers. The various WIL opportunities offered by Massey produces world-ready graduates with a valuable and marketable point of difference, ready to step into their chosen field.

WIL programmes work as a three-way partnership between the university, the students, and the businesses, government, iwi, Māori and community organizations who host students in Aotearoa New Zealand and across the world. Our partners play a key role in mentoring, educating, and nurturing our students. They provide meaningful learning experiences to future graduates while establishing a cooperative working relationship with Massey. By hosting WIL students, our partner organizations also gain the opportunity to engage with the latest research, knowledge, and skills from future members of their discipline.

WIL initiatives are flexible and wide-reaching in their delivery, available online or face to face. WIL is a key feature across all of Massey, with a range of programmes available within the College of Health, College of Science, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Creative Arts, and Massey Business School. WIL activities can include work placements, internships, clinical or field placements and practicums, service learning, work-related projects and competitions, and entrepreneurship and student-led enterprise.

Professor Andy Martin and Associate Professor Kathryn Hay are Chair and Vice Chair of Massey’s WIL committee.  

Hear more from our partners and alumni

Waitematā DHB has supported and provided hundreds of placements across multiple health disciplines for Massey University for many years. Placements provide engaging and motivating opportunities, enabling students to put the theory of what has been learned into real-life work practice, while also helping students gain extra knowledge and lifelong skills that carry forward into their future careers.

In turn, our DHB benefits from student placements, including growing and staying connected to emerging theories and evidence, plus developing mentoring and leadership skills within our teams. Student placements provide a stepping stone to the recruitment of the next generation by demonstrating we are an employer of choice for new graduates, through providing rewarding student learning opportunities and creating connections.

Dietitian Julia Bates has supervised many dietetic students and says it’s a rewarding role.

“Having students really makes you stop and think about what you are doing, why, and how to explain it effectively. It has certainly helped to hone my own clinical skills, as well as my teaching and leadership skills. It is also fulfilling to be able to participate in a student’s learning journey and see their progress. I remember being a student myself and found work-integrated learning the most valuable of all my learning experiences."

Awatapu College is a co-educational secondary school to 900 Year 9-13 students who represent a richness in cultural diversity. Awatapu College provides placement opportunities for Massey University social work, teaching, counselling, and sport/PE students.

Awatapu College’s Guidance Suite has offered clinical placement to Massey University social work students for close to four years. Evidence is emerging that Social Workers in Schools (SWiS) have positive outcomes for schools and whānau. In addition to the work Oranga Tamariki has been doing in this area, there is also a place for social work students to experience and benefit from hands-on work in the field of mental health and wellbeing. Guidance work is often complex and challenging giving social work students the chance to work directly with students and their families, and to partake in groups and workshops. Social work students are supported and supervised to work directly with school students experiencing mental health challenges. This work includes prevention, assessment, and managing and supporting students with behavioural and emotional issues and the impacts these have on whānau and their communities.

Our guidance staff welcome social work students as professionals in training who are encouraged and supported to work collaboratively with us. Awatapu benefits from the richness and knowledge they bring. A critical area of guidance in schools is the capacity to work effectively in transdisciplinary teamwork. At Awatapu, social work students are well placed to benefit from this aspect of their placement experience while equally Awatapu benefits from the new knowledge, research, and understandings they bring to this area

Alumni success stories


Sam Davis – Social Work graduate

Sam graduated with her Bachelor of Social Work in 2021 and did a placement in her third year at Whanganui Hospital. She was hired straight out of her final study placement at Cancer Society Whanganui-Rangitikei-Waimarino.

"Through these placements, I have grown a true understanding of the importance of social work in health and a confidence in myself to deliver purposeful mahi in this space."

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Joel Gordon, Keegan Bremner, and Sarah Munn – Sport and Exercise graduates

All three sport and exercise graduates have been offered employment at Sport Manawatū after successfully completing their WIL practicum, which provided important industry partnerships and enabled the students to connect and collaborate. Keegan Bremner says his sport practicum helped prepare him for his new role as the Community Partnership Advisor for Active Recreation.

"It was an unreal experience," Keegan says, who was the volunteer coordinator for the 2020 Under 18s Men" Softball World Cup. “I was able to see what goes into creating such a positive experience for the consumers of this global event. My confidence, communication, and human resource management skills have really grown since."

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Amy Pomana – Communication graduate

Amy completed her WIL as part of her Communication internship course during her final year of study, where she worked in the Massey National Events and Sponsorship Team. Her WIL networking opportunities and the skills gained resulted in employment upon the completion of her internship.

"I am so grateful I got to experience what work-integrated learning has to offer. I gained invaluable experience by putting theory into practice in real-life settings. It helped me grow as a person and as a professional. It opened a world of career opportunities and set me on the path to a prosperous future."

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Massey partners with small and large organizations in New Zealand and all over the world. If you would like to enquire about hosting students at your organization, please contact Massey.