Discipline predicts Work Integrated Learning (WIL) practice in Science courses


  • Susan Rowland The University of Queensland
  • Daniel Blundell The University of Queensland




Australian mathematics and science students have low participation in WIL, posing implications for student employability. To better understand this problem we examined the industry-placement and coursework-incorporated WIL offered across the Faculty of Science at a large research-intensive university. The aim of the study was to provide an evidenced discussion of the types and amounts of WIL that different disciplines offer their students. A matrix was used to measure the inclusion of WIL activities in 265 courses (units of study) across all undergraduate programs in a Faculty of Science. The results, which show comparisons between disciplines, year levels, and class sizes. Indicate that a high proportion of courses incorporate WIL, but that some disciplines are significantly more likely to incorporate WIL than others. This study provides important insights into how science students in different disciplines and in different levels of their degree are prepared for the workplace. As we consider how to address graduate employability through integrating WIL in university STEM coursework, this study provides evidence-based justification to initiate reflection about pedagogy.


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Author Biographies

  • Susan Rowland, The University of Queensland

    Professor Susan Rowland (s.rowland1@uq.edu.au; ORCID 0000-0003-1926-7509) is Professor of Science Education in the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences at the University of Queensland. A biochemist by training, she now researches science education. A multi-award-winning educator, Susan holds the portfolio of Associate Dean Academic (Future Students and Employability) for the UQ Faculty of Science; the portfolio serves over 9000 students enrolled in Faculty programs. Susan is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

  • Daniel Blundell, The University of Queensland

    Dr Daniel Blundell (d.blundell@uq.edu.au) is the Senior Data Analyst in the Faculty of Science at the University of Queensland. He holds a BSc Hons in Physics, a PhD focusing on iron ore particle adhesion, and a Master of Data Science. He has previously held major data-related and statistical roles in Queensland Treasury and other branches of the Queensland Government. He has an interest in the factors that drive student success at university.


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How to Cite

Discipline predicts Work Integrated Learning (WIL) practice in Science courses. (2021). Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability, 12(2), 222-259. https://doi.org/10.21153/jtlge2021vol12no2art1237