Work with our students


Our students contribute insight and knowledge that benefit our industry and community partners. Industry and community organisations have a range of options for working with our students.


Benefits for industry / community partners

  • Students bring fresh ideas, creativity and up-to-date knowledge
  • Students are enthusiastic, motivated and inspiring
  • Opportunity to address a specific need or problem
  • No cost involved for students’ hours spent as part of their course – anything further is by negotiation
  • Satisfaction of contributing to development of talented young people
  • Opportunity to help ensure graduates have the skills and experience industry needs
  • Opportunity to get to know students, potentially reducing cost and risk of recruitment
  • Invitation to attend presentations and exhibitions of student work

Benefits for students

We value partnerships with industry and community to help us provide students with valuable real world learning opportunities. Students need to be provided with work opportunities that are both suitable for their capabilities at the relevant level of study, and reasonable to expect of them in the time they have available. The work must provide a constructive learning opportunity for the students, so it is a win/win for the organisation and the students. The details of the work to be done will be scoped with an organisation and recorded in a three-way agreement.


Overview of options

Overview of options

This is an overview of the many different ways that industry and community partners can work with our students during their learning to benefit themselves and the students. This overview is subject to the particular requirements for a particular programme and course.




Work Experience


Fieldwork, placement, studio, integrated practice

Clinical Placement

Applied Research Project
Capstone, studio, community project

What students do

Observe and learn to be work-ready

Structured learning on the job

Apply knowledge and skills in work role

Mandatory clinical experience, required for registration

Apply knowledge and skills to solve a real world need or problem

What industry/ community partner does

Provide and supervise work

Provide and supervise work

Provide and supervise work

Provide work and clinical supervision

Identify a need or problem for students to solve


Usually at partner site

At partner site

At partner site

At partner site

At Otago Polytechnic, may include site visits

Subject areas


Carpentry, Automotive, Electrical Technology

Sport & Adventure, Art, Social Services, Design, Applied Management, Mental Health, Vet Nursing, Midwifery, Disability, Career Practice, Engineering, Construction, Living Sciences, Central Otago programmes

Nursing, Midwifery, Occupational Therapy, Counselling

Computing & IT, Nursing, Applied Management, Occupational Therapy, Design, Engineering, Construction, Living Sciences, Sport, Central Otago programmes

With the exception of apprenticeships, students’ time is usually unpaid because they are engaged in learning as part of their course of study. 

You can also support our students’ learning through participation in one of our Permanent External Advisory Committees. Read more here.

What an organisation can expect of students

An organisation can expect students to:

  • apply skills they have acquired already through classroom exercises, workshops, case studies, scenarios and simulations
  • spend a minimum number of hours
  • perform to a standard relative to their level of study
  • be available for an agreed period
  • be respectful, culturally safe, and attentive
  • comply with Otago Polytechnic policies including ethics
  • be kept informed of progress
What we expect of an organisation

We expect a partner organisation to:

  • be interested in our students’ development
  • provide students with the information they need to do their work
  • identify any information that is confidential
  • be reasonably available to meet with students
  • provide feedback to students in a constructive manner
  • complete a report at completion of the project
  • raise any concerns with the students' supervisor in a timely way
  • meet health and safety obligations when students are on your premises
What an organisation can expect of Otago Polytechnic

An organisation can expect us to:

  • provide students and industry/community partners with relevant additional information specific to a programme or course
  • work with an organisation and the student/s to scope the work for the students’ skill level and time available and for the organisation’s needs
  • document the arrangements between the student, the organisation and Otago Polytechnic
  • be clear about who will bear which costs (if any)
  • match students for a good fit with an organisation
  • group students, where applicable, with complementary strengths
  • monitor students’ progress
  • address any concerns in a timely way
  • The privacy of the personal information of an organisation’s patients or clients will be respected by Otago Polytechnic and our students.
  • An organisation’s confidential information will not be used or disclosed by students or by Otago Polytechnic except as required to complete internal course-related documentation.
  • Student work may be promoted publicly by Otago Polytechnic and by the students.
Exclusion of liability
  • Neither the students nor Otago Polytechnic have any liability for an organisation’s use of the students’ work.
  • Neither the students nor Otago Polytechnic give any guarantee that the work produced by the students will be able to be used by the organisation without additional work and/or costs of implementation.
Intellectual Property
  • Students own the intellectual property they create (for example designs, software) unless otherwise negotiated.
  • An organisation has the right to use the students’ work (non-exclusive licence).


If an organisation wishes to further explore any of these options and to partner with us, either for the first time or in a new way, please get in touch by emailing the research office.


Study areas

If you are interested in working with us but you're not sure which of these subject areas is most relevant for your issue or need, or if you have a multidisciplinary project in mind, please contact us by emailing the research office.

You can also read about our student and staff research in our monthly magazine, Relevant Research, available online here.