What can I do?

What can I do?

virtual reality students looking at screen

PACE units are now a distinctive part of all Macquarie Bachelor degrees. These units give you a chance to put theory into practice in the real world. Get job ready and future ready with PACE.

PACE in your degree

Most degrees include a specified PACE unit listed in your program or qualifying major and in this case the unit is compulsory. Check the handbook to find your degree and see if a PACE unit is specified for you.

If you do not find a PACE unit in your program or major you still need a PACE unit to qualify for your degree, but you have more options to choose from.

To enrol in a PACE unit you must satisfy the prerequisites of the unit. Check the handbook to find out which prerequisites apply. To enrol in some PACE units you may need to submit a request for special approval.

Diverse units and activities

PACE is all about diversity and flexibility. There are PACE units across all academic disciplines. Each unit includes a practical activity which is closely linked to the learning outcomes of the unit.

Your activity may be completed in various locations, settings and modes. It all depends on which PACE activity you undertake and the host organisation you are working with.

Our host organisations span all sectors of the economy including:

  • industry
  • government
  • non-government
  • not for profit

Your activity might be completed:

  • on site at the host organisation
  • partly on site and partly on campus
  • outside in the natural environment
  • on campus with meetings held via Skype
  • individually
  • with a partner
  • in a small group
  • in a multi-disciplinary team

PACE activity types

There are many different types of PACE activities. Here are some of the most common:

Internships: one-off, carefully structured and closely supervised learning experience conducted in the workplace. An Internship involves a minimum of 30 contact hours in the workplace. Internships are often part of degrees in the Faculty of Business and Economics.

Practicums: a compulsory practical learning experience conducted in the workplace as part of a professionally accredited degree. Practicums are often embedded as part of degrees in education, early childhood, or allied health and involve formal competency based assessments.

Field work: activities conducted on a site in the natural and/or built environment in order to collect data (e.g. soil samples, information about animals, etc.) for the purposes of informing a study about that environment or site. Field work is often a part of degrees in environmental and life sciences.

Community development projects: activities with non-government organisations or other not for profits which support the goals of the organisation and the community it serves. These activities can be completed with partner organisations within Australia or overseas.

Collaborative research projects: students work together to achieve the common goal of producing new knowledge or understanding. Research projects can be completed in many disciplines including (but not limited to) psychology, cognitive science, business, law, or sciences.

Community and business reference panels: activities involve partners visiting campus to interact with (usually large groups of) students on projects addressing challenges or themes within an organisation, industry or sector as identified by the partner.

Student mentoring: activities focused on engagement through service such as acting as a student representative within University governance frameworks, or mentoring or tutoring of other students through community-based programs and/or schools. These activities can occur on campus or off campus.

To find out if any of the above activities apply to your PACE unit, check the handbook.

Organising your own PACE activity

Our PACE team will work with you to help organise a PACE activity. For certain units you must find your own activity. These activities are referred to as 'student nominated' and are common in the Faculty of Arts.

In these units you will need to find a host organisation willing to supervise your activity. This will be a key part of the learning outcomes of the unit.

It may seem daunting at first but there are some great benefits to finding your own activity:

  • Networking –  build relationships with professionals in your field
  • Future career preparation – learn the skills you need for future job searches
  • Flexibility – find an employer who matches your preferences for size and location
  • Independence – learn to be proactive and promote your capabilities

Tips to help you find a host organisation:

  • Time – start your search early. Some organisations run their own competitive selection process in a set recruitment period. The more time you allow for your search, the more successful you will be.
  • Research – make a list of organisations that interest you. Spend time researching organisations in your chosen field. Consider the size of the organisation. Smaller organisations may be more open to taking an intern.
  • Reflect – think about your skills and interests. Consider what skills you might contribute to a host organisation. Also, think about areas for personal growth and challenge.

Tips to help you find a placement:

  • Look at job sites like Career Hub
  • Contact organisations directly
  • Promote yourself through your social network
  • Customise your cover letter
  • Get your resumé job ready

REMEMBER! All PACE activities must be approved by your unit convenor. If you have any questions about the host organisation or the activity you have planned, make sure you discuss it first with your Unit Convenor or your Faculty PACE team.

Organising your own international PACE activity


  • Activities must be completed for academic credit
  • Student nominated activities cannot be completed with a community development organisation, as we already run programs in this area. All our international host organisations need to be thoroughly assessed to make sure they meet international development guidelines. However we can support you in the corporate sector.
  • PACE International does not approve activities in countries listed on the Smart Traveller website by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as ‘reconsider your need to travel’ or ‘do not travel.’ Countries listed as ‘high degree of caution’ require a detailed risk assessment to gain approval.

Costs and financial support 

You are responsible for covering all of the costs associated with an international student nominated activity. Financial support is available to support you with this.

Tips to help you arrange an international student nominated activity:

  • Select a unit:
    Confirm you have space in your degree. Decide on the unit and check the handbook to ensure you meet the pre-requisites of the unit.
  • Find a partner organisation:
    Contact an organisation directly
    OR contact your faculty to see if they are offering any activities you can join
  • Conduct activity and risk approval:
    Consult the Faculty PACE Team to complete an Activity assessment with your Unit Convenor. Activities that meet the unit learning outcomes will process to PACE International staff for risk assessment.
  • Complete mobilisation requirements: PACE International staff will provide guidance on what mobilisation requirements you will need to complete. These may include; submission of travel documents, pre-departure training, and medical checks

Multidisciplinary PACE units

Each Faculty offers at least one multidisciplinary PACE unit, often referred to as 'Faculty PACE units'.  These units offer great flexibility and are perfect for students who do not have a specified PACE unit in their program or major. You can also undertake one of these units as an extra elective if you have space in your program. In these units you might be allocated to an activity by your Faculty PACE team or you might need to arrange a host organisation and activity of your own.

Find out more about these units:

  • FOAR300 Participation and Community Engagement in Arts
  • FOBE200 Professional and Community Engagement
  • FOBE300 Student Leadership in Community Engagement
  • FOHS300 Participation and Community Engagement in Human Sciences
  • FOSC300 Participation and Community Engagement in Science and Engineering
  • PACE399 Professional Internship: Learning in Practice

PACE student stories

Many students have shared what they gained from their PACE experience. Visit our video gallery for some inspiring examples. Here's what one student had to say: Joel Berta, ENGG400

PACE is one of, if not the best, way to kickstart your professional career in the degree of your choice. I have gained so much confidence in terms of working in a professional environment and loved every moment...

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