Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Papers

Our undergraduate students complete a Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) paper in their final year of study as preparation for employment or further study. This is a unique feature of Bachelors' degrees at the University of Waikato that is part of our commitment to help every learner reach their career ambitions.

As individual students have differing career plans, we offer three different types of WIL papers, depending on what a student expects to do immediately after graduating:

  • Capstone Projects: Ideal for students who are looking for a career where their science knowledge will be used in a more applied manner.
  • Science Work Placements: Ideal for students who are looking for a career where their technical science knowledge will be used directly.
  • Undergraduate Research Projects: Ideal for students who are considering enrolling in a postgraduate research qualification e.g. a Masters or PhD degree.

You can find further details of the different opportunities that are available to help kick-start your career in the tabs below. If you are unsure as to what option would be best, please don't hesitate to get in contact with our Work-Integrated Learning Team, who can provide individual advice based on your personal circumstances and career goals.

Below are a selection of Capstone Projects that are currently available for Bachelor of Science (BSc) students in the final year of their degree. To apply for a given Capstone Project, you need to first enrol in the corresponding occurrence of SCIEN301 - Capstone Project in MyWaikato. After that, you will be able to select your preferred Capstone Project in MyWIL.

If you have any questions about the application process, please get in touch with one of our friendly Work-Integrated Learning team members.

Rewilding Rivers

Description: Healthy freshwater ecosystems are critical for life on Earth. Increasingly intensive human land uses have adversely impacted streams and rivers, leading to a loss of ecosystem services and biodiversity. There is strong societal demand to reverse these trends and restore freshwater ecosystems to good ecological health. In this Capstone Project, we will assess how well restoration strategies are working to reconnect communities to their waterways and restore healthy freshwater habitats that sustain native biodiversity and important ecosystem services.

Major: Students from BIOB202 (Principles of Ecology) and/or BIOB304 (Freshwater Ecology)

Campus: Hamilton or Tauranga (but will involve some in-person seminars in Hamilton only)

When: B-trimester

Geochemical modelling and analysis

Description: An investigation of the effects of anthropogenic CO2 emission scenarios on freshwater acidity, with implications for ecology.

Major: Any major but students should have completed CHEMY100/101

Campus: Hamilton

When: B-trimester

Marine conservation, human use and underwater noise

Description: Complete an interdisciplinary project of relevance to the community, in the theme of marine conservation and underwater sound. We will visit an area of a newly established Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Bay of Plenty and will engage with the community and stakeholders such as the regional council, Department of Conservation and iwi/ hapū.

Major: Ecology & Biodiversity, Environmental Science, Aquaculture.

Campus: Tauranga

When: B-trimester

Scientists in Schools

Description: Work alongside a local primary school teacher to assist them in teaching science to the next generation of budding scientists.

Major: Open to all science majors.

Campus: Hamilton or Tauranga

When: B-trimester

Rēkohu - Chatham Islands

Description: Develops skills in preparing for, undertaking, and analysing the results of an extended field investigation to Rēkohu.

Major: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Ecology & Biodiversity

Campus: Hamilton or Tauranga

When: B-trimester

Modern Methods for Molecular Scientists

Description: Develop a detailed working knowledge of the techniques that are commonly used in modern molecular biology.

Major: Molecular & Cellular Biology.

Campus: Hamilton

When: B-trimester

Native Plant Restoration

Description: Learn about the theory and practice of native plant restoration at the community and species level, with a mixture of field visits and lab analysis.

Major: any Science major.

Campus: Hamilton

When: C-trimester

Scuba for Science

Description: You will learn about the importance of monitoring the underwater environment and marine reserves, with specific focus on the Waikato coastline. This paper provides opportunity to interact with scientists, iwi and coastal managers from a variety of organisations/locations and learn about the breadth of projects that use scuba for science.

Major: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Ecology & Biodiversity, Aquaculture.

Campus: Hamilton. Teaching contact hours are matched with the Tauranga Shuttle timing so Tauranga-based students can attend.

When: C-trimester

One of the unique features of our Bachelor of Science (Technology) [BSc(Tech)] degree, is the opportunity to undertake a science work placement at a local business/organisation. To ensure a successful work experience, students complete SCIEN270 - Preparation for the Professional Workplace, in their second year of study. This is followed by the work placement itself, SCIEN371 - Science Work Placement, which normally occurs during the summer between a student's second and third years of study.

Our helpful Work-Integrated Learning team members partner with each BSc(Tech) student to arrange an appropriate work placement that aligns with their skills and intended career path. If you'd like to know more about the BSc(Tech) work placement programme, please don't hesitate to get in touch with one of the team.

Individual Work Placement

Description: Complete 10 weeks of work experience at a local business/organisation that is relevant to your science studies. In most cases, students will be paid by the business/organisation.

Major: Open to all science majors within the BSc(Tech) degree

Campus: Hamilton

When: C-trimester

If you're thinking about continuing your science education with a postgraduate research degree e.g. Masters' or PhD, it's useful to do a small research project in the final year of your Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree. This gives you the chance to try-out whether research is going to be a good fit for you, and allows you to begin working with an academic supervisor who might be interested in supervising your Masters' degree.

We provide the option of completing either a 15-point research project (SCIEN303 - Undergraduate Research Project) during the A and B-trimesters or a 30-point research project (SCIEN313 - Undergraduate Research Project) during C-trimester (over the summer period). However, before enrolling into one of these papers, please get in contact with some potential research supervisors to find out both their availability and when it would be best to undertake the research project.

Our staff listing page is a good place to start when looking for a potential research supervisor. Here you can easily filter by the different science subject areas to find an academic doing research on a topic that interests you.

If you have any questions about the application process, please get in touch with one of our friendly Work-Integrated Learning Team members.

Individual Research Project

Description: Experience a genuine research environment by completing an undergraduate research project on an approved science topic under staff supervision.

Major: Open to all science majors

Campus: Hamilton or Tauranga

When: A-trimester, B-trimester, C-trimester

We're always looking for new opportunities to develop relationships in our local communities. Please get in touch, if your business/organisation might be able to host a work placement student or provide a real-world challenge for a Capstone Project.