Partnered Projects

Partnered Projects

A partnered project is when students work on a real-world issue with an industry partner, under the supervision of a lecturer, in class and/or on site.

Partnered projects are a key element of RMIT’s industry connected Work Integrated Learning (WIL) program.

Partnered projects develop 3-way value between your organisation, students and RMIT.

“Collaboration with industry has been at the heart of the VicHyper project, with our students being generously guided and mentored by industry leaders and practitioners.”

Martin Bean CBE

Former RMIT Vice Chancellor and President

Partnered Projects
3-Way Value Proposition


Partner Input

  • Collaborate on a 12-week partnered project.
  • Partner provides real-world problem and context, industry knowledge and insights, and feedback to the student through their involvement in the partnered project.
  • Ideally provides paid internships, employment or awards to top performing students following the project. For example, this may be paid internships to carry out ideas generated during the project.

Partner Return

  • Fresh new ideas from a large group of young talent, supervised by RMIT.
  • Project outcomes which may include student research, designs, campaigns, publications, prototypes and sample designs or finished works.
  • Opportunity to identify top talent, commitment and suitability to the organisation as a pipeline of potential recruits who have familiarity of your workplace culture.
  • The opportunity to trial a potential recruit without obligation through the partnered project or through a separate internship.
  • Staff development opportunity through mentorship of students during the partnered project.
  • Allows organisations to explore new project territory in a flexible manner.
  • Develop links with RMIT and feed into teaching practices and methodologies.

Student Input

  • Ideas and work towards outcomes as specified: this may be designs, prototypes, plans etc.
  • IP (depending on arrangement).

Student Return

  • Expands knowledge by learning new professional skills and putting theory into practice, as well as industry and disciplinary expertise.
  • CV enhancement and a work experience portfolio.
  • Develops generic skills, such as problem solving, teamwork and interpersonal communication techniques in work settings.
  • Helps student acquire career development strategies.
  • Guidance and feedback from industry partner on project work.
  • Gives the opportunity to understand work culture and specific competencies of professions and industries.
  • Opportunity to establish a network of professional contacts.
  • Opportunity to explore possible career paths to pursue.
  • Opportunity for potential recognition, awards or employment from the project.

RMIT Input

  • Supervision and assessment of partnered project.

RMIT Return

  • Current industry connections.
  • Current industry projects reflective of actual workplaces.
  • Student opportunities for recognition and employment.
  • Enhanced student employability.
  • High profile partnerships.

“RMIT is committed to providing students with the skills to graduate as future leaders in communication for social change and strategic communication management. These are fast-paced, complex projects that demand the highest levels of strategic thinking and craftsmanship, and equip students with advanced problem-solving skills, aesthetic sensitivity and industry-ready conceptual agility.”

Associate Professor Brad Haylock

School of Design

How Partnered Projects Work

Your issue and the brief

The ideal issue has specific objectives to explore but is not overly prescriptive on how they are to be reached or what outcomes may emerge.

Our teaching staff work with you to turn your issue into a specific brief and adapt it to student learning outcomes and different skill levels.

Your input

Your student engagement will most likely entail three face-to-face sessions with the student group: at the start to brief the project; in the middle to give feedback on direction; and at the end for final feedback.

You may also include sessions or tours at your premises, this may be appropriate for the mid-way feedback session.

You can provide substantial background information to inform the project about your organisation or the project to give the students a look at the real issues your organisation is facing.

Partners provide feedback to students but are not involved in formal assessment. Partnered projects are supervised by our teaching staff.


A partnered project would typically involve 20-60 students divided into small teams of 3-5. The teams may each work on the same or different problems.

“The best part of studying at RMIT is the industry experienced teachers, challenging real-client projects and the high level of passion and knowledge among the students.”

Emma Backlund

Bachelor of Communication (Advertising)


  • Partnered projects happen in Semester I (March-June) or Semester 2 (July-October).
  • EOIs are accepted year-round.
  • Project partners are typically engaged by late October of the preceding year for Sem I projects, or by late April for Sem II projects.

Getting started

  • Send us an EOI in the form of a short statement about your issue or objectives.
  • After you and our teaching staff have agreed to proceed, the next step is to develop a Partnered Project Plan’, which outlines key dates and outcomes for the project. Frequently the plan is developed in the month prior to the start of semester.
  • Sample briefs, case studies and student outcomes for the RMIT course you are partnering with are available on request. See also ‘Providing Student Opportunities in a Partnered Project’.

Case Study – Lentara UnitingCare

Lentara UnitingCare is one of the largest community service based not-for-profit organisations in Australia. It is at the forefront of social innovation, facilitating a wide range of services, including asylum seeker housing, emergency relief programs and family services.

The partnership was established in 2016 to facilitate the development of social innovation and entrepreneurship through co-design. The students developed creative and digital responses to a range of Lentara projects, including their annual Winter Appeal, Asylum Seeker Housing campaign, Men’s Shed, a Shower Bus for the homeless, and developing store identity branding for their recycled clothing initiative.

Following the initial partnered project Lentara employed three of the outstanding students, initially as 12-week paid internships and then as ongoing members of the Lentara team.

In a subsequent partnered project, the students delved into a broad range of projects needing digital communication strategies, designing print and media campaigns, and developing identity and network strategies.

Graduate Georgia Verrells returning to RMIT as a Lentara employee to assist students in the subsequent year.


Need help? Our Work Integrated Learning team are here to assist.

Copyright © 2022 RMIT University | ABN 49 781 030 034

CRICOS provider number: 00122A | RTO Code: 3046