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Work experience opportunities

Field experience, co-op, internships and service learning

Most NSCC programs combine classroom learning with learning on the job. Graduation from most programs is dependent on the successful completion of a work experience component.

We also offer several sponsorship programs that include a field experience or co-op placement with the sponsoring employer.  

There are four different ways you can receive work experience while you learn:

Preparing for a work experience

  • International students require a work permit for all work placements; this is different than a study permit. Visit NSCC International to find out more. 
  • Some employers require students to provide record checks (i.e. criminal records, vulnerable sector, child abuse registry, etc.) or other screening procedures (i.e. immunization, first aid, food handling, etc.) prior to starting a work placement. You're responsible for obtaining these records and having them available to be reviewed by the placement partner prior to the start of the placement.
  • Download our work experience brochure (PDF 2.21MB) to use as a resource.

Field experience

Field experience provide opportunities for you to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.

  • Opportunities can be paid or unpaid and last 5 to 8 weeks.
  • Most programs provide field experience during the spring, although schedules and the frequency of field experience varies by program.

Co-operative (co-op) education

Co-op is an optional elective credit course completed between the first and second year of study.

  • This paid, full-time work placement lasts 12 to 16 weeks.
  • Employers are increasingly recognizing the value of co-op education. Completing the program can set you apart from the competition.
  • Over 50 diploma programs with an opportunity for a co-op placement. View program pages to see if the program you're interested in has a co-op option.
  • Our co-op program follows Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL) guidelines. Students who successfully complete co-op will have the co-op designation reflected on their transcript and diploma.


Two NSCC programs include an internship: International Business and Oceans Technology. This paid opportunity takes place during the final term of the program and lasts approximately 14 weeks.

Service learning

Service learning combines service to the community with learning, so you can develop critical thinking, leadership, ethical decision-making, social consciousness and civic responsibility.

  • Service learning is completed through a class term project, community organization or partner. For example, students at Marconi Campus recently designed a blood donation campaign for Canadian Blood Services.
  • Experiences vary by program and are defined by program-specific learning outcomes and community needs.