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Work experience

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.

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, 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 a copy of the Employer Guide (PDF 364KB).

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 vary 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.
  • Co-op represents one full credit and regular tuition/fees applies (view tuition, fees and costs).
  • Employers are increasingly recognizing the value of co-op education. Completing the program can set you apart from the competition.
  • Over 50 diploma programs offer co-op placements. 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.

Professional practice

  • Professional practice opportunities allow you to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
  • Opportunities are unpaid and vary in duration from a few weeks to a few months.
  • Professional practice is required for a professional license or designation (including clinical placement, practicums, preceptorships, etc.).

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