Skip to main content Skip to site utility navigation Skip to main site navigation Skip to site search Skip to footer

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 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 a copy of the Employer Work Placement Guide (PDF 361KB).

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.
  • Co-op represents one full credit and regular tuition/fees applies. View tuition amounts here 
  • 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.

Professional practice

  • Professional practice are opportunities for students 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.) ,