Practical Work reports
The Practical Work component of the BE(Hons) measures your ability to complete a formal written engineering report.
How many report intakes are there in a year?
There are two report one-week-long intakes each year, one in March and one in August. They correspond the two graduation ceremonies each year that are six months after the report intake. For example, if you plan to attend the September Graduation, you must submit your final practical work report that will let you reach the minimum cumulated 800 hours in total, during the March report intake of the same year. If you wish to attend the May Graduation, then you must submit your last report during the August report intake in the previous year (six months earlier).
As long as the final report is submitted at least six months before the intended graduation, students have the flexibility to submit their report in any of the report intakes.
Please note that students may register their practical work and get their hours signed off by their supervisor at any time during the year. It is only the submission of the report must take place during the two report intakes and their subsequent re-submission period.
When is the next practical work report intake?
Submission dates for the practical work report(s) for the August intake are between Monday 7 August (8.30am) to Monday 21 August (5.00pm) 2023. Reports must be submitted to the Practical Work portal before the deadline.
Please note that you must get your hours properly signed off by your supervisor before submitting your report(s). Otherwise your report(s) will be pushed back by the marker without being marked.
All students who intend to graduate in May 2024 must have their final practical work report in for marking by the above mentioned due date.
When will I receive my result?
You will see the grade for your report(s) posted on the Practical Work portal anytime on Monday 9 October 2023.
If your report is not up to standard, you will be required to revise and resubmit according to the following guidelines:
Students who will be completing their academic requirements at the end of Semester Two 2023 (or before) and others intending to graduate in the May 2024 graduation, will need to submit their revised report(s) between Wednesday 11 October (8.30am) and Monday 13 November 2023 (5.00pm).
Students who will not be completing their academic requirements at the end of Semester Two 2023 will be asked to resubmit their report(s) in the following intake period (March 2024 with dates to be announced in February 2024).
What should my report include?
You should assess your experience as an intern fully. Think of your report as a document that presents the maximum insight into what it was like to work at the company, and how you contributed to all your tasks. A new intern who reads your report should have a major advantage if they were to do an identical work internship to yours.
You are not obliged to explain any final outcomes of the work performed, so your report should be able to achieve an ‘A’ grade without the need for revealing confidential information. However, we do recognise the increased difficulty of report writing where the work outcomes cannot be mentioned for context.
In the case of non-disclosure agreements, discuss this with your employer. There may be areas of your work that can be included in a general sense. If not, you can request that the marker signs a confidentiality agreement, provided that your employer finds this acceptable.
It is possible to fail the report due to not reporting enough of one’s internship experience. This varies according to the number of hours claimed for any one report. It is important that when writing the report, you attempt to cover the full extent of your experience with the sections detailed below. If a report is lacking in comprehension or content, the report will be considered incomplete.
Length and major sections
Markers assess hundreds of reports each year. They can easily spot when a student has attempted to cover the bare minimum and mistakenly substituted comprehensive content with mere summaries of work outcomes. As the student, there is no way of requesting an arbitrary page number requirement for the report, as each student’s writing capabilities vary in terms of comprehension, relevant detail and clarity, all of which contribute to whether the scope/content is relevant enough and adequate for the grade given.
You can report your experience in active voice, unlike most professional reports. Your report must not be more than 25 pages long. It should contain the following sections.
The title page contains your name, department, name and address of your employer, dates of the work period, date of report.
A brief summary (no more than 300 words) of the whole report; nature of organisation, type of work done, skills learned, conclusions drawn.
To thank the people who have assisted you in your work and made an impact on your overall work experience.
Table of Contents
Section headings and corresponding page numbers. List of figures, list of tables: figure/table numbers and titles, corresponding page numbers.
This section should be an overview of the overall report, and include a brief introduction to the company, your role during the period which you've worked, the work you've undertaken and what you learned out of the entire experience.
Early sections: Company information
These appropriately titled sections could include information on:
- Layout of workplace or plant
- Staff organisation structure and number of employees engaged in various work
- General comments on buildings, plant layout, technical facilities and amenities for staff
Middle section: Your work experience
Appropriate titles should be used for this section. You should provide a full description of the work you undertook and any other activities observed.
Reflective appraisal [COMPULSORY]
In this section you should critically appraise or evaluate your learning/knowledge gained within the practical work experience. This could include your impressions about the organisation and its performance. It would also be appropriate to comment on the skills you have developed and the lessons learnt in relation to professional engineering practice.
Please note that your reflective appraisal must be at least one page in length.
Summary list of conclusions drawn, skills learned. Conclusions should be drawn on your entire work experience, and not any particular project(s) carried out.
Bibliography and/or appendices
Find answers to frequently asked questions students have about practical work reports.
Please note that the following reports were marked according to the (now discontinued) pre-2018 rubric.
Sample marking sheets
Best Practical Work Report award
Part IV students who have worked at ACENZ registered companies, and produced a report in outstanding quality in the March intake, will be invited to apply for the ACENZ Award for Best Practical Work Report.