One of our core programs, the Student Community Coursework Projects, connects community organisations with skilled student teams to deliver on community led projects. Since 1996 the Shopfront Community Program has enabled hundreds of projects to start out, to grow, or to re-invigorate.
Most projects are carried out by students in their final year of undergraduate studies, or in their postgraduate programs, through their subjects. The process is collaborative: students and community groups are involved in all facets of the project's development and implementation, and the process is usually overseen by academic supervisors.
As well as enabling community organisations to build on their expertise, the Student Community Coursework Projects allows UTS students to gain valuable experience in a professional environment, and to see alternative career paths into the community sector.
What type of projects can we do?
As Shopfront has access to all UTS faculties we can undertake a diverse range of projects - but the project ideas come from you. Projects range from large, multi-disciplinary undertakings to small projects involving one or two students.
Almost 1,000 projects have been successfully completed since Shopfront began in 1996 including:
- Business and Marketing Planning for International Help Fund Australia
- Computer game prototype design for the Autism Association
- Database design for SHINE for Kids
- Engineering design for Curl Curl Lagoon Rehabilitation Committee
- Event management for New Theatre
- History for People Living with HIV/AIDS NSW
- Industrial design for The Big Issue
- Legal research for Accessible Arts
- Logo and brochure design for Australian Association of Child Health & Parenting
- Audience and social media research for Powerhouse Youth Theatre
- Public relations campaign for NSW Reconciliation Council
- Publication design for Ethica Accessories
- Social research for the Neighbourhood Centre Forum
- Volunteer recruitment campaign for Northside Community Forum
To view a complete list of completed projects, please see our community projects page.
Who is Eligible?
We work with small, 'under-resourced' community organisations in Sydney and occasionally - where feasible - elsewhere. This allows community-initiated projects that would not otherwise proceed to be completed.
Governments, their agencies and large NGOs are not eligible for free project support, but should talk to us about partnering with UTS Shopfront on research, volunteering and other projects.
How much does it cost?
Shopfront services are free of charge to under-resourced community organisations.
Depending on your level of resources we may ask that you provide office space for student work or for reimbursement of project expenses such as large amounts of photocopying or large numbers of phone calls. These expenses would be scoped and agreed on during the project planning phase.
How does the program work?
Start by submitting your project or call the team at UTS Shopfront on 02 9514 2900 to discuss your project idea.
If the project is feasible we will list it on our projects page and offer it to students during the next semester. A description of the typical steps for a graphic design project can be found here. A very similar process is used for all of our community-student projects.
The project brief will be finalised at a first meeting between your organisation, Shopfront and the UTS students and project participants. The student/s will then produce a project plan for all stakeholders to agree and sign off on.
What are the chances of my project going ahead?
Currently around 70% of projects listed on our website go ahead. Projects are publicised to appropriate courses and students choose the project they would like to work on.
A major constraint for projects is timing, with student work and project outcomes tied to the UTS schedule of Autumn Semester (begins March - project outcomes in June) and Spring Semester (begins August - project outcomes in November). Other reasons for projects not proceeding are: difficulty matching the specific needs of a project with the necessary expertise; geographic distances; and lack of access to specialist resources.
As a community organisation, what are my roles and responsibilities working on a project with Shopfront?
Community organisations nominate a liaison person(s) to work on the project - the time commitment required is two hours per week - and, if possible, to provide support in terms of workspace (if required) and any project costs.
It is also a Shopfront requirement the students' work and UTS's contribution is acknowledged.
What are the roles for students, academic supervisors and UTS Shopfront?
These are outlined in Shopfront_Design_ Roles_and_Responsibilities2017.pdf.
What does UTS get out of this?
University benefits include: providing a stimulating learning environment for our staff and students; promoting interdisciplinary research; adding to university-based knowledge; having more relevance in our local community; and providing our students with civic values and a broader view of the society around them.
What expertise will I find at UTS?
The expertise with UTS faculties is diverse and includes: social justice and advocacy; community services; community history; heritage; social and cultural planning; design; architecture; construction management; visual communications; public relations and media; engineering; research; writing; statistical analysis; information management; facilitating workshops; campaign design; developing training programs; website designs; internet and ICT strategies; market and business planning; legal research and environmental sciences.
Can you give me some ideas about what projects are possible?
Look at completed projects or call us on 02 9514 2900.
How do I keep informed about upcoming project deadlines and working with Shopfront?
The deadlines for submitting projects are 31 January for Autumn Semester (February to June) and 30 June for Spring Semester (July to November).
To keep informed sign up for our quarterly e-newsletter.