The power of the University of Auckland’s Bachelor of Arts degree
From Anthropology to Politics and International Relations, these programmes transform students into career-ready graduates. Like all programmes at the Faculty of Arts, — one of the world's top 50 arts faculties by QS World University Rankings — they equip you with the in-demand skills for a fast-changing world. Each course weaves a rich tapestry of experiences, resources, and mentorship opportunities into the fabric of its curriculum.
The Faculty of Arts produces graduates who can think critically, communicate well and reach across disciplines to solve some of the biggest problems the world faces today. They have the hard skills to thrive in their chosen fields and the soft skills to pivot into different careers. Whatever the future holds for them, the Faculty of Arts is the place where their extraordinary journeys started.
Imagine a building filled with natural light, a soaring glass atrium, a flexible lecture theatre with stunning views, and many more spaces that are as aesthetically impressive as they are functional. The new, refurbished home of the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Arts is a space built for the future — just like the programmes it provides.
Green in many ways, this building sends less waste to landfills, creates less pollution and connects to public transport and bike parking. These are 6 Green Star Design-rated features, referring to the highest score awarded since the inception of the rating, putting the building in the “world leadership” category.
Chow’s interests in marketing and non-government organisations grew as she progressed through her programme. “Marketing definitely applies to anthropology because it’s important to understand varying cultures and approaches used to attract specific audiences,” she says. “I was also interested in making a difference [through NGOs].”
After she graduated, Chow returned to Hong Kong and did just that. She joined an NGO that focused on using technology to strengthen relationships within families. Her role centred around exposing young minds to the productive use of iPhones and iPads. She later joined the marketing world in an attempt to flex her creative skills.
The move went smoothly thanks to her education. Her strong grasp of cultures helped her navigate company dynamics and know which demographics to target. Her critical thinking made it easy for her to confront multiple ideas and align them with broader strategies. Her creative and curious mindset keeps her attuned to trends.
Coco Chow planned to double major in Media and Employment Relations when she first arrived at the faculty from Hong Kong. But she found herself longing to learn more about human beings — who we are biologically, how we evolved and what makes our societies and cultures distinct from other animal species. After gaining inspiration from an Anthropology class that brought her closer to answering these questions, she switched majors.
Chow explored the social status of women, the negative perception of menstruation, and how the discipline can be used to better society. She enjoyed listening to her lecturers speak about everything from the beginning of humankind to the type of research conducted in cemeteries.
From anthropology student to marketing maven
While accelerated, Wu’s programme was still enriching. He unravelled the mysteries of endangered languages, drew insights from esteemed guest experts, and even spent a winter studying in Germany. “The experience was extraordinary,” he says. “I’ll never forget how helpful my teachers were in helping me land this opportunity.”
With a further Graduate Diploma in Education, Wu spent a year helping children convey their thoughts and emotions more effectively. He now has a role in the luxury industry, working for high-profile clients the likes of Gucci and Saint Laurent.
New Zealand has long been a second home for Edwin Wu. He left China as a child with his mother, who was an international student herself. When it was time to go to university, he knew there was only one place he wanted to apply to. “The University of Auckland is the best in the country and offered a wide range of courses that I knew could help expand my interests,” he says.
While Wu was always drawn to the study of linguistics, he didn’t think he would be able to combine it with his love for German culture. It turns out he didn’t have to choose only one as the University offered double majors. It even allowed him to study at his own pace so that Wu could graduate in two and a half years.
Pursuing multiple passions and careers
Gujjar is just as engaged within lecture theatres and seminar rooms. Her favourite classes are by Senior Tutor Michelle Burstall, and they revolve around memory in psychology. “She’s the most open of all my educators,” says Gujjar. “She provides a safe, judgement-free space for introverts to open up.” Gujjar, now in her first year, will take on more practical lessons next year. She’s excited at how much they’ll inspire her to grow further.
Vaishnavi Gujjar has always been intrigued by how human beings communicate in an increasingly global world. Born in India and raised in the Middle East, she joined a double major programme in Psychology and Communication at the Faculty of Arts. “Mixing the two was uncommon in the places where I had lived, so being able to pursue two disciplines here definitely influenced my decision to study abroad,” she says.
It wasn’t hard for Gujjar to adapt despite being away from her family for the first time in her life. Together with housemates from around the globe, they embraced life abroad. They went to university events that brought them closer and showed them the many resources available around campus, such as the careers centre. “They recommended us to go have chats about what our options look like at the very beginning of our course,” Gujjar says.
Gujjar found out about volunteering opportunities and student associations that matched her academic interests thanks to the centre. Currently, she is part of the Psychology Student Association and Indian Students Association, and in the running to become an International Student Officer for the Auckland Student Association.
An up-and-coming leader excited at what her future holds
Copyright © 2023 Study International, official representative of The University of Auckland, Faculty of Arts