Frequently asked questions

We answer your questions about applying, studying and how the University works.


What's the difference between admission and enrolment?

These are two separate processes. Admission (the first step) is when you apply for, and are admitted to, the University and a University programme. Enrolment (the second step) is when you enrol yourself in the individual courses you want to take. You must have been admitted before you can enrol.

What if I don't have access to a computer?

There are computers available at the Arts Students’ Centre and the Arts Labs. If you cannot come to the University, phone 0800 61 62 63 (or +64 9 308 2386 if overseas).

What do I do if I need help?

Phone 0800 61 62 63 (or +64 9 308 2386 if overseas) or come in to the Arts Students’ Centre.

What do I put on my application when I don't know what I want to major in?

Just select “Major unknown” on your Application for Admission.

Learning and teaching

What's the difference between a subject and a course?

A subject is an area of knowledge, while a course is a specific topic you study within a subject. For example, “Roman Imperialism” is a course within the subject Ancient History.

How long is a course taught for?

Each BA course is taught over a semester. Semester One and Two are each about 15 weeks long, including about 12 weeks of classes and three weeks for study and exams.

Are all courses taught every year?

Course availability varies. Many courses are taught every year, either in Semester One or Semester Two, and for some you’ll have a choice of semesters. Other courses will not be available at all in a given year. Some courses are taught every second year.

What is Summer School?

Summer School is a six-week semester in January and February. Because it is intensive, new students cannot begin University study in Summer School.

Study options

What is a major?

A major is the main subject of your degree. You can also choose to major in two subjects – this is called a double major.

Do I have to do a minor?

If you are in the BA you must have either a minor or a second (double) major. This is to ensure that your degree has breadth as well as depth.

If you are in the BA conjoint you don’t do a minor, but if you want to focus on two subjects you can take a double major.

When do I choose my major and minor?

You don’t have to choose your major or minor for your first year – in fact, you should begin your first year with an open mind. You should have decided which subjects will be your major, minor or double major by the time you start your second year. Your first-year study will help clarify your choices.

What are electives?

Electives are courses you take that are not part of your major or minor.

They make up the rest of the points you need to complete your degree.

Why do I have to take General Education?

General Education adds breadth to your degree and gives you an appreciation of fields outside your usual area of study. Other leading international universities also recognise the value of a well-rounded education and require their students to complete similar study.

General Education will help you be better prepared for the workforce, with a broader range of skills and understanding to complement your specialist knowledge.

When do I take General Education?

You can take General Education at any time in your degree. BA students must take two General Education courses. We recommend that you take one in your first year.

Conjoint students choose one General Education course for each of their degrees. For the BA conjoint, you should not take your General Education course in your first year. It’s more important to study BA subjects to give yourself a good foundation and maximum choice for the future.

How the University works

What does undergraduate mean?

Undergraduate describes students who are studying towards their first degree, or the courses that are part of first (bachelors) degrees.

What is a faculty?

Faculty describes each broad area of study within the University and the staff who teach, research and manage in that area. For example, Arts, Science and Law are three different faculties.

What is a School?

A School in the Faculty of Arts is a grouping of disciplinary areas each carrying out teaching and research in their own subjects. There are four Schools in the Faculty of Arts.