Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

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General Enquiries

What is a BA?

BA is the acronym for 'Bachelor of Arts'. The BA equips students with a number of important life skills: an ability to communicate clearly, think critically and creatively, solve problems across a wide range of domains, manage their own learning, have an understanding of the ethics of scholarship as well as to understand the key concepts within the disciplines studied. It is a degree that is increasingly in demand by employers looking for well rounded, educated, adaptable staff.

Is a BA about Artwork?

Not necessarily. The term 'Arts' covers a wide range of subject areas including Classics, Cultural Anthropology, History, languages, Linguistics, Māori Studies, Music, Political Science, and Sociology to name a few.

What are the qualification pathways at university?

A BA degree usually takes three to four years to complete. After a BA, you may continue studying at a more advanced level for a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)) or Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (PGDipArts) which usually take one further full-time year. Alternatively, if you wish to do further study at 200 or 300 level in courses not included in your BA, then the Graduate Diploma in Arts (GradDipArts) may be appropriate.

After completing a BA(Hons) degree students may be eligible to enrol in a Master of Arts (MA) or other specialised Master's programme which generally take another year. Some Master's programmes may be taken directly on completion of a BA. There are also graduate and postgraduate diplomas and certificates available in some areas (see Specialist Qualifications).

Once qualified with your Master's, you may wish to apply to pursue a PhD, which will take between two and three years to complete.

What are points?

All degree programmes at Victoria work on a points system. For example, 360 points are required to complete a BA. Each course taken as part of a BA is worth a certain number of points (usually 20 points for Humanities and Social Sciences courses). Students pick courses that they are interested in based on the points they need to complete their majors and degrees. Courses passed add points to the total required for the degree.

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How do I enrol in undergraduate courses?

See enrolment or contact the Enrolment Office.

Email: enrolment-enquiries@vuw.ac.nz
Phone: 0800-VICTORIA (option 1), or 0800-842 864

The Student and Academic Services Office can help with specific enquiries about selecting your courses.

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Adding/Withdrawing from Courses

For important information on withdrawals and refunds please see the Course additions, withdrawals and refunds page on the Victoria homesite.
How do I add/withdraw from a course?

If you are fully enrolled you will need to go to the Faculty Student and Academic Services Office (SASO) and request a Course Add/Drop form. Remember to bring your Student ID card. You may also be able to use the online course add/drop via Student Records through myVictoria.

Alternatively, you can email the SASO at fhss-enquiries@vuw.ac.nz with your name, ID number and the changes you want to make.

How long do I have to add a course?

Courses may not be added after the end of the second week of a trimester. However, that does not mean that you are free to add courses at any time during the first two weeks. If the lecture/tutorial rooms are full, then there may be no place for you, and if you have missed too many of the lectures, then the Faculty may decline to give permission on academic grounds. As a general rule, you should add courses by the end of the first week.

How long do I have to withdraw from a course?

Courses may be dropped with a full fees refund at any time during the first two weeks of trimester one or two(special dates apply in the summer trimester). After that, you may withdraw without having the course recorded as a fail (but without fees refund) until the end of the ninth week of classes. Once the ninth week is over, withdrawals are possible only with the permission of the Associate Dean (Students) (Associate Dean's withdrawal PDF Icon PDF, 128 KB) and if certain conditions are met - you should not have failed already, and your withdrawal must be due to exceptional circumstances which arose after the withdrawal deadline. With regard to meeting Studylink's performance criteria for student loan eligibility (passing 50% of courses) please note that any withdrawal past the full fees refund date is considered a 'non-completed' course, similar in impact to a fail grade. If you have any concerns about this, please contact Financial Support and Advice for further information.

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Degree Planning and Course Advice

How do I plan a degree or get course advice?

New students can get course advice from Student Recruitment, Admission and Orientation in the Hunter Building and returning or transferring students from one of our Student Advisers in the Faculty Student and Academic Services Office (SASO).

How do I tell how many more points I need for my degree?

This is called a degree audit. To audit your degree yourself please see the self-audit sheets on the Forms page and in the table below. You can also check on the progress of your degree and what you still have left to do by using myQual via myVictoria. If you have further questions, you may also ask your Student Adviser to audit your degree(s) for you by completing the Degree Audit Request form from the table below. Advisers automatically audit degrees mid-way through the year for all final year students, and then again at the end of the year of completion. A degree audit is also undertaken by the relevant faculty before or during Trimester 1 to confirm that the student is in their final year.

All PDF documents require Acrobat Reader.

Document File size File type
PDF Icon 2011 BA regulations 164 KB PDF
PDF Icon 2012 BA regulations 223 KB PDF
PDF Icon 2013 BA regulations 261 KB PDF
PDF Icon 2014 BA regulations 251 KB PDF
PDF Icon Degree Audit Request Form 80 KB PDF
How do I change my degree or major?

You need to get a Course Add/Drop form from the Faculty Student and Academic Services Office. You may wish to discuss your options first with a Student Adviser.

How do I apply for Credit Transfer?

To apply for recognition of study at other tertiary institutions towards your Victoria University qualification, complete the Application for Transfer of Credit form (PDF Icon PDF, 173 KB) and bring/send it to the Faculty Student and Academic Services Office with proof of your studies. You will need to provide an original or certified copy of your academic transcript(s).

How do I apply for a waiver of prerequisite/corequisite or exemption from/substitution for major requirement?

If you are applying for a waiver of a prerequisite or corequisite or exemption from/substitution for major requirement, complete an Application for Waiver of Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s) or Exemption from/Substitution for Major Requirement(s) form (PDF Icon PDF, 41 KB), and take this to the relevant person for approval. Then send or deliver the form to the Faculty Student and Academic Services Office for processing.

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Restriction under the Academic Progress Statute

I have been restricted under the Academic Progress Statute, what does this mean?

The Academic Progress Statute allows the University to manage the enrolment of students who are not making satisfactory academic progress by restricting the number of courses that students may enrol in, and/or requiring students to meet certain conditions. For further information and links to the Academic Progress Statute, please see the University's Academic Progress page.

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For information regarding examination rules, please see the Examination and Assessments page on the Victoria homesite.

For information regarding aegrotats, please see the Aegrotat Information page on the Victoria homesite.

Where do I find my examination timetable?

Each student has a personalised examination timetable that can be found in the My Study Tab in myVictoria. Make sure you note down the date, time and room of all of your examinations. Be aware that you may have examinations on a different campus from where the course is taught.

What do I do if I miss my examination?

If you miss your examination due to illness you need to see Student Health as soon as you can. They will either organise an alternative time to sit your examination or help you apply for an Aegrotat.

If you miss your examination for any other reason you need to contact the Faculty's Examinations and Enrolments Coordinator or The Manager, Student and Academic Services as soon you can.

How do I ask for reconsideration of a piece of assessment?

There is no form to apply for this. If you think that the mark or grade for a piece of work is unfair or has been incorrectly calclulated, you should contact the course coordinator in the first instance. If you do not feel able to discuss this with the course coordinator, then the Programme Director is appropriate person to talk to. Requests should be made within two weeks of the result being available, except for final examinations where the following deadlines apply:

  • courses finalised in T1: 31 August
  • courses finalised in T2: 31 January
  • courses finalised in T3: 30 April
How do get my exam script back?

There is no form to apply for this. You can collect your examination script from the School following the reconsideration deadline (see question above for dates) for a period of up to one month. After this the script will be destroyed. No examination script will be reconsidered after it has been returned. If you are thinking of asking for a reconsideration or wish to see the script before collection is allowed, then you may ask permission from the School to read the script and the marking guide in a supervised environment. Alternatively, you may request a copy of the work and the marking guide from the School.

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How do I apply to graduate?

Once you have completed your qualification you will automatically be sent an email about the graduation process. The email will give you instructions on how to apply to have your qualification granted. It is important you keep your email address in Student Records up to date. You may apply to graduate in person at a graduation ceremony, or in absentia (in your absence) at a meeting of the University Council and must do so within 12 months of completing your qualification. Your qualification will be granted in absentia if the Graduation Office does not hear from you within 12 months.

Which Graduation Ceremony do I take part in?

If you complete your qualification at the end of the second trimester, you would normally graduate in the May ceremonies of the following year; if you complete mid-year (at the end of the first trimester), you would normally graduate in the December ceremonies. If you wish, you can apply to graduate at a subsequent ceremony as long as it is within 12 months of completing your qualification.

What is Advance Graduation?

Some students who complete a qualification at the end of the year can graduate at the December ceremonies of the same year. This is called advance graduation. These students are eligible for advance graduation:

  • International students returning home
  • Students leaving the country to take up a scholarship overseas - supporting documentation must be provided
  • PhD and Master's students
  • All Māori students who have declared themselves as such on the student records system and wish to attend the Toihuarewa Faculty graduation at the Michael Fowler Centre. (Note: students are also eligible to attend Hui Whakapūmau - a celebration organised separately by the Marae.)
  • Students facing exceptional circumstances – a written application outlining your circumstances must be made to the Manager of your Faculty Student and Academic Services Office.

Your application to graduate at one of the December ceremonies must be made by 1 September and is subject to the conditions outlined above. The Faculty Manager will consider this application on the basis of the information provided above. If your application is approved, you will be sent an email directing you to apply online for graduation on Student Records. You need to complete the online application by 1 October for December ceremonies. Late application will jeopardise your eligibility to graduate. Please note that your application for advance graduation is conditional and subject to criteria being met in order for you to do so. These conditions will be explained in a follow-up email.

Students completing a qualification over the third or summer trimester and PhD and Master's students are also eligible to apply for advance graduation at one of the May ceremonies. You must apply before 1 February and your application is subject to the conditions outlined above.

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Academic Transcripts and Certificates of Completion

How do I get a copy of my academic record?

You can visit the Faculty's Student and Academic Services Office, or if it is easier, you can fill out the Application for Official Academic Record form (PDF Icon PDF, 198 KB) and bring/send the form to the Student and Academic Services Office with your payment details.

What is included on my academic record?

Academic records (or transcripts) include the following information:

  • legal name
  • Victoria student ID
  • entrance qualification (e.g. Bursary, Special Admission, Admission by credit)
  • all Victoria results (listed chronologically)
  • status of qualification (i.e. whether degree has been conferred)
  • awards and scholarships
  • other comments relating to academic matters where relevant.

The document is printed on monogrammed paper and signed by an authorising officer of the University.

Who is eligible to apply for a Certificate of Completion?

A Certificate of Completion is only available to students who have completed the requirements of a degree, but have not yet had the degree awarded.

How do I apply for a Certificate of Completion?

You can visit the Faculty's Student and Academic Services Office, or if it is easier, you can fill out the Application for Official Academic Record form (PDF Icon PDF, 198 KB) and email the form to fhss-enquiries@vuw.ac.nz with your payment details, or bring the form to the Student and Academic Services Office.

How much will it cost me for a transcript or Certificate of Completion?

Transcripts or Certificates of Completion cost $20 for the first copy, and $10 for each additional copy ordered at the same time. There are two easy ways in which you can pay: either by cheque payable to Victoria or by credit card/EFTPOS. Postal fees will also be incurred if you want us to send the transcript to an overseas postal address. Transcripts can also be couriered at an additional cost.

How long does it take for a transcript or Certificate of Completion to be prepared?

To avoid missing a deadline, for example, for a scholarship application, you should order your transcript or Certificate of Completion at the earliest opportunity. The usual processing time is 10 working days. However, there are likely to be delays at busy times of the year or when records are historically held. You should also note that your application cannot be processed if you have any outstanding fees or Library fines, for instance, owing to the University.

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Support Services

Who can I talk to for advice or about courses, university life or personal issues?

Victoria has a highly active Student Service network, which includes Career Development and Employment, Counselling, Disability Services, Financial Support and Advice, Te Pūtahi Atawhai, Student Health and Student Learning Support. Details can be found on the Student Services and Support page.

What if I am an international student and need advice?

Victoria International is the first point of contact for all new international students coming to Victoria. There is a separate enrolment process for new international students, and the Victoria International team takes care of admissions for all programmes, enrolment and student support during your stay at the University. The Victoria International website has detailed information about admission procedures and services.

Victoria International Student Advisers are here to support international students during their studies. Their role is different from that of Faculty Student Advisers; International Student Advisers primarily provide student support rather than course advice.

There is also a separate International Prospectus, which contains full information about the international admission requirements and enrolment process, medical and travel insurance, visas and the University's support services.

What if I don't know where to go for help?

The Faculty Student and Academic Services Office is here to assist you with any issues you may have. We can point you to the right person or service if we cannot assist you directly.

Your first port of call will be the Customer Services Administrator at the Enquiries Counter, who will help you with course add/drop, changes of address and requests for transcripts or direct you to your Student Adviser. Each Student Adviser has a caseload based on the first letter of your surname or on the qualification you are enrolled/enrolling in.

Student Advisers may refer you to the Associate Dean (Students) or the Manager, Student and Academic Services, for further advice and guidance.

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Student Feedback Summaries and Course Outlines

How do I find student feedback or evaluations on courses offered at Victoria?

You can find feedback collected for Victoria courses from 2010 to the most recently completed trimester on the Student Feedback Summaries page on the Centre for Academic Development website.

How do I find my course outline?

 Course outlines for courses taught in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and the NZSM can be found on the Course Outline page. These are listed by year, trimester and code and will usually be uploaded by the third week of the trimester. Most outlines will also be available on Blackboard.

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More Information for Students

How do I pay my fees?

Fees should be paid at the Payments Office at the Enrolment Counter in the Hunter Building, Kelburn Parade.

How do I change my contact details?

Firstly log on to MyVictoria, select Student Records and go to the Update Addresses and Phone Numbers link, and follow the instructions. Then, go to the Update E-mail addresses link, and follow the instructions. You also have to inform the Library.

How do I notify a change of name?

Go to the Enrolments Office, Level 1, Hunter Building in Kelburn with original documents to support your application (e.g. marriage certificate).

How do I check to make sure that I'm taking the right courses, or that I'll be able to graduate this year?

Complete a Degree Audit Request Form (PDF Icon PDF, 80 KB) and submit it to your Student Adviser who will check whether you are taking the correct courses.

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