The Faculty Arts & Social Sciences (FASS) was created in 1999 by merging the Schools of Humanities and Social Sciences, and is now one of the larger faculties within the University. It is arguably the most diverse. FASS is made up of three Schools: The School of Arts, the School of Social Sciences and the School of Psychology. Across the faculty we offer over 30 subjects and an enviable range of qualifications. We have more than 140 talented academic staff members, including many with international origins or qualifications. Our research portfolio is recognised nationally and internationally, which reflects the quality of our academic staff.
Professor Allison Kirkman
The Faculty's main academic emphasis can be defined in very simple terms as the studies of people. This pertains to various societies, culture(s), politics and human geographies, with specialisation in certain areas, in particular our own, the Pacific, and countries of the Pacific Rim. It refers to creative productions, in literature, drama, music, and film; as well as historical and contemporary concepts in individual and collective thought. And it refers also to the behaviours and actions of individuals and groups.
The School of Arts prides itself in its innovation in teaching and research. Study the Arts and you learn how to think creatively – at work and at play. The capacity to think clearly, identify issues of significance and articulate a creative response matters. In all areas of work, employers need people who can engage with the world through intellectual enquiry and creative practice, from stage performance and music, creative writing and multimedia production to linguistics and the languages.
The School of Social Sciences is the biggest and most diverse in the Faculty. Not all of our subjects are conventional ‘social sciences’. Our combination of subjects has the potential to make the School more truly interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary than any other comparable grouping in New Zealand. Our degrees will equip you to survive and even better, to thrive in our future world. They qualify you for work in the public and private sectors – researching social problems, educating people, analysing policy issues, running businesses, or helping and caring for others.
Psychology can show us how we think – and how we remember – or forget stuff. It is about feelings and attitudes. Why do people get angry? Psychology is about behaviour. Why do some parents abuse or neglect their children? It is not restricted to the study of humans, it has an important role in figuring out the best way to train dogs to find – but not harm – kiwi. The School of Psychology has a strong research profile nationally with a distinctive presence, lively, radical and always changing.