Hunter building

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How to be a better person

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Link list

Publications list

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Talk to us about your study options

Our liaison officers provide objective advice to help you make the right decisions when planning your first year of study and can provide assistance with selecting your admission type when you apply to enrol.

Book a course planning appointment for one-to-one advice, email, or call 0800 VICTORIA (0800 842 867).

Student and Academic Services


Dr Kristina McGuiness-King, Manager, Student and Academic Services, FHSSThe Faculty Student and Academic Services Office aims to enhance the student experience at Victoria by providing support to students in an accessible and timely manner. The services provided to students include enrolment, degree planning, credit transfer, approval of exchange programmes, examinations and graduation.

All Humanities and Social Sciences students are encouraged to take advantage of our services. The Student and Academic Services Office works closely with student support services, such as Student Health, Student Counselling, the Māori and Pacific Support Coordinators, and Victoria International to ensure that our students have access to and are encouraged to utilise support services available.

The team also provides Faculty staff with academic administration services, including advice on drafting proposals to change courses, qualifications and major requirements, etc., compilation and compliance checking of all Faculty publications and the Faculty's sections in centrally-produced publications, maintenance of the Faculty website, executive assistance to Faculty committees and the Faculty Board and compliance checking of course outlines.

For further information on the services we offer, please contact us or drop in to the office on Level 4 of the Murphy Building (MY 411). The Student and Academic Services team look forward to your call, your email and or your visit.

Dr Kristina McGuiness-King
Manager, Student and Academic Services

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Services Provided to Students

Student Advisers

Student Advisers assist with admission requirements, degree or course planning, transfer of credit from other tertiary institutions, enrolment and general enquiries about both undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications. The Student Advisers support students throughout their study.

To ensure continuity of service, Student Advisers manage a particular group of students (see table below) throughout their study. In addition, all Student Advisers have other responsibilities, such as the coordination of recruitment activities or enrolment administration.

Student Advisers

(cohort by first letter of surname)


Maren Bouttell

A - B, L - N

Processing of Study Abroad pre-approvals M - Z and international credit transfer; Student Administration Team Leader.
Nicole Mouat

C - F

A - C of BA(Hons), MA and PhD students; processing of Study Abroad pre-approvals A - L and international full-degree applications; coordination of the Faculty's postgraduate student support activities and initiatives.
Paul Edwards

G - K

D - I of BA(Hons), MA and PhD students and all Tohu Māoritanga students; L - Z of BMus students; coordination of the Faculty's equity and engagement activities and initiatives.
Hannah Clark


J - M of BA(Hons), MA and PhD students; GSNMH students M - Z.
Elizabeth Stichbury

O - S

N - R of BA(Hons), MA and PhD students; GSNMH students A - L; enrolment administration, Faculty Facebook administration, assists with Faculty website administration.
Kate Gerrard

T - Z

S - Z of BA(Hons), MA and PhD students; administration of postgraduate students enrolled in music qualifications; A - K of BMus students; all GDipArts and PGDipArts students; CertDeafStud and MMHS students.
Nadia McDowell


All MIR, PGDipIR, MPols, PGDipPols, MSS, PGDipSS, and GCertTESOL students.
Jackie Harrison


BA/BTeach; PGCertHELT, PGDipHELT, BEdTESOL, and EPP students; processing of outgoing exchange contracts (Victoria Abroad).

Our team can help you with the following processes at the Faculty Student and Academic Services Office:

If you need a legal name change processed please contact the Enrolments Office.

Students are strongly encouraged to use the online student services portal myVictoria. Computer terminals for students to use to change their address, for example, are available on Murphy Level 4, outside the Student and Academic Services Office.

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Services Provided to Staff

The services provided to Faculty staff (and those in the wider University community) by the Faculty Student and Academic Services Office include:

  • the provision of executive support to the Faculty Academic Committee, Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee and Faculty Board
  • the provision of assistance to academic staff preparing academic programme proposals (e.g. statute amendments, new course proposals)
  • the coordination of all academic change proposals to ensure these are prepared in accordance with the University's and CUAP's approval processes
  • the coordination of other academic administration processes, such as policy development and implementation
  • the coordination of the monitoring and review of Faculty courses and programmes
  • the coordination of course administration processes in the Faculty, such as quality assurance of course outlines, timetabling and managed enrolment
  • the coordination of the preparation and editing of the Faculty's sections of centrally-produced publications, such as the University Calendar, the Guide to Undergraduate Study and the Online Course Finder
  • the coordination of the preparation and editing of the Faculty's publications, such as the Faculty Handbook and the Faculty Master's Guidelines
  • the development and maintenance of the Faculty website.

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Location and Office Hours

The Faculty Student and Academic Services Office (SASO) is located on Level 4 of the Murphy Building (MY 411) at the Kelburn Campus.

Opening hours are as follows:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 9:30am - 4:00pm
Wednesday: 10:00am - 4:00pm

During peak periods opening hours are extended. Appointments outside these hours may be arranged with the relevant SASO staff member.

‘Must see’ show inspired by family history

Sitting in on a History lecture in 2014 on the Spanish Influenza, Victoria University Pacific Studies Honours graduate Tupe Lualua would never have imagined the path it was about to set her on.

“My Pacific Studies lecturer Sailau Suali'i-Sauni suggested we head along to this public lecture hosted by Victoria’s History programme. Researcher Dr John McLane was talking about Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918 that claimed the lives of almost a third of Sāmoa’s population and became a catalyst for Sāmoa’s resistance against the New Zealand colonial government.”

By the end of the lecture, Tupe was wiping away tears and thinking of her beloved grandmother Avea’i Fui, who had recounted similar stories of growing up in Western Sāmoa—stories of sickness and mass graves. With a background in dance and choreography, Tupe’s response was both emotional and creative.

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“I was so inspired. My choreographer’s mind was immediately seeing images and movements.”

Tupe got on the phone to her nephew Andy Faiaoga who was then dancing for Black Grace, and started storyboarding ideas for a dance performance that would capture the essence of her grandmother’s memories alongside Dr McLane’s research.

Fast forward two years and Tupe is not long home from a sell-out season of “1918” at the San Diego International Fringe Festival. The production earned Tupe and her Wellington-based dance company Le Moana rave reviews and the Critic’s Pick award.

Excerpt of 1918 - Measina Festival 2015

San Diego Reader reviewer Jeff Smith was effusive in his praise: “I don’t like to call a show a “must-see,” because what you must do is your own business. But 1918is one of the best, most moving shows I’ve seen at all the various Fringe Festivals I’ve attended. It’s a must. Oh—and better get there early. There will be a line.”

Tupe is happy to linger for a moment on the success of 1918, but her mind is already leaping to Le Moana’s next project, the Measina Festival, a showcase of Pasifika dance and theatre at Bats Theatre later this year, co-hosted with Jandals Inc.

Born and raised in Wellington, Tupe says Victoria’s Pacific Studies programme has changed the way she thinks about her Samoan heritage and how she looks at the world.

“It’s taken my arts practice to another level. It’s one thing to learn for knowledge, but another to learn about who you are.”

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Victoria University health researchers honoured

Victoria health researchers Professor Kevin Dew and Dr Kirsten Smiler
Professor Kevin Dew and Dr Kirsten Smiler celebrating research excellence.

Two Victoria University of Wellington researchers have been recognised by the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) for their work into understanding social issues of health and wellbeing.

Professor Kevin Dew and Dr Kirsten Smiler were honoured at a ceremony last night, which celebrated research excellence at Victoria University and 25 years of work by the HRC.

Professor Dew from Victoria’s School of Social and Cultural Studies was acknowledged for his outstanding contribution as an established researcher.

His 21-year research career has focused on understanding the sociology of health and illness in New Zealand, and inequalities in the healthcare system—including inequalities in cancer survival between Māori and non-Māori.

“Our research suggests assessments were not standardised and there were differences in how cases were treated. Treatment could draw on typical ways in which we categorise people and therefore has implications for health inequalities.”

Some Māori patients responded to the health system in distinctly different ways, says Professor Dew.

“Some Māori patients did not take on the passive patient role like many other patients, but were much more active. There were difficulties bridging Māori understandings and ways of being in the world with mainstream medicine.

“The research suggests that rather than overt discrimination being an issue, we should attend to the many small influences that can lead to inequalities in cancer care. This includes how health practitioners categorise people and a potential clash of understandings in relation to the roles that people take on when they enter the hospital system.”

Professor Dew has been involved with 12 HRC-funded studies since 2002, including projects that looked at workers’ responses to illness and injury in the workplace, and understanding of the ways in which people think of and use medications in their daily lives.

Victoria health researchers Professor Kevin Dew and Dr Kirsten Smiler
Vice-chancellor sitting on the stairs in newly reconstructed hub.

“HRC funding has supported the establishment of research teams, which bring together people with different skillsets, perspectives and connections to communities, practitioners and services,” says Professor Dew. “I would not be involved in such fascinating research without HRC funding.”

Dr Kirsten Smiler from Victoria’s School of Government was also honoured by the HRC for her outstanding contribution as an emerging researcher.

Dr Smiler’s research has been dedicated to examining the social and linguistic experiences of Māori deaf people and how knowledge of this would provide a foundation for improvements in services and supports. Māori are disproportionately represented in hearing-loss statistics. Understanding the impacts of this as well as how services can be more responsive to supporting whānau is important.

Her HRC-funded PhD research investigated the experiences and expectations of Māori children and their whānau during the intervention process.

Excerpt of 1918 - Measina Festival 2015

Dr Smiler is continuing this research—funded by a HRC Erihapeti Rehu-Murchie Postdoctoral Scholarship—in her role as a postdoctoral researcher in Victoria’s Health Services Research Centre.

“Support services for Māori Deaf and their whānau are often unaware that they exist at the intersection of languages and cultures, all of which have differing profiles, roles and status in New Zealand. My research has worked toward providing a better understanding of these complexities, and recommends that Māori and Deaf knowledge inform how services and professionals respond,” says Dr Smiler.

“This work is an acknowledgement of the importance of whānau, language, and culture on our overall health and wellbeing. I feel extremely privileged to have been able to do this work.”

List of download links

The Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty, co-chaired by Professor Jonathan Boston, released an Issues and Options Paper for Consultation this week containing a package of ideas for New Zealanders to consider, discuss, and give feedback on.

Proposals include ensuring children are living in warm, dry homes by requiring a ‘WOF’ for rentals, have enough food to concentrate at school through a food in schools programme, and are well connected to services that keep them healthy from early in life.

The Group also suggests significant changes to child support, family assistance, housing, health, education and employment policies. Professor Boston says not only is it possible to reduce child poverty but it is a "must do", and the paper proposes ambitious, but realistic, targets to reduce child poverty rates by at least 30 percent and to halve severe and persistent child poverty within 10 years.

"The incidence of child poverty in New Zealand is unacceptably high. This is widely acknowledged across the political spectrum. Many New Zealanders are also concerned and support action to address child poverty, but so far responses have been piecemeal and poorly coordinated," says Professor Boston.

"We owe it to our children to do much better. Poverty harms children in multiple and significant ways, often for life. It also costs the country billions of dollars in reduced productivity and increased health care costs. We spend lots of money trying to fix the damage done instead of investing adequately up-front and avoiding those costs.

"Many of our proposals are a balance between ensuring families have enough support from the government and supporting them into paid work. All the evidence suggests that employment, especially sustainable and family-friendly work, is the best way out of poverty."

Proposed solutions in the short-term include raising the Family Tax Credit rates for younger and additional children An unknown file full of unknown stuff pdf 12.31KB . The Expert Advisory Group has suggested an increase in the supply and quality of social housing and giving families with pre-school-aged children priority over other applicants.

"We also think private landlords need to step up. Half of low-income families live in private rentals and research shows that a significant proportion of those homes are poor quality. Some rentals are not even meeting basic sanitation and safety standards."

Professor Jonathan Boston says the package of solutions will require determination, vision and courage, and welcomes Minister Paula Bennett’s recent declaration that "The Government is committed to taking action to combat poverty."

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I have always been interested in the environment that surrounds us and how it shapes our day-to-day existence. That’s what drew me into the architecture.
Professor Bosto, FHSS

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I have always been interested in the environment that surrounds us and how it shapes our day-to-day existence. That’s what drew me into the architecture.
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"I have always been interested in the environment that surrounds us and how it shapes our day-to-day existence. That’s what drew me into the architecture."

Kevin Burns, Professor in Evolutionary Ecology

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Further information and Working Papers are available from the website of the Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty.

I have always been interested in the environment that surrounds us and how it shapes our day-to-day existence. That’s what drew me into the architecture.
PhD. Doc. Paul Bumblebee, Personal assistant at Faculty of Law

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Further information and Working Papers are available from the website of the Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty.

I have always been interested in the environment that surrounds us and how it shapes our day-to-day existence. That’s what drew me into the architecture.

Kevin Burns, Professor in Evolutionary Ecology

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"Summer is the best time of year to learn about New Zealand’s unique flora and fauna. The chill is gone, the sun is out, and it’s perfect for studying outdoors."

Kevin Burns

Kevin Burns

Professor in Evolutionary Ecology


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"Summer is the best time of year to learn about New Zealand’s unique flora and fauna. The chill is gone, the sun is out, and it’s perfect for studying outdoors."

Kevin Burns

Kevin Burns

Professor in Evolutionary Ecology


Professor Boston was also interviewed on National Radio’s Morning Report, saying that his priority in tackling child poverty would be to raise family incomes.

The audio below is being streamed from the Radio New Zealand website, so you may experience a slight delay.

Listen to the audio clip here.

Learning and Teaching Matters: FHSS Newsletter

Learning and Teaching Matters is a newsletter designed to keep the Faculty up to date on learning and teaching news, events, resources and innovations in FHSS. PDFs of the newsletter are available in the table below and an email version is sent to all Faculty staff.

Contact Kathryn Sutherland with ideas, notices, news or events you would like to see profiled in Learning and Teaching Matters.