Bachelor of Arts - Social Sciences

Explore the kinds of questions you will respond to when you study social sciences, criminology, conflict resolution, economics or psychology at AUT.

Understanding how society works at an individual, family, community and government level is important if you want to participate in or influence the way decisions are made that impact on our society.

In this major you develop a sound understanding of the interplay between social forces, economics, and politics. This focus will provide a strong platform for exploring societal function, power dynamics, influences on decision making, demographic and behavioural trends, and challenges wrought by economic, political and social disadvantage.

Along with the depth of knowledge and understanding you’ll gain, you’ll develop critical analysis and problem solving skills, which are crucial for the common areas of employment for social sciences graduates, which include the public service, social sector, and community organisations.

Career opportunities

This social sciences qualification prepares students for careers that involve understanding and working with people and organisations, and for further study in professional fields such as social work and foreign affairs. Find out more about your post-study career opportunities in this guide.

There are also career opportunities in:
  • Community work
  • Local government
  • Non governmental organisations
  • Policy analysis
  • Research

Structure and content

The Social Sciences major will encourage you to:

  • Explain and analyse the characteristics of human society
  • Understand and investigate social change
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the nature and structure of New Zealand and other nations in Asia and the Pacific region
  • Critically evaluate local, national and international political systems
  • Critically examine concepts of ethnocentrism
  • Evaluate the impact of colonisation in the Pacific, and for Māori society
  • Identify and examine contemporary Māori issues
  • Analyse cultural diversity
  • Identify, use and critically analyse diverse approaches to ethical issues in a range of applied settings
  • Understand and critically analyse economic systems
  • Demonstrate skills in data retrieval, analysis (including a range of statistical techniques) and presentation in relation to sociological, economic, political and psychological research
  • Understand individual human development and behaviour.

Core papers
COMM570 Academic Communication
CLSY504 Knowledge and Inquiry
CLSY500 Culture and Society
COMM604 Communicating

Social Sciences papers
ECON680 NZ Economy: Issues and Policies
PHIL680 Ethics and Society
POLS682 Public Policy
POLS781 International Relations
POLS782 Democratic Participation and Social Action
PSYC580 Introduction to Psychology A
SOSC582 Social Thinking
SOSC583 Social Institutions
SOSC681 Borders
SOSC682 Methods of Social Research
SOSC780 Multicultural Communities
SOSC782 Globalisation, Innovation and Change

Workplace experience opportunities

AUT understands that providing opportunities for industry experience helps students apply their knowledge to the real-world and build useful networks for when they graduate. 

Work environments AUT social sciences students have experienced include:

  • ASB
  • Councils
  • NZ Council of Trade Unions
  • Point Research

Last updated: 14-Sep-2017 3.31pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.