AIFS Abroad

AIFS Study Abroad in Wellington, New Zealand
Fall 2020 and Spring 2021
Course Descriptions


This is a Full Curriculum Program meaning that you can choose any course offered by Victoria University if prerequisites are met.

Victoria University course numbers are listed first (and shown on the official transcript) followed by the American equivalent. Recommended U.S. credits are in parentheses.

100-level courses are first year or introductory courses and 200- and 300- level courses represent advanced-level undergraduate courses. Courses listed on the Victoria University website for 15 credit points are recommended for 4 U.S. semester credits and 20 credit points for 5 U.S. semester credits.

These courses are a sample of those offered and reflect some of the most popular courses with previous students. For current course listings and if a course description is not shown here, please contact the AIFS Admissions Officer or visit the university’s online course catalog.

Full Curriculum Program

ANTH 208/Anthropology 308 (5)
Human Rights, Humanitarianism and Development

Examines the cultural encounters and human experiences that emerge out of contemporary human rights regimes, humanitarian interventions, development projects, and global politics. Taking case studies from a range of different cultural settings, it will focus on how culture and politics shapes these global practices, and how different groups understand, respond to and challenge these interventions.

ANTH 307/Anthropology 407 (5)
Medical Anthropology

Explores what roles our cultural beliefs and practices play in shaping our understandings of health, wellbeing, illness and medicine. We ask how culture mediates our experiences of our bodies, our emotions and diseases, and how local and global inequalities affect health outcome.

ARTH 310/Art History 410 (5)
Topics in Colonial Art

We explore the complex interrelationships between settlers and indigenous peoples of the Pacific, and between colonies and homeland, that inform these vibrant traditions. The course encourages close study of actual artifacts and monuments and includes a field trip to the Alexander Turnbull Library.

CRIM 216/Criminology 316 (5)
Alcohol, Drugs and Crime

Examines the place of drugs, alcohol and crime in contemporary society by critically exploring the socially constructed boundaries between use and misuse, the separation between licit and illicit use, and the links between drugs/alcohol and crime.

ECON 314/Economics and Finance 414 (4)
Game Theory

This course introduces and develops game theory and its applications.

ENGL 201/English 301 (5)
Sea Changes: A History of English Literature

An exploration of the history of literature(s) in English, from the Anglo-Saxons to contemporary Aotearoa/New Zealand. It is built around case studies of a series of major texts in their changing historical and cultural contexts, the texts being linked by the shared motif of voyages by sea.

ENGL 234/English 334 (5)
New Zealand Literature

A thematic and historical study of New Zealand literature from the eighteenth century to the present focusing on such issues as fantasies of place and encounter; the ecologies of the colonial world; cultural nationalism and literature as ‘a home in thought’; literature and transgression; writing as other; and the future of national literatures.

ENVI 528/Environmental Studies 628 (4)
Climate Change Issues

An examination of the history and science of climate change, conceptualizing the policy issues, climate policy and action.

FHSS 207/Humanities and Social Sciences 307 (5)
The Future of Work

In this interdisciplinary course, students will critically examine the changing nature of work and employment from a range of perspectives including sociology, history, philosophy, media studies, design and management. The course traces the history of work and employment, and considers the contemporary challenges facing workers and their employers in the context of labor market and wider social changes. Students will apply their understandings to a specific challenge presented by a Wellington organization.

FHSS 302/Humanities and Social Sciences 402 (5)
FHSS Internship

Study abroad students can apply for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (FHSS) Internship course at Victoria University where they will complete an approved and supervised work-based project while on a voluntary placement in a public sector agency, private sector establishment, or a Non-Governmental Organization. Earn 5 U.S. credits and real-world experience by working up to 100 hours voluntarily for an employer based in the capital.

The internship course is only available in the fall semester. Places are limited and students interested in applying should contact the AIFS Admissions Officer for further information.

EOG 217/Geography 317 (5)
Human Geography: Approaching Our World

This course explores the evolution of Human Geography and its relevance to local and global issues over time.

INTP 248/International Relations 348 (5)
International Security

Examines how and why conflict emerges in the international system and explores different approaches to its mitigation and resolution, using both traditional materialist theories of security and alternative critical approaches to security. Students will learn to discern varying forms of conflict and will employ theoretical and empirical perspectives on conflict analysis to analyze modern case studies.

LING 101/Linguistics 201 (5)
Language and Communication

An introduction to the study of language, increasing understanding of a range of language issues of general interest in the community.

MGMT 101/Management 201 (4)
Introduction to Management

This introductory course in management offers a broad perspective on modern management in the business, public and voluntary sectors, and examines key issues likely to face managers in the near future.

PHIL 106/Philosophy 206 (5)
Contemporary Ethical Issues

An introduction to issues in applied ethics. Topics may include: the morality of the death penalty, war, cloning, abortion and euthanasia, and the moral status of non-human animals. PHYS 131/Physics 231 (4) Energy and Environmental Physics The advantages, disadvantages and environmental impact of various renewable and non-renewable energy resources are investigated, with particular emphasis on the New Zealand situation. Other environmental topics covered include thermal radiation, the greenhouse effect, global warming, properties of the ozone layer, the physics of earthquakes and extreme weather hazards and more.

PHYS 131/Physics 231 (4)
Energy and Environmental Physics

The advantages, disadvantages and environmental impact of various renewable and non-renewable energy resources are investigated, with particular emphasis on the New Zealand situation. Other environmental topics covered include thermal radiation, the greenhouse effect, global warming, properties of the ozone layer, the physics of earthquakes and extreme weather hazards and more.

PHYS 132/Physics 232 (4)
Introductory Astronomy

Topics include the solar system and orbits, astronomical observations and techniques, the physics of the sun, stars, compact objects (black holes and neutron stars), as well as extragalactic astronomy and elementary cosmology. The laboratory component of the course introduces the process of observing the skies, through the use of portable eight-inch telescopes and visits to the Wellington Planetarium at the Carter Observatory.

POLS 111/Political Science 211 (5)
Introduction to New Zealand Government and Politics

The aim of this course is to develop knowledge of New Zealand politics and government through the lens of political science. We focus on key themes and current developments and, because we are situated in Wellington, we are able to call on politicians and other political actors to contribute to the course.

PSYC 338/Psychology 438 (4)
Cross-Cultural Psychology

Broadly examines human behavior and experience as it occurs in different cultures and/or is influenced by cultural factors. Both comparative and indigenous approaches are applied to a range of psychological topics. The application of cross-cultural theory and research, particularly in relation to intercultural contact, is highlighted.

RELI 108/Religious Studies 208 (5)
The World’s Religions: Diverse and Dynamic Traditions

Studying the world’s religions opens us to the very different ways in which we live our lives. In this course, we seek to understand the stories, rituals, spiritualities, and beliefs that shape diverse traditions, including Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism.

RELI 339/Religious Studies 439 (5)
Judaism: Israel, Holocaust and Diaspora

A study of the diversity and complexity of Judaism in the contemporary world against the background of Jewish history. The course focuses on the ways in which Jewry and Judaism are, and have been, understood by Jewish Communities themselves and in the work of contemporary scholars.

SARC 131/Architecture 231 (4)
Introduction to Sustainability in the Designed Environment

The definitions and macro contexts of sustainability, emphasizing the roles, responsibilities and opportunities for professionals in the designed and built environment. The course covers climate and microclimate, resources, materials production, environmental impact and social equity.

TOUR 101/Tourism Management 201 (4)
Introduction to Tourism

A systematic exploration of the structure of tourism. An origin-linkage-destination framework is used to examine the functioning of the system and its components: origins (patterns of demand), linkages (flows, distribution channels, transport) and destinations (tourism development, accommodation, attractions).

Specialized Study Abroad Programs

The specialized study abroad program at Victoria University has been designed for visiting students to allow you to focus on a particular area of study in more depth. Students select at least 3 courses from a particular study area and receive recognition on their transcripts of this specialization. Some sample courses are listed below and updated information can be requested from the AIFS Admissions staff.


Explore the philosophies and politics at work in New Zealand’s education system and compare these to others around the world. You can draw on disciplines such as psychology, history and sociology to understand the learning and teaching process.

EDUC 141/Education 241 – Human Development and Learning (5)
EDUC 221/Education 321 – Youth, Society and Education (5)
EDUC 223/Education 323 - Education, Ethnicity and Culture (5)
EDUC 244/Education 344 - Issues in Child and Adolescent Development (5)


Get creative with music, film, theater, media or design courses. Wellington is known as New Zealand’s creative and cultural capital with a treasure trove of theater, film, music, art heritage activities and organizations.

ARTH 113/Art History 213 - Thinking through Art (5)
FILM 101/Film 201 - Introduction to Film Analysis (5)
FILM 202/Film 302 - Cinema of Aotearoa, New Zealand (5)
MDIA 102/Media 202 - Media, Society and Politics (5)
THEA 113/Theater 213 - Playing for Real (5)


Prepare for an increasingly diverse and interconnected world. Gain an awareness of the differences and similarities that characterize the world’s increasingly global communities.

ANTH 102/Anthropology 202 - Social and Cultural Diversity (5)
ANTH 208/Anthropology 308 - Human Rights, Humanitarianism and Development (5)
HIST 112/History 212 - Islands and Peoples - Aotearoa New Zealand In World History (5)
HIST 316/History 416 - New Zealand Social History (5)
MDIA 306/Media 406 - Media, Gender and Society (5)
SACS 202/Social and Cultural Studies 302 - Gender and Sexuality Studies: Key Thinkers and Perspectives (5)


To contribute to the increasing globalization of the world, countries need people who understand the impact of global trends and issues and can interact effectively in a multicultural environment. This program includes courses from international relations, politics, business, culture, anthropology, geography and social policy.

GEOG 212/Geography 312 - Worlds of Development (5)
GEOG 212/Geography 312 - Worlds of Development (5)
INTP 244/International Politics 344 – New Zealand in the World (5)
POLS 384/Political Science 484 - The Comparative Politics of Globalization (5)
SOSC 304/Sociology 404 – Interpreting Society (5)
SPOL 203/Social Policy 303 - Social Policy in Times of Crisis and Change (5)


Learn about health services, and health policy and strategy. Examine the social aspects of health, and the current health issues affecting populations in New Zealand and beyond. You can look at the needs of different ethnic groups including Maori and Pacifika. Explore the concepts of health and wellbeing and study human biology.

CRIM 216/Criminology 316 – Drugs, Risk and Play (5)
HLWB 101/Health and Wellbeing 201 - Introduction to Health and Wellbeing (4)
PHIL 202/Philosophy 302 - Ethics (5)
PSYC 332/Psychology 432 - Behavior Analysis (4)
SOSC 220/Sociology 320 - Sociology of Health and Illness (5)


Study a range of business subjects at Victoria Business School (VBS) located at the heart of Wellington, New Zealand’s center of innovation, entrepreneurship, policymaking and creativity.

ECON 309/Economics 409 - International Economics (4)
HRIR 207/Human Resources 307 - The Future of Work (4)
IBUS 212/International Business 312 - International Management (4)
MARK 101/Marketing 201 - Principles of Marketing (4)
MARK 304/Marketing 404 - Tourism Marketing (4)
WRIT 202/Writing 302 - Writing for Business (5)


Examine people and society through cultural anthropology, criminology, linguistics, philosophy, psychology, religion, education and history.

CRIM 303/Criminology 403 - Prisons in Aotearoa New Zealand (5)
FHSS 103/Humanities and Social Sciences 203 - Great Ideas (5)
LAWS 121/Law 221 - Introduction to the New Zealand Legal System (5)
PSYC 338/Psychology 438 - Cross Cultural Psychology (4)
RELI 232/Religion 332 - Religion and Conflict: Ethics, Violence and Peace (5)


Biotechnology can be loosely defined as the application of biological understanding for societal benefits. Biodiscovery seeks to enhance health and wellbeing through discovery and the application of nature-inspired products and processes.

BIOL 132/Biology 232 - Biodiversity and Conservation (4)
BIOL 219/Biology 319 - New Zealand Flora and Fauna (4)
BIOL 241/Biology 341 - Genetics (5)
BMSC 116/Biological Science 216 - Sex and Evolution (4)
BTEC 101/Biotechnology 201 - Introduction to Biotechnology (4)


The impact of climate change on the Earth’s environment and diversity is the greatest challenge to a sustainable future of the Earth. At Victoria you are able to study these subjects under the guidance of experts in these fields and acquire the tools to contribute to the collective global effort to minimize and manage the impact of climate change.

BIOL 228/Biology 328 - Animal Diversity (4)
ESCI 111/Earth Sciences 211 - The Earth Systems: An Introduction to Physical Geography and Earth Sciences (4)
ESCI 132/Earth Sciences 232 - Antarctica: Unfreezing the Continent (3)
GEOG 321/Geography 421 - Ice and Climate (5)
TOUR 250/Tourism 350 - Managing Visitor Impacts (5)


Data Sciences combines ideas from statistics, computing and mathematics to provide new insights that are crucial to the survival of businesses, governments and institutions that want to transform their data info information, insights and novel data products.

COMP 112/Computing 212 - Introduction to Computer Science (4)
INFO 264/Informational Systems 364 - Business Analytics (4)
LING 221/Linguistics 321 - Sociolinguistics (5)
STAT 193/Statistics 293 – Statistics in Practice (4)


Learn to make software that creates new opportunities for collaboration, sharing, trade and enterprise. Learn how engineers build the infrastructure that businesses and governments rely on, and how to keep those networks safe and secure. Find out how to stop data theft and look after the data networks on which so much of our economy is built.

CYBR 171/Cyber Security 271 - Cybersecurity Fundamentals (4)
ENGR 101/Engineering 201 - Engineering Technology (4)
SWEN 225/Engineering 325 - Software Design (4)

Maori Studies

Maori Studies courses examine the Maori people - their language and culture, past and present, and their place in relation to the other cultures of New Zealand, Polynesia and the world. Maori culture is a living and dynamic reality in New Zealand today and provides the nation with many of its unique qualities. Historically, interaction between Maori and non-Maori has shaped the economic, social and political development of New Zealand. The Maori Studies courses focus on developing awareness, appreciation and understanding about the associated issues and complexities.

MAOR 101/Maori Studies 201 (5)
Te Timatanga/Introduction to Maori Language

Students work to develop a foundation of basic Maori language speaking, reading and writing skills, approximately equivalent to NCEA Level 1. The course covers the fundamentals of Maori pronunciation, learning vocabulary and basic sentence structures, karakia, waiata, and mihimihi and includes a noho marae component – an opportunity to experience Maori culture.

MAOR 123/Maori Studies 223 (5)
Te Iwi Maori me ana Tikanga/Maori Society and Culture

Introduces students to a broad range of Maori beliefs, concepts and structures that are important to the foundations and development of Maori society and culture. The course will cover aspects of pre-European Maori society, cultural change, present-day developments as well as visions for the future.

Pacific Studies

Through Pacific Studies students are exposed to the ideas and work of the region’s foremost thinkers, political leaders, activists, and artists. Pacific Studies offers critical perspectives on the region’s imperial and colonial legacies. The Pacific Islands are an important part of New Zealand’s economic and political sphere of influence. While facing significant social challenges, Pacific communities in New Zealand are also generating a cultural vibrancy in the nation.

HIST 111/History 211 (5)
Colonial Encounters: Pacific Experiences

Draws on the experiences of indigenous peoples in Australia, the Pacific Islands, and New Zealand. Ranging from pre-contact societies to post-WWII developments, the course examines themes such as the impact of disease and trade, the effects of Christianity and the missions, and indigenous resistance, struggle, loss and recovery.

HIST 219/History 319 (5)
Pacific History: Environments, Peoples and Empires

History of the peoples of the Pacific Islands from their initial settlement of the region to the present day. Beginning with Pacific Islanders’ colonization of the region, the course then charts Pacific Islanders’ progressive involvement in the emerging global economy following sustained European contact and involvement with the region.

PASI/101 Pacific Studies 201 (5)
The Pacific Heritage

This is a survey course on a range of Pacific nations, covering socio-cultural, geographical, economic, and historical issues including indigenous perspectives.

SAMO 111/Samoan Studies 211 (5)
Samoan Society and Culture

An introduction to Samoan culture and society with a focus on key Samoan concepts, values, practices, and socio-political institutions.