Faculty of Arts


Understanding the Workplace


Enables students to build on existing paid work or voluntary service external to their university studies while learning about the dynamics of cultures within professional or organisational settings. Students will research how their target organisation functions, will consider other forms of workplace environment and will demonstrate how their own activities contribute to personal and professional development.

The aim of the course is to enable students to gain academic credit by building on paid work, voluntary service, or similar activities that they are already undertaking external to their university study. Focusing on the company, community group or other entity in which they are employed or active, and taking the term "workplace" in the widest possible sense to allow for a range of examples, students will research how their organisation works, analyse the skills they are developing and learn about the dynamics and functioning of other forms of workplace. In the process, they will enhance their own future employability and work-readiness.

A major piece of assessment will be a case study of the student’s "target organisation" (i.e., that in which they are employed or active).Organisations may include business/social enterprises, iwi organisations and identities, trusts, community groups, church groups, charities, government departments, NGOs, sports teams, clubs or societies, or groups with a strong representation of Māori, Pasifika, or international students. 


Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Understand and analyse different types of organisational structures, operations, key stakeholders and funding models (based on taught organisation case study examples and students’ case study assessment)
  • Carry out an organisational case study using qualitative research and critical analysis skills (based on case study assessment)
  • Research, analyse and critique an organisation’s level of social and environmental responsibility, cultural awareness and sustainability (based on case study assessment)
  • Understand, analyse and critique and suggest improvements to team dynamics within an organisation (individual reflections)
  • Identify and apply the skills learned in their organisation to clearly articulate examples of complex problem-solving, critical analysis, teamwork, leading and motivating others, conflict resolution, negotiation (individual reflections)
  • Reflect on learning in workplace/community project/sport or cultural team and apply the skills developed to other contexts (individual reflections)
  • Reflect on individual career development based on skill development and experience in their organisation (individual reflections)
  • Demonstrate ability to write a case study report and present a summary of key organisation challenges/problems and their possible solutions

Graduate Profile

The course will help students to develop these capabilities within the BA Graduate profile:

  • Able to research, imagine and aim to create transformative solutions to defined problems
  • Able to express and present information and ideas clearly, coherently, and persuasively in a variety of forms to diverse audiences
  • Able to demonstrate honesty and integrity and to engage in independent, ethical decision-making and action
  • Capable of intellectual flexibility, self-assessment and self-directed learning for the benefit of career management as well as future personal and professional progress
  • Able to exercise rights and fulfil responsibilities as informed, ethical and engaged citizens contributing to sustainable social, economic and natural environments


Coursework only

Availability 2020

Semester 2




CAREER 200: 15.0 points


90 points passed

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