PSYCH 758 : Special Topic: Ethnicity, Identity and Culture


2022 Semester Two (1225) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

No prescription

Course Overview

This course takes an interdisciplinary and immersive approach to explore how ethnicity, cultural values, and the ways people identify with them influence how people understand and experience the world around them. There is no single theory or methodology to do this, and you are encouraged to bring your own experiences with you to help inform your own and others' learning. The overall purpose of this course is for you to interrogate how you approach psychological research or practice in ways that impact on ethnic groups and the diversity within and between them. You will be encouraged to explore your own cultural beliefs and values, and to critically reflect and engage with them. 

This course adopts co-teaching and co-learning, recognising that no one is an expert, but that we all hold expertise in some way. Assessment is through a combination of group seminars and individual essays, and is entirely internally assessed. 

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Critically evaluate research concerning ethnic groups. (Capability 1 and 2)
  2. Be able to interrogate your own cultural values, beliefs, and knowledge. (Capability 2, 5 and 6)
  3. Develop strengths-based approaches centered on the needs and priorities of specific groups. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6)
  4. Critically evaluate colonial influences of knowledge and practice in psychology (Capability 1, 2, 5 and 6)
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of cultural perspectives of a selected topic (Capability 1, 2, 4 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Essay 40% Individual Coursework
Reflection 30% Individual Coursework
Presentation 20% Group Coursework
Practical 10% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5


This course is supported by the Tuākana in Science Programme, which facilitates the success and wellbeing of our Māori and Pacific students. The foundation of the Tuākana Programme is the Tuākana-Teina principle an integral relationship in which older or more expert Tuākana (traditionally brother, sister or cousin) guides a younger or less expert Teina (traditionally younger sibling or cousin). This is a reciprocal relationship which fosters safe learning and teaching environments. Read more here:

Key Topics

Weekly themes for group seminars can include (please note, these may change)
- Language and identity
- Resiliency
- Diasporic communities
- Social media and identity
- Spirituality and sexuality
- Ethnicity and masculinity

Special Requirements

Participation in this course is assessed as a practical component. It is expected that you will actively contribute to discussions around core themes and engage in blind peer-review of draft assignments.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 24 hours of lectures (2 hour session once a week),  20 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 40 hours of work on assignments.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance and engagement is expected at class times to receive participation credit for this course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including group seminars will be available as recordings.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 11/11/2021 09:57 a.m.