Programme overview

General Education is designed to complement and broaden your education, no matter what you are studying with us.

What it is all about

By taking General Education courses outside of your main field of study you will be exposed to new ideas, meet students and researchers from other parts of the University, and acquire a broader range of skills and understanding to complement your specialist knowledge.

Courses in the programme are designed to:

  • Give you a greater understanding of New Zealand and its place in the world
  • Give you an opportunity to mix with students from different disciplines
  • Expose you to cross-disciplinary research.

What you need to do

If you are studying for an undergraduate degree with us, you will most likely need to complete two General Education courses to be eligible to graduate.

Programme General Education requirements
Bachelors degree Two General Education courses*
Conjoint degrees One General Education course

*The following bachelors degrees only require one General Education course: Bachelor of Education (Teaching), Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, Bachelor of Medical Imaging (Honours), Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Pharmacy.

What courses can I take?

Courses in the General Education programme are organised into six schedules. The courses available to you will depend on the degree(s) for which you are enrolled. Courses in the Open scheddule are available to all students. The other five schedules are faculty-specific. You can choose both your General Education  courses from the Open Schedule, or your faculty schedule, or mix courses from both schedules. 

General Education courses are identified by a ‘G’ suffix in their course code, for example: HISTORY 103G. Some courses have a non-General Education counterpart e.g. PHIL 105 and PHIL 105G. Make sure you enrol in the G-code version if you intend using the course to meet your General Education requirement. If you have enrolled in the wrong version and can't change online contact your faculty student centre for assistance. 

General Education is designed to to give you the opportunity to study a broad range of subjects, so you cannot take courses in a subject in which you have previously passed a course, or take both of your General Education courses in the same subject. You should not take General Education courses in subjects in which you intend to take more courses. 

Note: If you do later take another course in the same subject as a General Education course you will need to find another General Education course to meet your General Education requirements. If you decide you want to progress in a subject after taking a General Education course in that subject please discuss your options with your faculty students centre (ideally before enrolling in further courses in that subject). 


  • You are exempt from General Education requirements if you have previously completed an undergraduate degree at a tertiary institution.
  • If you transfer to the University of Auckland after completing the equivalent of 120 UoA points at another teritiary institution (ie after a year of full-time study in degree-level courses) you will only need to complete one General Education course.
  • If you transfer to the University of Auckland after completing the equivalent of 240 UoA points at another tertiary institution (ie after two years of full-time study in degree-level courses) you are exempt from General Education.
  • If you change your degree after completing part or all of your General Education requirements, and the General Education courses you have already passed are not in schedule for your new programme, you can apply for a concession to re-assign the General Education course(s) to the new degree provided you do not intend taking any further courses in that subject. Consult your faculty student centre to discuss your options. 
  • If you undertake an approved overseas exchange programme of one full-time semester, equivalent to 50 points or more, you will be eligible for a 15pt General Education exemption.

If you think you are eligible for an exemption from General Education, you should contact your student centre for advice.


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