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Student story

Rory Collins

20 July 2023

"The courses on offer at UC are extremely diverse and allow for students to research whatever niche they’re into..."


Inspired by his past experiences with teachers at school, Rory has decided to study a range of subjects that will one day support a teaching career and motivate future students.

“I’ve had a real mix of teachers throughout my schooling – some brilliant and some rubbish – which has shown me the huge benefits that an effective teacher can bring to a class,” he says. “I wouldn’t have got to where I am now without some of my teachers, so I hope one day to ‘pay it forward’, so to speak, through my own teaching practice.”

Rory had an early start with UC through two STAR courses in Philosophy – PHIL 110 Science: Good, Bad, and Bogus and PHIL 139 Ethics, Politics and Justice – that he studied both on campus and by distance.

“Both courses were a fantastic introduction to tertiary level study and it made starting out at uni this year far easier. Also, it meant that I was able to get stuck into some 200-level Philosophy courses during my first year at UC which has been great.”

When he did officially start at UC, Rory also took on study in English, Psychology and Statistics alongside Philosophy, to start towards his teaching goal. His results at high school earned him a UC Dux Scholarship, a UC Undergraduate Entrance Scholarship, a Margaret Mahy Fees Scholarship for Philosophy studies and a UC Emerging Leaders’ Scholarship to take part in a leadership development programme.

“My degree contains a mix of Arts and Science subjects and the variety this brings is something I really enjoy. The skills and ideas learned in one course give you a different way of looking at topics in another.

“Out of all my courses though, Philosophy is one I’m most passionate about. The courses on offer at UC are extremely diverse and the assignments allow for students to research whatever niche they’re into. It’s one subject that’s never boring.”

So far in his time at UC, Rory’s highlight has been attending Philosophy field trips in Kaikōura and Cass.

“I’d highly recommend the trips to philosophers and non-philosophers alike. They’re a great opportunity to play nerdy board games and discuss some interesting topics,” he says.

He finds the skills he has gained from studying Philosophy especially helpful in his role as a Teacher Aide for year 10 Social Studies and PE classes, at Hagley College.

“Philosophy teaches you to view the world critically and analytically, which is a skill that can be applied to a range of academic and vocational settings.

“I help the students who are struggling to break tasks down into smaller components and work through them step-by-step,” he says. “The best part of my job is being able to help the more capable students to go beyond the minimum requirements and produce some quality work.”

As such, Rory’s highly looks forward to starting his teaching career in the future.

“I hope to be a high-school teacher, ideally teaching philosophy, but I’ll happily teach English and maths until a philosophy teaching role opens up,” he says.

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