Discovery Day Sessions

Experience being a UC student for the day. Read through the session descriptions and self-select your timetable attending the sessions you want to explore your interests and discover what's on offer at UC. Talk to your Careers Advisor about registering through Eventbrite.

Each session runs for 20 minutes. You have a 10-minute gap in between to make your way to the next venue.

There are four sessions in the morning.

View map 

Session 1: 9.30am - 10.20am

At the beginning of the day, the first session will start with an ‘Intro to UC’ talk from our Liaison team. 


Uni101 With so many options to choose from and different terminology used it’s not surprising that university can seem like a big leap from high school, with you asking questions such as:
- How is a degree structured?
- What’s the difference between a double degree and a double major?
- What support is available to me?
Students, parents and whānau are invited to this session given by the UC Liaison team who will answer these questions and many more.
A1, A3
What if nutrition could treat mental illness? Over the last decade, scientists have been uncovering an uncomfortable truth: what we eat is affecting our mental health. Professor Rucklidge will discuss the data that shows how food choices serve as risk factors to all kinds of psychiatric problems and will introduce the recent paradigm shift of using nutrients to treat these challenges, reviewing the evidence to date. C1
Exciting electrons! Energy and entertainment Electrons: A Haiku
Electrons move fast
They orbit the nucleus
Negatively charged

There is much more to electrons than this though! All the properties of the elements that we observe, all the chemical reactions that take place, all the observations we can make about chemistry really comes back to where the electrons are relative to each other and the nucleus. We exist because of electrostatic interactions (between the positively charged nucleus and the negatively charged electrons), and there are specific energy changes that take place when we move these electrons about. Come along and find out more about what happens when we excite electrons and how this relates to your smartphones!  
Adventures of chocolate Have you ever wondered where a chocolate bar comes from? Explore the supply chain of the world’s most favourite treat with Professor Diane Mollenkopf who will help you understand the exciting global journey of your favourite chocolate bar.  C3
Moving forward, rolling back: how shifts in transport can shift climate change Transport is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand. What can we do to reduce transport emissions, while ensuring people (and goods…) can still get around? We’ll examine this issue with a particular focus on ’future’ transport and the ways that Geographers help find solutions that make cities more sustainable and liveable. E7
How can civil engineers help Aotearoa achieve its 2050 net-zero goal?
It is important for our economy to transition to net-zero. Quickly. We, as Civil and Natural Resources Engineers, play a fundamental role in designing and implementing that shift. We design green buildings and cities, renewable energy systems, sustainable transportation, and clean water for Earth and soon, Mars. This talk will explore some of the recent research works undertaken by Civil and Natural Resources Engineers so we can become a greener Aotearoa.  E8
Why music? Interested in music, sound or instruments? Come and discover why music is important in our lives!  E9
The converging Industries of Game and Film As long as the video games and film industries have co-existed, games and movies have gone hand in hand. From the 1982 "Raiders of the Lost Ark" video game adaptation of the Indiana Jones movie, through to the Tetris movie due to be released in 2023, characters, stories, and worlds have long been shared between the two forms of media. More recently, these two industries are becoming increasingly intertwined: in December 2021, video game development platform Unity purchased Weta Digital for US$1.625 billion, and the Unreal game platform has been increasing used in creating TV shows and movies, including Disney's "The Mandalorian" and the 2022 film "The Batman". In this talk, we will be looking at how these industries have converged, and what it may mean for the future of entertainment media.  A2
UCE Tour   Undercroft

Session 2: 10.30am - 10.50am

Motion in Action: Discovering the World Ever wondered how the motions of the natural world can be harnessed for human benefit? From the lift of wings that allow airplanes to soar, to the flow of lava that shapes the earth and everyday human activities. Motion is all around us! Join us to explore the vast and fascinating world of motion, delving into how mechanical and mechatronics engineers measure, analyse and control the mechanics and dynamics of real-world systems. Learn how this understanding of motion leads to the development of new technologies and innovations that improve our lives, from space travel to state-of-the-art medical innovations. So, come discover the world of motion with us. Let's get things moving! C1
Killer robots and Killer Hackers With the advent of Chat GPT, Alpha Go, and self-piloting delivery drones, the technologies of artificial intelligence and robotics are rapidly coming of age. They are poised to completely transform how the world works. This lecture focuses on the potential these technologies have to put enormous destructive power in the hands of ‘lone wolf’ hackers and terrorists. What can society do to stop this from happening? C2
Is the 100% Pure NZ brand fact or fiction? A quick look at why so many tourists buy into the 100% Pure New Zealand brand experience. Are we marketing the brand “truthfully” and do we live up to tourists’ expectations?    C3
The truth about fake news All users of social media face a challenge in sifting out untrustworthy, poor quality information. Professional journalists have a particular challenge, because of their power to shape the public. How do they judge quality and verify information? This session introduces you to some of the questions and tools journalists ask of some of those stories and quotes that are too good to be true. E7
The F-word: How to scientifically mix stuff!

Every day we use a huge range of products that all have one thing in common: the “f-word”! These products include personal care, agricultural products, paints and adhesives and more. In this session you will get an overview of how we use science, design and engineering to mix ingredients to create these products.   

Medicinal chemistry and drug discovery Medicinal chemistry is the link between lab-based synthetic chemistry and the real world of health care, prescription medicines and pharmaceuticals. As a medicinal chemistry student, you will be equipped for a career in pharmaceutical science, a field that ranges from fighting infectious diseases to solving antibiotic resistance and biotechnology.  E9
Time for a health check! Health is becoming more about wellness and prevention, with a stronger focus on community. From health education to physical activity and public health, learn how healthcare professionals are taking action to solve real-world issues in society. A1
Amazing Asia - China, Japan & their languages Come along and learn some intriguing facts about China, Japan and their languages  A2
UC Māori Nau mai, tauti mai ki Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha! 
UC Māori offers support, advice and guidance for all ākonga Māori studying at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury (UC).  Lead by the whānau at Te Waka Pākākāno | Office of the Assistant Vice-Chancellor Māori, Pacific and Equity, our initiatives focus on supporting ākonga Māori to succeed academically, while encouraging personal growth and connection to Māori community and culture. 
Trading Room Tour   Undercroft

 Session 3: 11.10am - 11.30am

Fast fashion to fast trash: the environmental impact of clothing waste 

Rethinking your wardrobe is an action everyone can take towards reducing adverse environmental outcomes.  In this session I will outline how clothing waste contributes to climate change and chemical contamination.

'The value of (a statistical) life' Decision making often involves comparing various scenarios. For example, you can decide to invest in preventing pandemics or in preventing climate change. Or you can decide to invest in your studies or in the stock market. In this talk, I will discuss various methods used by economists to put a monetary value on things like life, Facebook, nature and education. C2
Bad grammar is just laziness: debunking language myths and linguistics Bad grammar is just laziness, everyone sounds American because they watch American TV shows and I don’t have an accent – these are all examples of language myths and associated language attitudes.  In this class we’ll explore some of these popular ideas about language, debunking the myths and raising your awareness of your own covert language attitudes.  C3
"It's alive! It's alive!" In this session we look at the legacy of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein.  What can we learn from her literary representation of monstrosity? How has her work influenced modern day monsters?  E7
Would It Stop a Bullet? - A closer look at modern day body armour Modern Day body armour has come a long way since the armoured suits championed by our ancestors. The evolution of armour is driven not just by the demands of warfare, but by the additional dynamics in technological and material advances, with environmental challenges and usability requirements heavily factored in. This session looks at the composition and design of modern-day body armour which aims to balance out all of these variables, but when the chips are down, is it truly reliable? E8
Data science forecasting our future The world is changing rapidly – from our climate, to our health, to the way we interact with one another.  Further, technological advances have meant that we now have access to vast quantities of data which tell us huge amounts about almost every aspect of our lives – how climate is changing, how our genomes are changing and responding to our environments, how our daily interactions with each other shape us. This lecture covers why we need data scientists in order to understand how these changes might impact on our futures and help us predict how these changes will impact us, our communities and our global population.    E9
How will Chemical Engineers Save the World There are many challenges facing our world today, such as climate change, pollution, and resource depletion. Come find out how Chemical Engineers can help save the world from these crises, by efficiently and sustainably turning raw materials into fuels, pharmaceuticals, plastics, and energy. A1
The Golem revolution: living in the age of AI In ancient time, it is believed that Golems could be animated from rituals and godly verses. Nowadays, "intelligent" devices can give access to a whole world of possibilities. But how far are we from creating actual intelligent software or machines? What are the ethical implications of using AI tools for our everyday (home) work?  A2
UC Pasifika Join us for an interactive session where you’ll find out what belonging to our Pasifika UC community looks like, play games, meet current Pasifika students and learn more about the support that is available at UC to ensure that our students are successful!  A3
Fine Arts Tour This is a double session and runs from 11.10am to 12.10pm. Some of New Zealand’s most famous artists studied at UC’s School of Fine Arts, one of the longest standing art institutions in the southern hemisphere.  Join us for a tour of this purpose-built School, visit the studios, meet the students and lecturers and view the work on display in the gallery. Undercroft

 Session 4: 11.40am - 12.00pm

Do you see yourself as a  justice advocate? Criminal Justice draws together people from the Police, psychologists, courts and legal services, and the community, while overseeing areas such as criminal law and procedure, sentencing and the treatment of offenders and victims. Learn about applying a sense of justice and basic principles of fairness, understanding the causes and correlations of crime, and how criminal law systems operate in Aotearoa New Zealand. C1
Counting everything: Spilling the beans and dispelling a myth  Have you ever counted beans? Nor have most accountants. Why would they when there is so rich and exciting? Come along to discover why accountants are really full of beans and are involved in everything - which makes for great courses, exciting prospects, and happy people! C2
Astronomy on ice A polar window to the high-energy Universe. C3 
The secret lives of trees Trees are among the oldest and largest organisms on the planet. They can live for thousands of years and grow taller than a 25 story building. Come find out what other secrets they keep and how they contribute to human well-being.   E7
The EU explained and why you should care What is the place of Europe in the changing world? Will Europe’s actions regarding Ukraine have an impact? What is the future of the European Union after Brexit? What impact will Europe and the EU have on New Zealand and the Indo Pacific? Is there a benefit for New Zealand to work with Europe and the EU? Come to our session to find out! E8
Global Climate Change - electrifying hope In a worldwide effort to address climate change, sustainable energy systems have a crucial role to play. This talk looks at what electrical engineers are doing to help create a brighter future. E9
Can skateboarding save children from sport? Over-training, early adoption, and a focus on ‘winning at all costs’ is turning children away from sports. In this session, we will look at the motivations and barriers to the involvement of children in sport, and what some are doing to find enjoyment in non-traditional alternatives. A1
A licence to ask awkward questions… In this session we will introduce you to sociology, - a social science discipline that’s really obsessed with people. A2
Key information session for International Students taking NCEA Come and learn about what types of exciting majors are offered at UC and the key points of how to gain entry to UC through NCEA. A3
Fine Arts Tour This is a double session and runs from 11.10am to 12.10pm. Some of New Zealand’s most famous artists studied at UC’s School of Fine Arts, one of the longest standing art institutions in the southern hemisphere.  Join us for a tour of this purpose-built School, visit the studios, meet the students and lecturers and view the work on display in the gallery. Undercroft

Lunch takes place from 12.00pm - 12.50pm in the Engineering Core and Undercroft.

There are two sessions in the afternoon.

Session 5: 1pm - 1.20pm

WitchCraft, Magic and the Dead? In this session we will challenge what you know about witch craft, magic and the dead!È

Law is all around us! Through the study of Law, you learn how to think critically, analyse complex facts and issues, and persuade by logical argument. Law provides a comprehensive grounding in working with statutes, cases and other legal material. Learn about the Law in its wider social, political and historical contexts. C1
Covid World explained Covid isn’t the first pandemic the world has experienced. So how does Covid compare to what we have experienced in the past and what kind of social effects are we facing? C2
Inspire young minds through play Your teaching journey begins with you thinking about who you are as a learner, the type of teacher you want to be, and the unique talents you bring to teaching. How will you inspire and excite the children you work with? In this session you will discover some of your hidden talents and how you can use these to get the most out of any learning experience. C3
Solving big problems through biochemistry Biochemistry is at the cutting edge of contemporary science, research, and industry. Biochemical innovation is critical in adding value to Aotearoa New Zealand's agricultural production, advancing medicine, and understanding the fundamentals of the biological world around us. It brings together chemistry, physics and molecular biology with a view to understanding the chemistry of life and provides basic insight into biological processes such as enzyme action, drug discovery and design, the molecular basis for disease, gene expression and control, and food biochemistry.  E7
A day in the life of an 'impact biologist' Biologists here at UC pride themselves on conducting biological research that has impact, from biodiversity to biomedicine. Today, one of these ‘impact biologists’ will show how research makes a difference and helps support conservation efforts in Aotearoa.  E8
Towards Sustainable Futures  The world is facing some big issues such as pollution and climate change. This session explores how we can work towards sustainable solutions.  E9
Why so serious? Media and Mental Health Joaquin Phoenix’s 2019 portrayal of the Joker was award-winning, but also contentious. Critics have claimed it perpetuates prejudice toward those with mental illnesses. Is there anything to that claim? Statistics provides the tools to investigate further. A1
Exploring social work Interested in working with people?  Come along and find out how social work can create change for individuals, families, communities and society. A2
Discover China with the Confucius Institute Interested in learning to speak Mandarin, or showing off your Chinese speech and calligraphy skills? Discover what the Confucius Institute has on offer and how you can get involved today. A3
Witchcraft, magic and the dead WitchCraft, Magic and the Dead? In this session we will challenge what you know about witch craft, magic and the dead!  Undercroft 

Session 6: 1.30pm - 2.15pm

Session 6 will include a ‘Next Steps’ presentation to wrap up the day.

Explore and preserve our changing planet: Volcanoes and more. Aotearoa/NZ has epic volcanic landscapes, rocks, fossils and resources. Studying geology will help you get a career with potential for working outdoors and travelling and that looks after our planet and the future of our society.  C1
Data driven: How Technology is Revolutionizing Health and Criminology Are you ready to explore a world of endless possibilities where data and technology are the keys to making a real impact on society? From saving lives to catching criminals, the power of Information Systems and Data Analytics knows no bounds. With this rapidly growing field, you can be at the forefront of innovation and play a crucial role in shaping the future. Join us to discover how you can use technology and data to make a difference in the world and unlock a rewarding career in Information Systems and Data Analytics. C2
Young leaders will navigate our waka to new horizons How do you prepare for a world that is rapidly changing? Issues such as climate change, pandemics, sustainability, equity and diversity are modern challenges that have global and local consequences. Solving them requires collaboration and new models of leadership – that’s where you can become our future youth and community leaders. C3
Speech-Language Therapy: The importance of human communication Have you ever wondered what life might be like if you were unable to speak? How does speech and language develop? What happens when speech and language development is interrupted for some reason? What if adults lose their ability to speak? These are just some of the questions Speech and Language Therapists work on as they help people with difficulties learn how to speak or regain abilities lost. E7
The Oscar for best picture  On May 16, 1929 the first Academy Awards were presented at a banquet held in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Did they get it right? E8
A taste of Political Science and International Relations How do politics affect our communities? Do political decisions affect the way people live, and the decisions they make? If you have an interest in making a difference to the people around you then come and join us for our session on making a difference in your community and beyond. E9
Ngāti 'Nāianei: Māori in the 21st Century In this session we will use examples from Māori development, politics, sport and film to discuss the question ‘What does it mean to be Māori in the 21st Century?  A1
Fakes and Forgeries in Art History We look at some interesting stories of fakes and forgery in the history of art, and ask: Does originality matter? Are fakes or forgeries necessarily bad? A2
From text messages to hieroglyphs: Classical Studies in the 21st Century  It’s in our nature as humans to communicate with each other. Today we take reading, writing and instant communication for granted, but this result was millennia in the making. This session looks at the way we have communicated for the past 2000 years,  using real objects from the Logie Collection. A3
'Storytelling for the Digital Screen' As new technologies have been developed over the years, the way we tell our stories, and the types of media we use, has changed. The convergence of film production, game development and cross-reality is the next step in storytelling innovation. This session will explore these new connections in the digital screen industries, myth busting media tropes of AI, and the way we are creating interactive stories for the world of digital screen here at UC.  Undercroft