ARTS102-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023

Problems, questions, evidence

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 July 2023
End Date: Sunday, 12 November 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 30 July 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 1 October 2023


To answer many of the world’s most challenging questions e.g. those related to healthcare, social justice, poverty, climate change, and how we deal with global pandemics we need to understand evidence. This can come in various forms text, images, numbers. Evidence can be a driver for major decision making, help us to gain insight and form connections between issues, and reveal patterns and trends that would otherwise be hidden from us. How do we confidently assess evidence like this? Our decision-making is very often based on the numbers that shape the world we live in. In this course we will explore how to think quantitatively and qualitatively about the evidence behind the world’s ‘wicked problems’, and our ideals now and in the past. Subjects touched on will include public health crises, gender and ethnicity biases in the media, the representation of minority groups in the criminal justice system, and symmetry and patterns in art, literature, and other forms of human expression. The skills you will learn--of evaluating the evidence behind big issues and ideals of the day, and being able to communicate those issues to others--will be of value no matter what your course of study or future walk of life.

We live in a brave new world of social media, fake news and manufactured conspiracy theories, in which we are constantly bombarded with competing claims about what's real. How is one to navigate through this sea of information, misinformation and disinformation, in order to reach a decision about which claims to accept, and which to reject? ARTS102 is about the answer to this question. It will teach you how to evaluate the evidence for a claim in order to reach a conclusion about the claim's plausibility.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

(1) Demonstrate how to think creatively and critically about how quantitative claims are to be assessed
(2) Identify common biases and weaknesses in human reasoning
(3) Articulate the role of chance and uncertainty
(4) Describe how hypotheses can be framed and tested
(5) Identify symmetry and patterns in art, literature, and other forms of human expression
(6) Explain how we can model our world


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Tutorial participation 10% Each week in your scheduled tutorial.
Quizzes/activities 20% 4% each, best five count for 20% total. Due dates will be provided on Learn.
Mid semester assessment 30% Collecting and presenting evidence. Choice of submission format.
Final assessment 40% Choice of essay, data analysis and report, or Maths Craft activity and reflection.

NOTE: All assessments are due at midnight (or at one minute to midnight, to be precise).

Textbooks / Resources

There is no required textbook for this course.  Essential readings will be a posted on Learn.

To access the Learn page for the course, go to, and log in with your usual UC username and password. You will see a menu of the courses you are enrolled in.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $821.00

International fee $3,750.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Faculty of Arts .

All ARTS102 Occurrences