AUT - Marine Biology major: Bachelor of Science

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The Naked Scientist Live

Marine Biology major: Bachelor of Science

Marine Biology is an exciting and extremely rewarding area of science in New Zealand. With 71 percent of the earth’s surface covered by ocean, marine life is critical to our existence, making it one of the world’s most valuable sources of resources – food, medicine, and raw materials. New discoveries are occurring daily in the areas of marine biology and ecology, making this an exciting and dynamic career choice with endless potential. With this major, you will gain the skills and knowledge required in this profession.

Want to enrol in a programme: Apply online

Bachelor of Science: degree outline


Marine biology is the scientific study of organisms in the ocean, while marine ecology focuses on how marine organisms interact with each other and the environment. This major covers both areas. In addition to learning pure sciences such as the biology of fish and aquatic plants and marine invertebrates, you also have opportunities for field trips out on boats investigating marine life, or learning about coastal processes, oceanography, management and conservation theories and practices.


You will study Core (compulsory) papers from across the degree in addition to optional elective papers.

Year 1 Core papers
555301 Knowledge, Enquiry and Communication (or 145612 Applied Communication)
555401 Health and Environment ( or 555339 Māori Health)
715184 Statistical Models
775205 General and Organic Chemistry
775318 Form and Function of Plants and Animals
775102 Biological Chemistry
775317 Ecology and Evolution
775611 Biophysics

Year 2 Core papers
776313 Environmental Law *
776325 Research Techniques
776326 Fish and Aquatic Plants *
776330 Marine Invertebrates *
776811 Aquaculture

Year 3 Core papers
777811 Marine Ecology
777311 Coastal Management
777315 GIS *††
Plus either 777003 Research Project or the following level 7 (year 3) papers:
777314 Terrestrial Ecology II *
777316 Oceanography *

* Each offered in alternate years
† Please note this paper is offered at Summer School commencing early December 2012.
†† Please note this paper is offered at Summer School commencing early February 2013.

For more information on Summer School papers please contact:

Debra Spinetto
Programme Information Advisor
Telephone: +64 9  921 9735

Optional papers

You may wish to select paper 146611 Research Method, some environmental studies papers, and/or food science papers to complement this major.


Career opportunities

  • Aquaculture business owner
  • Marine scientist
  • Marine technologist
  • Farm/hatchery manager
  • Production supervisor
  • Marine animal supervisor
  • Marine tourism consultant

Graduates and students of science

Other majors in Bachelor of Science

Other courses you may be interested in

Bachelor of Science & Bachelor of Business conjoint degree

Bachelor of Science & Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences conjoint degree

Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science

Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma in Science


Last updated: 23 Aug 2013 3:01pm

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