Environmental Sciences major: Bachelor of Science

Environmental science is an exciting and extremely rewarding area of New Zealand's outdoor environment. With this major, you will gain an understanding of the issues concerning environmental resources and the application of this knowledge at a management level.

New Zealand’s unique spectacular natural environment is the envy of the world. During study in this major you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in this environment through the many varied field trips that form an essential part of this course.

We develop your understanding of how New Zealand species interact with other organisms and with their physical environment. You also build up a solid knowledge of the ecological principles of marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. This understanding is essential for the maintenance of New Zealand’s unique and natural inheritance, and is an essential foundation for many rewarding environmental careers.

Bachelor of Science: degree outline

Want to enrol in a programme: Apply online


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
555401 Health and Environment (or 555339 Māori Health, Development and Environment)
775318 Plants and Animals
775317 Ecology and Evolution
BIOL501 Biological Sampling and Interpretation

And three from the following:
775205 General Chemistry

775102 Biological Chemistry
775111 Microbiology
775611 Biophysics
ENVS521 Physical and Human Geography

Year 2 Core papers

776313 Environmental Law *
776314 Freshwater Ecology *
776316 Terrestrial Ecology *
776317 Environmental Risk Assessment *
776325 Research Techniques

Year 3 Core papers

777311 Ecosystem Management
777314 Plant Ecology
ECOL731 Animal Behaviour and Ecology *

* Each offered in alternate years


The School of Applied Sciences offers competitive fee-only scholarships for the first year of the Bachelor of Science (one for every major). Some of these scholarships are for the full three years and are co-funded by external institutions, such as the Department of Conservation. For more information visit the scholarships website.

Career opportunities

  • Conservation organisations such as the Department of Conservation
  • Environmental consultant
  • Government research and monitoring agencies
  • Local councils: environmental, public health, and waste management and monitoring services
  • Science teacher
  • Scientific laboratory analyst

Last updated: 26-May-2015 3.01pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.