Applied Conservation Major - Bachelor of Science

Want to help protect plants, animals and our natural environment? Study the Applied Conservation major in the Bachelor of Science.

People who can advocate for change and improve the effectiveness of conservation initiatives are in demand in New Zealand and around the world. The Applied Conservation major addresses this need and was developed in partnership with the Department of Conservation.

You develop a mix of biological science and social science skills – a combination that is sought after by conservation employers like the Department of Conservation, council organisations and national and international NGOs. You’ll graduate with the skills to work with communities and stakeholders to plan, manage and implement vital conservation projects.


This is part of the Bachelor of Science.

Start date: 2018

Start date: 2019

Year 1

Complete the following papers

HEAL506 Knowledge, Enquiry and Communication
HEAL507 Health and Environment
ECOL501 Ecology and Evolution
BIOL502 Plants and Animals
BIOL501 Biological Sampling and Interpretation
ENVS521 Physical and Human Geography

And at least two of

CHEM501 Principles of Chemistry
SCIE503 Biophysics
MICR501 Microbiology
CHEM502 Biological Chemistry

Year 2 and 3

Level 6 papers

Complete the following papers:
ENVS601 Environmental Law
SCIE602 Research Techniques
ENVS621 Geographical Information Systems
ENVS622 Biogeography
CONS621 Conservation Planning

At least two of:
ECOL602 Terrestrial Ecology
ECOL601 Freshwater Ecology
BIOL603 Marine Invertebrates
BIOL602 Fish and Aquatic Plants

Plus one elective paper.

Level 7 papers

CONS701 Applied Conservation
ENVS701 Ecosystem Management
ENVS722 Socio-Ecological Systems

Plus five elective papers, or three electives and the Research Project paper.

Workplace experience

In your final year you can enrol in the Research Project paper (30 points) if you have at least a B grade average in 60 points at level 6. This may involve working on a project related to your major.

SCIE701 Research Project

Institutes and employer organisations involved include:

  • Auckland Council
  • Department of Conservation
  • NIWA
  • SCION (Rotorua)
  • Environmental consultant
  • Science teacher*
  • Conservation scientist for Department of Conservation, regional or city councils or Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) including Conservation International or WWF

*After completing a graduate diploma in education.

Find out more about industry trends, job descriptions and what employers may be looking for.

Environmental Sciences / Applied Conservation Careers

Other majors in the Bachelor of Science

You can combine this major with other majors like Environmental Sciences, Marine Biology or Geospatial Science and complete your Bachelor of Science within three years without doing more than the standard eight papers (120 points) per year.

Postgraduate study options

Key features
  • Develop the skills to play a role in national or global conservation challenges
  • Covers the biological and social science skills sought by employers
  • Opportunity to complete a major research project in your final year
See yourself as
  • Working for conservation, in the field, in the office or both
  • Interested in nature
  • Objective, enquiring and open to new ideas

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