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.

Year 1

Complete the following courses

HEAL506 Knowledge, Enquiry and Communication
HEAL507 Health and Environment OR MAOH501 Hauora Māori and Environment
ECOL501 Ecology and Evolution
BIOL502 Plants and Animals
BIOL501 Biological Sampling and Interpretation
ENVS501 Biodiversity

And at least two of

MICR501 Microbiology
CHEM502 Biological Chemistry
ENVS522 Our Dynamic Earth

Year 2 and 3

Level 6 courses

Complete the following courses:
BIOL602 Biology of Marine Organisms
ENVS601 Environmental Law
ENVS621 Geographical Information Systems
ENVS622 Biogeography
CONS621 Conservation Planning

Level 7 courses

Complete the following courses:
CONS701 Applied Conservation
ENVS701 Ecosystem Management

Elective courses

Select eight of:
BIOL601 Deep Sea Biology
BIOL603 Marine Invertebrates
ECOL601 Freshwater Ecology
ECOL602 Terrestrial Ecology
ECOL603 Ecological Concepts I
ECOL604 Ecological Concepts II (offered 2022)
ENVS624 Plant and Animal Taxonomy
SCIE602 Research Techniques
BIOL701 Oceanography
BIOL702 Estuarine Ecology
ECOL701 Plant Ecology
ECOL732 Pacific Island Ecosystems
ENVS703 Environmental Chemistry
ENVS723 Remote Sensing
ENVS722 Socio-Ecological Systems
GEOL701 Structural Geology & Tectonics

Workplace experience

In your final year you can enrol in the Research Project course (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 courses (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
Tanayaz Patil
Kushaal Maharaj
Ella Walmsley
Elianna Zoura
Ashleigh McNie

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

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