Environmental Sciences Major - Bachelor of Science

Study the Environmental Sciences major in the Bachelor of Science and explore how species interact with each other and with their physical environment.

New Zealand’s spectacular natural environment is the envy of the world. In the Environmental Sciences major you can immerse yourself in this environment through the field trips that are an essential part of this major.

You explore the ecological principles of freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems, animal behaviour and ecology, and plant ecology. This understanding is essential to protect New Zealand’s unique natural environment, and is an essential foundation for many rewarding environmental sciences careers.

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
BIOL502 Plants and Animals
ECOL501 Ecology and Evolution
BIOL501 Biological Sampling and Interpretation

And three from the following

CHEM501 Principles of Chemistry
CHEM502 Biological Chemistry
MICR501 Microbiology
SCIE503 Biophysics
ENVS501 Biodiversity
ENVS522 Our Dynamic Earth

Year 2 and 3

Level 6 courses

Complete the following courses:

ECOL603 Ecological Concepts I
ECOL604 Ecological Concepts II (offered 2022)
ENVS601 Environmental Law
BIOL604 Marine Invertebrates
ENVS602 Environmental Risk Assessment
SCIE602 Research Techniques

Level 7 courses

Complete the following courses:

ENVS701 Ecosystem Management
ENVS703 Environmental Chemistry
ENVS704 Ecological Management and Modelling
ECOL701 Plant Ecology

Level 6 & 7 elective courses

Choose eight of the following, or six and the Research Project course (SCIE701, runs across two semesters).

Asterisk (*) indicates recommended electives for this major.

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 an industry-related project related to your major.

SCIE701 Research Project

Companies or research organisations involved include:

  • Auckland Council
  • Department of Conservation
  • SCION (Rotorua)
  • Conservation organisations like 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

*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 Geospatial Science, Marine Biology or Applied Conservation, and complete your Bachelor of Science within three years without doing more than the standard eight courses (120 points) per year.

Postgraduate study options

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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