Geoscience Major - Bachelor of Science

Want to understand how our Earth works as a whole planet? Study the Geoscience major in the Bachelor of Science, and learn more about our planet and your world.

Explore how Earth compares to other planets, why we experience earthquakes, where the new resources of tomorrow will come from, and how you fit into 4.6 billion years of time.

Study geoscience and you’ll learn a range of skills, from geology and earth systems to mapping and geospatial, social science and the application of geoscience for society.


This is part of the Bachelor of Science.

Start date: 2021

Year 1

Complete the following papers

HEAL506 Knowledge, Enquiry and Communication
HEAL507 Health and Environment
CHEM501 Principles of Chemistry
ECOL501 Ecology and Evolution
BIOL501 Biological Sampling and Interpretation
ENVS522 Our Dynamic Earth

And at least two of

ASTR500 Introductory Astronomy
CHEM502 Biological Chemistry
SCIE503 Biophysics
ENVS501 Biodiversity
ENVS523 Human Geography
MICR501 Microbiology
BIOL502 Plants and Animals

Year 2 and 3

Level 6 papers

SCIE602 Research Techniques
ENVS621 Geographical Information Systems
GEOL601 Geology, Landscape and Environmental
GEOL602 Sedimentary Rocks & Environments
CONS621 Conservation Planning

Level 7 papers

Complete at least three of:
BIOL701 Oceanography
ENVS723 Remote Sensing
GEOL701 Structural Geology & Tectonics
GEOL702 Earth Materials
GEOL703 Volcanology
GEOL704 Geohazards and Risk

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
  • SCION (Rotorua)
  • GNS Science
  • NIWA
  • Land Information NZ
  • Department of Primary Industries
  • Departments like MFAT, Environment and MBIE
  • Private consultancies for environment, construction, infrastructure and resources
  • Disaster and risk agencies in NZ and internationally
  • WaterAid
  • Greenpeace
  • Oxfam
  • World Bank
  • UN and regional development environmental scientific and cultural agencies
  • Mining, and oil and gas industries
  • Green technology industries
  • National and regional park agencies

Geoscience can open doors in a range of careers including resource companies, government, national and international development, pollution and waste, environmental consultancies, museums and national parks.

Careers this major can lead to include:

  • Geological scientist for government departments, regional or city councils or non-government organisations (NGOs) like Greenpeace, Oxfam, WaterAid, Land Information NZ, Department of Conservation, Department of Primary Industries, Ministry Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry for the Environment and Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment
  • Private consultancies for environment, construction, infrastructure, resources and geohazards
  • Research scientist for NIWA, Land Information NZ, World Bank, Green Technogy industries, and Mining, Oil and Gas industries
  • Science teacher*

*After completing a graduate diploma in education.

Key features
  • High demand for geology graduates
  • Skills to plan for geophysical processes
  • Opportunity to complete a major research project in your final year
See yourself as
  • Having creative problem-solving skills
  • Interested in the natural environment, sustainability and geohazards
  • Curious about how the Earth has evolved

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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