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BSc(Tech) - Earth Sciences as a major

The Bachelor of Science (Technology) degree provides you with an opportunity to gain practical, relevant work experience as part of your undergraduate degree.  This will help you to step into the professional world in your chosen career and successfully integrates theoretical learning with hands-on experience.

The demand for experts in Earth Sciences continues to grow as we look to better manage our soil, water, minerals, energy and coastal and marine resources, as well as understand natural hazards  such as floods, earthquakes, tsunami, landslides and volcanic eruptions.

Key information

Years: 3
Points: 360
Study Locations: Hamilton
Start Dates: Semester A (February) and Semester B (July)
Fees (Domestic): $6,922 per year
See if you're eligible for fees-free study in your first year
Fees (International): $29,680 per year
Entry Requirements: Undergraduate International
*Tuition fees shown are indicative only and may change. There are additional fees and charges related to enrolment please see the Table of Fees and Charges for more information. You will be sent an enrolment agreement which will confirm your fees.
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Career opportunities

  • Coastal Engineer
  • Coastal Resource Manager
  • Engineering Geologist
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Geologist
  • Hydrologist
  • Soil Conservator
  • Volcanologist
  • Water Resource Manager
  • Hazard Manager

Earth Sciences offers a broad understanding of Earth's landscape features and processes and includes a range of branches of the subject, including soil science, hydrology, geomorphology, physical geography, volcanology, sedimentary geology, coastal marine studies, engineering geology and environmental science.

Earth Sciences is available as a major for the BSc and BSc(Tech) degrees. Earth Sciences may also be taken as a second major, subject to academic approval of the faculty or school of studies in which the student is enrolled.

To complete Earth Sciences as a single major, students must gain 135 points, including EARTH101, EARTH102, EARTH211, EARTH221, EARTH231 and EARTH241, and at least 45 points from 300-level Earth Sciences papers.

To complete Earth Sciences as part of a double major, students must gain 120 points, including EARTH101, EARTH102, EARTH211, EARTH221, EARTH231 and EARTH241, and at least 30 points from 300-level Earth Sciences papers.

Students with a special interest in physical geography should consult with the subject convenor before selecting their papers. The majority of papers in Earth Sciences include both laboratory practical and field work.

Further information regarding papers, staff and research details is contained in brochures available from the School of Science office or website.

100 level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
EARTH101Introduction to Earth System Sciences18A (Hamilton) & 18B (Hamilton)
A lecture and laboratory paper that explores the interacting processes that affect the surface of the Earth, producing landforms and resources, with a focus on physical processes. Topics covered include coastal processes and hazards; climate change; weathering; erosion and mass movement; soil formation; the hydrological cycle; rive...
EARTH102Discovering Planet Earth18B (Hamilton)
This paper explores the Earth's interior and its dynamic interaction with the crust, including: the major rocks and minerals; interpreting the rock record and geologic maps; the geological time scale and fossils; plate tectonics; volcanism; earthquakes.

200 level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
EARTH211Earth Resources and Materials18A (Hamilton)
An introduction to the nature, composition and origin of earth resources and materials. Topics covered include: minerals in society and their properties; origin of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks; volcanological and sedimentary processes and the importance of earth materials as sources for resources used by society.
EARTH221Soil Science18B (Hamilton)
An introduction to the nature, formation, and classification of soils, their physical, chemical, mineralogical, and biological properties, and issues of soil quality, land degradation and sustainable management.
EARTH231Water Resources, Weather and Climate18A (Hamilton)
New Zealand's water resources are coming under increasing pressure for human use, while their management requires that they also provide for healthy freshwater ecosystems. This paper describes the key physical processes that influence the distribution of water in space and time from a New Zealand perspective. Topics covered include...
EARTH241Oceanography18B (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to the broad scale properties, issues, and research importance of the global ocean via the main disciplines of oceanography: particularly biological, chemical, geological and physical oceanography
EARTH251Spatial Analysis in Geosciences18A (Hamilton)
An introduction to quantitative spatial analysis in the geosciences, including production of maps and cross-sections of geomorphology and Earth materials from field and aerial image interpretation, use of 3D models of Earth materials, and an appreciation of volumes and stresses in the Earth’s crust.

300 level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
EARTH311VolcanologyThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
EARTH312Sedimentary and Petroleum GeologyThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
EARTH313Engineering GeologyThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
EARTH321Pedology and Land EvaluationThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
EARTH322Soil and Water ManagementThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
EARTH331Water Resources and HazardsThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
EARTH341Coastal OceanographyThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
EARTH342Coastal Geomorphology and ManagementThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
ERTH321Volcanology18A (Hamilton)
A study of pyroclastic rocks, physical volcanology, volcanic hazards, the origin of magmas, crystallisation of rock-forming minerals and phase equilibria, petrology and trace element geochemistry of volcanic rocks, and geothermal and mineral resources.
ERTH322Sedimentary and Petroleum Geology18B (Hamilton)
A study of sedimentary processes, depositional environments, sedimentary basins and associated resources (petroleum and coal). Introduction to sequence stratigraphy, seismic reflection mapping and wireline logging as used in the petroleum exploration industry.
ERTH333Pedology and Land Evaluation18B (Hamilton)
Soil genesis and spatial variability, quantitative soil survey and soil-landscape modelling, soil taxonomy, and the interpretation of soil and land data in a form applicable to land-use planning and management.
ERTH334Soil and Land Management18A (Hamilton)
Analysis and interpretation of soil properties relating to land and environmental management. Soil fertility, soil water management, land treatment of wastes, soil degradation and remediation, soil nitrogen and phosphorus cycling.
ERTH343Coastal Geomorphology and Management18B (Hamilton) & 18B (Tauranga)
A study of the geomorphic development of coastal features. Topics include qualitative and semi-quantitative assessments of coastal hazards, impacts of sea-level rise, dredge spoil disposal, stability of coasts, coastal protection and mitigation of hazards.
ERTH344Coastal Oceanography and Engineering18A (Hamilton)
A study of water movement in estuarine and shelf environments. Methodologies for quantifying processes and responses for coastal planning and management. Evaluation of design conditions for engineering purposes. Introduction to numerical modelling.
ERTH345Catchment Hydrology18A (Hamilton)
A study of the measurement, analysis and modelling of surface hydrological processes at the catchment scale, emphasising river flow, evaporation, interception loss and hillslope runoff processes.
ERTH346Freshwater Resources and Hazards18B (Hamilton)
Overview of freshwater resources and their analysis, with some emphasis on groundwater resources; introduction to hydrological hazards including flood hazard analysis and river contamination modelling.
ERTH352Engineering Geology18A (Hamilton)
Study of the nature and mechanics of soil instability, slope erosion processes and the physical properties of earth materials. Mitigation and avoidance of hazards resulting from slope instability and associated erosion processes.
ERTH384Advanced Environmental MonitoringThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.

Broad Memorial Fund

For students who are enrolled in the thesis year of a MSc, MSc(Research), MPhil or PhD qualification in Earth Sciences. The value of the scholarship will vary.

Closing Date: 2018-03-31 23:59:00

DairyNZ Masters Scholarship

For students who are enrolled in the final year or have completed a Bachelors degree in Science, agricultural science, agricultural business or economics and are eligible to enrol in a masters degree at a New Zealand University. Up to three scholarships of $30,000 will be available each year + tuition fees.

Closing Date: 2016-08-08 23:59:00

School of Science Postgraduate Study Scholarship

For students who qualify to enrol at the University of Waikato, and are intending to enrol part or full-time in semester B 2016 in the School of Science in either a 180pt masters, the taught components of a masters degree or the research component of a masters degree. The Scholarship will have a value of $5,000 per year for two years.

Closing Date: 2016-07-18 23:59:00

Science and Engineering Masters Fees Awards

For students enrolling full-time in the first year MSc (research), MSc, MSc (Tech) ME or MEnvSci programme in the faculty of Engineering. Part-time applicants may be considered but any scholarship awarded will be on a pro-rata basis. The Scholarship will have a value of up to $2,000.

Closing Date: 2017-03-15 23:59:00

Terry Healy Memorial Award

For students who are enrolled or are intending to enrol, part- or full-time in a masters or doctoral degree in Earth Sciences, and who are not receiving other awards providing significant funds or substantial financial assistance under a research contract. The value of the award will vary.

Closing Date: 2016-10-31 23:59:00

University of Waikato Research Masters Scholarship

For students intending to enrol full-time in a thesis of 90 points or more as part of their first master's degree at the University of Waikato. International students must have completed at least 120 points of study at a New Zealand university in order to be eligible for this Scholarship.

Closing Date: 2018-04-30 23:59:00



Faculty of Science & Engineering

Phone: +64 7 838 4625 / 0800 438 254