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Biotechnology applies science and engineering to biological systems for developing useful products and technologies. It touches every aspect of modern life and is crucial in feeding, fuelling and healing the world, both now and for future generations.

Please note:

There will be no new enrolments in the Biotechnology major from 2018. If you have any questions regarding this change please contact the Faculty of Science & Engineering


The applications of Biotechnology are broad and diverse, ranging from cloning human cells and creating antibiotics, through to cheese-making and beer brewing, and waste management and biofuels production.

Studying Biotechnology at the University of Waikato involves understanding the underlying biology and engineering, then examining the extraction, recovery and purification of biochemicals in the meat, dairy and other industries. You will explore the use of technology for these purposes at both a molecular and an industry level.

The field of biotechnological research is thriving, and there are many career opportunities.  In New Zealand, where the economy relies heavily on agriculture, biotechnologists help develop new products from livestock and horticulture materials, work to identify biological methods of minimising the impact of people, farming and manufacturing on the environment, and transfer scientific discoveries from the lab to large-scale.


As a Biotechnology student at the University of Waikato, you will have access to the University's well-equipped laboratories, becoming familiar with complex research equipment and techniques. You'll be working alongside, and learning from, well-respected researchers, industry professionals and academics.

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Key information

Study Locations: Hamilton; Tauranga

Career opportunities

  • Bioengineer
  • Biotechnologist
  • Food Technologist
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Pharmaceutical Technologist
  • Quality Assurance Officer

300 level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
BIOL341Microbial Physiology and Ecology18B (Hamilton)
A study of the physiology of bacteria with emphasis on their great metabolic diversity and on the unifying principles of energy generation. Includes Archaebacteria and bacteria of extreme environments.
BIOL351Advanced Biochemistry18B (Hamilton)
This paper will examine mechanisms underlying cellular communication and trafficking of proteins between organelles, cellular stress responses, cell death, metabolic regulation in relation to control of enzyme activity and stability as well as human diseases (eg diabetes), mammalian vision, toxicology and inflammation.
ENMP321Process Engineering and Design18B (Hamilton)
Advanced design and process technology for chemical, mineral, biological products and food processing. The principles of chemical and biological engineering, including designing production systems, process simulation, process economics, equipment design and separation technology.
ENMP322Biotechnology18B (Hamilton)
Industrial biotechnology, applications of enzymes and micro-organisms, principles of bioreactor and fermenter design and operation, industrial separations, and purifying biological material.

Jonno Rau Jonno is testing soils’ composition and capacity to hold water against the needs of the different crops and analysing satellite images to map frosts in each area.

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New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

Brian Perry Charitable Trust Undergraduate Scholarship in Science & Engineering  Open

For students who are enrolled in the second year of full-time study towards an undergraduate degree, in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Waikato. The scholarship will have a value of up to $5,000.
Closing Date: 28 Jun 2018

CRF Heinold Memorial Award  Closed

For students who are enrolled in the second or third year of a BSc(Tech) or BE(Hons) and are enrolled in as least one of the prescribe placement papers as outlined in the regulations. The scholarship will have a value of up to $2,000 plus a placement in the area of meat production.

DairyNZ Masters Scholarship  Open

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: 10 Aug 2018

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Graduate Scholarship in Biophysics  Closed

For students who are enrolled in full-time study towards an MSc or a PhD with a thesis topic in Biophysics or Cortical Modelling. The scholarship will have a value up to $5,000 for one year.

Looking for more scholarships?

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Faculty of Science & Engineering Handbook


Faculty of Science & Engineering

Phone: +64 7 838 4625 / 0800 438 254