Environmental Sciences

The pressure on our environment is increasing as the human population grows.  Environmental Sciences provide a basis for understanding environmental problems, and finding solutions to them.

Jonno Rau

Master of Science
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.

Environmental Sciences is the interdisciplinary study of the environment and how we manage it. It draws on all the sciences, particularly ecology and earth sciences.

There is growing recognition, at local and global levels, of the need to manage our soil, ecological, marine, mineral and energy resources in a sustainable manner.  As an environmental scientist or technician, you'll have the chance to become directly involved in the effective management of these precious resources.

If you decide to major in Environmental Sciences at the University of Waikato, you'll take a range of papers from across the biological, chemical and Earth sciences, giving you a broad base on which to build your career.

Environmental Microbiology

You will learn about the important role micro-organisms play in underpinning environmental processes, from recycling nutrients to bioremediation of contaminated sites.

Environmental Modelling

Learn to use computer models to understand and predict changes in a range of environments such as estuaries, lakes, rivers, coastlines, climate, and the ocean.

Land and Freshwater Environments

Discover the importance of the sustainable management of soil and water resources for human survival, biodiversity and wider ecological values.

Marine Sciences

Explore marine organisms and the sustainable management of marine environments, including processes such as the effects of coastal erosion and sedimentation.


As an Environmental Sciences 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.

 Career opportunities

  • Agricultural Adviser
  • Biosecurity Officer
  • Coastal Resource Manager
  • Consent Planner
  • Environmental Analyst
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Hydrologist
  • Oceanographer
  • Water Resource Manager

100 level

The Biology of OrganismsBIOL10215.0 Points
Chemistry in ContextCHEM10015.0 Points
Environmental ScienceENVS10115.0 Points
Discovering Planet EarthERTH10315.0 Points
Earth and Ocean EnvironmentsERTH10415.0 Points
Resources and Environmental SustainabilityGEOG10315.0 Points
Statistics for ScienceSTAT11115.0 Points

200 level

EcologyBIOL21220.0 Points
Analytical Tools for the Life and Environmental SciencesCHEM20020.0 Points
Environmental Chemistry and GeochemistryCHEM26120.0 Points
Soils in the LandscapeERTH23310.0 Points
Soil Properties and their ManagementERTH23410.0 Points
OceanographyERTH24220.0 Points
Weather and ClimateERTH24510.0 Points
Introduction to HydrologyERTH24610.0 Points

300 level

Graduate Study

Environmental Sciences is not currently available for the BSc(Hons) or MSc. However, students may count 500 level Environmental Sciences papers towards their graduate programme in another subject, at the discretion of the Graduate Convenor.

Prescriptions for the PGCert(EnvSci), PGDip(EnvSci) and MSc (Research)

Students in masters degrees are normally required to take a thesis and a selection of papers. SCIE501 is compulsory, and it is strongly recommended that students include ENVS524. Normally, no more than 60 points from outside the field of Environmental Sciences may be taken as part of an MSc(Research) in this subject. Candidates for these graduate qualifications should select their papers in consultation with the Graduate Convenor.

Data Analysis and Experimental DesignBIOL50315.0 Points
Freshwater EcologyBIOL56015.0 Points
Aquatic Ecosystem ModellingBIOL56115.0 Points
Marine and Estuarine EcologyBIOL56215.0 Points
Aquatic Field MethodsBIOL56315.0 Points
Restoration EcologyBIOL56415.0 Points
Plant EcologyBIOL57015.0 Points
Conservation BiologyBIOL57315.0 Points
Aquatic ToxicologyBIOL57715.0 Points
Microbial EcologyBIOL58115.0 Points
Isotope GeochemistryCHEM51615.0 Points
Applied and Environmental Analytical Chemistry ACHEM51715.0 Points
Applied and Environmental Analytical Chemistry BCHEM52715.0 Points
Environmental Technology Water and Wastewater 1ENMP54315.0 Points
Environmental Technology Water and Wastewater 2ENMP54415.0 Points
Environmental EvaluationENVS52415.0 Points
Directed StudyENVS58915.0 Points
Directed StudyENVS59030.0 Points
DissertationENVS59130.0 Points
DissertationENVS59260.0 Points
Environmental Sciences ThesisENVS59390.0 Points
Environmental Sciences ThesisENVS594120.0 Points
Environmental Sciences ThesisENVS595150.0 Points
Volcanic Processes and HazardsERTH52415.0 Points
Quaternary: Past EnvironmentsERTH52815.0 Points
Soil and Greenhouse GasesERTH53315.0 Points
Land and Soil EvaluationERTH53515.0 Points
Introduction to Hydrological ModellingERTH54715.0 Points
EcohydrologyERTH54815.0 Points
Coastal SedimentationERTH56215.0 Points
Coastal and Estuarine ProcessesERTH56315.0 Points
Coastal and Freshwater Modelling: Physical ApproachesERTH56415.0 Points
Time Series Analysis for Environmental ScientistsERTH56515.0 Points
Research Methods in the SciencesSCIE50115.0 Points

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

Dr Stella Frances Memorial Scholarship

For students who are enrolled or are intending to enrol in the final year of a masters degree at the University of Waikato and are undertaking research that applies to the conservation or environmental issues in the Waikato region. The scholarship will have a value of up to $5,000.

Closing Date: 2016-12-16 23:59:00

Science Admission Fees Scholarship

For school leavers who are intending to enrol full-time (120 pts) in the first year of a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Science(Technology) in the Faculty of Science & Engineering and are performing well academically in their final year of secondary school. The Scholarship has a value of up to $4,000.

Closing Date: 2017-08-31 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


Faculty of Science & Engineering

Phone: +64 7 838 4625 / 0800 438 254