Modern society is very dependent on mineral and energy resources, including aggregates and cement for construction, metals for manufacturing, rare earths for electronics and batteries, and energy for operating equipment.

Why study Geology?

The Geology minor provides the basic knowledge and skills required to understand the distribution of these resources on the Earth, evaluate the potential resources, and develop methods to maximise the utilisation of these resources while minimising the impacts on the environment.

With New Zealand being a tectonically active country, the University of Waikato is conveniently located close to the Taupo Volcanic Zone, and the associated volcanoes and geothermal systems. Field trips to examine geothermal activity, the products of volcanic activity over the last few million years, and undertake the Tongariro Alpine Crossing are incorporated within the papers in the minor.

Students complete two specified fundamental knowledge and skill papers, before choosing two out of three options in the areas of volcanology, sedimentology and engineering geology.

This minor complements all the science majors, and a wide range of other majors across the University, including languages, law, planning, economics and geography.


As a Geology student at the University of Waikato, you will have access to the University's well-equipped laboratories, using the most up-to-date equipment and software required for geology related to surface materials.  You'll be working alongside, and learning from, well-respected researchers, industry professionals and academics.

Build a successful career

Studying Geology is beneficial for students looking for careers dealing with mineral and energy resource identification and extraction, infrastructure (engineering geologists), or resource management.

Past graduates have gone on to international careers in diverse sectors such as the mining industry (petroleum, gold, iron sand, coal, aggregates), regulatory authorities, consulting companies, and research institutions.

Career Opportunities

  • Environmental Geologist
  • Petroleum Geologist
  • Mining Geologist
  • Hazard and Risk Scientist
  • Geophysicist/Field Seismologist

Scholarships and Prizes

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships.

Geology papers