Soil Science

The growing global population is very dependent on increasing production of food and fibre from soils around the world.
soil science

Why study Soil Science?

Studying Soil Science is beneficial for students looking for careers dealing with food production, land use management, or resource management. Students with a minor in Soil Science currently tend to be employed in the agricultural industry, regulatory authorities, consulting companies, and research institutions.

Career Opportunities

  • Agronomist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Forestry
  • Hydrologist
  • Soil and Water Quality Specialist
  • Soil Chemist
  • Soil Conservation Advisor
  • Soil Scientist

With a Soil Science minor you’ll gain the knowledge and skills to understand the distribution of different soil types, evaluate their characteristics, and develop methods to combat degradation and depletion of productive soils, and associated reduction in water quality - due to historical pressures and mismanagement.

The University of Waikato is located within one of the most productive agricultural areas within New Zealand. Waikato is one of the leading institutions developing new approaches to managing soils to minimise the impacts of agriculture and horticulture, while also developing methods to rehabilitate the environment to reverse the effects of past activities.

You will develop key skills in Soil Science through practical exercises in the field and laboratory.  In particular there is a focus on mapping the spatial extent and connectivity of different soil types, and identifying the factors that limit the utilisation of soils for different land uses.

Our teaching staff are involved in national and international research programmes, particularly in clay minerals, the use of tephras to date sediments, paleoclimate reconstructions, greenhouse gas emissions from soils, and nitrogen removal from waste water.

All the Soil Science papers involve field trips and lab experience. The field trips concentrate on local soils, and the lab exercises involve techniques for soil analysis, as well as spatial analysis using techniques such as GIS.


As a Soil Science 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 soil science analysis and interpretation.  You'll be working alongside, and learning from, well-respected researchers, industry professionals and academics.

Scholarships and prizes

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships.

Soil Science papers