Waikato University Dean of Science, Professor Margaret Barbour

The University of Waikato has achieved a world-first, with the launch of its Bachelor of Climate Change degree.

The new qualification, unique to Waikato University, builds on its long-standing reputation in environmental science and decades of research across a range of disciplines, from exploring the impacts of sea level rise and extreme weather events to examining political, social and economic systems that have contributed to climate change.

The new three-year cross-disciplinary undergraduate degree begins in 2022, and will create a cohort of graduates who can lead future climate change solutions nationally and globally.

The need for these graduates has never been more urgent, and the climate change crisis is currently being discussed by world leaders at COP26 in Glasgow.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) latest report in August 2021 said that climate change is “widespread, rapid and intensifying”, with scientific changes observed in the Earth’s climate in every region and across the entire climate system.

University of Waikato Dean of Science, Professor Margaret Barbour, says students with the new qualification will be in demand as we work towards the target of net zero emissions by 2050.

“The Bachelor of Climate Change brings together this collective expertise across all the disciplines creating a common language in the fight against the globe’s most pressing environmental issue,” says Professor Barbour.

The cross-disciplinary degree combines subjects including environmental science, economics, social science, psychology and politics, and also includes Māori and Pacific responses to climate change.

Indigenous perspectives are a unique and important part of the Waikato degree, woven throughout the programme.

The new Bachelor of Climate Change degree affirms the University of Waikato’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 13 on Climate Action: the need to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

During the United Nations COP26 climate change conference, the University of Waikato is hosting daily online reflections and panel discussions featuring local Indigenous and community leaders, academic researchers and other experts.

Visit the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 - Waikato Event page to access live and recorded coverage.

This research aligns with the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

Climate Action

Latest stories

Related stories

AI Team

Waikato as a global hub for AI

The University of Waikato’s expertise in machine learning and data mining has been affirmed, with…


Supporting the well-being of entrepreneurs

New Zealand-led research on entrepreneurial well-being highlights that owning and managing a business has greater…


Ground-breaking research uncovers medicine from the sea

World-leading Tauranga marine scientist, Professor Chris Battershill, says we need to make a greater effort…


Nurturing the next generation of writers

Home to some of New Zealand’s best novelists, short story writers and children’s authors, the…


Greening our cities

One solution to the biodiversity crisis is bringing indigenous nature back into cities and urban…


Leading New Zealand to a more sustainable future

Construction industry waste is a big problem. How are our researchers collaborating to develop a…


Cybersecurity: staying ahead of the hackers

Cybercrime is a growing underground industry. The returns are great, the risks are low. It’s…


New app focuses on the wellbeing of women during pregnancy

A New Zealand researcher specialising in perinatal mental health has developed a new app to…


Spotlight on women and elite sports culture

The pressure on modern athletes is more intense than ever, with greater media and social…

Plastic Bottle

Research finds microplastics in New Zealand shellfish

New Zealand research paints a grim picture of the impact plastic is having on the…

Robots to the rescue

Researchers from the University of Waikato’s School of Engineering and School of Computing and Mathematical…


Indigeous explorers’ ancestral ocean stories relevant to climate crisis

Stories from Indigenous explorers in the Southern Ocean are being gathered by University of Waikato…