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BCMS(Hons) - Earth Sciences as a major

The Bachelor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences (Honours) is New Zealand’s only computing and mathematical science degree taught over four years. That extra year gives you the chance to drill more deeply into your specialist area and add papers that will complement your main focus.

The demand for experts in Earth Sciences continues to grow as we look to better manage our soil, water, minerals, energy and coastal and marine resources, as well as understand natural hazards  such as floods, earthquakes, tsunami, landslides and volcanic eruptions.


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Key information

Years: 4.0
Points: 480
Study Locations: Hamilton
Start Dates: Semester A (February) and Semester B (July)
Fees (Domestic): $6,922 per year
See if you're eligible for fees-free study in your first year
Fees (International): $28,290 per year
Entry Requirements: Undergraduate International
Faculty:
*Tuition fees shown are indicative only and may change. There are additional fees and charges related to enrolment please see the Table of Fees and Charges for more information. You will be sent an enrolment agreement which will confirm your fees.

Career opportunities

  • Coastal Engineer
  • Coastal Resource Manager
  • Engineering Geologist
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Geologist
  • Hydrologist
  • Soil Conservator
  • Volcanologist
  • Water Resource Manager
  • Hazard Manager

Tom Petchell Choosing to undertake tertiary study is a big decision, and not one that engineering student Tom Petchell took lightly.

Read stories from other students


Earth Sciences offers a broad understanding of Earth's landscape features and processes and includes a range of branches of the subject, including soil science, hydrology, geomorphology, physical geography, volcanology, sedimentary geology, coastal marine studies, engineering geology and environmental science.

Earth Sciences is available as a major for the BSc and BSc(Tech) degrees. Earth Sciences may also be taken as a second major, subject to academic approval of the faculty or school of studies in which the student is enrolled.

To complete Earth Sciences as a single major, students must gain 135 points, including EARTH101, EARTH102, EARTH211, EARTH221, EARTH231 and EARTH241, and at least 45 points from 300-level Earth Sciences papers.

To complete Earth Sciences as part of a double major, students must gain 120 points, including EARTH101, EARTH102, EARTH211, EARTH221, EARTH231 and EARTH241, and at least 30 points from 300-level Earth Sciences papers.

Students with a special interest in physical geography should consult with the subject convenor before selecting their papers. The majority of papers in Earth Sciences include both laboratory practical and field work.

Further information regarding papers, staff and research details is contained in brochures available from the School of Science office or website.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
EARTH101Introduction to Earth System Sciences19A (Hamilton) & 19A (Tauranga)
A lecture and laboratory paper that explores the interacting processes that affect the surface of the Earth, producing landforms and resources, with a focus on physical processes. Topics covered include coastal processes and hazards; climate change; weathering; erosion and mass movement; soil formation; the hydrological cycle; rive...
EARTH102Discovering Planet Earth19B (Hamilton)
This paper explores the Earth's interior and its dynamic interaction with the crust, including: the major rocks and minerals; interpreting the rock record and geologic maps; the geological time scale and fossils; plate tectonics; volcanism; earthquakes.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
EARTH211Earth Resources and Materials19A (Hamilton)
An introduction to the nature, composition and origin of earth resources and materials. Topics covered include: minerals in society and their properties; origin of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks; volcanological and sedimentary processes and the importance of earth materials as sources for resources used by society.
EARTH221Soil Science19B (Hamilton)
An introduction to the nature, formation, and classification of soils, their physical, chemical, mineralogical, and biological properties, and issues of soil quality, land degradation and sustainable management.
EARTH231Water Resources, Weather and Climate19A (Hamilton)
New Zealand's water resources are coming under increasing pressure for human use, while their management requires that they also provide for healthy freshwater ecosystems. This paper describes the key physical processes that influence the distribution of water in space and time from a New Zealand perspective. Topics covered include...
EARTH241Oceanography19B (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to the broad scale properties, issues, and research importance of the global ocean via the main disciplines of oceanography: particularly biological, chemical, geological and physical oceanography
EARTH251Spatial Analysis in Geosciences19A (Hamilton)
An introduction to quantitative spatial analysis in the geosciences, including production of maps and cross-sections of geomorphology and Earth materials from field and aerial image interpretation, use of 3D models of Earth materials, and an appreciation of volumes and stresses in the Earth's crust.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
EARTH311Volcanology19A (Hamilton)
A study of pyroclastic rocks, physical volcanology, volcanic hazards, the origin of magmas, crystallisation of rock-forming minerals and phase equilibria, petrology and trace element geochemistry of volcanic rocks, and geothermal and mineral resources.
EARTH312Sedimentary Geology19B (Hamilton)
The ultimate goal of sedimentary geology is to reconstruct the history of the Earth's surface. This paper explores the links between sedimentary rocks and past environments through two major strands: reconstructing depositional environments and understanding the effects of sea-level change on sedimentary processes (sequence stratig...
EARTH313Engineering Geology19A (Hamilton)
Engineering Geology is the application of the principles of earth sciences to ensure hazards associated with landslides or unfavourable soil and rock conditions are identified in engineering or environmental work. This paper gives an introduction to the field of engineering geology. Topics covered include: landslide processes and t...
EARTH321Pedology and Land Evaluation19B (Hamilton)
This paper comprises two parts that together examine the role of pedology in land-use related issues and land management. Part (1): the stratigraphy of soils, their formation and classification in New Zealand; the occurrence and variability spatially of soils, and how they can be mapped using classical and digital techniques includ...
EARTH322Soil and Water Management19A (Hamilton)
This paper integrates an understanding of land/soil and water processes that occur at paddock to catchment to national scales. A focus is on management practices that optimise resource use for productive purposes with attention to avoidance or minimisation of environmental effects. Topics include soil degradation, soil fertility, ...
EARTH331Hydrology19B (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to the techniques of both resource and hazard analysis of fresh water. There is focus on groundwater modelling for resource studies, at the regional level and for analysis of pumped wells. There are also aspects of surface water application, including hydro power studies. Hazard aspects will include t...
EARTH341Coastal Oceanography19A (Hamilton)
This paper focuses on the physical oceanography of the coastal zone. Topics include estuarine circulation, wind driven currents on the shelf, longwaves, resonance, seiching, methodologies for quantifying processes and coastal responses, waves and surfzone processes.
EARTH342Coastal Geomorphology and Management19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
This paper focuses on understanding of coastal processes, sediments, and evolution of coastal landforms as a basis for coastal management. Topics covered include coastal sediments and processes; coastal landforms, their origin and evolution; coastal hazards and their mitigation; and case studies of coastal issues.
SCIEN313Undergraduate Research Project19C (Hamilton) & 19C (Tauranga)
Students carry out an independent research project on an approved topic under staff supervision. For a list of available projects, please contact the paper coordinator.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
EARTH501Volcanic Techniques and Applications19A (Hamilton)
This paper investigates geological techniques used to reconstruct eruption processes and histories, and their application to Society, including volcanic facies analysis, tephra studies, volcanic glass and mineral studies, juvenile and lithic studies, and volcanic hazards.
EARTH502Land and Soil Evaluation19A (Hamilton)
Selected issues involved with land use and its intensification, including nitrogen budgeting and soil quality, are examined. Farm-scale soil and land-use capability (LUC) mapping are undertaken to illustrate their role in guiding management decisions to help reduce or mitigate environmental risks associated with particular land use...
EARTH503Coastal Processes: Analysis and Prediction19A (Hamilton)
This paper considers techniques to predict coastal processes for management and research, including assessment of which processes to observe, how to obtain and analyse data, and using results for prediction.
EARTH504Geohazard Risk19B (Hamilton)
This seminar paper evaluates the methodologies used to characterise risk associated with geohazards, and assesses the impact of strategies employed to avoid or mitigate this risk.
EARTH505River Dynamics19A (Hamilton)
This module investigates the processes that control the evolution of river form and structure over timescales of storm events to decades, through a combination of theory, environmental remote sensing and numerical modelling.
EARTH506Geological Models in Engineering Geology19B (Hamilton)
This paper focusses on the development and application of 2D and 3D conceptual and numerical models of Earth materials for engineering purposes. Discussion includes data acquisition, model development, and interpretation.
ENVS524Environmental Evaluation19A (Hamilton)
This paper explores the interface between science and environmental planning. Insight into the resource consent process and the role of science in supporting sustainable resource management under the RMA is developed.
ENVSC503Terrestrial Ecosystem-Atmosphere Exchange Processes19B (Hamilton)
Processes and factors controlling exchanges of water, carbon and greenhouse gases in natural or managed ecosystems, methodologies to quantify them, and approaches to mitigate undesirable anthropogenic consequences.
ERTH591Dissertation19C (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
ERTH592Dissertation19C (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
ERTH593Earth Sciences Thesis19C (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
ERTH594Earth Sciences Thesis19C (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
ERTH595Earth Sciences Thesis19C (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
SCIEN511Scientific Supercomputing19C (Hamilton)
A practical introduction to undertaking scientific research on a supercomputer. The paper assumes no prior knowledge.
SCIEN551Fundamentals of Science I19A (Hamilton)
A self-directed study on a sub-discipline of science. In most cases, sucessful completion of this paper provides the necessary pre-requisite entry into another 500-level science paper.
SCIEN552Fundamentals of Science II19B (Hamilton)
A self-directed study on a sub-discipline of science. In most cases, sucessful completion of this paper provides the necessary pre-requisite entry into another 500-level science paper.
SCIEN553Fundamentals of Science III19A (Hamilton)
A self-directed study on a sub-discipline of science. In most cases, sucessful completion of this paper provides the necessary pre-requisite entry into another 500-level science paper.
SCIEN554Fundamentals of Science IV19B (Hamilton)
A self-directed study on a sub-discipline of science. In most cases, sucessful completion of this paper provides the necessary pre-requisite entry into another 500-level science paper.
SCIEN589Directed Study19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga), 19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
No description available.
SCIEN592Dissertation19C (Hamilton) & 19C (Tauranga)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
SCIEN593Thesis19C (Hamilton) & 19C (Tauranga)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
SCIEN594Thesis19C (Hamilton) & 19C (Tauranga)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.

800 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ERTH800Earth Sciences MPhil Thesis19C (Hamilton)
No description available.

900 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ERTH900Earth Sciences PhD Thesis19C (Hamilton)
No description available.

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

Broad Memorial Fund  Closed

For students who are enrolled in the thesis year of a MSc, MSc(Research), MPhil or PhD qualification in Earth Sciences. The value of the scholarship will vary.

DairyNZ Masters Scholarship  Closed

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.

Science and Engineering Masters Fees Awards  Closed

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.

Terry Healy Memorial Award  Open

For students who are enrolled or are intending to enrol, part- or full-time in a masters or doctoral degree in Earth Sciences, and who are not receiving other awards providing significant funds or substantial financial assistance under a research contract. The value of the award will vary.
Closing Date: 31 Oct 2018

University of Waikato Research Masters Scholarship  Open

For students intending to enrol full-time in a 500-level thesis of 90 points or more as part of their first master's degree at the University of Waikato. International students must have completed at least 120 points of study at a New Zealand university in order to be eligible for this Scholarship.
Closing Date: 31 Oct 2018

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Documents


Contacts

Faculty of Science & Engineering

Phone: +64 7 838 4625 / 0800 438 254
Email: science@waikato.ac.nz
Website: sci.waikato.ac.nz
Facebook: facebook.com/WaikatoScienceEngineering