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BSc - Aquaculture as a major

Aquaculture is only available in Tauranga.

If you're intrigued by the natural world around you, or enjoy understanding how things work, Waikato's Bachelor of Science (BSc) is what you're looking for. Putting into practice what you learn in your lectures is a major part of this degree. You will gain hands-on experience with some of the most up-to-date and high-tech computing facilities and laboratory equipment.

By studying Aquaculture as a major at the University of Waikato’s Tauranga campus, you will be at the centre of New Zealand’s prime growth area for aquaculture.

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Key information

Years: 3
Points: 360
Start Dates: Trimester A (March) and Trimester B (July)
Estimated Fees* (Domestic): $7,821 per year
Estimated Fees* (International): $36,830 - $38,305 per year
Entry Requirements: Undergraduate International
Area of Study:
All amounts are in New Zealand Dollars (NZD). *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

  • Aquaculture entrepreneur
  • Aquaculture policy advisor/manager
  • Consultant
  • Farm manager
  • Fishery officer
  • Hatchery manager
  • Quality control specialist
  • Research assistant
  • Research and development coordinator
  • Saltwater production manager
  • Science technician
  • Scientist

Degree Planner

Degree planner — BSc in Aquaculture (Tauranga campus)*

If no point value is listed, papers are worth 15 points. This structure applies to study at our Tauranga campus only, starting in 2021.

Year 1

One from List A:
Science Fundamentals

One from List A:
Science Fundamentals

One from List C:
Science Numeracy



Year 3

One 300 level paper**

One 300 level paper**

One 300 level paper**

300 level
Science paper

One from List B:
Work-Integrated Learning




  • Major
  • Compulsory
  • Elective

*Please note this major is only available in Tauranga.

**300 level papers
  • AQCUL301 Aquaculture Industry and Innovation
  • AQCUL302 Research Tools for the Aquaculture Industry
  • EARTH341 Coastal Oceanography
  • EARTH342 Coastal Geomorphology and Management
  • MARIN301 Marine Spatial Planning
This information is provisional and subject to change.

The major in Aquaculture provides students with the opportunity to develop graduate attributes that are recognised as appropriate by professional scientists working within the broad subject areas of whole organism biology, ecology and biodiversity, and that are well suited to related employment opportunities within their chosen discipline subjects.

Aquaculture is available as a first major for the Bachelor of Science (BSc). Aquaculture may also be taken as a second major or minor in other undergraduate degrees, subject to approval of the Division in which the student is enrolled.

To complete Aquaculture as a single major for the BSc, students must gain 135 points including 105 points above 100 level, and 60 points above 200 level. Students must complete AQCUL101, MARIN101, AQCUL201, AQCUL202, BIOEB203, EARTH241 and 45 points from AQCUL301, AQCUL302, EARTH341 and MARIN301.

To complete Aquaculture as part of a double major for the BSc or other undergraduate degree, students must gain 120 points including 90 points above 100 level, and 45 points above 200 level. Students must complete AQCUL101, MARIN101, AQCUL201, AQCUL202, BIOEB203, EARTH241 and 30 points from AQCUL301, AQCUL302, EARTH341 and MARIN301, including one of AQCUL301 or AQCUL302.

To complete a minor in Aquaculture, students must complete 60 points from the papers listed for the Aquaculture major, including at least 30 points above 100 level. Students must complete AQCUL101 and 45 points from AQCUL201, AQCUL202, AQCUL301 and AQCUL302.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
AQCUL101Introduction to Aquaculture - Ahumoana15.024A (Tauranga)
This paper has been designed to introduce you to important aspects of the fastest growing food-producing sector in the world. Aquaculture is one of the most efficient food production systems and now provides over 50% of the world's consumed fish. You will learn about the wide range of farmed aquatic organisms from algae to fish. We...
MARIN101Marine Biodiversity - Rerenga Rauropi Taimoana15.024A (Tauranga)
This paper provides an introduction to marine ecosystems, the form and function of key marine taxa, the identification of New Zealand marine plants & animals (both indigenous & introduced), and the concepts of Matauranga and biodiversity, as they apply to the coastal marine environment. He whakataki no tenei pepa i te rauropi taimo...

200 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
AQCUL201Invertebrate and Algal Aquaculture15.024A (Tauranga)
This paper will introduce key taxa of invertebrates and algae used in aquaculture, focusing on the biology and physiology of their lifecycles, and common husbandry methods. Particular emphasis will be given to species of relevance to the NZ industry.
AQCUL202Fish Aquaculture15.024B (Tauranga)
This paper has been designed to provide a more in-depth knowledge on key fish species that are currently being farmed around the world and within New Zealand. There will be a particular focus on understanding the biology and physiology of the organism's lifecycle and how this knowledge enables the technology being used in productio...
BIOEB203Animal Structure and Function15.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Tauranga)
This paper is an integrated theoretical and experimental study of the principles of animal structure and function. Comparative aspects will be emphasised in how animals adapt to their environment. Topics covered include homeostasis, the function of major organ systems, ecophysiology, musculoskeletal design and locomotion. An introd...
EARTH241Oceanography15.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
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

300 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
AQCUL301Aquaculture Industry and Innovation15.024A (Tauranga)
This paper will provide a wider scope on the aquaculture industry beyond production biology. There is a specific focus on the concept of innovation and how this solution driven approach is being used to develop an efficient and sustainable industry. The course covers a range of topics using specialist guest lecturers to explore ind...
AQCUL302Research Tools for the Aquaculture Industry15.024B (Tauranga)
Research and development is essential to develop an efficient and sustainable aquaculture industry. This paper provides students with a knowledge and working experience of a number of modern laboratory techniques that help researchers understand the physiology of farmed organisms to inform and innovate husbandry practise. This has ...
EARTH341Coastal Oceanography15.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Tauranga)
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.

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Available in Tauranga



School of Science
Phone: 0800 924 528 or +64 7 838 4625
Email: [email protected]