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BSc - Earth Sciences as a major

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.

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.


Apply to enrol

Key information

Years: 3
Points: 360
Start Dates: Semester A (February) and Semester B (July)
Fees (Domestic): $7,130 (approx) per year
Fees (International): $29,705-$31,795 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

Degree Planner

Degree planner — BSc in Earth Sciences

If no point value is listed, papers are worth 15 points. This structure applies to study starting in 2019.

Year 1

100 Level Science
List A

100 Level Science
List A

100 Level Science
List A

100 Level Science
List C

Elective

Elective

Year 3

300 Level
EARTH Paper

300 Level
EARTH Paper

300 Level
EARTH Paper

Career Start
List B

Elective

Elective

Elective

  • Major
  • Elective
  • Compulsory

300 Level EARTH papers

Choose 45 points from the following:

This information is provisional and subject to change.

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 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 Sciences20B (Hamilton) & 20B (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 Earth20A (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 Materials20A (Hamilton)
An introduction to the nature, composition and origin of Earth materials and resources. Topics covered include: mineral properties and their uses; process origins of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks; and the importance of Earth materials as a societal resource. The paper also encompasses the petrographic and analytical ch...
EARTH221Soil Science20B (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. The paper also encompasses the properties, genesis, and distribution of the soils of New Zealand and their use.
EARTH231Water Resources, Weather and Climate20A (Hamilton)
Introduction to physical processes that influence the distribution of water in space and time within Aotearoa-New Zealand. Topics include mid-latitude weather and atmospheric precipitation processes that ultimately affect the availability of water across Aotearoa-New Zealand's diverse landscapes: a description of surface water reso...
EARTH241Oceanography20B (Hamilton) & 20B (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
EARTH251Spatial Analysis in Geosciences20A (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
EARTH311Volcanology20A (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 Geology20B (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 Geology20A (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 Evaluation20B (Hamilton)
This paper comprises two parts that provide the fundamentals of pedology and examine its role 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 digit...
EARTH322Soil and Water Management20A (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, ...
EARTH331Hydrology and Water Resources20B (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 Oceanography20A (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 Management20B (Hamilton) & 20B (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.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
EARTH501Volcanic Techniques and Applications20A (Hamilton)
This paper investigates geological techniques used to reconstruct eruption processes and histories, and their application to society, including volcanic facies analysis, tephra studies (tephrochronology), volcanic glass and mineral studies, juvenile and lithic studies, and volcanic hazards.
EARTH502Land and Soil: Resources and Risks20A (Hamilton)
In this paper students initially gain practical experience in large-scale soil mapping and in evaluating land-use capability (LUC) on a research farm. They then examine various issues associated with land use, especially its intensification, including the management of farm dairy effluent, soil degradation, and soil contamination. ...
EARTH503Coastal Processes: Analysis and Prediction20A (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 Risk20B (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 Dynamics20A (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 Models20B (Hamilton)
This paper focusses on the development and application of 2D and 3D conceptual and numerical models of Earth materials. Discussion includes data acquisition, model development, and interpretation.
ENVSC503Greenhouse Gas Fluxes from Land20A (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.
ERTH591Dissertation20X (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
ERTH595Earth Sciences Thesis20X (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
SCIEN511Scientific Supercomputing20B (Hamilton)
A practical introduction to undertaking scientific research on a supercomputer. The paper assumes no prior knowledge.
SCIEN512Data analysis and experimental design20A (Hamilton)
This paper covers aspects of research design for experiments, and methods for analysis of scientific data using modern statistical techniques.
SCIEN589Directed Study20A (Hamilton), 20A (Tauranga), 20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
No description available.
SCIEN592Dissertation20X (Hamilton) & 20X (Tauranga)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
SCIEN593Thesis20X (Hamilton) & 20X (Tauranga)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
SCIEN594Thesis20X (Hamilton) & 20X (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 Thesis20X (Hamilton)
No description available.

900 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ERTH900Earth Sciences PhD Thesis20I (Hamilton) & 20X (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.

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 are not already receiving other funding or substantial financial assistance under a research contract.
Closing Date: 31 Oct 2019

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 2019

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Contacts

Faculty of Science & Engineering

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