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BSc - Environmental Sciences as a major

Coming to the Bay of Plenty: From 2019 Environmental Sciences will also be offered as a major for the BSc in Tauranga. Contact us for more information on the papers 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.

The pressure on our environment is increasing as the human population grows.  Environmental Sciences provide a basis for understanding environmental problems, and finding solutions to them.


Apply to enrol

Key information

Years: 3
Points: 360
BSc Study Locations: Hamilton; Tauranga
Papers offered differ by location. The Catalogue of Papers has full location info.
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

  • Agricultural Adviser
  • Biosecurity Officer
  • Coastal Resource Manager
  • Consent Planner
  • Environmental Analyst
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Hydrologist
  • Oceanographer
  • Water Resource Manager

Degree planner — BSc in Environmental Sciences (Hamilton campus)

If no point value is listed, papers are worth 15 points. This structure applies to study at the Hamilton campus, 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 2

EARTH221, EARTH231 or EARTH241

ENVSC202 or CHEMY204

BIOEB202 or BIOMO203

100/200 Level
Science List C

Elective

Elective

Elective

Year 3

300 Level
Environmental Sciences Paper

300 Level
Environmental Sciences Paper

Career Start
List B

Elective

Elective

Elective

  • Major
  • Elective
  • Compulsory

Degree planner — BSc in Environmental Sciences (Tauranga campus)

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

Year 1

100 Level
Disciplinary Foundations Paper

100 Level
Disciplinary Foundations Paper

100 Level
Disciplinary Foundations Paper

100 Level
or above Numeracy Paper

Elective

Elective

  • Major
  • Elective
  • Compulsory
This information is provisional and subject to change.


Mahonri Owen For engineering masters student Mahonri Owen, the drive to help others led him to undertake one of the most complex research projects – to design and create a brain-controlled electro-mechanical prosthetic hand.

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Environmental Sciences are interdisciplinary with a focus on ecology, soil and water environments and geochemistry.

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

To complete Environmental Sciences as a single major, students must gain 135 points including ENVSC101, EARTH101, ENVSC201 and ENVPL303; one of BIOMO203 or BIOEB202; one of ENVSC202 or CHEMY204; one of EARTH221, EARTH231 or EARTH241; and two papers in different subject areas from ENVSC302, BIOEB303, BIOEB304, BIOEB305, BIOMO303, CHEMY304, EARTH321, EARTH322, EARTH331, EARTH341, EARTH342, EARTH313.

To complete Environmental Sciences as part of a double major, students must gain 120 points including ENVSC101, EARTH101, ENVSC201 and ENVPL303; one of BIOMO203 or BIOEB202; one of ENVSC202 or CHEMY204; one of EARTH221, EARTH231 or EARTH241; one of ENVSC302, BIOEB303, BIOEB304, BIOEB305, BIOMO303, CHEMY304, EARTH321, EARTH322, EARTH331, EARTH341, EARTH342, EARTH313.

To complete a minor in Environmental Sciences, students must complete 60 points from the papers listed for the Environmental Sciences major, including at least 30 points above 100 level. Students must include ENVSC101 and ENVSC201.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
BIOEB102Introduction to Ecology and Biodiversity19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
An introduction to the principles of ecology and biodiversity. Topics include population, community and ecosystem ecology, conservation biology, and the structure, functioning and environmental responses of animals and plants. Examples will include New Zealand ecosystems and biota.
BIOMO101Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology19B (Hamilton)
An introduction to the central concepts of Molecular and Cellular Biology, including the ultrastructure and function of cells, the biochemical processes involved, and the role of DNA in cellular function, inheritance and evolution.
CHEMY100Chemistry in Context19A (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
This is an introductory paper for students with a limited background in chemistry. There is a strong emphasis on teaching chemical concepts through real-world examples relevant to different science and engineering disciplines.
CHEMY101Structure and Spectroscopy19A (Hamilton), 19A (Secondary School - Unistart) & 19C (Hamilton)
A theoretical and practical course covering aspects of analytical and inorganic chemistry. This course is required for the chemistry major.
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.
ENVSC101Environmental Science19A (Tauranga) & 19B (Hamilton)
A scientific study of the interaction between humans and the environment including climate change, utilisation and exploitation of natural resources and the effects of human activities on biological, chemical and physical processes that form resources and control ecosystems.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
BIOEB202Principles of Ecology19B (Hamilton)
This paper covers the principles of ecology, including adaptation to the environment, intra- and inter-specific interactions, community and ecosystem dynamics, and biogeography. Weekend field trips and computer laboratory work are essential elements.
BIOMO203Microbiology19A (Hamilton)
This paper will focus on microbial cell structure, function, and metabolism. Content and context will be drawn from both human and environmental examples. Students will acquire skills in microbiological laboratory techniques, data collection, data analysis, and report presentation. This paper is required for the Molecular and Cellu...
CHEMY204Analytical Chemistry19A (Hamilton)
This paper covers aspects of analytical chemistry including characterisation using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass-spectrometry (MS); qualitative and quantitative analysis of mixtures using gas chromatography (GC) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
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
ENVSC201Environmental Monitoring19B (Hamilton)
An introduction to reasons for, and design and implementation of, environmental monitoring in New Zealand. Skills in data collection, management, presentation, and interpretation are developed for a range of environments using both field data collection and published data-sets.
ENVSC202Environmental Chemistry and Geochemistry19A (Hamilton)
This paper is a broad introduction into environmental chemistry and geochemistry including the formation of the elements, chemical evolution of Earth, modern Earth surface processes, fossil fuels and biomarkers, global biogeochemical cycling, atmospheric chemistry and global climate change.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
BIOEB303Terrestrial Ecology19A (Hamilton) & 19A (Tauranga)
A paper that explores ecological principles and the ecosystem dynamics, functioning, restoration and conservation ecology of New Zealand forest ecosystems.
BIOEB304Freshwater Ecology19A (Hamilton) & 19A (Tauranga)
An introduction to the ecology of lakes and rivers. Topics covered include the structure and function of major freshwater communities, fish and fisheries, human impacts and the management of inland waters.
BIOEB305Marine Ecology19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
An introduction to the structure and functioning of marine ecosystems. The paper explores the fundamentals of ecology (e.g. disturbance/recovery, recruitment, organism interactions with their environment, nutrient cycles, limits on productivity) in a marine setting. We also cover human impacts on marine environments including fish...
CHEMY304Advanced Analytical Chemistry19B (Hamilton)
This paper covers advanced aspects of analytical chemistry including instrumental techniques, quality assurance, quality control, sampling techniques and method validation.
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.
ENVPL303Environmental Assessment and Policy19B (Hamilton)
To provide an understanding of the types of environmental assessments and the policy process

400 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
LEGAL434Environmental Law19A (Hamilton)
An examination of the general principles of the law concerning natural and physical resources, sustainable development, pollution control, town planning and Treaty of Waitangi principles.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
BIOL503Data Analysis and Experimental Design19A (Hamilton)
This paper will cover aspects of research design for experiments, and methods for analysis of biological data using univariate and multivariate statistical techniques.
BIOL560Freshwater Ecology19A (Hamilton)
A critical examination of issues that freshwater ecosystems face (e.g. pollution, management) and methods to mitigate potentially competing interests.
BIOL562Marine and Estuarine Ecology19C (Hamilton)
This paper focuses on a variety of contemporary issues in marine ecology and biological oceanography, including fisheries biology and management, recruitment, ecology of disturbances, benthic-pelagic coupling, aquaculture and primary production.
BIOL565Molecular Ecology19A (Hamilton)
This paper is open to students interested in molecular ecology, systematics, and environmental molecular biology. Topics covered include conservation and evolutionary genetics, molecular ecology, and phylogenetics.
BIOL571Plant Physiology and Ecology19B (Hamilton)
The paper focuses on contemporary topics in plant environmental physiology, with an emphasis on the functioning of plants at the physiological, whole plant, and ecological level. Topics will include the acquisition of carbon and water by plants and limitations to plant productivity in natural and managed environments.
BIOL573Conservation and Restoration19B (Hamilton)
The purpose of this paper is to explore the general principles of conservation biology and restoration ecology, with special reference to threatened species management and approaches to restoring ecosystems impacted by human activities.
BIOL576Animal Ecophysiology19A (Hamilton)
This paper provides an introduction to specified topics in animal environmental physiology. Critical evaluation of selected readings from the scientific literature will provide a theoretical framework for the specified topics and an introduction to recent research in those fields. Students will develop an understanding of how anima...
BIOMO503Microbiomes19A (Hamilton)
This paper explores microbiomes in the environment and in association with multicellular organisms, including humans, to understand their critical ecological roles in ecosystem and host function and health.
BIOMO512Molecular Techniques for Environmental Science19B (Hamilton)
This paper will introduce students of diverse scientific backgrounds to current and emerging molecular analytic and diagnostic techniques used across biological and environmental sciences.
CHEMY503Analytical Methodology19A (Hamilton)
An advanced study of analytical methodology and instrumental techniques, this will investigating sample extraction techniques, and instrument choice for a variety of sample matrices.
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.
ENGEV544Environmental Technology Water and Wastewater 119A (Hamilton)
No description available.
ENGEV545Environmental Technology Water and Wastewater 219B (Hamilton)
No description available.
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.
ENVS589Directed Study19C (Hamilton)
No description available.
ENVS590Directed Study19C (Hamilton)
No description available.
ENVS591Dissertation19C (Hamilton)
No description available.
ENVS592Dissertation19C (Hamilton)
No description available.
ENVS593Environmental Sciences Thesis19C (Hamilton)
No description available.
ENVS594Environmental Sciences Thesis19C (Hamilton)
No description available.
ENVS595Environmental Sciences Thesis19C (Hamilton)
No description available.
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.
SCIE501Research Methods in the Sciences19B (Hamilton)
This paper will enable students to develop the necessary communication skills and familiarity with research methods and practice to allow them to progress to the thesis component of a masters degree in the sciences, or to extend communication and research skills in those not taking a full research degree.
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
ENVS800Environmental Sciences MPhil Thesis19C (Hamilton)
No description available.

900 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ENVS900Environmental Sciences PhD Thesis19C (Hamilton)
No description available.

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

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.

Dr Stella Frances Memorial Scholarship  Closed

For students who are enrolled or are intending to enrol in the final year of a masters degree at the University of Waikato and are undertaking research that applies to the conservation or environmental issues in the Waikato region. The scholarship will have a value of up to $5,000.

Golden Plover Wetland Research Award  Open

For students who are enrolled part- or full-time in a honours or masters degree at any New Zealand University and are conducting research in any aspect of ecology or management of wetlands. The scholarship will have a value of up to $1,000.
Closing Date: 01 Nov 2018

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.

Tess Embling Memorial Scholarship  Closed

For full and part-time students, who are enrolling or have enrolled in the first year if a masters degree in the Faculty of Science and Engineering. The scholarship will have a value of up to $1,500.

The Hicks Scholarship  Closed

For students who are enrolled or intend to enrol at any New Zealand University to undertake the research portion of their Masters degree in agriculture, horticulture, arborculture, viticulture or animal husbandry. The Scholarship will have a value of up to $15,000.

Whanganui River Enhancement Trust Scholarship  Closed

For students who are enrolled full-time and are undertaking research towards a Masters thesis, Honours degree or Postgraduate Diploma. Candidates must be resident in New Zealand for the tenure of the scholarship and their research should relate to the Whanganui River Catchment.

Beef + Lamb Undergraduate Scholarship  Closed

For students who are studying towards a bachelors degree and/or an honours year in agriculture, science (including food technology), business and social science disciplines. These disciplines may lead to careers in the livestock, meat and related agribusiness sectors. The Scholarship is for up to four years and will pay full annual tuition fees, up to $5,000 per year.

Sparling Doctoral Completion Scholarship in Environmental Studies  Closed

For students enrolled in a PhD in the area of environmental studies, natural sciences, but not marine or volcanic studies, in any faculty of relevance at the University of Waikato. Applicants must have completed at least three years of their thesis and be submitting their soft-bound thesis for examination within four years.

University of Waikato George Mason Charitable Trust Scholarship  Closed

Expressions of Interest are sought from students who are intending to enrol full-time in a 120-point masters thesis or a PhD and have a particular interest in one of the specific research areas outlined in the regulations.

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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