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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.

Aquaculture is only available in Tauranga.


Aquaculture involves studying the underlying reproductive physiology and developmental biology of early life cycle strategies used by aquatic animal species. This knowledge is examined for its use in the husbandry, breeding and sustainable production of species in aquaculture.

As a University of Waikato aquaculture student, you will be able to understand and apply your knowledge of marine ecology, marine biosecurity and legislation relating to sustainable aquaculture. You will understand the key principles and practices in the aquaculture of fish, invertebrates, and algae.

You will also be able to identify opportunities, issues, and solutions relevant to the New Zealand aquaculture industry and “Blue Economy”, including the need to create diverse aquaculture projects that are both profitable and ecologically sustainable.


As an aquaculture student at the University of Waikato in Tauranga, you will have access to the University's well-equipped science laboratories – including the Coastal Marine Field Station and a dedicated facility for seaweed cultivation.

You'll be working alongside, and learning from, well-respected researchers, industry professionals and academics.

Build a successful career

Students with a major in Aquaculture tend to find employment in a range of primary industries (particularly marine and coastal-based activities), and future employers include the aquaculture and marine bioproduct industry, local and national government bodies (such as the Ministry of Primary Industries and Regional Councils) and both Private and Crown Research Institutes (such as NIWA, Plant & Food Research and Cawthron Institute).

Pathway opportunities

All students with University Entrance (UE) can enrol directly into Year 1 of the Aquaculture major in Tauranga. We also offer a pathway for students who have completed the NZ Diploma in Environmental Management (Level 6) at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.

Apply to enrol

Key information

Study Location:Tauranga
Area of Study:

Study Aquaculture in these qualifications

Study Aquaculture as a specialisation of

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

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.

Scholarships and prizes

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

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

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