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Earth Sciences

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.

The University of Waikato is uniquely placed to offer a thorough grounding in all aspects of the Earth Sciences. We are situated close to both North Island coasts, a short drive from the active Taupo Volcanic Zone, at the heart of the richest New Zealand farming region, and have New Zealand's longest river on our doorstep.

We are a leader in teaching and research related to the Earth’s environment, and offer you a learning experience that goes beyond the laboratory and lecture room - and out into the world.

The Earth Sciences major at Waikato consists of four main sub-disciplines: geology, soil science, hydrology and coastal processes. The first two years concentrate on fundamental knowledge and skills across all subdisciplines. In your final year, you’ll have the option to specialise in a specific area.

Facilities

As an Earth Sciences student at the University of Waikato, you will have access to the University's well-equipped laboratories, and will have the opportunity to examine features in the field and undertake field investigations using a wide range of techniques. You'll be working alongside, and learning from, well-respected researchers, industry professionals and academics.

Build a successful career

As a graduate you will gain the knowledge and skills to pursue a wide range of careers. Earth Sciences graduates are spread across New Zealand and around the world, working in careers ranging from Earth resources' exploration to environmental management and planning, and from scientific research to teaching.

Apply to enrol

Key information

Study Locations:Hamilton, Tauranga
Papers offered differ by location. The Catalogue of Papers has full location info.
Area of Study:

Career opportunities

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

100 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
EARTH101Introduction to Earth System Sciences - Pūtaiao Pūnaha Whenua15.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (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 Earth - Tūhuratia Papatūānuku15.024B (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. He tuhura no tenei pepa i te kopu o Papatuanuku me tona pahekoheko hihiri i te ...

200 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
EARTH211Earth Resources and Materials15.024A (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 cha...
EARTH221Soil Science15.024B (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 Climate15.024A (Hamilton)
Introduction to atmospheric and hydrological processes affecting weather and climate in Aotearoa, including the distribution of water in space and time. Topics include mid-latitude weather and atmospheric precipitation processes and how they interact with the land to affect hydrological regimes across Aotearoa, including the potent...
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
EARTH251Applied Earth Sciences15.024A (Hamilton)
A field-based paper involving data collection and spatial analysis across several Earth Science sub-disciplines to determine the processes operating on our landscape. This includes geological mapping, geomorphological analysis in the field and from aerial images, stream gauging, as well as soil characterization and mapping. The pap...

300 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
EARTH311Volcanology15.024A (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 volcanic resources.
EARTH312Sedimentary Geology15.024B (Hamilton)
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 stratigraphy). A third strand explores the environmental and economic aspects of sedimentary geology, ...
EARTH313Engineering Geology15.024A (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...
EARTH322Soil and Water Management15.024A (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, ...
EARTH331Hydrology15.024B (Hamilton)
This paper examines aspects of the hydrological cycle at a regional scale, focussing on catchments in the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand, including lake processes. The paper is predominantly practical and involves the measurement and analysis of hydrological processes, emphasising precipitation, river flow and runoff processe...
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.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
EARTH501Volcanic Techniques and Applications15.024B (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.
EARTH503Coastal Processes: Analysis and Prediction15.024A (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 Risk15.024B (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.
EARTH506Sedimentary Geology15.024A (Hamilton)
A paper that builds on the foundational knowledge of sedimentary geology established at the undergraduate level. It focuses on examining the application of sedimentological, stratigraphical, and geophysical principles to mapping Earth materials and building cross sections through sedimentary basins.
EARTH592Dissertation60.024X (Hamilton) & 24X (Tauranga)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
EARTH594Earth Sciences Thesis120.024X (Hamilton) & 24X (Tauranga)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
ENVSC503Greenhouse Gas Fluxes from Land15.024A (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.
SCIEN512Data Analysis and Experimental Design15.024A (Hamilton)
This paper covers aspects of research design for experiments, and methods for analysis of scientific data using modern statistical techniques.
SCIEN589Directed Study15.024A (Hamilton), 24A (Tauranga), 24B (Hamilton), 24B (Tauranga), 24C (Hamilton) & 24C (Tauranga)
No description available.

800 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
EARTH800Earth Sciences MPhil Thesis120.024X (Hamilton)
No description available.

900 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
EARTH900Earth Sciences PhD Thesis120.024I (Hamilton), 24J (Hamilton), 24K (Hamilton), 24X (Hamilton) & 24X (Tauranga)
No description available.

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

Broad Memorial Fund  Accepting applications

For students who are enrolled full-time or part-time in the thesis year of a masters degree (e.g. MSc, MSc(Research)), MPhil or PhD qualification in Earth Sciences.
Closing Date: 31 March 2024

Terry Healy Memorial Award  Not currently accepting applications

For students who are currently enrolled part- or full-time in a masters or doctoral degree in an Earth Sciences subject and have not previously received the Award. Preference will be given to students involved in marine sciences, but applications will be considered for all areas appropriate to the current research activities of the Earth Sciences subject in the School of Science.

University of Waikato Research Masters Scholarship  Accepting applications

For students enrolled, or intending to enrol, in a 500-level thesis of 90-or 120-points as part of their first master's degree. 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: 30 April 2024

Looking for more scholarships?

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Documents


Contacts

School of Science
Phone: 0800 924 528 or +64 7 838 4625
Email: [email protected]
Website: sci.waikato.ac.nz
Facebook: facebook.com/WaikatoScience