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Modern society is very dependent on mineral and energy resources, including aggregates and cement for construction, metals for manufacturing, rare earths for electronics and batteries, and energy for operating equipment.


The Geology minor provides the basic knowledge and skills required to understand the distribution of these resources on the Earth, evaluate the potential resources, and develop methods to maximise the utilisation of these resources while minimising the impacts on the environment.

With New Zealand being a tectonically active country, the University of Waikato is conveniently located close to the Taupo Volcanic Zone, and the associated volcanoes and geothermal systems. Field trips to examine geothermal activity, the products of volcanic activity over the last few million years, and undertake the Tongariro Alpine Crossing are incorporated within the papers in the minor.

Students complete two specified fundamental knowledge and skill papers, before choosing two out of three options in the areas of volcanology, sedimentology and engineering geology.

This minor complements all the science majors, and a wide range of other majors across the University, including languages, law, planning, economics and geography.


As a Geology student at the University of Waikato, you will have access to the University's well-equipped laboratories, using the most up-to-date equipment and software required for geology related to surface materials.  You'll be working alongside, and learning from, well-respected researchers, industry professionals and academics.

Build a successful career

Studying Geology is beneficial for students looking for careers dealing with mineral and energy resource identification and extraction, infrastructure (engineering geologists), or resource management.

Past graduates have gone on to international careers in diverse sectors such as the mining industry (petroleum, gold, iron sand, coal, aggregates), regulatory authorities, consulting companies, and research institutions.

Apply to enrol

Key information

Study Location:Hamilton
Area of Study:

Career opportunities

  • Environmental Geologist
  • Petroleum Geologist
  • Mining Geologist
  • Hazard and Risk Scientist
  • Geophysicist/Field Seismologist

100 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
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...

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...

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

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.

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