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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

Career opportunities

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

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
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.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
EARTH211Earth Resources and Materials19A (Hamilton)
An introduction to the nature, composition and origin of earth resources and materials. Topics covered include: minerals in society and their properties; origin of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks; volcanological and sedimentary processes and the importance of earth materials as sources for resources used by society.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
EARTH311Volcanology19A (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 Geology19B (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 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...

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

Terry Healy Memorial Award  Closed

For students who are enrolled or are intending to enrol, part- or full-time in a masters or doctoral degree in Earth Sciences, and who are not receiving other awards providing significant funds or substantial financial assistance under a research contract. The value of the award will vary.

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Faculty of Science & Engineering

Phone: +64 7 838 4625 / 0800 438 254