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By studying Hydrology at the University of Waikato, you’ll understand the key components of water storage and water movement on and beneath the surface of the Earth, and the role of water in weather and climate. You’ll also learn about flood and drought hazards.


Importantly, the Hydrology minor focuses on assessing the impacts of climate change on water resources, which is an area of frequent media coverage recently with floods, droughts and the exporting of bottled water.

The University of Waikato is located close to the longest river in New Zealand, which has been significantly modified by hydroelectricity and flood control schemes, and impacted by point and diffuse discharges of contaminants.

The University of Waikato is participating in efforts to rehabilitate the river to reverse the effects of past activities and address the concerns of tangata whenua.

Our teaching staff are involved in national and international research programmes, particularly in greenhouse gas emissions from soils, alternative methods for storing energy (pumped storage), and methods to manage groundwater systems and avoid or mitigate contamination.


As a Hydrology 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 the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of weather and hydrological data.  You'll be working alongside, and learning from, well-respected researchers, industry professionals and academics.

Build a successful career

Studying Hydrology is beneficial for students looking for careers dealing in water quality, water resources, or resource management. Students with a minor in Hydrology currently tend to be employed in the electricity generation and water supply industries, regulatory authorities, consulting companies, and research institutions.

Apply to enrol

Key information

Study Location:Hamilton
Area of Study:

Career opportunities

  • Hydrologist
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Wastewater Scientist
  • Hydraulic Modeller
  • Flood Risk Scientist
  • Water Resources Engineer

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...

200 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
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

300 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
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...

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

Energy Education Trust Undergraduate Scholarship  Accepting applications

For students who are enrolled full-time in their 3rd or 4th year (including honours year) in the field of science, engineering, economics, law or other related fields, with a specific interest in energy matters in New Zealand.
Closing Date: 31 March 2024

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