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Overview

Take your excellence and turn it into something more

If you are interested in further in-depth research, this qualification gives you the skills to progress to a PhD.

  • Level

  • Postgraduate, NZQF Level 8
  • Campus

  • Manawatū
  • Distance learning

  • Available
  • International

  • Available for international students studying in NZ

Massey University’s Bachelor of Science with Honours with a major in geography is a prestigious qualification. It is ideal if you are interested in progressing to further, in-depth research. This postgraduate qualification will also give you a career advantage.

This qualification will give you the knowledge and skills to understand and help solve some of the world’s most important environmental issues like:

  • flooding
  • coastal erosion
  • sea level change
  • landslide hazards
  • environmental change.

Gain expertise in an area of your choice

The physical geography team at Massey research and have expertise in fluvial processes, coastal processes, slope processes, palynology, biogeography, palaeoecology and river solutions. During the course of your studies you can choose to further your knowledge and apply your learning on an exciting research project like:

  • monitoring active landslides in glaciated valleys
  • age estimation of ancient glaciated rockslides
  • refining understanding of marine terrace development
  • reconstructing the evolution of estuaries and coastal environments
  • statistical analyses of earthquake-induced landslides
  • 3D soil mapping
  • pollen-based vegetation and climate reconstructions
  • applications of automated palynology systems
  • mapping floodplain geomorphology
  • flood series extension.

Geography options

The Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Geography) may comprise a selection of courses from across both physical and human geography.

However, normally students taking this programme will focus on physical geography and it is this experience that is described in these pages. You should also consult the Master of Arts (Geography) programme pages for a description of the equivalent experience in human geography.

Careers and further study

Careers

Setting you apart

An honours degree is a sign of your excellence and in-depth understanding of the field of geography. The Bachelor of Science with Honours will give you a head start on other potential employees with undergraduate degrees.

You will graduate with the skills that could see you in roles like land manager, working in catchment teams, in consulting and engaging in further research.

A step into further study

The honours programme also gives you the research and analytical skills you need to progress into further high-level research/study, such as at a PhD level.

Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates, found that in New Zealand:

  • young master’s graduates earn more than one and a half times more than the national median (five years after study)
  • earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed
  • five years after completion, the median earnings of young master’s graduates are 15% higher than for those with a bachelor’s degree.

Entry requirements

University admission

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Programme admission

Required

To enter the Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Geography) you will have been awarded or qualified for a:

  • a Bachelor of Science degree, or close equivalent, with a major in Geography, with a minimum B+ in majoring courses 300-level courses, or
  • a bachelor’s degree, followed by a Graduate Diploma in Science and Technology in Geography, or close equivalent, with a minimum B+ average in the majoring 300-level courses.

You will need to provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

English language requirements

To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

If you do not have the entry requirements

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and programmes that may help.

Courses and planning

Courses for this specialisation

Compulsory course

145799 Research Report (30) 30

At least 60 credits from (At least 60 credits from)

At least 60 credits from
145730 Applied Coastal Geomorphology 15
145731 Applied Fluvial Geomorphology 15
145732 Landslide Investigation and Management 15
145734 Paleoecology, Palynology and Biogeography 15
145735 Detecting Geomorphic Change 15
145736 Advanced Physical Geography Techniques 15
233706 Environmental Geographical Information Systems 30
233707 Environmental Remote Sensing 30
233721 Global Climate Change 15

Subject courses

145707 Economic Geography 30
145710 Consumption and Place 30
145711 Foundations in Human Geography 30
145712 Frontiers in Human Geography 30

Planning your programme

Planning overview

If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications.  If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit. 

Fees and scholarships

Fees and finance

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

If you already know which courses you are going to take, you can use our fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students will find their National Student Number on their student homepage.


A good fit if you:

  • enjoy and are committed to fieldwork and practical investigations.
  • are interested in going on to more in-depth research, such as a PhD
  • have a willingness to take responsibility for learning.

Meet our lecturers

Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.

Regulations

Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.

Postgraduate regulations

General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.

Regulations for this programme

Applying and enrolling

Applying for the programme

Check you are ready

If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.

Choose your programme and click on Apply now

You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.

Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.

Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place

You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.

Enrolling in courses

You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.

When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:

  • prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
  • corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
  • restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
  • location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.

Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.

More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.

You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!

If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.

What are courses and credits?

What are courses and credits?

Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).

You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.

Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.

There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.

  • See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
  • Courses search

Understanding course numbers

The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.

The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:

  • sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
  • undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
  • as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study.
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may be no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships