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Programme list > Bachelor of Science > Environmental Science

Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science)

Overview

Turn your interest in the environment into a career

Studying environmental science at Massey will give you the tools and understanding needed to help create a sustainable path for New Zealand and the world.

  • Level

  • Undergraduate, NZQF Level 7
  • Campus

  • Manawatū
  • Distance learning

  • Available
  • International

  • Available for international students studying in NZ

Environmental science focuses on the connections between humans and their natural environments.

Managing and mitigating human impacts on the environment is crucial for New Zealand and the world. Our reputation depends on us becoming truly clean and green despite the increased pressure on the environment.

Join one of New Zealand’s leading universities in the study of environmental impacts.

Improve our planet

The Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science) will see you become involved in Massey’s aims to develop a sustainable path for the future. We are looking to solve real-world issues such as managing natural resources and environmental impacts.

The programme involves lab work and field trips to water treatment plants and a range of managed and mismanaged environments across the North Island. You’ll explore processes and investigate interactions between pollutants, soils, water quality and more. From there, you can help to address issues in the food sector, by combining environmental science with a major in agriculture, horticulture, geography or soil science.

To take your studies overseas, you can progress into our postgraduate programme in environmental management, where you could undertake research all over the world.

Topics

Some of the topics taught in environmental science courses include:

  • New Zealand environmental issues
  • global environmental issues
  • ecology and conservation
  • environmental science field work.

Taught by the experts

Our researchers and teachers have an excellent reputation and are widely published internationally. You will be taught by experts in physical geography, soil biology, chemistry, freshwater management, ecological economics, environmental technology, and in sociology. Integrating these diverse fields is what an environmental scientist does - we’ll show you how.

Careers and further study

Careers

There are a number of paths open to graduates with a BSc in Environmental Science who want to turn their interest in the environment into a career. Potential employers both in New Zealand and overseas include central government, regional, district and city councils, private sector consultants, and entrepreneurs. You may also find employment in one of these areas:

  • environmental planning and policy
  • coastal management
  • landscape management
  • soil and water
  • agriculture and forestry
  • geographic information systems
  • tourism and recreation
  • development
  • national parks
  • renewable energy
  • biodiversity management.

A pass with good grades can lead to postgraduate studies, then to a career in research or tertiary teaching.

Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication, The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates showed that those who complete a qualification in a science, agriculture, technology, computer science, engineering or mathematics field of study have high relative earnings after they complete their study compared to the national median. Earnings can be substantially more than other graduates.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

Entry requirements

University admission

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

Programme admission

Required

There are no specific entry requirements for this programme, outside of university admission regulations.

However, there is some expected background knowledge.

Expected high school preparation

Knowledge gained in the following NCEA subjects (or the equivalent in Cambridge International Examinations, International Baccalaureate, or similar) will give you the expected background knowledge to take this major.

  • At least 16 credits in NCEA Level 2 Mathematics from the following list of standards: 91256, 91257, 91258, 91259, 91260, 91261, 91262, 91269.
  • At least 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 Chemistry.
  • NCEA Level 3 Biology.
  • NCEA Level 3 Physics.

If it’s some time since you studied mathematics at school you can find out if you have the required background by taking this maths quiz.

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

Pathway tool

If you are unsure whether you have the right background/subjects to study this programme, our tool will help you to figure out what you might need to do before starting your qualification.

Find your pathway

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.

Summer School

If you need to do a course before you start your programme, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Courses and planning

Courses for this specialisation

Compulsory courses

121210 Environmental Issues 15
121213 Land and Water Science 15
121214 Landscape and Human Ecology 15
121310 Environmental Solutions 15
121313 Applied River Management 15
188363 Applied Environmental Management 15
233214 GIS and Spatial Statistics 15
233314 Remote Sensing and Earth Observation 15

Planning your programme

Planning overview

If you study full-time, in your first year, you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits.

If you wish to study over two semesters, you should aim for 60 credits per semester. You may be able to take some courses at summer school. Make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study.

The first year structure is designed to provide you with a broad knowledge and skill set which will equip you to go on to more advanced courses in the second and third years.

Environmental Science has similar first year core courses to several other majors available in the Bachelor of Science, allowing students to change their major before their second year. Changing your major may incur an increase in completion time.

Manawatū

100-level courses

Take these in any order:

  • 247.113 Science and Sustainability for Science
  • 161.111 Applied Statistics or 161.122 Statistics
  • 124.103 Biophysical Principles or 160.101 Calculus or 160.102 Algebra or 160.104 Introductory Mathematics for Science or 160.105 Methods of Mathematics
  • 196.101 Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour
  • 233.105 Our Dynamic Earth.

Take these in the order shown:

  • 123.103 Chemistry for Modern Sciences or 123.104 Chemistry for Biological Systems
  • 189.151 Principles of Soil Science.

Plus choose one 100 level elective course. This can be from a subject area other than Science.

Students must pass at least 90 credits from the BSc Schedule A, including any compulsory courses, in their first 120 credits of study towards the Bachelor of Science.

200-level courses in the major

Take all four:

  • 121.210 Environmental Issues
  • 121.213 Land and Water Science
  • 121.214 Landscape and Human Ecology
  • 233.214 GIS and Spatial Statistics.
300-level courses in the major

Take all four:

  • 121.313 Applied River Science
  • 188.363 Environmental Management
  • 121.310 Environmental Solutions
  • 233.314 Remote Sensing and Earth Observation.

When choosing electives, ensure you meet the BSc regulations by having at least 240 credits from the BSc schedule of courses, at least 75 credits at 300 level, and no more than 165 credits at 100 level.

For Pre-2020 BSc Programme Transition Regulations refer to Schedule C in the BSc Regulations.

Distance

100-level courses

Take these in any order:

  • 247.113 Science and Sustainability for Science
  • 161.111 Applied Statistics or 161.122 Statistics
  • 124.103 Biophysical Principles or 160.101 Calculus or 160.102 Algebra or 160.104 Introductory Mathematics for Science or 160.105 Methods of Mathematics
  • 196.101 Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour
  • 233.105 Our Dynamic Earth.

Take these in the order shown:

  • 123.103 Chemistry for Modern Sciences
  • 189.151 Principles of Soil Science.

Plus choose one 100 level elective course. This can be from a subject area other than Science.

Students must pass at least 90 credits from the BSc Schedule A, including any compulsory courses, in their first 120 credits of study towards the Bachelor of Science.

200-level courses in the major

Take all four:

  • 121.210 Environmental Issues
  • 121.213 Land and Water Science
  • 121.214 Landscape and Human Ecology
  • 233.214 GIS and Spatial Statistics.
300-level courses in the major

Take all four:

  • 121.313 Applied River Science
  • 188.363 Environmental Management
  • 121.310 Environmental Solutions
  • 233.314 Remote Sensing and Earth Observation.

Not sure of your major yet?

You can change to any BSc major at the end of your first year. Moving from the first year of Environmental Science to one of the majors below is particularly simple, as the required first year courses are similar. By choosing your courses and electives carefully to cover both majors you could easily swap over at the end of first year.

  • Chemistry (include 123.105; and 160.101 or 160.102 or 160.105 in your first year)
  • Earth Science (include 160.101 or 160.102 or 160.105 in your first year)
  • Ecology (include 199.103 and 162.101 in your first year)
  • International Agriculture (include 120.101 or 119.120 or 117.155 in your first year)
  • Plant Science (include 120.101 and 162.101 in your first year)
  • Zoology (include 199.103 and 162.101 in your first year).

Changing your major may incur an increase in completion time.

Minors

Completing a minor is optional. Minors increase the breadth of your degree. They give you extra knowledge, attributes and capabilities.

A minor must be in a different subject from your major.

A Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science) with a minor

You may choose a minor from any university undergraduate degree that has recognised minors. If the minor is from another undergraduate degree, the regulations of that programme will apply.

Some BSc minors that are particularly compatible with Environmental Science include those shown below. Timetabling will prioritise these combinations to minimise clashes.

  • Earth Science.
An Environmental Science minor (for students who are studying a different degree)

If you are not studying a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science) and wish to complete an Environmental Science minor see the BSc regulations for the requirements.  

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:

  • have a passion for the environment
  • enjoy sciences, especially biology, and have an interest in geography
  • want to try to solve environmental problems.

Meet our students

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking - Environmental Sciences

Massey University’s environmental sciences programme is ranked in the top 200 in the world by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).


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.

Undergraduate programmes

General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate 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

About electives

Electives are courses that are not compulsory. Certain guidelines are usually provided on courses you may take. Elective courses contribute to the programme, but not to your major or specialisation.

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. You can go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

There is a webpage with information on changes that took place in 2020, which may affect you if you are a current BSc student.

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