Earth Sciences

Earth Sciences combines the geoscientific disciplines of geology and physical geography. Earth Science graduates examine how the Earth’s surface is shaped by natural and human processes, addressing the complex sustainability challenges that face our planet.

Subject overview

Earth Sciences is about understanding how geology and surface processes interact to create the complexity of the Earth system. A holistic understanding of Earth systems allows us to learn from the past, comprehend present-day processes, and influence a sustainable future and a circular economy.

The fundamental disciplines drawn from geology and physical geography include: the igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary origins of rocks and mineral-forming processes; volcanology, tectonics and structural deformation; engineering geology, geomorphology, surface processes, environmental change, climate and natural hazards; and the sustainable management of natural resources that are facilitating the global energy transition and “green” technology innovations.

We strongly emphasise skills development and the application of your knowledge in the real world. This is through practical learning in laboratories as well as fieldwork that includes site visits for field sampling and testing, as well as equipment installation and application.

You’ll gain an internationally accepted qualification, excellent research skills and the knowledge to work in many exciting fields. The Auckland region provides an impressive natural laboratory, and our array of field equipment and analytical facilities supports research activities on land, in the air, and over water.

Where can Earth Sciences take you?

Earth Science graduates are in demand globally. There are many exciting opportunities. For instance, you might help to meet challenges associated with sustaining energy supplies and new infrastructure development, contribute to low-carbon economic development, and mitigate climate change.

Earth Science graduates have a unique breadth of understanding across both geology and physical geography. Therefore they're suited to broad range of careers. These include roles as geologists and scientists within environmental management, land development, engineering geological ground investigations, natural hazards monitoring, management and mitigation, as well as sustainable mineral exploration and extraction, and groundwater management.

Earth Science graduates can build successful career pathways and become Chartered Geologists (CGeol) or Chartered Members of Engineering New Zealand (CMEngNZ) as Professional Engineering Geologists, for example.

Explore your study options in Earth Sciences