Undergraduate study in Earth Sciences

What can you study in Earth Sciences?

You can study Earth Sciences as a major in the Bachelor of Science (BSc).

Courses in the Earth Sciences major cover some of the following topics:

  • Earth’s origin and evolution
  • Earth’s surface and subsurface processes
  • Sustainable resource exploration
  • Past life, climates and environments
  • Plate tectonics
  • Engineering geology

Studying a Bachelor of Science majoring in Earth Sciences

The Earth Sciences major explores the processes that have shaped Earth, from its deepest interior to its surface, and into neighbouring space. It investigates the complexity and interactions of Earth’s systems, and addresses the impact of natural processes on society, and vice versa.

As part of your Earth Sciences major you’ll complete the Earth Sciences capstone course, EARTHSCI 399 – where you will carry out research or practice in Earth Sciences using the skills and knowledge you’ve gained throughout your studies.

From 2019 you can choose to keep your Earth Sciences major general, or you can follow either the Climate pathway, the Earth Surface Processes pathway, or the Geology pathway, in order to focus your studies further.

  • Climate: Explore the atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial interactions that create our climate. Investigate the evolution of climate over time.
  • Earth Surface Processes: Examine how coasts, rivers and hillslopes are shaped by surface processes and influenced by the underlying geology.
  • Geology: Explore the solid Earth and the processes that have shaped its evolution, spanning the early solar system and origins of life, plate tectonics, volcanoes, earthquakes and natural resources.

Structuring your programme in Earth Sciences

If you began your degree prior to 2019 we recommend you seek advice to make sure you are taking the correct courses.

Contact: studentinfo@auckland.ac.nz

Where can undergraduate study in Earth Sciences take you?

Earth Science graduates are in demand globally, mainly as geologists. From meeting challenges associated with sustaining energy supplies and new infrastructure development, to developing low-carbon economies, and understanding and mitigating against changing climates, there are many exciting opportunities available.

Earth Science graduates have a unique breadth of understanding across both the geology and physical geography disciplines. They are therefore suited to broad range of careers.

Where our Earth Science graduates work

  • Natural hazards monitoring, management and mitigation
  • Land development, engineering geological ground investigations
  • Environmental management
  • Sustainable mineral exploration and extraction
  • Groundwater management

Further study options

Help and advice

Student Hubs

Visit your hubs for help and advice on any aspect of your studies and life at University.

The Student Hubs are your physical gateway to Waipapa Taumata Rau | the University of Auckland.

The Student Hubs services are available seven days a week at the City, Grafton, Epsom and Tai Tonga campuses and six days a week at Tai Tokerau, with friendly staff available to provide you with advice on any aspect of your studies and life at the University.

Find out more.