Science student stories

Matt Illing, Advanced Science

Matt is studying for his Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) in Environmental Change. He’s also on the Science Scholars programme.

Photo of Matt Illing

I saw the breadth of School of Environment courses here at Auckland and the facilities available. It would have been a mistake to go anywhere else!

A lot of freedom

“I’ve always been passionate about the science of our changing climate. When I was deciding what to study, I found that it was impossible to pick only one or two majors. Studying Environmental Change means that I can take my pick of courses from Geography, Earth Sciences, Environmental Science, Marine Science and more! This freedom really drew me to the programme.”

Why Auckland?

“The University of Auckland is the only university that offers the unique Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) and all its perks. It’s also the best university in New Zealand for Geography and the Environmental Sciences. I saw the breadth of School of Environment courses here at Auckland and the facilities available. It would have been a mistake to go anywhere else!”

My future

“My interests and motivation lie with Environmental Science, but the programme is equally appealing to students across the board. In fact there are 13 specialisations available.

“I’d like to continue through to postgraduate study. The programme really promotes this pathway. For instance, in your fourth year you get to collaborate and conduct research with an academic mentor. The Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) programme can lead straight onto PhD study, which is really appealing to me. I am really interested in studying climate change and its effects, past, present and future. I hope that one day I will be able to undertake research that will help humanity fight climate change.”

Renuka Mahadevan, Science

Renuka wrote this profile near the end of her time as an undergraduate Science student in 2018. She’s now studying to become a doctor through Auckland’s MBChB programme.

Photo of Renuka Mahadevan

I anticipate that my degree will give me the opportunity for further study in the field of exercise sciences, bioengineering or medicine.

“I was injured while playing sport at an elite level so I have a special interest in the causes, prevention and rehabilitation of sporting injury. There’s a comprehensive subject choice within the BSc programme, and my Exercise Sciences major includes many sub-disciplines that can be used to enhance both peak performance and health. I anticipate that my degree will give me the opportunity for further study in the field of exercise sciences, bioengineering or medicine.”

An expanding field

“The increasing focus on exercise for health makes it an expanding field with exciting research opportunities. It’s not only about improving athletic performance. We also explore how movement can improve the lives of people with conditions such as stroke and cardiometabolic diseases.
“I’ve developed a number of skills that will be valuable in any field, for example, critical review and analysis of information, problem solving, data collection, scientific writing and presentation. Also, my Summer Research Scholarship gave me a taste of practical research and some insight into what the life of an academic involves.”

A great learning community

“I like the department’s community feel, which makes it easy to get to know classmates and lecturers. The teaching staff are all very approachable and willing to help you succeed.”

Student disability services

“I have used Disability Services to facilitate my learning and succeed academically. To support students with impairments, they offer many services, such as special testing conditions and designated study rooms.”