Marine Science


Marine biologists study the behaviour, biochemistry, ecology and physiology of organisms that live in the oceans. These organisms include the smallest phytoplankton; invertebrates, such as molluscs and starfish; and vertebrates, such as fish, marine birds and mammals. With over 16,000 km of coastline, and the fourth largest exclusive economic zone in the world, an understanding of the marine environment is crucial to all New Zealanders.

Areas of study

Marine Science is centred on the Leigh Marine Laboratory. This laboratory offers unique opportunities in marine and environmental research. Facilities include a new 14m research vessel, several smaller boats, excellent diving facilities, a flow-through seawater system for tank experiments, onsite accommodation for students and visitors, a library and access to the University’s on-line catalogue, aquaculture facilities, a meteorological station, and well-equipped laboratories.

You can study Marine Science in the following programmes:

What you will learn

Marine Science is the comprehensive and integrated study of physical, geochemical and biological processes in the oceans, which are all interconnected at some level. The specialisation aims to give you a thorough grounding in a discipline together with an appreciation of the approaches and skills required in modern marine science.

Career opportunities

New Zealand has an internationally recognised tradition of marine research and training, and there is an on-going need for well-trained marine scientists in a range of disciplines within New Zealand. Our graduates have been employed in a very diverse range of fields such as: marine biology, oceanography, fisheries science management, ecotourism, teaching, natural history television production, and environmental consultancy.

More information

Please view Marine Science.