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Science courses & programmes

Discover how the natural world works and gain the skills to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

Why choose New Zealand

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Why study science in New Zealand?

Studying science in New Zealand combines a first-class academic education with practical, hands-on learning that teaches you to ask questions and think critically.

While you’re studying abroad you may be learning in labs, research centres and field stations, from marine reserves to Scott Base in Antarctica. You’ll be taught by expert teachers, work in teams to research real-world problems, and gain globally-recognised qualifications.

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There’s no better place to discover the wonders of the natural world than New Zealand, with its wide open spaces and awe-inspiring landscapes.

New Zealand’s relaxed work/life balance gives you more time to explore the country during your overseas study experience. We have a friendly, inclusive and multicultural society, and are ranked the second most peaceful nation on Earth.

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Working while studying can be a good way to gain New Zealand work experience and help support you while you’re studying abroad.

Student visa holders may be able to work up to 20 hours per week and full-time during scheduled holidays, depending on their programme of study. Masters by research or PhD students may work full-time throughout their studies.

You can find out more about working while studying on NauMai NZ website.

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Science graduates from New Zealand gain globally-recognised qualifications and the ability to think critically and creatively about challenging issues – ideal skills for the modern workplace.

Science graduates are highly sought-after by employers, who value capability skills such as flexibility, teamwork and workplace-relevant English language abilities. Many science careers are on our skills shortages list, so you may be able to work here after graduating.

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Hear from international science students and graduates

Study pathway

Science qualifications range from certificates and diplomas through to a Bachelor of Science or a Master of Science. There are also many opportunities for postgraduate study.


Post graduate

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3
  • Year 4
  • Year 5
  • Year 6
Diploma in Science or Applied Science
A Diploma in Science or Applied Science is for students who want to gain knowledge of a specific area of science at undergraduate level.
Bachelor of Science
A Bachelor of Science, with or without Honours, is a flexible degree that allows you to gain general and specialised subject knowledge.
Graduate Diploma in Science
A Graduate Diploma in Science is available in a wide range of subjects to suit your area of interest.
Postgraduate Diploma in Science
A Postgraduate Diploma in Science is an opportunity to gain a postgraduate qualification in a specific subject area without carrying out a research-based degree. In some cases, this could also be the first year of a Master degree.
Master of Science
A Master of Science gives you an opportunity to carry out independent research in an area of interest.
A PhD is the highest tertiary honour. It involves writing a thesis - a major piece of research - over three to five years.

This is a generic pathway. Length of study may vary depending on how students choose to structure their degrees.

Jobs involving science include:

  • Marine biologists study plants and animals that live in the sea, and the relationship between them and their environment.
    Marine biologist
  • Food scientists investigate food, cooking and consumption.
    Food scientist
  • Environmental scientists study plants, animals and microorganisms, and give advice on reducing the harmful effects of human activity.
    Environmental scientist
  • Geologists study the structure and history of the Earth and earth processes.
  • Biotechnologists study living organisms such as animals, plants, fungi and viruses, and use this research to develop medical, industrial and agricultural products.

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