Faculty of Science - Leading creativity and innovation in the sciences

Geography - Postgraduate options

Subject description


The study of Geography is exciting, challenging and relevant to today's world. Geographers study the natural processes of the physical environment, as well as the activities and consequences of humans in this environment. Some geographers specialise in coastal, glacial or fluvial processes and landforms, climatology, biogeography, hydrology or environmental change. Others study regional economics, population change, the problems of rural or urban areas, or the experience of particular groups such as Maori. Still others, specialising in spatial analysis, bring the power of geographic information science to bear on a wide range of research problems. Increasingly, these varied interests are coming together in the study of environmental problems and Geographers lead the way in resource management.


By studying geography at the School of Environment you will learn:

  • Effective research techniques through field work
  • Demographic and economic analysis
  • Physical landscape interpretation and landform reconstruction
  • Cultural landscape interpretation
  • Weather, wave, tide and river monitoring and analysis
  • GPS field mapping of landforms and air photo analysis
  • Mapping and analysing information using GIS
  • Cartography and geo-visualisation
  • Understanding of cultural ideas about the environment
  • Laboratory analysis of soils and sediments
  • Spatial data analysis
  • Theory relevant to changing social organisations and cities, and current issues

Postgraduate Geography offers the opportunity for students to extend their studies and engage in specialized research. Our teaching builds upon our research in areas such as physical and biological systems, resource management, economic and social structures, spatial organization, cultural landscapes and geographical information science.


Structure and prerequisites

Bachelor of Science (Honours) (BSc(Hons)) - Geography

The prerequisite is a major in Geography or Earth Sciences and at least 90 points at Stage III with at least 45 points at Stage III in Geography.



Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) - Geography

The prerequisite is a major in Geography or Earth Sciences with 45 points at Stage III in Geography.



Master of Science (MSc) - Geography

The prerequisite is a BSc(Hons) or PGDipSci in Geography.

Requirements: Research Masters

  • 120 points: GEOG 796 MastersThesis in Geography

Career opportunities

A postgraduate degree in Geography can be an important step towards a successful and rewarding career. Graduate training provides for an advanced level of knowledge, as well as contributing to the development of skills that are sought by employers. For some career paths, a graduate degree is much more than an advantage - it is a necessity. A Masters degree and other postgraduate qualifications in geography give people a strong competitive edge in the employment market, not just by virtue of the qualification, but also because of the high reputations granted by The University of Auckland.

Students are given the opportunity to extend their understanding of the human and natural environments, establishing the foundation for interesting careers in such areas as:

  • Resource management
  • Hydrology and water resources
  • Coastal management
  • Climatology
  • Social, economic and environmental research
  • Health research
  • Business management
  • Geographic information studies
  • Market research
  • Education
  • Policy analysis
  • Community advocacy

Help and advice

For further information, please refer to the Geography Postgraduate Handbook or contact:

Ward Friesen
Postgraduate Adviser for Geography
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 88612
Bldg 302, Level 4, Room 475
Email: w.friesen@auckland.ac.nz