Faculty of Science - Leading creativity and innovation in the sciences

Undergraduate major in Ecology

Subject description


Ecology is the study of the distribution and abundance of life and the interactions between organisms and their environment.

The BSc specialising in Ecology brings together material from a number of different areas including Biological Science, Environmental Science, Geography and Marine Science.

In the first and second year of this interdisciplinary programme you will focus on core ecology, environmental science, environmental management and statistics courses.

In your third year you can branch off into one of the following study options:

  • Conservation Ecology and Biosecurity
  • Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour
  • Marine and Coastal Ecology or
  • Quantitative Ecology and Modelling

Studying ecology at the University of Auckland involves field trips to various North Island locations to collect data and/or carry out research-based projects. 


Career opportunities

Graduates of the BSc in Ecology will possess:

  • A mastery of the broad conceptual, theoretical and philosophical elements of ecology
  • An understanding and appreciation of the methodologies involved and the current issues and debates in the field of ecology
  • Skills in critical analysis, problem solving and independent judgement
  • Effective written and oral communication skills


Bachelor of Science (BSc) - Ecology major

All students must take the following core courses at stages I and II:

Taking a suitable range of these courses will allow you to branch off into one of the following stage III study options (click for more course information):

Plan your degree with our Ecology planner.


Career opportunities

In practice, ecological principles and methods are fundamental to the management of resources, including the utilisation and conservation of species and ecosystems. This degree provides you with a qualification that certifies you have field, laboratory and analytical skills required by many organisations and companies in New Zealand and overseas. Often graduates further specialise with an MSc or PhD depending on their career goals.

Potential careers include:


Help and advice

For further information, refer to the Ecology Undergraduate Handbook or contact:

Science Student Centre
Room G20, Ground Floor
Building 301 (Science Centre)
23 Symonds Street
Phone: + 64 9 373 7599
Email: scifac@auckland.ac.nz


Further information