Faculty of Science - Leading creativity and innovation in the sciences

Undergraduate major in Marine Science

Subject description


Marine Science is an interdisciplinary/multi-disciplinary endeavour encompassing the physical, biological and some social and economic dimensions of the marine environment.

New Zealand occupies a strategic position in the Southwest Pacific, with a large Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of about 4 million km² and the potential for an even larger Legal Continental Shelf (LCS). A major challenge facing New Zealand in the 21st century is to continue to advance the science and policy base necessary to provide for development and sustainable management of this vast marine realm. New Zealand has an internationally recognised tradition of marine research and training, and there will clearly be an ongoing need for well-trained marine scientists in a range of disciplines within New Zealand.

Centered at the Institute of Marine Science (IMS), Marine Science is a Faculty wide programme involving many of the other science disciplines.



Bachelor of Science (BSc) - Marine Science major

Marine Science is designed to be taken in conjunction with another science subject major. Other subject choices could include Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Sciences, Geography, Mathematics, Physics, or Statistics. 

All majors must include:

Plan your degree with our Marine Science planner


Career opportunities

The number of jobs in Marine Science is increasing steadily due to economic, social and legislative factors. Marine Science graduates find employment in a wide range of areas.

  • Research organisations - Crown Research Institutes such as NIWA and the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences
  • Universities - University of Auckland graduates are prominent as staff members at a number of New Zealand and Australian universities, including Otago, Waikato, AUT, James Cook University, University of Tasmania
  • Private Sector - for example fisheries and aquaculture: Sanfords, Biomarine; Environmental Consultants: Kingett Mitchell, Woodward-Clyde; Education: Wild South Television etc
  • Public Sector - local territorial authorities, city and regional councils, MAF fisheries, Ministry for the Environment, Department of Conservation

Help and advice

For further information, refer to the Marine Science Undergraduate Handbook. You can also contact:

Neill Herbert
+64 9 373 7599 ext 83604
Email: n.herbert@auckland.ac.nz

Major Coordinator
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 83600
Email: ugadvice-marine@auckland.ac.nz


Further information