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Bachelor of Science (Ecology and Sustainability)

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Available for international students studying in NZ

Open up the world

Join one of New Zealand’s leading universities in the study of ecology and sustainability.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Science parent structure.

What is it like?

Ecology and sustainability focuses on the connections between organisms (including humans) and their natural environments.

Embracing the future

The world faces an urgent challenge to stop the negative effects of human impact on natural ecosystems and attain sustainability. It is crucial for New Zealand and the world for humans that we work out how to live good lives while maintaining the natural ecosystems that sustain all life.

Sustainable living for an improved planet

The Bachelor of Science (Ecology and Sustainability) will teach you how we could create sustainable path for the future. Massey University has a strong focus on understanding and working on solutions to real-world issues, so you’ll learn about things like protecting threatened species and fisheries, managing natural resources and reducing environmental impacts.

Practical labs and field trips are an important part of the programme. Through these you’ll explore processes and investigate interactions between humans and the environment. From there you can help to address issues in conservation biology, ecological restoration or environmental consultancy.

For example, a current international project involves students who are examining the impacts of non-native species on wildlife in the Galapagos Islands.

International expertise

Taught by leading experts in this field, you will take advantage of Massey’s expertise to help you master different areas related to this field. Our researchers and teachers have an excellent reputation. You will be taught by experts in ecology, conservation biology, biogeography and the environmental sciences. Solutions to the challenges of the modern world involve integrating these diverse fields– we’ll show you how!

What will I learn?

Some of the topics taught in the Ecology and Sustainability major include:

  • Conservation ecology
  • Sustainability science
  • Environmental science
  • Applied environmental science
  • Biodiversity and biogeography
  • Geographic information systems
  • Evolutionary biology


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Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates showed that those who complete a qualification in a science, agriculture, technology, computer science, engineering or mathematics field of study have high relative earnings after they complete their study compared to the national median. Earnings can be substantially more than other graduates.

A good fit if you:

  • Enjoy sciences, especially biology
  • Are interested in conservation and sustainability
  • Have a passion for the environment and nature


There are many paths for graduates of this programme to work with Department of Conservation or the Ministry for the Environment. There are also great opportunities for graduates in ecology and sustainability to work with researchers in the area of managed ecosystems.

The interactions among scientists interested in managed and natural ecosystems is a focus at Massey University. Many of our graduates go on to positions with central and local government or their agencies (such as regional and district councils), Crown Research Institutes, environmental or conservation organisations, school teaching, or technical and advisory work.

A postgraduate qualification in ecology and sustainability will allow you to approach many environmental research and management issues from a strong theoretical and practical base.

You might work in:

  • Environmental consulting
  • Environmental planning and policy
  • Ecological restoration
  • Conservation
  • Forestry
  • Geographic information systems
  • Biodiversity management
  • Bio-control
  • Renewable energy
  • Education
  • Working with an international conservation NGO
  • Lecturer
  • Technician

A pass with good grades can lead to postgraduate studies, then to a career in research or tertiary teaching.

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