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Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science)

Key facts

  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available via Distance Learning
  • Available for international students studying in NZ
  • Some distance courses contain compulsory contact workshops.

Turn your interest in the environment into a career

Studying environmental science at Massey will give you the tools and understanding needed to help create a sustainable path for New Zealand and the world.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Science parent structure.

What is it like?

Join one of New Zealand’s leading universities in the study of environmental impacts. You will be taught by experts in this field and will be able to take advantage of Massey’s expertise and teaching programme in many different areas related to this field, for example agricultural production.

Making the connection

Environmental science focuses on the connections between humans and their natural environments.

Managing and mitigating human impacts on the environment is crucial for New Zealand, and much of the world. Our reputation depends on us becoming truly clean and green despite the increased pressure on the environment.

Improve our planet

The Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science) will see you become involved in Massey’s aims to develop a sustainable path for the future by solving real-world issues such as managing natural resources and environmental impacts. Through lab work and field trips to water treatment plants and a range of managed and mismanaged environments across the North Island, you’ll explore processes and investigate interactions between pollutants, soils, water quality and more. From there you can help to address issues in the food sector, by combining environmental science with a major in agriculture, horticulture, geography or soil science.

To take your studies overseas, you can progress on into our postgraduate programme in environmental management. Students in this programme carry out research all over the world offering their knowledge in global contexts. For example, a current international project involves students who are examining environments at complex borders between countries in Africa.

Internationally recognised

Massey University’s programme is ranked in the top 200 university environmental sciences programmes in the world by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings.

Taught by the experts

Our researchers and teachers have an excellent reputation. They are widely published in peer-reviewed international scientific journals and are often asked for their expert knowledge. You will be taught by experts in physical geography, soil biology, chemistry, freshwater management, ecological economics, environmental technology, and in sociology. Integrating these diverse fields is what an environmental scientist does - we’ll show you how!


Some of the topics taught in environmental science courses include:

  • New Zealand environmental issues
  • Global environmental issues
  • Ecology and conservation
  • Environmental science field work

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.


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A good fit if you:

  • Have a passion for the environment
  • Enjoy sciences, especially biology
  • Have an interest in geography
  • Want to try to solve environmental problems
Ariana Blackwood
Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science)
Research Associate - Horizons Regional Council

“I’m living my dream of working in the outdoors and helping to protect and preserve nature for future generations. My study in environmental science has given me the knowledge and skills I need...”

I chose to study the Bachelor of Health science at Massey University because it gave me options for a variety of different majors.

Although studying takes a lot of work, my lecturers were always helpful, and I have found that a lot of what I learnt in my classes I use in my job every day.

I currently work at Horizons Regional Council as a Research Associate in water quality and biomonitoring. Every day I travel somewhere new to sample rivers, streams, lakes and beaches, with the occasional waste water treatment plant or point discharge source. I look at various water quality parameters from nutrients and turbidity to E.coli levels. I also assess periphyton (algae) coverage at sites and relate this back to the levels of nutrients in the river.

I find my job extremely rewarding knowing that all the data I collect can be used to make informed decisions on the current state of our environments. I also enjoy visiting the many beautiful places that are literally in the middle of nowhere where no one else but the local farmers pass by.


There are a number paths open to graduates with a BSc in Environmental Science who want to turn their interest in the environment into a career. Potential employers both in New Zealand and overseas include Central Government, Regional, District and City Councils, private sector consultants, and entrepreneurs. You may also find employment in one of these areas.

  • Environmental planning and policy
  • Coastal management
  • Landscape management
  • Soil and water
  • Agriculture and forestry
  • Geographic information systems
  • Tourism and recreation
  • Development
  • National parks
  • Renewable energy
  • Biodiversity management

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

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