Without understanding Earth’s past and present, you can’t begin to plan for Earth’s future.
Many of the world’s critical future challenges lie in the realm of geology: climate change, water quality, sustainability and resources, natural hazards, renewable energy, and infrastructure.
Geology – the study of the Earth and planets – is more relevant today than ever before. If you are passionate about making a difference in an ever- changing society and environment, and want to have adventures that will last a lifetime, geology is for you.
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Why study Geology?
Geology provides the foundations to understand the future of society: from our food and water, buildings and clothing, through to the very land on which we stand. If you are motivated by global challenges such as climate change, sustainability, natural hazards, energy and infrastructure, studying Geology will give you the skill-set required to make a difference in the world.
The solutions to today’s great challenges can be solved by studying the world around us. Geologists explore the great outdoors to learn how Earth formed and is continuously changing.
Be part of a dynamic and friendly department that commits to excellence in teaching and research and welcomes you as part of the community.
A degree in Geology unlocks a wealth of possibilities. The data-handling, problem- solving, and teamwork skills that you learn in Geology provide an opportunity to contribute to:
- Earth processes and history
- Earth resources
- planetary and Space Sciences
- palaeontology and the history of life
- oceanography and Antarctic research
- natural hazard assessment
- geospatial analysis
- environmental protection and sustainability
- renewable energy
- teaching and mentoring
- science policy and advocacy
Most of all you need enthusiasm, motivation and curiosity. First-year papers provide a broad foundation and assume no previous study of Geology. Fundamental sciences are an integral part of Geology, and it will be beneficial if you have some background in sciences subjects from secondary school.
What will I learn?
A Geology degree will open your eyes to the dynamic processes that occur on Earth and other planets.
You will learn how to read and interpret the history of Earth and its lifeforms by studying rocks, minerals, magma, fossils, ice and water.
You will learn how Earth’s interior interacts with the oceans and atmosphere to regulate global change, and you will become a master of critical observation and interpretation at molecular to plate tectonic scales.
How will I learn?
Geology is a hands-on science. Our world-renowned fieldwork and laboratory programmes give you frequent opportunities to work closely with staff, and to put theory into practice. We support varied teaching and learning styles. Since all our staff are active researchers, you will learn about cutting-edge science. Practical work involves both individual projects and small-group studies.
Can I combine my Geology degree with other subjects?
Yes! Geology is a very broad discipline and you can easily combine it with other interests – Anthropology, Botany, Chemistry, Business, Computing, Ecology, Geography, Law, Marine Science, Mathematics, Physics, Surveying and Zoology. Contact our friendly course advisers for help or information.
What about further study?
We offer postgraduate opportunities that are tailored to your interests at honours, master’s and PhD level.
Our graduates leave with a wide range of technical and generic skills that make them competitive for employment and advanced study at institutions around the world.
Explore your study options further. Refer to enrolment information found on the following qualification pages.
- Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc)
- Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc)
- Bachelor of Science (BSc)
- Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons))
- Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad)
- Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci)
- Master of Science (MSc) (also available in Geophysics)
Bachelor of Science (BSc) majoring in Geology
EAOS 111 Earth and Ocean Science
GEOL 112 Dynamic Earth: A New Zealand Perspective
18 points from BIOL, BTNY, CELS, CHEM, ECOL, or PHSI papers
GEOL 251 Minerals and Rocks
GEOL 252 Field Studies and New Zealand Geology
One of GEOL 221, GEOL 261, GEOL 262, GEOL 263, GEOL 264, GEOL 265, GEOL 272, GEOL 273, GEOL 274, GEOL 275, GEOL 276, EMAN 204, GEOG 282, GEOG 283, GEOG 284, GEOG 288, GEOG 289, GEOG 298, MARI 201, PHSI 243, SURV 208
GEOL 344 Advanced Field Studies
GEOL 353 Tectonics
126 further points; must include 18 points at 200-level or above.
Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Science
Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons)) in Geology
Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) in Geology
Master of Science (MSc) in Geology
|Papers and Thesis|
Minor subject requirements
Geology as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BAppSc, BCom, BHealSc, BACom, BASc or BComSc degree
Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree
Note: Students should check the prerequisites for 200- and 300-level papers.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a selection of on-campus papers will be made available via distance and online learning for eligible students.
Find out which papers are available and how to apply on our COVID-19 website
|Paper code||Year||Title||Points||Teaching period|
|EAOS121||2023||Special Topic||18 points||Not offered in 2023|
|GEOL112||2023||Dynamic Earth: A New Zealand Perspective||18 points||Semester 2|
|GEOL221||2023||Special Topic||18 points||Not offered in 2023|
|GEOL251||2023||Minerals and Rocks||18 points||Semester 1|
|GEOL252||2023||Field Studies and NZ Geology||18 points||Semester 1|
|GEOL261||2023||Geophysics||18 points||Not offered, expected to be offered in 2024|
|GEOL262||2023||Geochemistry||18 points||Not offered, expected to be offered in 2024|
|GEOL263||2023||Paleoenvironments and Basin Evolution||18 points||Not offered, expected to be offered in 2024|
|GEOL264||2023||Magmas and Volcanoes of Zealandia||18 points||Not offered, expected to be offered in 2024|
|GEOL265||2023||Natural Hazards of NZ and Beyond||18 points||Not offered, expected to be offered in 2024|
|GEOL272||2023||Evolution of New Zealand Biota||18 points||Semester 1|
|GEOL273||2023||Modern and Ancient Sedimentary Systems||18 points||Semester 2|
|GEOL274||2023||Metamorphism, Mineralisation, Tectonics||18 points||Semester 2|
|GEOL275||2023||Rock Deformation||18 points||Semester 2|
|GEOL276||2023||Geological Resources and Sustainability||18 points||Semester 1|
|GEOL302||2023||Independent Project||18 points||Full Year|
|GEOL304||2023||Accelerated Independent Project||18 points||Semester 1, Semester 2|
|GEOL321||2023||Special Topic||18 points||Not offered in 2023|
|GEOL341||2023||Special Topic||18 points||Not offered in 2023|
|GEOL344||2023||Advanced Field Studies||18 points||Semester 1|
|GEOL353||2023||Earth Evolution and Plate Tectonics||18 points||Semester 1|
|GEOL361||2023||Geophysics||18 points||Not offered, expected to be offered in 2024|
|GEOL362||2023||Geochemistry||18 points||Not offered, expected to be offered in 2024|
|GEOL363||2023||Paleoenvironments and Basin Evolution||18 points||Not offered, expected to be offered in 2024|
|GEOL364||2023||Magmas and Volcanoes of Zealandia||18 points||Not offered, expected to be offered in 2024|
|GEOL365||2023||Natural Hazards of NZ and Beyond||18 points||Not offered, expected to be offered in 2024|
|GEOL372||2023||Evolution of New Zealand Biota||18 points||Semester 1|
|GEOL373||2023||Modern and Ancient Sedimentary Systems||18 points||Semester 2|
|GEOL374||2023||Metamorphism, Mineralisation, Tectonics||18 points||Semester 2|
|GEOL375||2023||Rock Deformation||18 points||Semester 2|
|GEOL376||2023||Geological Resources and Sustainability||18 points||Semester 1|
|GEOL401||2023||Current Topics and Advanced Methods in Geoscience||20 points||Full Year|
|GEOL402||2023||Advanced Research Methods in Geoscience 1||10 points||Semester 2|
|GEOL403||2023||Advanced Research Methods in Geoscience 2||10 points||Semester 1|
|GEOL450||2023||Special Topic 1||10 points||Not offered in 2023|
|GEOL451||2023||Special Topic 2||10 points||Not offered in 2023|
|GEOL461||2023||Advanced Topics in Geophysics 1||10 points||Semester 1|
|GEOL462||2023||Advanced Topics in Geochemistry||10 points||Semester 1|
|GEOL463||2023||Advanced Topics in Paleobiology and Evolution||10 points||Semester 1|
|GEOL464||2023||Advanced Topics in Igneous Processes||10 points||Semester 1|
|GEOL465||2023||Advanced Topics in Structural Geology||10 points||Semester 1|
|GEOL471||2023||Advanced Topics in Geophysics 2||10 points||Semester 2|
|GEOL472||2023||Advanced Topics in Environmental Geochemistry||10 points||Semester 2|
|GEOL473||2023||Advanced Topics in Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology||10 points||Semester 2|
|GEOL474||2023||Advanced Topics in Metamorphism and Mineralisation||10 points||Semester 2|
|GEOL475||2023||Advanced Topics in Rock Deformation||10 points||Semester 2|
|GEOL480||2023||Research Project||40 points||Full Year, 1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period|
|GEOL490||2023||Dissertation||60 points||Full Year, 1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period|
|GEOL495||2023||Master's Thesis Preparation||40 points||Full Year, 1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period|
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Key information for future students
Department of Geology