A genetics degree will set you on a path to achieving great things for society: in agriculture, bio-diversity, conservation, health, and even in law and technology. You cannot imagine the future without thinking about genetics.
'“Where the love of man is, there is also the love of healing” - this quote above the Pathology Building's entrance really inspires me, as it relates directly to my research' - Aarthi Rajesh, Bsc Genetics (Hons), PhD Student, explorer of the genes involved in the healing of wounds.
If you want to join the future of genetics, there is no better place in New Zealand to study than the University of Otago.
Otago geneticists are discovering the genetic triggers of rare diseases, restoring native wildlife populations, discovering the secrets of ancient history, and finding ways to use the immense data that we gain from genomic exploration. We can get you there too!
A genetics degree from the University of Otago gives you possibilities as large as life itself, thanks to the matchless expertise and networks of Otago's fantastic teachers and researchers. Our genetics teaching programme provides a great foundation to launch you into a meaningful career in this exciting field.
Your origin story awaits
A Genetics Degree from the University of Otago gives you knowledge and skills that could take you beyond today's horizons. You need not look far for inspiration. One of the world's most influential geneticists began his story as an undergraduate at Otago: Allan Wilson. He went on to develop the ground breaking theory that all humans descend from one woman who lived in Africa 10,000 generations ago, as well as the influential theory of the molecular clock.
Allan Wilson's work has inspired generations and today the University of Otago has an impressive number of genetic researchers at the global forefront of their field. Many of them teach and contribute to Otago's Genetics Teaching Programme. Find out more about this research by reading and watching our genetics stories:
- Read about our current and former students' exciting journeys into genetics and the amazing genetics research going on at the University of Otago today.
- Watch the short film, Seven Faces of Genetics, to learn about the diverse and cutting edge genetics research of Otago's academics.
Launch into a high impact career
A genetics degree from the University of Otago opens doors to high impact and global careers.
The sectors requiring genetics graduates are only expanding: you could be a researcher, lab technician, innovator, genetic counsellor, bio-science marketer, forensic scientist, agricultural consultant, museum professional, science writer or journalist, policy advisor, environmental worker, teacher, patent specialist, and more.
Genetics graduates can bring their knowledge and lab skills to research environments in academia, institutes and business, or go on to postgraduate study to enhance their career opportunities. Research employers in New Zealand include Crown Research Institutes (CRIs), Universities, and biotech businesses in the agriculture, medical and other fields.
A BSc or a BSc(Honours) in Genetics can carry you into a research technician or an assistant research fellow position in a CRI laboratory. CRIs that employ Genetics graduates include AgResearch, Environmental Science & Research (ESR), Plant and Food Research, Scion, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and Landcare.
Many PhD graduates go on to become postdoctoral research scientists and with further experience, scientists who manage their own research groups.
Hospitals and health organisations offer varied opportunities for Genetics graduates, such as a diagnostic technician in cytogenetics or molecular lab, or as an embryologist in a fertility clinic.
Rapid advancements in genetics and its contribution to society means that government departments (or non-government organizations) also need genetics graduates - for example to develop policy or manage and assess research applications.
Government departments and Crown entities that might employ Genetics graduates include Department of Conservation (DoC), Ministry of Fisheries (MoF), Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (including Biosecurity NZ), Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA), Ministry for the Environment (MfE), Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST) and Ministry for Research, Science and Technology (MoRST).
With a genetics degree you can offer these organisations the knowledge and skills to help them solve new problems and make life better for people and the environment - making for an exciting career right from the start. Interested?