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Undergraduate study in Marine Science

Otago offers an ocean of opportunities for incorporating marine science into your science degree!

The Department of Marine Science currently offers three different undergraduate options, each of which is a different major (or minor) within the BSc, BAppSc or BASc. In addition, we are planning to add a new major in 2022, which would become available to students then. Which one you choose is based on what kind of Marine Science you think you want to do, and in what area you have skills and abilities.

Your undergraduate options are as follows:

Marine Biology/Ecology

Marine Biology/Ecology is the study of marine animals and plants, ecosystems, populations, conservation, and management. Jobs in science, management, conservation, teaching.

Subjects at high school

In high school, you’ll have done Biology, Statistics, and maybe Chemistry.

How to enrol

In 2021 Enrol in a BSc in Ecology or Botany or Zoology, with a minor in Marine Science. In 2022, see details below regarding the launch of  our multidisciplinary degree in Marine Science.

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Aquaculture and Fisheries

Aquaculture and Fisheries is the study of marine farming and fishing, both improving production and measuring/reducing impacts. Jobs in aquaculture farms, fisheries management, government, science.

Subjects at high school

In high school, you’ll have done Biology, Statistics, and maybe Chemistry or Geography.

How to enrol

You will need to enrol in the BAppSc Aquaculture and Fisheries. Then you must add a minor or a second major in business, management, or another science.

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Oceanography

Oceanography is the study of sea water, waves and tides, energy, climate, and global physical processes, including chemistry, geology and physics. Jobs as managers, navigators, modellers, scientists.

Subjects at high school

In high school, you’ll have done Physics, Calculus and Chemistry, with perhaps Geography or Statistics as well.

How to enrol

You will need to enrol in the BSc in Oceanography. Then you may add a minor in a relevant scientific discipline if you want.

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Marine Science

In 2022 we are excited to launch our multidisciplinary degree in Marine Science. You will be able to concentrate on marine biology, chemistry, geology or physics. This degree will lead to jobs in research, education, management, navigation, consulting, local government – anything to do with the sea.

Subjects at high school

In high school, you’ll have at least two science subjects and either Calculus or Statistics.

How to enrol

You will need to enrol in the BSc in Oceanography, Ecology, Zoology, or some other science in 2021. You will be allowed to continue in OCEN or to switch to MARI in 2022, whatever you prefer. You may add a minor in a relevant scientific discipline if you want.

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Other options

Alongside any science (or applied science, or BASc) degree, you can minor in marine biology (MARI), aquaculture and fisheries (AQFI) or oceanography (OCEN), to give your degree a salty flavour. (A minor is 5–6 papers in a second discipline to complement your major.)
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If you are not really sure which option is for you then enrol in EAOS 111 and MARI 112 in your first year to find out. It’s very common for students to change their major and/or minor as they discover more about what’s really involved.

Majors and minors are pretty fluid, students change them all the time. Employers are interested in your qualifications, but tend to dig into the transcript to see what you studied, and they are more interested in the quality of your marks. The same is true of getting into a postgraduate programme – it’s papers and marks rather than the particular combination (major/minor) that matters.

Getting ready for your degree

Suitable students for Marine Science have a broad science background (at least two of biology, chemistry, physics, geography, earth science) and statistics and/or calculus.
For more information watch the Ask Abby videos

Frequently asked questions and answers

Q. How do I apply?
A. Use the “Apply Now” button on the relevant qualification page.

Q. When do I need to apply by?
A. Applications are due on 10 December.

Q. How much will it cost?
A. Visit this page for fees information

Q. I need to ask a more specific question, who should I contact?
A. Email the Department of Marine Science at marine.science@otago.ac.nz