New Zealand Education - Think New Logo


University of Otago
University of Otago logo

Bachelor of Science (BSc) Majoring in Ecology

This course is available


Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree


3 years

Next start date

Expected Feb 2025


University of Otago


The Bachelor of Science (BSc) is a three-year undergraduate degree which enables each student to develop his or her own interests in a science subject (science major) and related subjects. Students have the flexibility to combine their major subject with other science subjects, as well as subjects from other disciplines across the University.

Why study Ecology?

Global citizens need to understand our planet's ecology. Ecological information can help us improve our environment, manage our natural resources, protect our biodiversity, and enhance human health.

There are few places equal to Otago when it comes to studying Ecology – the marine inlets, mountains, national parks (Fiordland, Mt Aspiring), and World Heritage Sites (Te Wahipounamu – South West New Zealand), on our doorstep provide unique and diverse outdoor laboratories in which to work.

Ecology provides broad and transferable training through a range of subjects relating to plants, animals, and the environment. Hands-on and research-based learning means that our graduates are well-placed to take advantage of the wide variety of job opportunities that exist both here and overseas, and that they are up-to-date with global ecological trends and developments.

Our degree programme allows you to maintain a high level of flexibility which allows your interests to evolve. This means you can keep your career options open because you are not required to specialise too early.

Ecological researchers are really active at Otago, so our students are taught be experienced people at the front lines of research in Ecology, evolution, conservation and biodiversity, as well as by researchers from overseas.

Career opportunities

The career opportunities available to Ecology graduates reflect the breadth of training offered. Our graduates are spread far and wide in jobs as diverse as nature guides, resource management consultants, and information technologists. The Department of Conservation, Crown Research Institutes, local and regional councils, tourism operations, secondary and tertiary teaching institutions and a range of environmental non-governmental organisations all employ graduates – here in New Zealand and around the world.

Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons)) is also available.

A specific aim of the Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons)) degree is to develop advanced theoretical and research skills and in so doing to provide a platform for an advanced professional or academic career.

Note: July commencement may be possible, although the duration of the qualification may be longer, or paper selection may be limited.

Entry criteria

We recognise many other qualifications as equivalent to the New Zealand qualification for entrance.

We also accept the following international qualifications:

  • International Baccalaureate: IB Diploma with a minimum of 24 points.
  • Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) GCE Advanced Levels: minimum Numerical Score of 8
  • A minimum of CCC across the NCUK IFY
  • Satisfactory completion of one year's study at a recognised tertiary institution.

English language requirements

  • IELTS (Academic module) (including IELTS Online) - Overall score of 6.0, no individual band below 5.5.
  • TOEFL iBT - Overall score of 80 and a writing score of 20.
  • C1 Advanced (previously Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)) or C2 Proficiency (previously Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE)) - Overall score of 169 (with no individual band below 162)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 50 with no communicative skills score below 42.
  • LanguageCert - International ESOL: C1 Expert (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill
  • NZCEL - NZCEL 4 Academic endorsement
  • English New Zealand's Accredited Pathway Assessment - Assessment Level 2 (with no skill lower than Level 1)
  • APIEL Advanced Placement International English Language Examination - Grade 3 or higher

July commencement may be possible, although the duration of the qualification may be longer, or paper selection may be limited.

Studying in NZ

Register nowSign in

Share this course

Share this course