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University of Otago
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Bachelor of Science (BSc) Majoring in Zoology

This course is available


Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree


3 years

Next start date

Expected Jul 2024


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 Zoology?

You get to work in all sorts of spectacular environments. You will have the opportunity to explore all sorts of places where there is animal life, like mountains, grasslands, oceans, fiords and wetlands.

There are lots of travel opportunities with Zoology – check out our graduate profile for proof of that! Zoology is a global science that will take you to all corners of the world.

New Zealand has its own unique animal life and it is a great place to study zoology and other environmental sciences.

Zoology is one of the most interdisciplinary subjects. Staff in Zoology include ecologists, physiologists, developmental biologists, geneticists, evolutionary biologists, mathematicians, and even film makers.

In our modern world, it is more important than ever that we restore and manage our environment. Zoologists can help to do that.

Career opportunities

A degree in Zoology opens the door to a wide variety of jobs and career options. There are opportunities in government departments and ministries such as the Department of Conservation, and the Ministries of Fisheries, Agriculture and Forestry, and Environment. In these areas, Zoology graduates are involved with research, harvest management and pest control, as well as writing reports and developing and monitoring policy. Graduates can find careers where they are responsible for the use and care of our natural resources and environment with Regional and District Councils, Fish and Game Councils and Trust Boards.

There are also jobs for Zoology graduates with Crown Research Institutes (e.g. Landcare, NIWA) and private research organisations (e.g. Cawthron Institute). Zoology graduates are also employed in medical, veterinary and biotechnology laboratories.

There are increasing opportunities to develop careers in eco-tourism as advisers, guides and managers. Some Zoology graduates are working in fisheries and aquaculture with private companies, while others have found jobs as environmental consultants. You may decide that you want to share your interest and knowledge of animals and their environments in a position as a curator, an information officer, or a guide for a museum, nature park or zoo. There are also teaching opportunities for graduates and Zoology is an important major subject for those wishing to become secondary school Biology teachers.

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.

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