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2014 2015
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    • 2014 2015

Bachelor of Science BSc


A Bachelor of Science (BSc) is a flexible three-year degree that allows you to study a wide range of subjects, while specialising in one or two areas (your major or majors). A BSc will extend your knowledge in multiple interest areas, satisfying many questions you may have about the world and encourage you to investigate even further.

UC is ranked in the top 150 universities in the world in Computer Science and Information Systems, Geography, Linguistics, Psychology and Statistics and Operational Research.* UC also has New Zealand's top ranked Biological Sciences research department.**

* QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2014 ** Tertiary Education Commission 2013 PBRF Assessment

Features of the BSc at UC

  • 16 major Science subjects on offer and around 30 subject choices available in total
  • Students benefit from cutting-edge research undertaken by UC staff, international academics that visit every year and the many research centres and institutes based at UC
  • Unique network of field stations from Kaikoura to Antarctica to Nigeria
  • Only university in New Zealand to offer Astronomy at all levels
  • Lecturers hold national and international teaching awards
  • $212 million investment in state-of-the-art UC Science facilities in the next five years

Recommended preparation

Provided you have entry to the University, all Science subjects can be started at first-year university level. However, previous study is recommended for many Science subjects, in particular Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics – some of these courses, including some first-year courses, have entry requirements.

If you do not have the required background, you will need to take introductory courses and it could take you longer to complete a major in that subject (though you may be able to complete a summer course to catch up). For some subjects, Headstart preparatory courses are available and strongly recommended for those who need to brush up on their skills.

To discuss direct entry to 200-level Science courses, contact the College of Science Student Advisor.

For more details refer to the relevant subject page below.

Degree structure

The BSc degree requires a minimum total of 360 points made up as follows:

  • at least 255 points must be from Science courses
  • the remaining 105 points can be from either Science courses or courses from other degrees.

At least 225 points must be from courses above 100-level, with at least 90 points at 300-level, at least 60 of which must be in a single Science subject (unless specified otherwise) – this is your major. For a double major you must complete all majoring requirements including 60 points at 300-level in each of two Science subjects. When choosing your first-year courses you should include courses that allow you to advance to 200-level in at least two subjects.

The BSc is very flexible; as well as the major subjects and endorsements offered you can study courses such as Antarctic Studies, Engineering, Forestry, Freshwater Management and Health Sciences that count towards your BSc.

For the full degree requirements see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Science (University Regulations website).

BSc degree structure diagram

Subjects and endorsements


An endorsement can be added to your major in recognition of the fact that your studies in that subject have had a particular focus. For full details on endorsements, including a list of required courses, see the Regulations for the BSc.

Other subjects

The following subjects are not available as majors but have a course (or courses) that counts as a Science course towards the Bachelor of Science degree.

* Subject to Universities New Zealand CUAP approval, due December 2014

† Not open to new enrolments in 2015

Double degrees

Many students combine the study of a BSc with another degree such as a BA, BCom or LLB. With careful planning it is normally possible to complete a double degree in five years. Students considering this should seek advice from the College of Science Student Advisor.

Further study

The Bachelor of Science with Honours is an accelerated 12-month postgraduate degree for able students with very good BSc grades. Students who have been granted direct entry to 200-level Science courses from high school (based on outstanding grades) may complete a BSc(Hons) within three years.

Postgraduate and graduate qualifications include:

Career opportunities

UC science graduates find work in a range of different fields and sectors. Depending on your chosen path, you can become anything from a seismologist to a soil technician, meteorologist to marine biologist, psychologist to policy advisor, software engineer to science writer, forensic analyst to a food technician.

Canterbury’s leading-edge IT sector is facing a shortage of qualified graduates, meaning UC Computer Science graduates are in high demand.

For further information please go to


For more information email or freephone in NZ 0800 VARSITY (827 748).

For assistance with planning your programme of study contact a College of Science Student Advisor (advancing students) or the Liaison Office (new students) or visit the Liaison Office’s course planning page (new students).