Bachelor of Science


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 Bachelor of Science 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

Entry requirements

Bachelor's degrees require University Entrance to gain admission to UC. If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to ensure they are of an equivalent standard.

For full entry requirements see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Science or use the admission requirements checker.

You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

Qualification structure and duration

The Bachelor of Science requires a total of 360 points:

  • A minimum of 255 points of Science courses
  • The remaining 105 points can be from either Science courses or courses from other degrees

Typical degree structure for Bachelor of Science

Year 1
100 Level
100 Level
100 Level
100 Level
100 Level
100 Level
100 Level
100 Level
Year 2
200 Level
200 Level
200 Level
200 Level
200 Level
200 Level
200 Level
100 Level
Year 3
300 Level
300 Level
300 Level
300 Level
300 Level
300 Level
200 Level
200 Level
    Science major courses
    Other science courses
    Courses from Science or other degrees

Each small block represents a 15-point course. However, some courses may be 30 points or more.

Double Degrees

It is possible to combine a Science degree with other degrees, in particular, a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce or a Bachelor of Laws is a highly marketable combination.

Normally you can complete the two degrees in five years, but some degree combinations may take longer.

If you are considering a double degree you should get advice from the College of Science Student Advisor or the Liaison Office.

Find out more information about Double degrees.

Subjects and courses

The Bachelor of Science is very flexible with 16 major subjects on offer and around 30 subject choices available in total.

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.

Major subjects

You should allow for more than one potential major subject. Check the 100-level requirements for your potential majors as some majors require more than two 100-level courses or enrolment in a complementary subject such as Mathematics.


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 Bachelor of Science.

Other subjects

These subjects are not available as majors but have a course (or courses) that counts as a Science course.

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 feel you have a weak background in particular subjects, you should consider enrolling in a Headstart preparatory course over summer.

You may be able to fast-track your degree and gain direct entry to the second year if you have excellent Year 13 results or a New Zealand Certificate in Science with outstanding merit.

How to apply

Find out more about how to Apply for undergraduate qualifications.

Further study

Bachelor of Science with Honours

If you have achieved top grades during your Bachelor of Science you may be permitted to the Bachelor of Science with Honours accelerated 12-month postgraduate degree.

If you have been granted direct entry to 200-level Science courses from high school (based on outstanding grades) you may be eligible to complete a Bachelor of Science with Honours after three years.

Graduate and postgraduate qualifications

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.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree from UC.

More information

For the full degree requirements see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Science.

For more information email info@canterbury.ac.nz or freephone 0800 VARSITY (827 748).

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

Roseanna gamlen greene

Roseanna Gamlen-Greene

'There’s a lot of exciting and innovative research that’s being carried out all the time at UC...'

Mariah turnbull

Mariah Turnbull

"I went to a different university for one semester after the earthquake. As soon as the semester was over however, I moved straight back to UC as I saw the grass was not greener on the other side!"