Bachelor of Science
A Bachelor of Science (BSc) will extend your knowledge in multiple interest areas, satisfying many questions you may have about the world and encouraging you to investigate even further.
UC is ranked in the top 200 universities in the world in Computer Science, Earth and Marine Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Geography, Linguistics, Psychology and Statistics (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016). UC also has New Zealand's top ranked Biological Sciences research department (the latest Tertiary Education Commission 2012 PBRF Assessment).
UC is the only university in New Zealand to offer Astronomy at all levels of study and operates an internationally important astronomical observatory at Mt John in Tekapo. The Geology department is leading the world in its studies of earthquakes.
Features of the Bachelor of Science at UC
- 16 major Science subjects on offer and around 32 subject choices available in total
- Students benefit from cutting-edge research undertaken by UC staff, visiting international scholars and the many research centres and institutes based at UC
- The unique network of field stations from Kaikōura to Antarctica and Nigeria, offer amazing active learning opportunities
- Award-winning lecturers have been acknowledged both nationally and internationally for their teaching and research
- $216 million investment in state-of-the-art UC Science facilities in the next two years, in the Regional Science and Innovation Centre.
Admission to UC with University Entrance, or equivalent, is required to enrol for a Bachelor's degree. Domestic applicants over 20 who do not hold University Entrance, or equivalent, may gain admission by providing evidence of their ability to complete tertiary study successfully. For information on gaining admission to UC please see how to apply for undergraduate qualifications.
You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.
Provided you have entry to the University, all Science subjects can be started in the first year. However, previous study is recommended for many Science subjects, in particular Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics. Some of these courses have entry requirements.
If you have not studied one or more of the required subjects, or did not achieve enough credits, but have University Entrance, you may consider taking a Headstart preparatory course or a summer catch-up course.
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. Please contact a College of Science Student Advisor to discuss this.
Qualification structure and duration
The Bachelor of Science requires a minimum 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.
At least 225 points must be from courses above 100-level, with at least 90 points at 300-level.
For a major you must complete all majoring requirements including 60 points at 300-level in a single Science subject (unless specified otherwise). Science does not require a minor subject, however, a double major is possible.
When choosing your first-year courses you should include courses that allow you to advance to 200-level in at least two subjects.
Typical degree structure for Bachelor of Science
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).
(1) Students should allow for more than one potential major subject. Students should check the 100-level requirements for their potential majors as some majors require more than two 100-level courses or enrolment in a complementary subject such as Mathematics.
Many students combine the study of a BSc with another degree, such as a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce or a Bachelor of Laws. 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 32 subject choices available in total.
- Biological Sciences
- Computer Science
- Environmental Science**
- Financial Engineering
** Subject to Universities New Zealand CUAP approval, due December 2016.
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 or contact the College of Science Student Advisor.
Other subjects that count
These subjects are not available as majors but have a course (or courses) that count towards your BSc:
- Antarctic Studies
- Communication Disorders
- Health Sciences
- Science and Entrepreneurship
- Science, Māori and Indigenous Knowledge
- Soil Science
- Water Resource Management**
** Subject to Universities New Zealand CUAP approval, due December 2016.
Bachelor of Science with Honours
If you have achieved top grades during your Bachelor of Science you may be permitted to enter the BSc(Hons), which is an 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 begin a Bachelor of Science with Honours after two years.
Graduate and postgraduate qualifications
- Graduate Certificate in Public Safety*
- Graduate Diploma in Science
- Bachelor of Science with Honours
- Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
- Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Data Science
- Postgraduate Diploma in Child and Family Psychology
- Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology
- Postgraduate Diploma in Geographic Information Science
- Postgraduate Diploma in Science
- Postgraduate Diploma in Water Resource Management
- Master of Antarctic Studies
- Master of Applied Data Science
- Master of Audiology
- Master of Disaster, Risk and Resilience
- Master of Financial Engineering
- Master of Geographic Information Science
- Master of Science
- Master of Speech and Language Pathology
- Master of Urban Resilience and Renewal
- Master of Water Resource Management
- Professional Master of Engineering Geology
- Doctor of Philosophy
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, a meteorologist to a marine biologist, a psychologist to a policy advisor, a software engineer to a science writer, a forensic analyst to a food technician, and much more.
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.
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).
"But just having a degree isn’t enough for employers. Most companies in New Zealand are small or medium-sized and they’re much more interested in practical experience and personality than they are in good grades."