Bachelor of Science (as an endorsement)
Bachelor of Science with Honours
Postgraduate Diploma in Science
Master of Science
Doctor of Philosophy

Ecology - student Christie


Ecology is the scientific study of the interactions between organisms and the environment. In reality, modern ecology is much broader than this, encompassing studies on individuals, species, populations, communities and ecosystems, and including behaviour, evolution, physiology and increasingly, molecular biology.

In New Zealand, the study of ecology is especially important. As a small group of islands separated from larger land masses, the New Zealand flora and fauna evolved unique characteristics in the absence of mammals. The invasion of New Zealand by humans, and the organisms (including mammals) that they introduced has dramatically altered its ecology, leading to drastic reductions in numbers, or even extinctions, of the original animals and plants.

In addition, global climate change is affecting the ecology of New Zealand, altering the distribution of both native and introduced organisms.

Year 13 biology and statistics or calculus is strongly recommended.

Some background in chemistry is valuable in most biological disciplines. Some knowledge of geography or earth science is also helpful.

All students should have adequate English skills.


100-level courses

To major in Biological Sciences you must complete the following 100-level courses:

In addition to the four required courses above, first-year courses in Chemistry, Geography and Geology are recommended:

200-level and beyond

Students seeking an endorsement in Ecology need to take the following core courses:

At third year there is a wide range of Ecology courses to choose from. See the Regulations for this endorsement to make sure you take the courses that can be attributed.

Career opportunities

Ecologists can take up a wide range of careers working for organisations such as the Department of Conservation, city councils, Environment Canterbury, universities and Crown Research Institutes, as well as with private companies such as environmental consulting agencies. Their work can take them to a wide range of beautiful and unique areas in New Zealand and beyond.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Ecology.

More information

School of Biological Sciences

Phone +64 3 364 2500

Physical location
2nd Floor
Biology building
See campus maps

Postal address
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Christie webber

Christie Webber

'If science is what you love then you should go for it...'

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...'