Learn in our living laboratory

Guy air quality egg Geology

Discover the sea and stars

Your course at UC may take you to the Pacific Ocean or the Southern Alps, an ancient volcanic peninsula or an agricultural plain. Whether you’re in native bush, a glacial lake, or the International Dark Sky Reserve – this is your Canterbury classroom.

The region is full of contrast and excitement. It’s home to the highest point of New Zealand, the spectacular Aoraki/Mount Cook, as well as deep sea marine life in the submarine trenches off the coast of Kaikōura.

Christchurch also has a history of involvement in Antarctic exploration - both Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton departed from Lyttelton port.

As a UC student these locations are where you will test hypotheses and discover new truths. And some of them are within 20 minutes of campus.

Transformation and emergence

The Canterbury earthquakes have provided an unprecedented opportunity to rethink and renew a city. Christchurch is a living lab for scientists to study emerging aspects of science and challenge
old ways of thinking.

From research on biodiversity to technological innovation, brain research to economic revival, UC scientists have been at the forefront of the rebirth of New Zealand’s most modern city.

UC students have applied their knowledge in this real-world context through internships, research projects, field work and community-based initiatives.

Sectors of strength

Christchurch is a hotspot for new investment, state-of-the-art infrastructure and smart city policy. Christchurch offers substantial business and employment opportunities. Key sectors include:

  • Technology – the Christchurch tech sector employs almost 15,000 people.
  • Dairy – the most significant commodity export at $61 million.
  • Agribusiness – the temperate climate, high rainfall and fertile land makes for NZ’s pre-eminent agritech location.
  • Health – Te Papa Hauora/the Health Precinct will house a $70 million world-class Health Research Education Facility where UC researchers will work alongside students and health workers.
  • Tourism – Christchurch is the international gateway to the South Island.
  • Innovation – Christchurch is ranked #1 globally for starting a business. Start ups continue to rise here, with the number doubling between April-September 2016.
  • Gateway to Antarctica – Christchurch is the launch pad for international research and innovation in Antarctica.

UC has connections with organisations within these sectors.