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2014 2015
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    • 2014 2015

Student Profile

‘I love developing new, better techniques and using high tech equipment...’

Benjamin Franzmayr PhD in Biotechnology
Scientist, AgResearch Grasslands
(read profile)


BSc (as an endorsement), BSc(Hons), PGDipSc, MSc, PhD


Biotechnology is of national and international importance. It considers and develops knowledge about biochemical, molecular, ecological and evolutionary processes. Biotechnology tools are applied in research underpinning biodiversity and biosecurity throughout New Zealand. Biotechnology research is directed towards developing technology with both economic and environmental outcomes. The OECD have predicted that, by 2030, biotechnology will assume a major role in the global economy with the advances from research in the tertiary sector.

The School of Biological Sciences offers the Bachelor of Science endorsed in Biotechnology to students majoring in Biological Sciences. Students follow one of two pathways: an environmental biotechnology pathway or a plant biotechnology pathway.

Recommended background

Year 13 biology, statistics and chemistry is strongly recommended. However, students who have not completed Year 13 chemistry may find the Headstart summer preparatory course very useful . For certain disciplines, some knowledge of physics is helpful. All students should have adequate English skills.

100-level courses

Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science with an endorsement in Biotechnology will study BIOL 111, BIOL 112, BIOL 113, and CHEM 112 (or CHEM 114) in their first year. Introductory Statistics (STAT 101) is also required at 100-level to advance in the Biological Sciences major.

200-level and beyond

Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science with an endorsement in Biotechnology will study a number of required courses at 200-level. These courses will establish a scientific basis for more advanced topics in biotechnology. All students majoring in Biological Sciences must take BIOL 209 Introduction to Biological Data Analysis.

Further study

Students with ability can attain postgraduate qualifications in biotechnology. There are also opportunities in research-based degrees (eg, BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD) to undertake projects investigating issues in biotechnology.

Career opportunities

As an emerging field with both national and international importance, biotechnology provides many career opportunities in universities, business, government agencies, Crown Research Institutes and in ministries concerned with the environment, agriculture and forestry.

For further career information, please go to


School of Biological Sciences
Telephone: +64 3 364 2500