If you want to play a part in the forestry sector or the management of natural resources, UC is the place for you. We are the only New Zealand university to offer a professional degree in Forestry.
The University of Canterbury's Bachelor of Forestry Science (BForSc) is a four-year degree that combines core science courses with management and commerce, with a focus on natural resources.
Forestry Science gives students a broad understanding of the forestry discipline, provides them with forestry-specific technical skills and the ability to communicate and work as a team player.
The BForSc equips you with a broad understanding of natural resource management issues, with a strong emphasis on forestry. During the course of your studies you can specialise in a range of areas including forest engineering, wood science, forest management, forest science, forest marketing and finance, commerce and conservation management.
You may also enrol for both Forestry and Commerce, or Forestry and Science degrees, at the same time (double degree) or complete a Commerce degree with a strong Forestry emphasis.
UC Forestry students may be eligible for forestry industry scholarships. For more information see the School of Forestry.
The New Zealand School of Forestry
The School of Forestry has excellent teaching and research facilities and opportunities to work in the field are maximised. The University's field station at Harihari in South Westland is used for practical courses and as a research centre, while other field stations located near Arthur's Pass, in Kaikoura and at Westport are also used for Forestry teaching and research.
Staff are actively engaged in research on forest management, conservation and restoration ecology, biology, silviculture, biosecurity, geospatial applications, tree and forest modelling, tree breeding, economics, harvesting and transport, timber processing and marketing. The School of Forestry is part of the College of Engineering and has strong links with the Colleges of Business and Law, and Science, which ensures that students receive a broad education and graduate with a wide range of career options.
The University is located near plantations and native forests, which are used for both teaching and research, and students visit other forestry organisations throughout the country.
The School has exchange programmes with the University of British Columbia in Canada and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the United States, which allow students to complete one or two semesters of their BForSc studies at those universities while paying only New Zealand domestic student fees.
Small class sizes make the Bachelor of Forestry Science a friendly and social programme and the Forestry Students' Society (FORSOC) organises social functions throughout the year.
The BForSc is open to all students who gain entry to the University. It is recommended that prospective students take NCEA Level 3 biology and mathematics with statistics. 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. Direct entry to the third year may be possible with a BSc or New Zealand Diploma in Forestry with outstanding merit.
Students who have not studied Yea 12 chemistry orYear 13 mathematics with statistics, or who feel they have a weak background in these subjects, should consider enrolling in a Science Headstart preparatory course run by the University in January and February.
The following are the compulsory courses for the first year of the Forestry Science degree:
- FORE 111 Trees, Forests and the Environment
- FORE 131 Trees in the Landscape
- FORE 141 Forest Growth and Measurements
- FORE 151 Commercial Aspects of Forestry
- BIOL 112 Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
- BIOL 113 Diversity of Life
- 100-level Chemistry course – CHEM 114 Foundations of Chemistry (recommended)
- STAT 101 Statistics 1
The first year is best taken at the University of Canterbury, although it may be taken at any New Zealand university. Students considering studying the first year of the BForSc at another New Zealand university should consult the School of Forestry for their course selection, which would include the distance course FORE 102 Forests and Societies.
In the second year, the main focus is on Forestry courses with some study of supporting Science subjects.
In the third year, more applied Forestry courses are introduced. One further subject is taken from an option schedule available to both third and fourth year students.
In the fourth year, students are required to take three compulsory courses and four further courses from the option schedule, which can include a course from another degree schedule.
Students who attain a good grade point average during the second and third years will be invited to consider undertaking honours in the final year of the degree. Those that choose to do so are required to complete a dissertation, which is a piece of original research on a Forestry topic, usually chosen by the student.
The Master of Forestry Science and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Forestry involve advanced study and research in specialised areas of Forestry. There are also one-year graduate and postgraduate diplomas for graduates looking to update or retrain.
Forestry offers exciting and rewarding career paths for skilled graduates, both in New Zealand and overseas, in jobs as diverse as tree breeding, road engineering, timber processing, marketing, planning, policy, biosecurity, biodiversity, conservation and sustainable land management. There are also jobs in plantation management, where UC Forestry graduates work as professional foresters.
With forestry being one of New Zealand's biggest export earners and a major industry worldwide, our graduates are in high demand, both in New Zealand and overseas. They currently have a 96% employment rate with their base starting salaries in the $45–55,000 range and typically a vehicle and/or laptop and cellphone included in the package.
For further career information, please go to www.canterbury.ac.nz/careers