Research in Science

Sarah Kessan NASA Scientist

UC Science has a very broad research base including spectroscopy applied to trace analysis (SIFT), New Zealand’s unique ecology, the human geography of exposure to environmental chemicals, protein biochemistry, molecular biology, volcanology, the neurochemistry of psychological processes, bioactive compounds from marine fauna, Antarctica, and food chemistry and toxicology.

Departments and Programmes

Biological Sciences is a vibrant community where research and learning can be fascinating and fun. Our outlook on Biology spans all types of organisms, all scales of biological systems - from molecules to ecosystems - and all research perspectives - from energetics to evolution. Learn more

Research in the School of Earth and Environment | Te Kura Aronukurangi is focussed on issues of importance to society and on understanding fundamental earth and environmental processes. We think global, but also take advantage of our amazing backyard in South Island Aotearoa/New Zealand and our connections to Antarctica and the Pacific.

We have expertise and research in fields ranging from volcanism and tectonics to human wellbeing and governance. The School has intensive research around the Antarctic and Southern Ocean, water science and resource management, geology of an active plate margin, paleontology, climate change, environmental change, human impacts on the environment, remote sensing of both natural and human environments, geospatial data science, hazards, risk and resilience, coastal science, urban resilience, wellbeing and governance.

Researchers in the School are supported by a wide variety of funding agencies including MBIE and Marsden (NZ) and many staff collaborate on ARC, NERC and NSF projects internationally. Graduate student projects are supported through all these grant sources.

Learn more about Earth and Environment research

The purpose of Gateway Antarctica is to contribute to increased understanding and more effective management of the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean by being a focal point and a catalyst for Antarctic scholarship, attracting national and international participation in collaborative research, analysis, learning and networking. Learn more

The graduate research programme at Canterbury offers an exceptional opportunity to talented students who are preparing themselves for careers in Astronomy, Chemistry or Physics, including Medical Physics.

Graduate training at Canterbury is aimed toward developing within each student the ability to do creative scientific research. The most important facet of the programme for a research student is his or her own original research project. 

The opportunities for research are favourable and a research environment is encouraged by all staff, most of whom dedicate a large portion of their time to research and are concerned to ensure that the standing of the School is recognised in the international scientific community.

Our teaching and research areas are diverse and we boast many international links, offering research students an extensive network and career opportunities. Learn more


The School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing is home to the The Psychology Centre, and Speech and Hearing Clinics, providing students with first-hand experience in real-world research and clinical environments.

With a burgeoning post-graduate programme and new doctoral-level faculty in diverse areas of psychology, communication disorders, audiology, swallowing rehabilitation and stroke recovery, the School's research profile is rapidly expanding. Learn more.

The University of Canterbury Centre for Risk, Resilience and Renewal (UCR3) was founded in 2013 to meet the demand for university level emergency management practitioner professional development and education. It uses the experiences and strengths of one of the top 250 universities in the world (QS World Ratings 2012), to bring a dynamic and evidence-based series of professional development short courses and qualifications, delivered by postgraduate faculty with international experience. Learn more

Research Institutes and collaborations

Explore our full research interests on UC Spark