School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

Physical and Chemical Sciences online banner

Do you want a world-class Western-style education, but hesitate to travel to countries that are plagued by COVID-19?

UC’s flexible Start online; finish on-campus pathway lets you start your degree ‘online’ in 2021, and then transition to study ‘on-campus’ once the New Zealand borders open up. New Zealand is one of the safest overall countries in the world, and one of the safest countries for international students to study abroad. Recently, New Zealand has been internationally praised for its successful COVID-19 elimination approach.

We have carefully selected a 1st Year course package for online study which will enable international students to continue their 2nd Year of study on-campus in the following subjects:

We offer flexibility to start your studies either in Semester 1 (February 2021) or Semester 2 (July 2021).

Online Courses

  • PHYS101 Engineering Physics
  • CHEM111 Chemical Principles and Processes  
  • MATH102 Mathematics
  • COSC131 Introduction to Programming for Engineers
  • PHYS102 Engineering Physics 
  • CHEM112 Structure and Reactivity in Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • SCI101 Science, Society and Me
  • MATH103 Mathematics

Does this mean I can receive my degree by studying online only? 

Please note that this is NOT an offering of a ‘fully online’ BSc course: we expect you to study ‘on-campus’ after the initial ‘online’ study period. This study pathway structure will save you significant amount of time while you could not enter New Zealand due to the temporary COVID-related border closure. Students will have direct access to video recordings of lectures and tutorials for each course in exactly the same way that students studying on campus do. The only major difference for students studying the same courses on-campus will be the laboratory components of the Chemistry and Physics courses, which international students will then complete upon their arrival on campus.

Why enrol into the ‘Start online; finish on-campus’ pathway?

SPCS, labs

Campus-like Experience

Special tutorials run by dedicated Teaching Assistants (TAs) will be offered to international students, specifically creating the opportunity for live, campus-like interactions. Each international student will have a dedicated TA ‘buddy’ for regular pastoral and academic support, with care taken to meet different time-zone issues.

SPCS, Q&A sessions

Question and Answer (Q&A) Sessions 

We will organize Q&A video-link sessions with international students studying at SPCS now, as well as our TAs, for international students interested in enrolling into SPCS Start online, Finish on-campus pathway. Our prospective international students will have a chance to receive uncensored answers to their questions from our students and TAs.

Graduates students, Biology

SPCS and UC Ranking

We have an excellent reputation as one of the top 200-500 Universities worldwide in all of the major global University ranking systems (e.g. QS, Times Higher, US News etc). The Univeristy of Canterbury is currently ranked in 2nd place from all NZ Universities and in 244th place internationally in the roundranking.com system.

Erskine Fellow, Bob Grubbs

Erskine Fellows Lecturing UC Students

Up to eight Erskine Fellowsi.e. leading academics from top Universities such CalTech, Cambridge, Berkeley, Oxford etc. – visit us and teach our students each year. For example, Professor Robert Grubbs (CalTech) was an Erskine Fellow at UC teaching our students when his Nobel Prize in Chemistry was announced in 2005.

PhysSoc Student Club

Upon arriving on campus

We are very keen to attract top international talent. SPCS will offer Top Achiever Scholarships to the best international students (i.e. those who are at the top of their online class) who enrol to study on campus. Finally, the SPCS will welcome our incoming international students by organising tours to our Mt John observatory and nearby sightseeing spots.

As you can see from the above, we are going the extra mile because we want our international students to succeed in their studies and benefit from our support.

Full details of how to enrol, UC's entry requirements and fees

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Feel Free to Get in Touch

Rudi Marquez

Head of School
Beatrice Tinsley 403
Internal Phone: 90162
Mobile: +64276427643

Ting Wu

Teaching Assistant
SPCS PhD graduate WeChat profile

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