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Undergraduate Physical and Chemical Sciences

02 November 2023

A Bachelor of Science (BSc) is about understanding and improving the natural world. The School of Physical and Chemical Sciences offers undergraduate courses in Astronomy, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry and Physics. Check out undergraduate Physical and Chemical Sciences options at UC.


A Bachelor of Science (BSc) is about understanding and improving the natural world through observation, experimentation, modelling and calculation. As a BSc student in physical or chemical sciences, you'll explore the wonder of our world and universe, join a community of like-minded thinkers and apply your mind to solving real-world problems.

As an undergraduate science student at UC you will:

  • Be exposed to new ideas and technologies
  • Get hands-on in laboratories and field stations, using high-tech equipment
  • Develop your research skills
  • Learn to understand and influence the world around you
  • Gain work-ready skills and the knowledge employers need.
chemistry students with red liquid
Chemistry students in a lab
Students conducting chemistry experiments in a lab © Restricted/University of Canterbury

Undergraduate courses in Astronomy, Biochemistry, Chemistry, and Physics are designed both for students majoring in one of those subjects and for students taking a few courses while majoring in other subjects.

Applied learning at undergraduate level happens:

  • in laboratory sessions
  • on fieldtrips, utilising facilities such as the Mount John astronomical observatory in Tekapo
  • using technology like Hercules, a high resolution spectograph, or the MARS X-ray image scanner
  • around campus, for example testing pH levels in Ilam Stream waterway
  • on industry projects, like the final-year Physics in Industry Projects Scheme. 

These experiences deepen your skillset, awareness of others, working knowledge, and employability.

If you have excellent Year 13 results or a New Zealand Certificate in Science with outstanding merit, you may be able to fast-track your degree and gain direct entry to the second year of a Undergraduate. This gives students the opportunity to complete an honours degree in three years. 

Science graduates have many career options that allow them to follow their passion and make a difference. Learn more.

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