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Undergraduate subject

Antarctic Studies

Mātai Te Pou Tonga

12 October 2023
The Antarctic and surrounding Southern Ocean support a unique and complex system of life that survives in an environment at the extremes.


Antarctic Studies


Antarctica is the highest, coldest, and most isolated continent, so vast that it affects climate and ocean currents. Explore its history, biodiversity, and role in the global climate crisis.


Antarctic Studies

What will my study involve?

  • Wide range of topics like arctic climate, marine ecology, biodiversity, hazards and disaster management.
  • Learn how life — microbes, plants, animals, and humans — thrives in these extreme conditions.
  • Gateway Antarctica, UC’s on-campus research centre, plays a role in international research, engineering in extreme environments, and connections between Antarctica, Aotearoa, and global nations.
  • Include Antarctic Studies courses in any bachelor’s degree at UC to examine critical, contemporary issues around climate change and politics.

Antarctic Studies


While you cannot major or minor in Antarctic Studies as an undergraduate student, you can take courses in the subject as part of any degree.

100-level courses


ANTA101 is offered as a fully online Summer School course.

200-level and beyond


ANTA201 is a course which requires at least two 100-level courses completed previously in either Antarctic Studies, Biological Sciences, Geography, or Geology, as it builds on the information from those courses.

It is intended for those with a strong interest in Antarctica and explores links between the Antarctic atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere. This course also considers how Antarctica will respond to global change.

Postgraduate programmes in Antarctic Studies

Those with any undergraduate degree or professional qualification who wish to broaden their understanding of Antarctic-related matters can apply for entry to the Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies, which is offered over summer and includes a community placement programme with an Antarctic host organisation.

The goal of the programme is to engage participants in a critical examination of the contemporary scientific, environmental, social, and policy issues and debates facing Antarctica.

UC also offers:

Antarctic Studies

Career opportunities

By learning about the Antarctic region, you will understand the impact Antarctica has on the world. You will be able to contribute to lots of areas like research, education, conservation and sustainability, engineering, and tourism.

Career pathways could include:

  • Antarctic science (eg, glaciology, atmospherics, oceanography)
  • engineering and technical support
  • policy and law
  • science communications and education.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree from UC.

Related brochures

Undergraduate Prospectus

Whakatairanga Ākonga

Download (application/pdf, 7 MB)

International Prospectus 2024/2025

Download (application/pdf, 4 MB)
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