School of Biological Sciences


Please note: Information on this page relates to the 2015 academic year unless otherwise specified.

This subject is taught by the School of Biological Sciences.


Biology permeates all aspects of modern life. The current debate over genetic engineering and biotechnology demonstrates how quickly Biology crosses over into other fields of study, such as law, ethics, commerce, media theory, and philosophy.

At Victoria's School of Biological Sciences you can study for a Bachelor of Science (BSc) with major in one of five areas—BiotechnologyCell and Molecular BioscienceEcology and BiodiversityMarine Biology or Biology. With the Biology major you can combine elements of the other majors for a more flexible Bachelor of Science degree.

While first-year courses lay the foundation for more advanced study, it is helpful to have some elementary knowledge of Biology and Statistics.

Careers in government, Crown Research Institutes, veterinary and clinical laboratories, and many industries are among those open to Biology graduates.

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Undergraduate information

Biology major requirements

  1. BIOL 111, 113, 114; STAT 193 or equivalent
  2. 60 200-level points from (BIOL, BMSC, BTEC)
  3. 60 300-level points from (BIOL, BMSC, BTEC)

This major enables students to take an integrated selection of courses from any or all of the majors listed above, provided that the appropriate prerequisite courses have been passed.

First-year courses

First-year courses lay the foundations for in-depth study of the biological sciences. Courses cover the conceptual frameworks and basic understandings that underpin study at more advanced levels.

Previous experience in Biology is an advantage, although not essential. It is also helpful to have some elementary knowledge of Chemistry and Statistics.

Students are strongly encouraged to take BIOL 241 and BIOL 329. You should seek academic advice from the School before taking up the Biology major because your programme must be integrated and coherent.

Note: Students with a Biology major who wish to progress into Honours or Master's in Biological Science must ensure that they have the pre-requisite courses for entry into a 400-level programme.

Postgraduate information

For a full listing, see postgraduate qualifications on the School of Biological Sciences website.

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How to find out more

You can order more information on this subject by registering on our Request for Study Material database.

Victoria's Student Recruitment, Admission and Orientation Office offers advice on courses and help with planning your degree.

Contact the Science Faculty Office for information on Admission, qualifications and courses, course advice and selection criteria, exemptions and prerequisites and your Application to Study.

Biological Sciences courses are taught within the School of Biological Sciences. The School office is located on Level 5, New Kirk Building, Kelburn campus.

Associate Professor Ken Ryan
Programme Manager Biology
Phone: 04 463 6083

Mary Murray
Phone: 04 463 5339

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Related subjects and careers

Related subjects Careers

Biomedical Science
Cell and Molecular Bioscience
Ecology and Biodiversity
Environmental Studies
Māori Studies
Marine Biology
Statistics and Applied Statistics

Laboratory technician
Research technician

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100 Level Courses

BIOL 111 – Cell Biology

BIOL 113 – Biology of Plants

BIOL 114 – Biology of Animals

BIOL 132 – Biodiversity and Conservation

200 Level Courses

BIOL 219 – New Zealand Flora and Fauna

BIOL 222 – Ecology and Environment

BIOL 227 – Plants and Algae: Function and Diversity

BIOL 228 – Animal Diversity

BIOL 234 – Special Topic

BIOL 236 – Environmental Microbiology

BIOL 241 – Genetics

BIOL 243 – Physiology and Pharmacology

BIOL 244 – Introductory Biochemistry

BIOL 252 – Cell and Developmental Biology

BIOL 271 – Introductory Marine Biology

300 Level Courses

BIOL 314 – Island Biology – International Field Course in Biological Sciences

BIOL 325 – Global Change Biology

BIOL 327 – Population and Community Ecology

BIOL 328 – Behaviour and Conservation Ecology

BIOL 329 – Evolution

BIOL 336 – Special Topic

BIOL 340 – Genes and Genomes

BIOL 370 – Field Marine Biology

BIOL 371 – Marine Ecology

BIOL 372 – Applied Marine Biology