Faculty of Science


Please note: Information on this page relates to the 2016 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—Biology, BiotechnologyCell and Molecular BioscienceEcology and Biodiversity, or Marine 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 industry, government, Crown Research Institutes, veterinary and clinical laboratories 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 the Master of Biological Science must ensure that they have the prerequisite courses for entry into a 400-level programme.

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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

Want to find out more about studying at Victoria? Register now to find out more about your study options and keep updated on application and enrolment information, open days and events.

If you need help deciding what degree might be right for you, or what courses to take, talk with a liaison officer or book a course planning session with us, call 0800 VICTORIA (842 867) or email course-advice@vuw.ac.nz.

If you’re a returning or transferring student, contact the Faculty Student and Academic Services Office, for help with degree planning and for information on admission requirements and transfer credit from other institutions.

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

Mary Murray
School Administrator
Phone: 04 463 5339
Email: biosci@vuw.ac.nz

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Related subjects and careers

Related subjectsCareers

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

Laboratory technician
Research technician

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Course information

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