Faculty of Science

Environmental Studies

Power station

Photo: Kate Whitwell, Tekapo B Power Station, Lake Pukaki, New Zealand

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

On this page:

This subject is taught by the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences.


If you care about our environment and are interested in ways to protect it, a major in Environmental Studies is for you. You can study a range of topics from climate change to urban green spaces, from Māori Resource Management to Antarctica, and active travel in cities. You can find out where humans have gone wrong in placing unreasonable pressure on our environment, and what we can do about it. Our teaching gives insights into these topics from various disciplines, such as economics, psychology, Maori studies, and physical and biological sciences.

We offer a wide range of courses with environmental content for the degree, including courses in Geography, Public Policy, Political Science, Māori Studies, Earth Sciences, Economics, Law, Biological sciences, Marine Biology, Architecture, and Design.

This range reflects the breadth and depth of expertise at Victoria, and Victoria's recognition of the importance of environmental issues to our future.

Environmental Studies courses can either count towards a major in Environmental Studies, or they can pair well with many other disciplines as a double major. One course also forms part of the BA major in Māori Resource Management.

The growth in environmental awareness creates many career opportunities for you, in jobs you can be enthusiastic about, in local and national government and the private sector. Environmental Studies creates an exciting focus for your future career.

Back to top ^

Undergraduate information

BSc major requirements

  1. GEOG 111, 112, ENVI 114STAT 193 or equivalent
  2. ENVI 214; one theory or policy-based course and one practice or applied course at 200-level course
  3. ENVI 314; one theory or policy-based course and one practice or applied course at 300-level course  

A list of approved courses is included in the Environmental Studies - Undergraduate Prospectus.

Postgraduate information

Please visit our postgraduate study pages for information about postgraduate qualifications in Environmental Studies.

Back to top ^


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.

Environmental Studies courses are taught within the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, Cotton Building, blocks A and B.

Dr Bethany Haalboom
Coordinator of the Undergraduate Major in Environmental Studies
Phone: 04 463 6353
Email: bethany.haalboom@vuw.ac.nz

School Office
Phone: +64 4 463 6108
Email: geo-enquiries@vuw.ac.nz

Back to top ^

Career opportunities

The skills that you can learn in Environmental Studies are relevant to a number of career paths. This might include careers that specialise in the environment, such as environmental policy, planning, or management.

Alternatively, it might include careers that make use of the thinking and research skills that you can build up in the Environmental Studies programme.

It should be noted however, that in order to gain employment in the field of environmental management, it is generally necessary to gain postgraduate qualifications.

Related subjects and careers

Related subjects Careers

Biological Sciences
Māori Studies
Marine Biology
Political Science
Public Policy

Crown research institutes
Mineral exploration
Resource manager
Resource planner
Risk manager

Back to top ^

List of courses