School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences

Environmental Studies

Power station

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

Please note: Information on this page relates to the 2016 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.

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

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 is offered as a major in the Bachelor of Science (BSc), or they can pair well with many other disciplines as a double major. One course also forms part of the Bachelor of Arts (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.

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Undergraduate information

Environmental Studies major requirements

  1. ENVI 114,  GEOG 111, 112; STAT 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 can be found in the Undergraduate Prospectus.

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Postgraduate information

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

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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

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.

Dr Bethany Haalboom
Coordinator of the Undergraduate Major in Environmental Studies
Phone: +64 4 463 6353

School Office
Phone: +64 4 463 6108

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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 subjectsCareers

Māori Studies
Marine Biology
Political Science
Public Policy

Crown research institutes
Mineral exploration
Resource manager
Resource planner
Risk manager

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List of courses

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

100 Level Courses

ENVI 114 – Environment and Resources: the Foundations

200 Level Courses

ENVI 214 – Environment and Resources: New Zealand Perspectives

SCIE 212 – Energy, Society and the Future

300 Level Courses

ENVI 314 – Advanced Environment and Resources: Global Issues

GEOG 313 – Geographies of New Zealand