School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences


Ngauruhoe volcano2

Photo: Jenni Hopkins, Ngauruhoe volcano,Tongariro National Park, 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.


Earthquakes, mountain building, volcanic eruptions, dinosaurs, climate change, and the origin and evolution of life—all in a day's work for the geologist. Wellington is a natural laboratory for geologists. You can study tectonic plate shifts in a city that is built between two active faults on a major plate boundary.

Geology at Victoria is about the fundamentals of our world. As part of this Bachelor of Science (BSc) major you can study Antarctica, the conservation and use of natural resources, the evaluation of natural hazards and the social and environmental effects of global change.

Geology graduates gather the techniques and the problem-solving abilities, the confidence and the leadership skills to embark upon careers in a diverse range of industries.

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Undergraduate information

Geology major requirements

  1. GEOG/ESCI 111, ESCI 112; at least 15 MATH/PHYS/QUAN/STAT points; 15 further 100-level points from (MATH 141–177, PHYS 114, 115, 131, CHEM (not CHEM 191), STAT 193)
  2. ESCI 202, 203, 204, 241
  3. ESCI 301, 302, 341, 342; ESCI 303 or 305

First-year courses

Many Geology courses are labelled as Earth Sciences (ESCI). See the List of Courses below for more information.

Both science and non-science students will find value in the 100-level ESCI courses, and require no previous knowledge of the subject.

They take advantage of the excellent examples of geological processes in the New Zealand region, with its active natural processes including volcanic activity, the rise of the Southern Alps, earthquakes, glaciation, coastal erosion, and river flooding.

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Postgraduate information

Visit postgraduate study for information about postgraduate qualifications in Geology.

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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.

A/Prof Brent AllowayCoordinator of the Undergraduate Major in Geology
Phone: +64 4 463 5844

School Office
Phone: +64 4 463 6108

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Related subjects and careers

Related subjects Careers

Environmental Studies

Crown Research Institutes
Mineral exploration
Resource manager
Resource planner
Risk manager

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List of courses

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

Please note: the list below shows undergraduate-level courses only. For a complete course listing, see the list of all Geology courses.

100 Level Courses

ESCI 111 – The Earth System: An Introduction to Physical Geography and Earth Sciences

ESCI 112 – Fundamentals of Geology

ESCI 132 – Antarctica: Unfreezing the Continent

200 Level Courses

ESCI 201 – Climate Change and New Zealand's Future

ESCI 202 – Sedimentology and Paleontology

ESCI 203 – Earth Structures and Deformation

ESCI 204 – Petrology and Microscopy

ESCI 241 – Introductory Field Geology

300 Level Courses

ESCI 301 – Global Change: Earth Processes and History

ESCI 302 – Tectonics and Structural Geology

ESCI 303 – Petrology and Geochemistry

ESCI 304 – Petroleum Geology

ESCI 305 – Exploration Geophysics

ESCI 306 – Special Topic

ESCI 341 – Sedimentary Field Geology

ESCI 342 – Structural Field Geology

ESCI 343 – Volcanic Field Geology

ESCI 344 – Field Geophysics

ESCI 349 – Earth Sciences – International Field Course