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Programme overview

As a biodiversity management student, you’ll explore how ecosystems function and support biological diversity, and how managers of biodiversity are responding to increasing concern over the effect of human activities on the world. Find out how society views and influences the natural environment, discover how social, cultural and policy frameworks influence management decisions and develop your knowledge and skill with plant identification. You’ll also develop an appreciation of the influence government agencies, non-statutory organisations and voluntary bodies have on biodiversity and biosecurity.


  • Developed in response to increasing global concerns over the human impact on our natural environment
  • Emphasis on practical application: possible work experience in applied settings for organisations like Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Department of Conservation (DOC), the Auckland Council or volunteer organisations
  • A chance to complete a research report in an area of your own interest in order to develop the skills you'll need for a career in your chosen field
  • One of our biggest strengths is plant identification, a skill well regarded by the conservation industry. We’ll help you develop your knowledge and confidence with plant identification
  • A teaching team of highly qualified and respected scientists and industry consultants including botanists and an ornithologist

Admission requirements

For this programme, you will need the following:

1. 42 credits at NCEA Level 3 or higher including:

  • 14 credits in two different approved subjects; and
  • 14 credits from up to two subjects (approved or non-approved)

2. 8 credits at NCEA Level 2 or higher in English or Te Reo Maori (4 in reading, 4 in writing)
3. 14 credits in NCEA Level 1 or higher in Mathematics or Pangarau
4. If English is not your first language you will need one or more of the following:

  • Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University entrance
  • Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency
  • Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years

Don’t have NCEA? We also accept:

  • A relevant qualification at Level 3 on the NZQF or above or an equivalent qualification; or
  • Provide sufficient evidence to be eligible for special or discretionary admission.

For more information download the programme regulations:

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

For more details on the courses including timetables, please click on the course names below.

Diversity of Life: Plants and Fungi (NSCI5101) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop an understanding of the basis of classification of plants, fungi and protists and their underlying structure and function.
Diversity of Life: Animals (NSCI5103) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop an understanding of the basis of the taxonomic classification of the major animal groups, their phylogenetic relationships and how different animal forms have adapted to different ways of living.
Principles of Biology (NSCI5104) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop an understanding of the underlying chemical and physical processes which serve to promote and enable order in biological systems.
Earth Processes (NSCI5730) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide a scientific understanding of physical and chemical processes and their interactions which are essential to life on Earth.
Principles of Ecology (NSCI5731) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop an understanding of the interactions that occur between organisms and their environment.
Contemporary Issues in Biology (NSCI5734) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to research contemporary issues in biological sciences and thereby facilitate the acquisition of fundamental academic skills that support studies in the Bachelor of Applied Science.
Science and Society (NSCI5735) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To explore ways in which Science and human society have developed and interacted throughout history; to equip students with an appreciation that science takes place within a broad cultural framework and to recognise the validity of differing points of view.
Principles of Animal Husbandry (NSCI5738) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the student to develop an understanding of the theoretical basis and application of animal husbandry in a range of animal species.
Techniques in Field Biology (NSCI5740) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide an introduction to a range of techniques used in field biology for the scientific identification and sampling of animals and plants.
Research Methods (NSCI6730) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop skills in research methodology that will allow students to plan and initiate research, to analyse data and to critically appraise research findings.
Concepts in Biodiversity (NSCI6735) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide a synopsis of the theory, methodology and significance of biological diversity.
Behavioural Ecology (NSCI6739) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop an understanding of the ecological and evolutionary basis of animal behaviour, and the role behaviour plays in enabling animals to adapt to their environment.
Ecological Evaluation and Management (NSCI6745) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop an understanding of how the scientific evaluation (within the context of international and national legislative frameworks) and assessment of ecosystems or species supports decision-making and conservation management practices.
Ecological Risk and its Mitigation (NSCI6746) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To apply ecological theory and techniques to the assessment of environmental risk from human impacts and evaluate mitigations for the sustainable utilisation of biological resources.
Advanced Field Surveying of New Zealand Biota (NSCI7105) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide advanced experience of taxonomy, field identification and surveying techniques for a range of animals, plants and fungi.
Self-Directed Study-SA/SB (Sem A) (NSCI7731-SA) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide students with an opportunity to complete an in-depth applied science study using research skills and to disseminate their findings in an appropriate format.
Self-Directed Study-SA/SB (Sem B) (NSCI7731-SB) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide students with an opportunity to complete an in-depth applied science study using research skills and to disseminate their findings in an appropriate format.
Companion Animal Behaviour (NSCI6731) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to apply animal behaviour concepts to a range of applied situations focussing on the welfare of companion animals.
Animal Health and Welfare (NSCI6732) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to evaluate the methods used in assessing the welfare status of animals and to develop an understanding of how animal health is impacted by environmental factors.
Animal Breeding and Nutrition (NSCI6737) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the students to develop an understanding of the management of breeding and nutrition in a range of animal species.
Captive Wild Animal Management (NSCI6738) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the student to understand the philosophical, scientific and practical basis for the maintenance of wild animals in captivity.
Vertebrate Physiology (NSCI6741) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To promote an understanding of the physiological responses of animals to environmental challenges and stressors.
Geographic Information Systems (NSCI6743) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop understanding in the use and application of GIS, GPS (Global Positioning Systems) and RS (Remote Sensing) for modelling and presenting spatial data and information.
Practicum (NSCI6744) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the student to reflect on and apply the skills and theoretical knowledge gained during their studies and to develop their transferable and inter-personal skills in a work-based environment.
Pacific Veterinary Nursing Practicum (NSCI6747) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to reflect on and apply the skills, theoretical and practical knowledge gained during their field trip, and to develop their inter-personal skills in a challenging work-based environment
Molecular Genetics and Evolution (NSCI6748) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To explore the genetic basis of evolution; to acquire practical skills in basic molecular analysis; to assess how the study of genetics and the use of molecular tools can inform biodiversity conservation, animal breeding, animal welfare and our understanding of evolutionary ecology.
Advanced Research (HSDV7340) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)This course provides students an opportunity to engage in designing and conducting an aspect of a negotiated research/study project relevant to the student’s discipline/context.
Anthrozoology (NSCI7103) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To introduce students to the multidisciplinary field of Anthrozoology, illustrating the conceptual links between research in this relatively new academic field and use in understanding the interaction between animals and humans.
Restoration Ecology (NSCI7104) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the student to apply ecological theory to the practice of restoring damaged ecosystems, using existing restoration projects as reference sites.
Applied Animal Behaviour Science (NSCI7106) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To assess and interpret observed behaviour of selected animals (in a range of situations) in relation to their environment. To explain how an understanding of applied animal behaviour can be used to improve animal management and welfare.
Biosecurity (NSCI7107) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide an understanding of the impacts, management and risks of invasive alien species to New Zealand and beyond.
Field Trip (NSCI7108) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide an opportunity to consider and study in situ, the ecology and conservation of a critically endangered ecosystem.
Conservation Science (NSCI7732) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To understand how the knowledge of genetics and population dynamics can be used to influence conservation and wildlife management decisions.
Applied Geographic Information Systems (NSCI7736) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide an enhanced understanding of, and competence in, the acquisition, management, analysis, modelling and presentation of spatial information.
Captive Wild Animal Population Management (NSCI7738) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the student to recognise and discuss the tools and processes used in the management of animal populations in zoos.





The 'Key Information for Students' below does not reflect any international student information.

Please take this information as a guideline only. For example, you will often see a difference between these tuition fees and our estimate above. This is because there are a number of variables, such as the specific courses chosen within a programme.

The national graduate outcomes information is for all tertiary New Zealand providers including Unitec. This information is provided by the New Zealand Government and is derived from a national database that links educational and income information.

The statistical results below are a summary for:

Key Information for Students

Entry requirements

Minimum requirements: 42 credits at NCEA Level 3 from a mix of subjects, 14 credits at NCEA Level 1 or higher in Maths & English language requirements or relevant & equivalent qualifications, special & discretionary admission also accepted.

Detailed requirements: See the above "Admission requirements" section for more information about entry to this progrogramme.


3 Years

Tuition Fees


Total Qualification

Student fees:  $6,689$20,067
Government tuition subsidy: $12,872$38,616

Compulsory Student Services Fee
Student loan information available at StudyLink.

National graduate outcomes

(3 years after completion)
Median earnings$44,364
Earnings range$33,600 - $53,015
In employment47%
In further study47%
On a benefit1%

Note:All KIS information is the most recent available relating to domestic students only. Click here for more information about the Key Information for Students.