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Study Biodiversity Management today

Bachelor of Applied Science (Biodiversity Management)

In this degree programme, you'll get your hands dirty straight away, learning about ecosystems, conservation issues, sustainable management of land, animals, and plant life, as well as the management strategies that promote the conservation of biodiversity and address biosecurity. 

360 (3.0 EFTS)
Mt Albert
Start dates
February or July
Full-time for three years or part-time options available

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 impact of human activities on the planet. 

Find out how society views and influences the natural environment, discover how social, cultural, and policy frameworks influence management decisions, and develop plant identification knowledge and skills.

You’ll also develop an appreciation of the influence that 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 the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Department of Conservation (DOC), the Auckland Council or volunteer organisations
  • A chance to complete a research project 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

Double major

Can't decide between animals or the environment? Study a double major and you'll get the best of both worlds, with a selection of animal- and environment-related courses. 

Studying for a double major is highly recommended. Double majors further grow your knowledge and capabilities, and it makes you more employable and competitive in the job market.

The Herbarium

With a collection of 11,500 scientifically preserved plants, fungi, lichens and seaweeds, the Herbarium is where you'll learn about plant specimen collection and preparation techniques.

Lots of important research work happens in the Herbarium including investigations into invasive and native plants and fungi, as well as the studies of an active lichen research group.

There’s also the opportunity to volunteer to assist with accessioning and curation.

The Herbarium

The GIS Laboratory

Where science meets tech, the GIS Laboratory has 40 workstations complete with industry standard ArcGIS and associated software.

Running on high-performance Graphics Processing Units on Virtual Device Interfaces, with large 24-inch monitors, these computers can run realistic 3D modelling, spatial analysis, image rendering, and other computing intensive tasks.

The GIS Laboratory

Applied Molecular Solutions Laboratory

If you’re interested in the genetics of animals, plants and fungi, this lab is fully equipped for DNA extraction and analysis.

Second year Bachelor of Applied Science students gain first-hand experience in the lab, and in their third year if they take on a research project that utilises molecular techniques, this lab will become their second home.

Some cool research projects currently on the go include DNA barcoding of possible biological control agents, bioremediation of contaminated soils, and the molecular analysis of seabird diets.

Applied Molecular Solutions Laboratory

Admission requirements

Academic 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;

If you don’t meet the academic criteria above, we have a range of Foundation and Bridging Education programmes which will help you prepare for further academic study.

English requirements

If English is not your first language you will also 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;

If you don’t meet the English criteria above, we have a range of English Language programmes available, depending on your current level of ability.

If you don’t meet these requirements, you may still apply under special or discretionary entrance.

For more information download the programme regulations:

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

For more details on the courses, please click on the course names below. Please note that our systems are updating with new course timetable information for 2023; please check back again soon.

Courses Credits Aim
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) 15.0 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.
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.
Courses Credits Aim
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 risks from human impacts and their appropriate mitigations, including the impacts of invasive species and biosecurity strategies for the protection of New Zealand.
Courses Credits Aim
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.
Negotiated Research-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.
Negotiated Research-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.
Courses Credits Aim
Principles of Animal Husbandry (NSCI5738) 15.0 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.
Courses Credits Aim
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.
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.
Courses Credits Aim
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.
Internship (NSCI7810) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to undertake a short-term work and/or training experience related to practice in their chosen field of study. It provides an opportunity to integrate theoretical knowledge and practice through a strategy of applied learning in the workplace.

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