- Current students
- Under 25s
The world is changing rapidly. Climate disruption is happening faster than animals, plants, and human communities can adapt – unless we take extraordinary action. To lead the charge, Aotearoa, New Zealand needs biodiversity professionals who think innovatively, take action, and move seamlessly from the lab into the field.
The Master of Applied Science (Biodiversity Management) allows you to choose the knowledge and skills you need to develop and advance your career. You’ll gain high-level analytical and strategic competency and undertake impactful research that contributes directly to your work and the wider industry while working on the ground to refine your practical field-based skills. You can also take 30 credits outside the programme to further strengthen your proficiency in other relevant disciplines.
When you graduate, you’ll be able to:
- apply advanced technical knowledge and skills – design, conduct and disseminate independent research using recognised industry methodologies, data analysis and effective problem-solving
- develop and maintain collaborative relationships with mana whenua and a range of stakeholders
- contribute to improved practice and environmental sustainability in business, government, and non-governmental sectors through critical evaluation, new knowledge, insight, and innovation
- apply cross-cultural perspectives, understanding, and engagement with indigenous bodies of knowledge, practices, and worldviews with a critical focus on Te Ao Māori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi in applied science
- critically assess the impacts of human activity on the global environment and how environmental management in Aotearoa could address these issues.
Earn and learn: This programme is a mix of online learning and on-campus block courses, field trips, and online learning, making it an excellent option for biodiversity professionals who are already working and want to start postgraduate study.
Tap into a national network of experts and industry partners: As part of Te Pūkenga, this master’s programme is co-taught by scientists and other experts from around Aotearoa, New Zealand, through online learning and block courses. With block courses, you may be able to choose what and where you could learn – explore DNA sequencing in Auckland, do environmental monitoring in Rotorua, take part in marine and freshwater field work in Nelson or Tauranga, or explore biosecurity measures for islands and ports in Invercargill. You’ll work closely with local industry partners to apply your learnings in the field or workplace every step of the way.
Integrating Western perspectives with Mātauranga Māori: Adapting to environmental crises requires collaboration. In Aotearoa, New Zealand, that means working with local Māori iwi and hapu. This master’s programme balances Indigenous knowledge with scientific understanding to help you unlock innovative solutions.
Undertake meaningful research: Choose from a wide range of thesis topics supported by highly-qualified supervisors to focus on your area of interest. You might choose to do a workplace project, collaborate with industry or acquire research funding for a specific project. The only condition is to base your thesis on a research project that delivers actionable outcomes for the industry or the community. Completing your thesis is a great chance to push your independent research capabilities, and your thesis and industry advisors will be there to support you.
Focus on partnership and stakeholder engagement: You’ll hone your relationship-building and collaboration skills to work professionally with mana whenua (indigenous people of the land) and other stakeholders (policymakers, environmental managers, and landowners) and drive the best outcomes for our land and people.
Lab facilities and outdoor experiences (local and national): Depending on where you choose to complete your compulsory on-campus block courses, you’ll learn in a range of facilities, including molecular biology, microbiology, and GIS labs, Marae, herbaria and invertebrate collections, aquaculture facilities, simulators, outdoor and other specialist equipment, and machinery.
Scholarships and awards
At Unitec we want to manaaki student success wherever we can and scholarships is one of the ways we do that. We have scholarships that recognise the achievements and the challenges of dedicating yourself to learning, whether that's in a vocational trade, at undergraduate level, or at master's degree level and beyond. Check out the scholarships listed below. The filters under Award Types, Characteristics and Status will help refine your search. If you have questions, please email our Scholarships team or book in with a Scholarships advisor.
Unitec’s learning facilities
Applied Molecular Solutions Lab
If you’re interested in the genetics of animals, plants, and fungi, this lab is fully equipped for DNA extraction and analysis.
Some fascinating research projects include DNA barcoding of possible biological control agents, bioremediation of contaminated soils, and molecular analysis of seabird diets.
Where science meets tech, the GIS Laboratory has 40 workstations with industry-standard ArcGIS and associated software.
Using high-performance Graphics Processing Units on Virtual Device Interfaces with large 24-inch monitors, these computers can run realistic 3D modeling, spatial analysis, image rendering, and other computing-intensive tasks.
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.
The Herbarium supports essential research, including investigations into invasive and native plants and fungi and an active lichen research group’s studies.
There’s also the opportunity to assist with accessioning and curation as a volunteer.
What you will need to study this programme.
You must have completed at least one of the following:
- a recognised bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline with merit (an average grade of B- or higher in all Level 7 courses), or
- a professional qualification in a relevant discipline recognised as equivalent to merit in a Bachelor’s degree, plus recommendations from your employer or professional colleagues
NCEA requirements are a minimum of 8 credits at NCEA Level 2 or higher in English (4 in reading, 4 in writing) or equivalent. Learn more about our English language requirements.
If you do not meet the academic requirements
If you don’t meet the above criteria, special or discretionary admission may apply. Your eligibility will be determined at the interview.
For more information, including special admission, download the programme regulations (PDF 366 KB).
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 2024; please check back again soon.
|Partnership and Stakeholder Engagement (NSCI8001TP)||15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS)||The aim of this course is to develop the knowledge, skills and competencies to engage with Maori, other indigenous peoples and stakeholders.|
|Applied Research Methods (NSCI8002TP)||15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS)||The aim of this course is to develop the knowledge, skills and competencies to engage with Maori, other indigenous peoples and stakeholders.|
|Thesis (NSCI9001TP)||120.0 credits (1 EFTS)||The aim of this course is to develop the knowledge, skills and competencies to analyse, apply and interpret a range of research methodologies, and undertake an original research project.|
|Biosecurity: Strategy and Implementation (NSCI8003TP)||15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS)||The aim of this course is to develop the knowledge, skills and competencies to manage the effective and efficient planning and implementation of pest operations, integrating current practice and Māori traditional values|
|Contemporary Issues (NSCI8004TP)||15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS)||The aim of this course is to develop the knowledge, skills and competencies to investigate contemporary science issues.|
|Ecological Restoration (NSCI8006TP)||15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS)||The aim of this course is to develop the knowledge, skills and competencies to undertake field research within a variety of taxonomic groups, habitats, and locations, learning how to tackle complex issues to enable successful environmental monitoring programmes.|
|Environmental Monitoring (NSCI8007TP)||15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS)||Students gain experience of field research within a variety of taxonomic groups, habitats, locations - from the mountains to the sea. Students will learn how to translate theoretical understanding of monitoring to practical action, tackling complex issues to enable successful monitoring programmes. Through partnering with relevant organisations, students will achieve hands-on experience of current practices and innovative technologies. Students will carry out physical and chemical ecosystem assessments to support determination of ecosystem health. Students will also learn the importance of stakeholder consultation and the processes involved, with a focus on the principles of the Te Tiriti o Waitangi in utilising culturally appropriate ecosystem monitoring using tools such as the Māori Cultural Health indicator. These skills provide students with a pathway to undertake further research and boost employability.|
|Human Impacts: Managing Waste, Energy and Resources (NSCI8010TP)||15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS)||The aim of this course is to develop the knowledge, skills and competencies to explore current environmental issues within a geopolitical context, developing strategies to achieve long-term economic, social, cultural, health and environmental outcomes.|
|Remote Sensing and GIS (NSCI8013TP)||15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS)||The aim of this course is to develop the knowledge, skills and competencies to build, analyse and effectively communicate spatial solutions to complex challenges in ecological management|
|Sustainable Food Systems (NSCI8014TP)||15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS)||The aim of this course is to develop the knowledge, skills and competencies to assess taxonomic methodologies, and to solve complex taxonomic issues.|
|Taxonomic Methods (NSCI8015TP)||15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS)||The aim of this course is to develop the knowledge, skills and competencies to assess taxonomic methodologies, and to solve complex taxonomic issues.|
Unitec is part of Te Pūkenga
On 1 October 2022 Unitec became part of Te Pūkenga. Find out more about Te Pūkenga and what this means for you.