Undergraduate Science Subjects - Students - College of Science - University of Canterbury

Undergraduate Science Subjects

Science students can choose their major subjects and >endorsements< to fit their interests or intended career path and still ensure they receive a broad science education.

Bachelor of Science - major subjects and possible careers

Major subject Leads to possible careers in ...
Astronomy Astronomy, computing and information technology, management, science communication/media work.
Medical biochemistry, brewing, food, biotechnology, forensic science, medical and agricultural research centres.
Biological Sciences Crown research institutes, conservation, the environment, agriculture, forestry and health ministries, forensic science, regional and local councils, freshwater and marine fisheries, aquaculture, oceanography, entomology, soil biology, food, brewing and pharmaceuticals, veterinary and medical sciences.
Energy, forestry, quality control and analysis, environmental monitoring and regulation, sales and management, forensic science, health, crown research institutes (eg, Crop and Food), research centres (eg, Wool Research).
Computer Science Software engineering, education, application development, networking, security, human-computer interaction, usability, information systems and testing, internet development, computer forensics, games development, embedded systems and computer graphics.
Economics Government departments and state-owned enterprises, marketing organisations and producer boards, the Reserve Bank, trading and merchant banks, stockbroking, insurance, trade commissions, town and regional planning authorities, market research, consultancies, research institutes, business, teaching.
Finance Financial analyst, money market and foreign exchange dealer, loan analyst, equity analyst, portfolio manager, financial planner, investment banker, small-business manager, chief financial officer.
Financial Engineering Investment, actuaries, statisticians/data scientists.
Geography Resource management, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) environmental science, government, regional and district councils, private sector consultancies.
Geology Mining companies, energy sector (eg, coal, petroleum, geothermal), groundwater, regional and local councils (eg, planning, conservation), government, crown research institutes (eg, GNS, NIWA) consulting, teaching, museums and science centres, communications/media.
Linguistics Education, publishing, computer software design, journalism and social research.
Management Science Management consultancies, banks, insurance companies, forestry companies, logistics/distribution companies, Air New Zealand, large manufacturing firms, the energy sector, and state-owned enterprises.
Mathematics Industry, commerce, government departments, the computer industry, insurance, crown research institutes, the Meteorological Service, market research, research and development, banking, health, education.
Business and commerce, diplomacy, human resources, media, libraries, local and central government, law, environmental organisations, publishing, social services, religion, education, IT.
Physics Crown research institutes, the National Radiation Laboratory, medical physics departments of hospitals, the Met Service, the armed services, Air New Zealand, mining companies, merchant banks, journalism and science communication programmes, electronic and computer-related industries.
Psychology Government departments, state-owned enterprises, banking, retailing, manufacturing, primary production, public relations, teaching, training, Department of Corrections, social service agencies, counselling, human resource management.
Government departments (including Statistics NZ), state-owned enterprises, insurance, banking, quality control, business and consulting firms, crown research institutes and other research organisations, local government.

How many different subjects should I study?

The first year is the best year to study a variety of subjects. As students must specialise in at least one science subject, they are advised to take courses which enable them to advance, and even major, in more than one subect area.

Bachelor of Science - Endorsements


Leads to possible careers in ...


As an emerging issue of both national and international importance, biosecurity provides many career opportunities in government agencies, Crown Research Institutes and in ministries concerned with conservation, the environment, agriculture and forestry.


Employment opportunities for graduates with good biotechnology training are exceptionally attractive overseas, since biotechnology is widely considered to be the industrial growth area of this century.


Ecologists can take up a wide range of careers working for organisations such as the Department of Conservation, city councils, Environment Canterbury, universities and Crown Research Institutes, as well as with private companies such as environmental consulting agencies. Their work can take them to a wide range of beautiful and unique areas in New Zealand and beyond.

Environmental Science

Environmental Science is a growth area for careers. Well-educated people with strong technical and communication skills are needed to help identify, to monitor and possibly to solve a variety of problems associated with the environment and with the use and allocation of resources and sustainability. For further information see the Environmental Science Brochure.