Bachelor of Science

Bachelor of Science

The Bachelor of Science (BSc) is a three-year, Level 7 degree that is the starting point for most science-based careers. It is a generalist degree which allows you to combine a major subject with supporting or minor subjects.

Some universities and polytechs offer Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Science (Technology) or Bachelor of Technology degrees, which tend to teach both practical and theoretical science alongside business and technology elements.

How do you choose a major subject?

There are many different majors, and each tertiary institution offers a different selection. Some follow on from familiar school subjects, whereas others are new or specialised, such as Computer Science, Electronics, Food Science and GIS/Geospatial Science.

The structure of the BSc degree allows you to combine courses across a variety of science subjects, so you can explore your passion for Marine Biology or Astronomy while also picking up in-demand skills with courses in Statistics, GIS/Geospatial Science and Information Technology.

Where can I work?

Don’t expect to become a scientist straight away! In the research world, a Bachelor’s degree will generally qualify you for work as a laboratory technician or research assistant, although in popular areas (Marine Biology, Ecology, Forensic Science) you’ll probably need a second qualification (postgraduate diploma, Honours or Master's degree).

In industry you could work as a manufacturing technician, chemist, microbiologist, compliance officer, engineering geologist, environmental scientist or product evaluator (depending on your major subject).

Some subjects are more in demand than others, for example:

  • Computer Science and Information Technology for software development and other IT roles
  • Geology majors in mining and construction industries
  • Food Science graduates as food technologists
  • GIS/Geospatial Science graduates in city councils, engineering and utility companies and urban planning consultancies

Regardless of your major, you’ll develop analytical, critical thinking, research and communication skills that will be valued by a wide range of employers.

What are the entry requirements?

You will need to check with your chosen tertiary institution, but generally:

  • University Entrance is required by universities, and also some polytechnics
  • NCEA Level 3 will get you into a BSc at many polytechnics
  • 72-80 credits at NCEA Level 2 for some institutions
  • Alternatively, you could start with a diploma-level qualification

Some first-year courses (particularly Maths, Physics and Chemistry) may require Level 3 credits in Calculus, Physics, Chemistry or Biology; completion of an introductory paper or summer bridging course may be an alternative.

Options for further study:

  • A Graduate Diploma in Science allows you to add a new major.
  • A Postgraduate Diploma involves completing more advanced courses in the same subject you majored in.
  • A Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree generally involves a research project as well as advanced level courses.
  • A Master of Science degree typically involves advanced level courses plus a larger research project over two years.
  • Specialist Master’s degrees generally focus on skills for a particular industry or profession.


People who have a
Bachelor of Science

  • Ryan Cosgrove

    Wool Marketer, Ryan Cosgrove at work

    Nava Fedaeff

    Climate Scientist, Nava Fedaeff at work

    Sarah Cross

    Apiary Manager / Research Associate, Sarah Cross at work

    Sophia Olo-Whaanga

    Environmental Science Consultant, Sophia Olo-Whaanga  at work
  • Paul Jensen

    Director, Paul Jensen at work

    Kirsty Harris

    Technical Engagement Manager, Kirsty Harris at work

    Wiremu Winitana

    Graduate Developer, Wiremu Winitana at work

    Nicole McAulay

    Resource Technician with the Water Quality and Ecology team., Nicole McAulay at work
  • Hone Ropata

    Assistant Research Fellow, Hone Ropata at work

    Jack Stainton

    Electrical Engineer | Power Systems, Jack Stainton  at work

    Joanne Wills

    GIS Consultant, Joanne Wills at work

    Kirstyn Goodger

    Coastal Scientist , Kirstyn Goodger at work
  • Johanna Scott

    Genetics Area Manager, Johanna Scott at work

    Brayden Judd

    Lab Technician, Brayden Judd at work

    Wei Cheng Phee

    Manufacturing Technician, Wei Cheng Phee at work

    Jenny Green

    Research Support - Maori Engagement, Jenny Green at work
  • Hayley Brown

    Quality Control Chemist, Hayley Brown at work

    Anny Tong

    QA Engineer, Anny Tong at work

    Amy Palamountain

    Software Developer, Amy Palamountain at work

    Olivia Fogarty

    Level 1 Onsite Engineer, Olivia Fogarty at work
  • Jono Entwistle

    GIS Consultant, Jono Entwistle at work

    Kent Steel

    Enviornmental Specialist, Kent Steel at work

    Nicholas Holwerda

    Environmental Specialist, Nicholas Holwerda at work

    Josh Fisher

    Graduate Engineering Geologist, Josh Fisher at work
  • Gareth Hay

    Geophysicist, Gareth Hay at work

    Leighton Gillespie

    Engineering Geologist, Leighton Gillespie at work

    Jacqui McCord

    Hardware Engineer, Jacqui McCord at work

    Blair Sowman

    Environmental Specialist - Hydrology, Blair Sowman at work
  • Tom Mulder

    Programmer/Project Manager, Tom Mulder at work

    Shea Waenga

    Compliance Officer, Shea Waenga at work

    Kate Waterhouse

    GIS Technician, Kate Waterhouse at work

    Kara Dix

    Product Evaluator, Kara Dix at work
  • Amie Duan

    Product Evaluator, Amie Duan at work

    Jose Cranfield (nee Wilson)

    Analytical Chemist, Jose Cranfield (nee Wilson) at work

    Chris Cowie

    Farm Services Officer, Chris Cowie at work

    Celia Voysey

    Application Support Team Lead, Celia Voysey at work
  • Alana Dale

    Line Manager, Alana Dale at work

    Joe Tizard

    Scientist, Joe Tizard at work

    Dale Eastham

    Environment & Risk Manager, Dale Eastham at work

    Hamish Campbell

    Software Developer, Hamish Campbell at work

Futureintech is an initiative of Engineering New Zealand, funded by Callaghan Innovation