Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Earth Science)

Apply now! ▸

Take your excellence and turn it into something more

If you are interested in further in-depth research, this qualification gives you the skills to progress to a PhD.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Science (Honours) parent structure.

What is it like?

Massey University’s Bachelor of Science with Honours (Earth Science) is a prestigious qualification for those that are interested in progressing to further, in-depth research. This postgraduate qualification will also give you a career advantage.

You will build upon your undergraduate degree and conduct original, independent research under the guidance of a leading Earth science academic.

Explore the world around you

Field work could find you on a volcano top in Vanuatu, exploring ancient volcanoes on Chatham Island or assessing real-time hazards from an erupting volcano. You might find yourself exploring the back country of the Wanganui Basin or its marine terraces, sampling rivers and aquifers to determine groundwater recharge/discharge, or investigating erosion and land use employing both field and remote sensing techniques.

You will also gain transferable skills that will be useful in many different careers. These include observation skills, advanced ability in data collection, analysis and interpretation, problem-solving and lateral thinking skills, self-motivation and resilience, teamwork as well as developing high-level written and verbal communication skills.

Let our expertise become yours

Massey University Earth science staff are actively researching and are members of internationally relevant related groups. Many also have extensive industry experience, through either employment or consultancy. They bring this expertise to your teaching.

Examine the environmental impact

Massey’s expertise in environmental geochemistry includes remediation of contaminated sites, phytomining, mine site and land reclamation.

You can learn from - and build on - our expertise in the societal impacts of Earth events, such as volcanic activity. These include social, economic, infrastructure and the impact on local communities including iwi.

Specialised equipment

We have a range of specialised equipment which is available to you for your research and study. This includes:

  • A microprobe for spatial geochemical analysis of geological materials. Able to focus down to two microns, it allows measurement of changes in composition across crystals (which record pre-eruption processes in magmas)
  • Laser particle size analyser for measuring grain-size distributions of materials such as tephra
  • FTIR (Fourier Transform Infra-red) microscope. This measures water and CO2 contents in volcanic materials (related to eruption dynamics), but has also been used for analysing compositional differences in horse bones and carbon nanoparticles
  • Pyroclastic Flow simulator
  • Hyperspectral analyser for remote sensing soil,rock and plant materials (an example of use includes detecting mineralised ground by remote sensing)
  • FLYSPEC analyser for measuring SO2 in volcanic eruption plumes
  • XRD analyser for determining mineralogical compositions of a wide range of materials, especially clay minerals
  • TGA/DSC (Thermogravimetric Analyser/Differential Scanning Calorimeter) for uses such as thermal behaviour in volcanic glasses to characterise biochar
  • OEM (Optical Emission Analyser) for geochemical analysis with particular application to environmental geochemistry

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but very rewarding and empowering. The Bachelor of Science with honours in Earth Science will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles. Our experts are there to guide but you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.

A good fit if you:

  • Are passionate about science
  • Excelled in your undergraduate degree
  • Are interested in going on to more in-depth research, such as a PhD

Careers

Setting you apart

An honours degree is a sign of your excellence and in-depth understanding of the field of Earth science. Should you pursue a career after qualifying, the Bachelor of Science (Honours) with a major in Earth science will give you a head start on other potential employees with undergraduate degrees.

Internationally-transferable skills

The unique combination of topics within the Massey Bachelor of Science with Honours (Earth Science) will equip you with nationally and internationally transferable skills applicable to a wide range of challenges relevant to Earth science.

Jobs related to this degree include hydrocarbon and mineral exploration, environmental assessment and remediation, soil and land use assessment, volcanic hazards and applications utilising remote sensing and GIS skills.

Typical employers include:

  • The energy sector (oil and gas),
  • The mining industry
  • Environmental and engineering consultancies
  • Local authorities

Alternatively, the Bachelor of Science with Honours is an excellent preparation for proceeding to either a higher degree (PhD) or specialist degrees in related fields (e.g. geophysics and engineering geology).

Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates, found that in New Zealand:

  • Young master’s graduates earn more than one and a half times more than the national median (five years after study)
  • Earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed
  • Five years after completion, the median earnings of young master’s graduates are 15% higher than for those with a bachelor’s degree.

A step into further study

The honours programme also gives you the research and analytical skills you need to progress into further high-level research/study, such as at a PhD level.

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 contact@massey.ac.nz Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey