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

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