Earth Sciences (2020)

Earth Sciences offers a broad understanding of Earth's landscape features and processes and includes a range of branches of the subject, including soil science, hydrology, geomorphology, physical geography, volcanology, sedimentary geology, coastal marine studies, engineering geology and environmental science.

Earth Sciences is available as a major for the BSc and BSc(Tech) degrees. Earth Sciences may also be taken as a second major, subject to academic approval of the school of studies in which the student is enrolled.

To complete Earth Sciences as a single major, students must gain 135 points, including EARTH101, EARTH102, EARTH211, EARTH221, EARTH231 and EARTH241, and at least 45 points from 300-level Earth Sciences papers.

To complete Earth Sciences as part of a double major, students must gain 120 points, including EARTH101, EARTH102, EARTH211, EARTH221, EARTH231 and EARTH241, and at least 30 points from 300-level Earth Sciences papers.

Students with a special interest in physical geography should consult with the subject convenor before selecting their papers. The majority of papers in Earth Sciences include both laboratory practical and field work.

Further information regarding papers, staff and research details is contained in brochures available from the School of Science office or website.


On this page


  • Prescriptions for the GradCert(EarthSc) and GradDip(EarthSc)

    A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are available to graduates who have not included Earth Sciences at an advanced level in their first degree.

    For further details, contact the School of Science.

  • Prescriptions for the PGCert(EarthSc), PGDip(EarthSc), BSc(Hons), MSc, MSc (Research) and MSc(Tech)

    Students in masters degrees are normally required to take a thesis and a selection of papers. Normally, only 30 points from ENVSC coded paper may be taken as part of an Earth Sciences graduate qualification. Enrolment in papers towards the BSc(Hons) is only by invitation of the Graduate Convenor. Candidates for these graduate qualifications should select their papers in consultation with the Graduate Convenor.

    To complete a BSc(Hons) in Earth Sciences, students must complete 120 points at 500 level, including at least 60 points from the papers listed for Earth Sciences, of which at least 30 points must be of research (normally ERTH591).

  • Prescriptions for the MPhil

    The Master of Philosophy is a one year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis that critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

  • Prescriptions for the PhD

    The Doctor of Philosophy is a three syear research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis that critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

  • 100 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    EARTH101Introduction to Earth System Sciences20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
    A lecture and laboratory paper that explores the interacting processes that affect the surface of the Earth, producing landforms and resources, with a focus on physical processes. Topics covered include coastal processes and hazards; climate change; weathering; erosion and mass movement; soil formation; the hydrological cycle; rive...
    EARTH102Discovering Planet Earth20A (Hamilton)
    This paper explores the Earth's interior and its dynamic interaction with the crust, including: the major rocks and minerals; interpreting the rock record and geologic maps; the geological time scale and fossils; plate tectonics; volcanism; earthquakes.
  • 200 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    EARTH211Earth Resources and Materials20A (Hamilton)
    An introduction to the nature, composition and origin of Earth materials and resources. Topics covered include: mineral properties and their uses; process origins of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks; and the importance of Earth materials as a societal resource. The paper also encompasses the petrographic and analytical ch...
    EARTH221Soil Science20B (Hamilton)
    An introduction to the nature, formation, and classification of soils, their physical, chemical, mineralogical, and biological properties, and issues of soil quality, land degradation and sustainable management. The paper also encompasses the properties, genesis, and distribution of the soils of New Zealand and their use.
    EARTH231Water Resources, Weather and Climate20A (Hamilton)
    Introduction to physical processes that influence the distribution of water in space and time within Aotearoa-New Zealand. Topics include mid-latitude weather and atmospheric precipitation processes that ultimately affect the availability of water across Aotearoa-New Zealand's diverse landscapes: a description of surface water reso...
    EARTH241Oceanography20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
    This paper introduces students to the broad scale properties, issues, and research importance of the global ocean via the main disciplines of oceanography: particularly biological, chemical, geological and physical oceanography
    EARTH251Spatial Analysis in Geosciences20A (Hamilton)
    An introduction to quantitative spatial analysis in the geosciences, including production of maps and cross-sections of geomorphology and Earth materials from field and aerial image interpretation, use of 3D models of Earth materials, and an appreciation of volumes and stresses in the Earth's crust.
  • 300 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    EARTH311Volcanology20A (Hamilton)
    A study of pyroclastic rocks, physical volcanology, volcanic hazards, the origin of magmas, crystallisation of rock-forming minerals and phase equilibria, petrology and trace element geochemistry of volcanic rocks, and geothermal and mineral resources.
    EARTH312Sedimentary Geology20B (Hamilton)
    The ultimate goal of sedimentary geology is to reconstruct the history of the Earth's surface. This paper explores the links between sedimentary rocks and past environments through two major strands: reconstructing depositional environments and understanding the effects of sea-level change on sedimentary processes (sequence stratig...
    EARTH313Engineering Geology20A (Hamilton)
    Engineering Geology is the application of the principles of earth sciences to ensure hazards associated with landslides or unfavourable soil and rock conditions are identified in engineering or environmental work. This paper gives an introduction to the field of engineering geology. Topics covered include: landslide processes and t...
    EARTH321Pedology and Land Evaluation20B (Hamilton)
    This paper comprises two parts that provide the fundamentals of pedology and examine its role in land-use related issues and land management. Part (1): the stratigraphy of soils, their formation and classification in New Zealand; the occurrence and variability spatially of soils, and how they can be mapped using classical and digit...
    EARTH322Soil and Water Management20A (Hamilton)
    This paper integrates an understanding of land/soil and water processes that occur at paddock to catchment to national scales. A focus is on management practices that optimise resource use for productive purposes with attention to avoidance or minimisation of environmental effects. Topics include soil degradation, soil fertility, ...
    EARTH331Hydrology and Water Resources20B (Hamilton)
    This paper introduces students to the techniques of both resource and hazard analysis of fresh water. There is focus on groundwater modelling for resource studies, at the regional level and for analysis of pumped wells. There are also aspects of surface water application, including hydro power studies. Hazard aspects will include t...
    EARTH341Coastal Oceanography20A (Hamilton)
    This paper focuses on the physical oceanography of the coastal zone. Topics include estuarine circulation, wind driven currents on the shelf, longwaves, resonance, seiching, methodologies for quantifying processes and coastal responses, waves and surfzone processes.
    EARTH342Coastal Geomorphology and Management20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
    This paper focuses on understanding of coastal processes, sediments, and evolution of coastal landforms as a basis for coastal management. Topics covered include coastal sediments and processes; coastal landforms, their origin and evolution; coastal hazards and their mitigation; and case studies of coastal issues.
  • 500 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    EARTH501Volcanic Techniques and Applications20A (Hamilton)
    This paper investigates geological techniques used to reconstruct eruption processes and histories, and their application to society, including volcanic facies analysis, tephra studies (tephrochronology), volcanic glass and mineral studies, juvenile and lithic studies, and volcanic hazards.
    EARTH502Land and Soil: Resources and Risks20A (Hamilton)
    In this paper students initially gain practical experience in large-scale soil mapping and in evaluating land-use capability (LUC) on a research farm. They then examine various issues associated with land use, especially its intensification, including the management of farm dairy effluent, soil degradation, and soil contamination. ...
    EARTH503Coastal Processes: Analysis and Prediction20A (Hamilton)
    This paper considers techniques to predict coastal processes for management and research, including assessment of which processes to observe, how to obtain and analyse data, and using results for prediction.
    EARTH504Geohazard Risk20B (Hamilton)
    This seminar paper evaluates the methodologies used to characterise risk associated with geohazards, and assesses the impact of strategies employed to avoid or mitigate this risk.
    EARTH505River Dynamics20A (Hamilton)
    This module investigates the processes that control the evolution of river form and structure over timescales of storm events to decades, through a combination of theory, environmental remote sensing and numerical modelling.
    EARTH506Geological Models20B (Hamilton)
    This paper focusses on the development and application of 2D and 3D conceptual and numerical models of Earth materials. Discussion includes data acquisition, model development, and interpretation.
    ENVSC503Greenhouse Gas Fluxes from Land20A (Hamilton)
    Processes and factors controlling exchanges of water, carbon and greenhouse gases in natural or managed ecosystems, methodologies to quantify them, and approaches to mitigate undesirable anthropogenic consequences.
    ERTH591Dissertation20X (Hamilton)
    A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
    ERTH595Earth Sciences Thesis20X (Hamilton)
    An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
    SCIEN511Scientific Supercomputing20B (Hamilton)
    A practical introduction to undertaking scientific research on a supercomputer. The paper assumes no prior knowledge.
    SCIEN512Data analysis and experimental design20A (Hamilton)
    This paper covers aspects of research design for experiments, and methods for analysis of scientific data using modern statistical techniques.
    SCIEN589Directed Study20A (Hamilton), 20A (Tauranga), 20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
    No description available.
    SCIEN592Dissertation20X (Hamilton) & 20X (Tauranga)
    A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
    SCIEN593Thesis20X (Hamilton) & 20X (Tauranga)
    An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
    SCIEN594Thesis20X (Hamilton) & 20X (Tauranga)
    An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
  • 800 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    ERTH800Earth Sciences MPhil Thesis20X (Hamilton)
    No description available.
  • 900 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    ERTH900Earth Sciences PhD Thesis20I (Hamilton) & 20X (Hamilton)
    No description available.

2020 Catalogue of Papers information current as of : 3 September 2019 10:51am

This page has been reformatted for printing.