School of Environment


Geography is exciting, challenging and relevant to today’s world. Geographers study the natural processes of the physical environment, as well as the activities and consequences of humans in this environment.

Student surveying in the field

Some geographers specialise in Coastal, Glacial or Fluvial Processes and Landforms, Climatology, Biogeography, Hydrology or Environmental Change. Others study Regional Economics, Population Change, the problems of rural or urban areas, or the experience of particular groups such as Māori. Still others, specialising in Spatial Analysis, bring the power of geographic information science to bear on a wide range of research problems. Increasingly, these varied interests are coming together in the study of environmental problems and Geographers lead the way in resource management.

At undergraduate level Geography teaches valuable skills such as spatial data analysis and geographical information systems, landform and hydrological interpretation, introduction to population and economic statistics, computing skills, field skills and ethics. Geography demands good analytical and reporting skills, and our students apply their training in real world situations.

A postgraduate degree in Geography can be an important step towards a successful and rewarding career. Postgraduate training provides for an advanced level of knowledge, as well as contributing to the development of skills that are sought by employers. For some career paths, a postgraduate degree is much more than an advantage, it is a necessity.

Undergraduate study in Geography

Geography is a natural complement to many other subjects in the physical sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. You may combine courses in Geography with Science subjects like Biological Science, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geology, Marine Science, Physics or Science General for a Bachelor of Science (BSc). Alternatively, you may choose to combine Geography with Arts subjects like English, Film Studies, History, Sociology, Philosophy, or Political Science in a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree.

All Geography majors take part in field courses that involve several days in the field away from Auckland (at stage 2 and stage 3). These are a popular feature of the Geography programme and provide a valuable opportunity to apply your learning to the real world.

You could also combine Geography with Commerce subjects like Economics or with Law in a conjoint degree so as to concentrate your studies on a particular aspect of our environment. Alternatively, the wide range of courses in our Geography programme allows you to build an integrated understanding of our environment through the many specialist sub-fields in our discipline.

If you have studied Geography in secondary school we will build upon your experience. If not, our stage I courses will quickly bring you up to speed. You will find that Geographers have a world of opportunity for study.


Find out more about studying Geography at undergraduate level

To find out more about admission and enrolment, careers, academic advisers and other undergraduate study options offered by the School of Environment visit either of the sections below.


Postgraduate study in Geography

The School of Environment has maintained a postgraduate degree programme in Geography, of international standing, for many years. Graduates are well regarded in the New Zealand employment scene and many have gone on to establish high profile, influential careers in the private and public sectors.

A Masters degree and other postgraduate qualifications in Geography give people a strong competitive edge in the employment market, not just by virtue of the qualification, but also because of the high reputation of qualifications granted by The University of Auckland.

Students are given the opportunity to extend their understanding of the human and natural environments, establishing the foundation for interesting careers in such areas as resource management, hydrology and water resources, coastal management, climatology, social, economic and environmental research, health research, business management and analysis, geographic information studies, economics and market research, education, policy development and analysis, research management and community advocacy.

Participants in Geography postgraduate programmes gain other important work skills including:

  • research design and practice
  • project and time management
  • report preparation
  • advanced communication skills
  • information capture, processing and analysis
  • computer processing and analysis skills
  • ethical awareness.


Find out more about studying Geography at postgraduate level

To find out more about admission and enrolment, careers, academic advisers and other postgraduate study options offered by the School of Environment visit either of the sections below.