Study Geography in New Zealand

Introduction to studying a geography degree at a New Zealand university

Studying a geography program in New Zealand as an international student offers a fascinating exploration of the Earth's diverse landscapes, ecosystems, and human-environment interactions. The curriculum typically encompasses a wide range of modules, including physical geography, human geography, environmental management, GIS (Geographic Information Systems), remote sensing, and spatial analysis. Students delve into topics such as climate change, sustainable development, urbanization, cultural geography, and natural hazards, gaining a deep understanding of the complex interplay between society and the environment.

New Zealand's geography programs are a popular choice for international students due to the country's stunning natural landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and commitment to environmental sustainability. With a strong emphasis on experiential learning and interdisciplinary approaches, students have the opportunity to explore diverse geographic phenomena firsthand, from rugged mountains and pristine beaches to vibrant cities and indigenous communities. Internship and placement opportunities are available with government agencies, environmental organizations, research institutes, and consulting firms, allowing students to gain valuable professional experience and make meaningful contributions to real-world geographic challenges.

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Types of Geography Degrees in New Zealand

New Zealand universities offer geography courses in various specialisations, such as cultural geography, earth and marine sciences, environmental geography, and historical geography.

Bachelor’s of Arts in Geography

The Bachelor of Arts in Geography is an undergraduate program where you will develop an understanding of cultural, social, and physical environments. It is a well-diverse program that covers issues such as sustainability, urban development, and globalisation. BA in Geography includes physical and human geography, where you will gain a solid foundation for understanding the world as a product that combines natural and social processes. A career in geography can lead to postgraduate degrees or varied career opportunities, such as environmental manager, urban or regional planner, and cartographer. 

Master’s of Arts in Geography

A postgraduate degree in geography covers a range of research interests in subjects such as physical and biological systems, environmental management, geographical information science, and social, economic, and cultural change. The curriculum enables you to understand environmental issues and how people are affected. After completing the course, you can opt for an environment strategist and geoscientist career or work in a research program (PhD) in a specific specialisation. 


Many universities offer scholarships for geography courses in New Zealand. The government also provide grants and funding to students based on their academic career and financial requirements. The scholarship programs for geography degrees in New Zealand are as follows -

Scholarship name

Offered by

Award value (in NZD)

Vice Chancellor’s International Excellence Scholarship for India

University of Waikato


AUT Doctoral Scholarships

Auckland University of Technology


Victoria University of Wellington Study Abroad Scholarship

Victoria University of Wellington


Dilmah Tea International Study Award

Massey University


Jobs and Careers

Geography is an exciting career at the interface between science and arts. The program links to sociology, law, engineering, health sciences, and computer science. The course aims to provide innovative solutions to improve global society, including climate change and poverty. Graduates in geography can get valuable skills like teamwork and independent thinking, practical application to sustainable development, analytical skills, critical thinking, time management, and enhanced ability to synthesise different viewpoints. 

They work in careers in public service, environment science and conservation, tourism, and private companies dealing with geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning, and foreign affairs. Some popular careers are geotechnical engineer, hydrological analyst, climate consultant, geohealth analyst, university lecturer, and environmental engineer. 

New Zealand universities also offer students opportunities to join professional bodies relevant to their interests. Organisations like the New Zealand Geographical Society, New Zealand Coastal Society, and New Zealand Planning Institute provide students with industry knowledge and offer networking opportunities. 


The average salary of a geography graduate in New Zealand can range from $85,000 to $1,05,000 annually. An entry-level position salary can be around $93,989 annually, and the most experienced employee in the geography field can make around $124,500 annually. However, the salary in New Zealand can widely vary depending on the industry, jobs, skills, experience, and geographical location.

Top Universities for Geography Courses in New Zealand

To learn more about the best geography courses in New Zealand, find details on the top-ranking geography universities in the EduRank Guide 2024 below:



Acceptance rate


University of Auckland



University of Otago



University of Canterbury



Massey University



Victoria University of Wellington



University of Waikato



Lincoln University



Auckland University of Technology


Study Geography in New Zealand

If you want to learn more about studying for a geography degree at a New Zealand university, arrange a free consultation with SI-Global today.

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What types of geography courses are available in New Zealand?

Geography courses are offered in various specialisation areas, such as development studies, geographic information systems, and hydrology. These are offered in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs full-time and part-time. 

Are there post-graduation work opportunities for geography graduates in New Zealand?

Yes, New Zealand offers work opportunities for geography graduates. They can work in public service, environment science and conservation, tourism, and private companies.

Can international students work while studying geography in New Zealand?

International students with student visas can work up to 20 hours per week during their academic year and full-time during breaks. 

Is there fieldwork or practical experience incorporated into geography courses?

Yes, all the geography courses in New Zealand have a curriculum designed with theoretical and practical learning. The programs are delivered through lectures, seminars, practical assessments, and group work. 

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