The way living things co-exist with one another is an intriguing phenomenon to study, especially when you have an inclination for questioning the why’s and how’s of things. Biology is a broad field that allows you to investigate from the most colossal of living beings, down to the molecular composition of organisms.

With rich biodiversity and natural resources only found in Australasia, New Zealand presents a conducive learning space for biology students. Their programs are often accredited by the United Kingdom, Australia, and divisions of the United Nations – a testament to the quality and dedication of New Zealand to education and an adept workforce.

In this article, we look into some of the best universities in New Zealand to offer biology programs. Find out which university best suits your needs and expectations.

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Top Universities for Biology in New Zealand

1. University of Auckland

The University of Auckland is the largest university in New Zealand. It is also the country’s top school and representative for international university rankings.

Among the best biology universities in New Zealand, the University of Auckland also places highly in the international charts of university impact. It is committed to meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and leaving a positive impact on society.

The School of Biological Sciences oversees the university’s biology course offerings. Undergraduate and graduate students are accommodated, with the undergraduate biology program providing students the proper foundation to prepare them in securing a career in biological sciences.

Graduate students on the other hand can further their studies with the school’s broad range of postgraduate programs. Master’s students can pursue comprehensive coursework concentrating in biomedical science, bioscience enterprise, and ecology, to name some.

Diploma courses for postgraduates are also offered in the school. And with the versatility of biology, equipping yourself with a doctorate enhances your credibility and affinity for more higher-level jobs. The School of Biological Sciences is more than happy to welcome doctoral students.

2. University of Otago

The University of Otago is New Zealand’s oldest university and third-oldest in Oceania. It comes second as the country’s top-performing higher education institution, just behind the University of Auckland.

The University of Otago has 4 academic schools. Under the Division of Sciences, biological programs at the undergraduate level are available as either science or applied science degrees. Students can choose among 25 majors; each major corresponding to a subfield in biology. Some of the offered majors are biochemistry, oceanography, and genetics. Even physical education and sports technology are managed by the division.

The division also accommodates postgraduate studies in similar subjects from the undergraduate program. Master’s degrees are also awarded under the science and applied science master’s degrees.

Meanwhile, doctoral students at the University of Otago are highly entertained. The university not only produces high-quality research papers through its Ph.D. program; it is also an avenue for professionals to engage with nearby communities to hone communication and leadership skills.

3. Massey University

Massey University is New Zealand’s largest university by student population. It welcomes over 3,000 international students annually.

Massey University is widely recognized as it is the only university in the country to provide education for veterinary medicine, aviation, and nanoscience.

The university is divided into 5 colleges. The College of Sciences oversees mentorship in the biological sciences. The School of Natural and Computational Sciences accommodates both undergraduate and graduate students aspiring to accomplish a degree in biological sciences and its subfields.

In total, undergraduates can choose to enroll among the 10 program offerings of this top-notch biology school. Aside from lectures and laboratory exercises, students also have the opportunity to present a research project.

The main research specializations of the School of Sciences include a biological standpoint on the onset and development of disease, microbiology, and genetics.

The school also accommodates graduate students. With over 10 master’s programs and diplomas to choose from, professionals can reinforce their knowledge of undergraduate biology and specialize in subjects like zoology, epidemiology, and veterinary public health. More research-intensive work and community immersion are provided in the Ph.D. program of the school.

4. University of Canterbury

The University of Canterbury is New Zealand’s second-oldest university. It excels in engineering and the sciences, having ranked at the top 10 academic rankings on various international charts.

The University of Canterbury offers a broad spectrum of disciplines. These are categorized into 7 departments, with biology and its related fields under the College of Science. The College of Science promises a one-of-a-kind experience in honing the students’ practical and conceptual knowledge. Graduates of the department also land competent and lucrative careers relevant to their degrees.

Biological sciences offered in the department range from certifications, bachelor’s degrees, to postgraduate studies. Unlike most universities, the college presents biology under various principles. Undergraduate students can opt to complete their biology degree by complementing their science subjects with those from the art department through the Bachelor of Arts degree, and so on. Nonetheless, the core of every reiteration of the biology program lies in the understanding of ecosystems, climate change, and sustainability.

The College of Science also accommodates advanced learning for Masters and Doctoral students. Coursework equips the students with an appreciation for modern technology involved in studying lifeforms.

The University of Canterbury presents cutting-edge equipment and facilities to supplement the students’ learning journey. Top-of-the-line machinery, labs, gardens, and observation centers are available to promote the students’ applied skills.

5. Victoria University of Wellington

Victoria University of Wellington is another one of the best biology universities in New Zealand. It is a top-performing university in the country. With campuses scattered across Wellington, the university features acclaimed programs in many courses like the sciences, humanities, and law.

Victoria University of Wellington also boasts a high research grade among universities in the country. It also ranks among the top one percent of the world’s best universities in various charts.

The School of Biological Sciences facilitates course offerings for the broad field of biology. Undergraduates can choose to pursue a degree in biological sciences, biomedical sciences, or ecology and marine biology. Each program is specially curated to equip students with industry-savvy skills necessary for addressing problems related to health, society, and the environment.

Meanwhile, postgraduate studies feature a wide range of subjects for students to specialize in. These include a Master’s or an Honours option to major in biotechnology, cell, and molecular bioscience, and marine biology to name a few.


I hope this article on the best biology universities in New Zealand was helpful. Make sure to also check out our Scholarships Page for different information on scholarships and universities across the globe!