Ocean life has always sparked curiosity and has been a source of wonder since the beginning of time. More students today have an enthusiasm for obtaining degrees in marine biology and pursuing careers in this mysterious sector. However, the nation and school you choose to study at will determine whether or not you receive a well-structured marine biology degree. Therefore, New Zealand might be among the finest options for overseas students who want to pursue a career in the ocean life sector. It is one of the best areas to learn underwater because the entire nation is encircled by water.

For the reason of its abundance of marine life, New Zealand may be one of your options if you’re considering obtaining a degree in marine biology. This article will introduce you to the top schools in New Zealand where you may study marine biology and also help you select the school that is right for you. Start reading!

Is Pursuing a Degree in Marine Biology Worth It?

The globe is surrounded by water on almost 70% of its surface, making oceanography a vast field of study. Your individual interests, objectives, and expectations will determine if earning a degree in marine biology is worthwhile. The study of all marine plants and animals falls within the scientific field of marine biology.

Marine biology is a fascinating, interdisciplinary field that is equally challenging and competitive. To flourish as a marine biologist, you’ll need a solid academic foundation, practical abilities, and field or lab experience. Life is too short to consider a worthwhile career. Be worthy of your passion by following it.

Top Marine Biology Schools in New Zealand for International Students

We’ve selected five institutions in New Zealand where you can advance your marine biology career. These institutions ensure that you will receive the appropriate training, the appropriate equipment, and experts who can help you reach your ultimate objective of being a professional in oceanography.

1. Auckland University of Technology – Faculty of Science

The Auckland University of Technology was established in 2000 and is located in Auckland. With over 29,100 students enrolled across three campuses in Auckland, AUT is the third-largest university in New Zealand in terms of total enrolment of students. You can study both undergraduate and graduate degrees in marine science at one of New Zealand’s most cutting-edge schools.

According to several recognized ranking sites, the university is ranked in the top 50 worldwide, in the top 1% (251-300) of universities, and second in New Zealand. It is without a doubt one of New Zealand’s largest institutions and the most popular place for postgraduate study, where you may interact with unique students from around the globe.

2. University of Otago – Department of Marine Science

In 1869, the University of Otago, a public research institution with collegiate status, was established in Dunedin. Apart from being a top marine biology school in New Zealand, Otago is renowned for its active student community, rich culture, and historic homes. You’ll learn from some of New Zealand’s top professors and lecturers at Otago.

Employers adore graduates from Otago and around 95% of the graduates start working right away or continue their education. Graduates in marine science pursue fulfilling professions in governmental organizations and academic institutions working in the fields of environmental services, fisheries, and conservation. Aless Smith, a former student of Otago who holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in marine science, is a marine biosecurity officer with the Northland Regional Council in Whangarei at the moment.

3. Victoria University of Wellington – School of Biological Sciences

A public institution with a 125-year history, Victoria University of Wellington is located in Wellington, New Zealand. The institution provides a wide variety of additional courses in addition to its well-regarded programs in law, the humanities, and several scientific fields.

According to the subject-specific 2023 QS World University Rankings Victoria University of Wellington is in the top 1% of universities worldwide in 18 subject areas. Marine biology and marine conservation are the only two marine-related courses that are now offered to students around the globe. Therefore, any of these courses could be taken by international students who want to learn oceanography in depth.

4. Manukau Institute of Technology – Maritime School

Another great institution to pursue marine biology in New Zealand is the Manukau Institute of Technology. It is a Category One Institute of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand, founded in 1970. Over 14,000 students are enrolled at MIT, one of New Zealand’s leading providers of technical, vocational, and professional education. The tuition fee is higher than at other universities because the university is among the best in New Zealand. However, MIT offers a variety of scholarships and free first-year education to students from all over the world. International students should therefore enroll in programs that are relevant to maritime courses to learn more about it.

5. Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology – Maritime

Top of the South Island in New Zealand, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology is a public educational institution that has been offering tertiary education since 1904. NMIT enrolls over 3,000 equivalent full-time students yearly and provides 100 programs at the certificate, diploma, or degree level in a variety of subjects. This center combines aquaculture and marine conservation to begin finding solutions to the problems facing many of the freshwater and marine environments on our globe. To reach your full potential, you might pursue a bachelor’s degree as well as other certificate programs in oceanography.


The biodiversity hotspot in the world is New Zealand. Up to 85% of New Zealand’s fauna, according to experts, may be present in the ocean. Choosing one of the aforementioned universities in New Zealand to pursue a degree in the marine biology industry opens up the possibility of developing a strong foundation and career. We wish you luck as you pursue your goal of becoming a maritime specialist.


Hopefully, this article on the best marine biology schools in New Zealand will help you narrow down your options for pursuing a degree in marine biology or related programs. You might be interested in reading our article about the Best Countries to Study Marine Biology!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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