Bachelor of Forestry Science

Forestry pic


‌The Bachelor of Forestry Science (BForSc) is a professional degree offered by the New Zealand School of Forestry. It is an interdisciplinary degree that prepares graduates for managing forest resources by combining the study of core science courses with management, commerce and technologies.

Small classes and field trips make for an engaging and rewarding learning experience at UC. Forestry Science graduates are highly sought after by employers and follow exciting and rewarding career paths. 

Features of the Bachelor of Forestry Science at UC

  • Four-year professional degree that is unique in New Zealand
  • A balance of theoretical and hands-on practical work, including field trips to sites around New Zealand
  • Exchange programmes with top Forestry schools in Canada and the United States
  • Small classes create a high-quality learning environment
  • The School has strong employer links and our graduates enjoy above-average employment rates.

Entry requirements

Admission to UC with University Entrance, or equivalent, is required to enrol for a Bachelor's degree. Domestic applicants over 20 who do not hold University Entrance, or equivalent, may gain admission by providing evidence of their ability to complete tertiary study successfully. For information on gaining admission to UC please see how to apply for undergraduate qualifications

You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

Recommended preparation

The BForSc is open to all students who gain entry to the University. It is recommended that prospective students take NCEA Level 3 biology and maths (including statistics and probability) – or the IB/Cambridge equivalent.

If you have not studied Year 12 chemistry or Year 13 statistics, or if you feel you have a weak background in these subjects, you should consider enrolling in a Headstart preparatory course over summer.

Fast-track option

You may be able to fast-track your degree and gain direct entry to the second year if you have excellent Year 13 results or a New Zealand Certificate in Science with outstanding merit. It is possible to gain exemption for parts of the Forestry Examinations with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) or a New Zealand Diploma in Forestry with outstanding merit.

Qualification structure and duration

The BForSc requires a total of 480 points over four years. The first year provides a substantial base in pure science which is necessary for the professional study of Forestry Science. 

Studying at other New Zealand universities

It is possible to study the first year of the Bachelor of Forestry Science at other New Zealand universities. If you are considering this option you should consult the School of Forestry for your course selection, which would include FORE 102 Forests and Societies (available by distance).

Bachelor of Forestry Science with Honours

If you have a good grade average across 200 and 300-level courses you may be invited to undertake honours as part of the fourth year of your degree. Honours involves the completion of a research course FORE 414 Dissertation.

Typical degree structure for Bachelor of Forestry Science

Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
    Compulsory courses
    Elective Forestry Science courses
    Dissertation for honours students only
(1) CHEM 114 is recommended.
Each small block represents a 15-point course. However, some courses may be 30 points (or more).

Double Degrees

It is possible to combine a Forestry degree with the study of another degree, such as a Bachelor of Commerce or Bachelor of Science. Normally you can complete the two degrees in five years, but some degree combinations may take longer. It is also possible to complete a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a strong Forestry emphasis. 

If you are considering a double degree you should consult the School of Forestry or the Liaison Office. Find out more information about Double degrees.

There is also a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours specialising in Forest Engineering at UC.

Subjects and courses

The first year provides a substantial base in pure science which is necessary for the professional study of Forestry Science. First year courses include: 

In the second, third and fourth years you will then apply your knowledge to the forest situation, with elective options available in the third and fourth years.

Further study

The School of Forestry offers a range of options for graduate and postgraduate study.

For those graduates wishing to update or retrain:

For those who wish to advance their Forestry Science studies and research:

Career opportunities

UC students benefit from New Zealand Institute of Forestry meetings, lectures on campus and summer work opportunities. Some of the biggest companies in New Zealand hire UC graduates and many obtain work overseas.

Possible careers include forest management (plantation and native forests), conservation, harvesting, wood processing, planning, policy, forest science, timber appraisal, biosecurity, forest economics, sustainability and land management.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Forestry Science.

More information

For the full degree requirements see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Forestry Science. For more information on facilities, resources and staff, visit the College of Engineering | Te Rāngai Pūkaha

For more general information email info@canterbury.ac.nz or freephone 0800 VARSITY (827 748).

For assistance with planning your programme of study contact the Liaison Office (new students), or a College of Engineering Student Advisor (advancing students).


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Denny Du

Zhibin (Denny) Du

'UC gave me such valuable experiences and opportunities...'

Jack Burgess

Jack Burgess

'It is special to be a part of a programme that is focused on student involvement to solve Forestry issues...'