Bachelor of Environmental Management

Bachelor of Environmental Management

Bachelor of Environmental Management

Bachelor of Environmental Management

Develop your passion about climate change, local food systems, renewable energy or conservation with the Bachelor of Environmental Management. This degree offers you the broadest scope of any Environmental Management course in New Zealand and will expose you to a wide range of potential employers or clients in the areas of environmental management.

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Key Details

Three years full-time

Study Modes:
On Campus

2024 Semester 2: 15 July to 08 November

2025 Semester 1: 17 February to 04 July

2025 Semester 2: 21 July to 14 November


This programme is eligible for the Zero Fees Scheme.


Maybe you are passionate about climate change, local food systems or conservation, maybe you are passionate about getting a great job with the Ministry for Primary Industries, a regional Council, a renewable energy company, a local food company or an environmental consultancy company. Maybe you love camping and tramping and maybe you want to learn some useful skills like pest monitoring and water quality testing. If any or all of these apply to you then look no further because SIT’s Bachelor of Environmental Management programme offers you the broadest scope of any Environmental Management degree course in New Zealand.

SIT delivers an exciting, hands-on programme with a host of field trips, guest speakers and industry-related research projects. This degree course will develop your theoretical knowledge and practical skills for a growing number of environmental management careers.

The impact of human activities on our planet is sadly, becoming increasingly obvious. Learn how to manage human activity and create a sustainable balance with nature. Environmental Management is an all-encompassing area which looks to find the answers to a sustainable existence.

Learn about:

  • Renewable Energy
  • Sustainable food systems
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Impact assessment
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Environmental Law
  • Resource Management
  • Conservation Principles
  • Land, Freshwater and Marine Management
  • Practical training includes First Aid, river crossing, camping skills, trip planning and assessment

Hands-on training with Environmental Management Equipment

  • DJI Phantom 2 drone (aerial surveying)
  • Topographic and land surveying tools
  • Soil auger kit and soil research equipment
  • Sedimentology research equipment
  • Water quality testing equipment
  • Environmental parameter testing (anemometer, sound meter)
  • Faunal research equipment (bat detectors, motion activated cameras, tracking tunnels/chew cards, malaise traps)
  • Primo Star Microscopes
  • Chemistry lab analytical instruments
  • Collection of rock and mineral specimens

The Bachelor of Environmental management program is offering two exciting new papers in sustainable food systems, one level 6 paper (second year) and one level 7 paper (third year). These papers will be elective papers. This means that at the end of the first year students can choose whether to take EM210 (Renewable Energy) or EM211 (sustainable Food Systems 1). Then depending on their second year choice they will take EM310 (Energy Auditing) or EM311 (Sustainable Food Systems 2). Having these electives gives our Bachelor students the opportunity to further explore one of two important and exciting subjects which are helping to conceptualise and build a more sustainable human society.

Year One

EM100 Data Management and Introductory Biometrics

Provides students with mathematical, analytical, and computing skills sufficient to achieve an understanding of how to source, collect, manipulate, analyse, interpret, and present data relevant to environmental sciences.

EM101 Resource Management and  Environmental Law

Introduces students to the concepts, principles, and applications of environmental law, its historical and current context, and the various Acts that currently govern environmental law and related legislation within New Zealand society.

EM102 Work Environment Skills

Provides students with practical knowledge of various instruments, techniques, machinery, and Occupational Health and Safety requirements that they will encounter on entering the workforce.

EM104 Ecological Principles and Conservation in New Zealand

Provides students with an understanding of the ecological and biological principles fundamental to New Zealand ecosystem management.

EM105 Marine and Freshwater Ecology

Provides a basic knowledge and understanding of the ecological factors which characterise coastal, marine, fluvial, and lacustrine environments. The potential impacts of various management activities will also be explored.

EM106 Conservation Management

Explores the problems and challenges with managing the New Zealand environment.

EM107 Environmental Science 1: Introduction to Chemistry

Students will acquire knowledge of the basic concepts of chemistry as it applies to environmental management.  On successful completion of this paper, the student will be able to describe the fundamental chemical concepts of atomic theory, chemical bonding and chemical reactions, demonstrate knowledge of the major chemical cycles and their influence on the environment and have an understanding of the phenomenon of pH and its relevance to environmental science.

EM110 Introduction to Renewable Energy

Introduces students to concepts of sustainability and renewable energy (RE) in the context of energy production and utilisation. Reviews existing and emerging renewable energy sources.

Year Two

EM200 Research and Statistics

Prepares students for professional practice by presenting research as a uniting strategy for practice, theory, and scholarship. Both scientific and interpretive knowledge will be drawn upon in preparing the student to become a competent practitioner of research. Students will also be assisted in developing skills as a beginning researcher.

EM202 Earth Science and Environmental Management

Students will learn to relate earth architecture, earth cycles, and earth geomorphology to the current environmental situation. They will investigate the relationship between surface features, surface processes, chemical constraints, and ecology and habitats. This paper introduces students to the concepts and applications of remotely sensed data and the application of these data to geological and environmental problems.

EM203 Land and Freshwater Environmental Management

Students will consider the issues that influence environmental management of land and freshwater at global, national, and local scales. This includes consideration of political, economic, social, and environmental and regulatory factors influencing decision making.

EM205 Marine and Coastal Environmental Management

Students will consider and assess the issues that influence marine and coastal environmental management at a global, national, and regional level.

EM206 Conservation and Environmental Management

This paper extends the theoretical knowledge, skills, and experience of students gained in EM100 level papers relating to environmental management. It also expands on concepts pertaining to ecological theory and ecological processes through time and introduces concepts of habitat restoration and protection.

EM208 Environmental Science 2:  Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Genetic and Microbiology

Students will acquire knowledge of the basic concepts of organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology and genetics as they apply to environmental management.

EM209 Geographic Information Systems

This paper provides a foundation for understanding and applying what GIS is, its functionality and applications in a real world GIS context.

Choose one of the two following papers:

EM210 Renewable Energy Technologies*
*This elective is not being currently offered, please choose the Sustainable Food System Option

This paper expands on EM110 and extends students' knowledge of the concepts and principles associated with renewable energy technology with an emphasis on commercially available and small-scale applications. It includes terminology and measurement units employed and basic manipulation of data relating to energy systems.

EM211 Sustainable Food Systems 1

This paper examines the issues, theories and concepts that are involved in the development of sustainable food systems. Learning through field trips exploring local food initiatives and sustainable agriculture systems, through research and lectures, this paper equips students with in-depth understanding of different types of food systems from local to global.

Year Three               

EM300 Research I

Students will apply their knowledge and gain industry experience within an environmental management related context. The cooperative experience is structured to allow students to critically reflect on the relationship between academic studies and practice and to develop the capabilities of teamwork and problem solving. Students will prepare a proposal for an industry related project which will be research orientated and beneficial to the environmental management context.

EM301 Research II

This paper will provide an opportunity for students to extend their knowledge and gain further industry experience with the environmental management context  previously selected. Students will complete a project which will be research orientated.

EM304 Advanced Environmental Impact Assessment and Monitoring

Introduces students to the concepts, principles, and skills associated with environmental impact assessments.

EM306 Case Studies in Environmental Management and Sustainability

Provides an over arching paper, which brings together the elements developed during the degree programme.  The paper emphasises governance at the national and local level coupled with the legal, scientific, management, economic, and societal constraints in relation to various environmental problems confronting the world, the nation, and Southland.  Students will be encouraged to explore issues from various points of view (society at large, local iwi, various management levels in the public and private sector, and stakeholders) and to propose consultation methods, solution pathways, management indicators and scientific solutions.

EM307 Mineral Resources Management

Expands on 100 and 200 level related papers and investigates both mineral and energy resources, to differentiate between renewable and non renewable earth resources, to explore how these resources form and to explore methods used to manage the exploitation of the resources in an environmentally responsible manner.

EM207 Catchment Evolutions, Soils and Hydrogeology

Extends first year environmental studies and introduces more complex catchment evolution, soil and hydrology concepts.

Choose one of the two following papers:

EM310 Energy Auditing

Provides students with knowledge and skills in procedures required to conduct an energy audit. This will involve site inspections, identifying and documenting energy requirements for that site, recording energy utilisation details, and measuring, quantifying, and reporting energy consumption needs.

EM311 Sustainable Food Systems II

Building on what was learned in EM211, this paper develops the concepts of food sovereignty, food security and food justice into the analysis of definitions and approaches to addressing food poverty and developing local sustainable food systems. Students learn about this cutting edge subject  through field trips, hands-on projects, lectures and guest speakers.

The degree will prepare graduates for employment in a wide and growing number of careers in the environment and energy-related fields, or for further advanced study in specialist areas such as environmental health, or policy and planning.

Our graduates now work in positions such as:

  • Resource management planner
  • Consents and compliance officer
  • Pest management controller
  • Researcher
  • Technician
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Analyst
  • auditor
  • Geographic information systems operator (GIS)
  • Conservation roles
  • Farm manager
  • Air quality monitoring 
  • Geological monitoring
  • Ecological tourism
  • Sustainable businesses
  • Waste management

More than 85% of our graduates have gone into employment or further study in these fields.

The programme will provide students with exposure to a wide range of potential employers or clients in the areas of environmental management e.g. central, regional and local government; primary production and energy related industries.

Graduates will have well-developed theoretical knowledge coupled with relevant applied skills. Bachelor of Environmental Management graduates may be eligible to articulate to postgraduate programmes in environmental management at other tertiary institutions, both within New Zealand and overseas.

Further advanced study can be completed in specialist areas such as environmental health, or policy and planning.

School Leavers
University Entrance NCEA Level 3. Three subjects at Level 3 or above made up of the following:
  • 14 credits each, in three approved subjects 
  • Literacy - 10 credits at Level 2 or above made up of five credits in reading five credits in writing 
  • Numeracy - 10 credits at Level 1 or above made up of achievement standards available through a range of subjects or unit standards package of three numeracy unit standards 26623, 26626, 26627 - all three required
Mature Applicants
Be at least 20 years of age when the programme begins and provide evidence of aptitude or appropriate work or other experience. For example, successful completion of a programme of study at Level 4 and above and /or substantial work experience in environmental related groups or activities.
Completion of an external or overseas qualification which is considered to be the equivalent of any of the above qualifications as approved by the Head of Faculty.

Special Admission
Notwithstanding the above admissions categories in exceptional circumstances a mature aged applicant who can show evidence of ability to succeed in the programme may be considered for admission provided the applicant has successfully completed an approved course or programme which is deemed to prepare graduates for the required academic standard for entry.
Provisional Part time Admission
An applicant who does not meet academic criteria, may be provisionally admitted to enrol in one or more Year one papers. Upon successful completion of the paper the student may apply for special admission or admission by mature entry.

English Language Requirements

Applicants, whose first language is not English, or who come from a country where the language of instruction in schools is not English, are required to provide evidence of having achieved one of the following: 

NCEA Level 3 with University Entrance, or

an International Baccalaureate Diploma or Cambridge A- level qualification for which the teaching and assessment was conducted in English, or

Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA), or

Trinity College  London Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CertTESOL), or

Successful completion of all primary education (being the equivalent of New Zealand primary school Years 1 to 8) and at least three years of secondary education (being the equivalent of three years from New Zealand secondary school Years 9 to 13) at schools in  either New Zealand, Australia­, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States one of the countries listed in Rule 18.5 where the student was taught using English as the language of instruction, or

Successful completion of at least five years of secondary education (being the equivalent of New Zealand secondary school Years 9 to 13) at schools in either New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States where the student was taught using English as the language of instruction, or

Successful completion of a Bachelors' Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Bachelor Honours degree, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, Masters’ Degree or Doctoral Degree, the language of instruction of which must be in English and which must be  from a tertiary education provider from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom or the United States, or

Successful completion of one of the following internationally recognised proficiency tests listed below to the level required of the programme of study and  with all scores achieved in a single test during the two years  preceding the proposed date of enrolment:

Degree at Level 7

  • IELTS test - Academic score of 6 with no band score lower than 5.5
  • TOEFL Paper based test (pBT) - Score of 550 (with an essay score 5 TWE)
  • TOEFL Internet based test (iBT) - Score of 60 (with a writing score of 18)
  • Cambridge English Examination -B2 First or B2 First for schools or C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a score of 169.  No less than 162 in each skill.
  • OET - Minimum of Grade C or 200 in all sub-tests
  • NZCEL - a) Expiring Level, b) Current: a) Level 4 (Academic) b) Level 4 (Academic) 
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) - PTE (Academic) score of 50 with no band score lower than 42 
  • Language Cert - C1 Expert International ESOL Written (LRW) PASS with no less than 25/50 in each skill and Spoken (S) PASS 
  • Trinity ISE - ISE II with no less than distinction in any band
The Head of Faculty will determine the maximum number of students permitted to enrol in the degree programme. All enrolments in the Bachelor of Environmental Management are approved at the discretion of the Programme Manager in consultation with the Head of Faculty and teaching staff as required.

Every candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Environmental Management is required to follow to the satisfaction of the Board of Studies, a programme of study for a minimum period of three years. Each year of study comprises two 17 week semesters.  Programmes of study for the degree are made up of clusters of papers taken at the appropriate levels as outlined in Appendix 1 of this document.  The overall programme of study for every candidate requires 360 credits for successful completion of the degree.  Individual papers may have specific prerequisites or other knowledge/skill requirements, which must be satisfied by all students.

In order to be awarded the Bachelor of Environmental Management, the student will have been credited with all required papers and electives as specified in the degree schedule.

The student completing the Bachelor of Environmental Management will normally be expected to complete the three-year programme (full-time equivalent) within five years. Notwithstanding the requirements set out above, the Head of Faculty with the approval and recommendation of the Board of Studies, may allow a student a longer period to complete the programme.

Classes are held Monday to Friday, 9.00am-3.00pm at SIT's main Invercargill campus.

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