Botany is an exciting and challenging degree taught by a team of excellent plant scientists.
You will learn about important, topical issues such as biotechnology, genetic modification, ecosystem services, sustainability and the ecological impacts of environmental change.
Studying Botany at Otago will enable you to examine New Zealand’s unique flora on land and in the sea. You will study its diversity and evolutionary history as well as how this flora may be affected by changing climatic conditions, ocean acidification, and invasive organisms. Botany courses will cover a wide range of topics from how photosynthetic organisms function to understanding their role in ecosystem processes. This will include the importance of plants in addressing some of the challenges and problems that face society in the 21st Century.
Botany courses have great field-trips focusing on various aspects of plant ecology, and allowing you to participate in hands-on study of our exciting natural environment.
The wide range of topics and skills learnt in Botany can lead to many different careers.
There will always be jobs for plant scientists because plants are so fundamental to life on earth.
The world’s economies are highly dependent on plants and their associated habitats, not only for food production but also for timber, for the fibres and chemical compounds plants produce and for the ecological services they provide, such as removing CO2 from the atmosphere.
Plant scientists are employed around the world in industry, governmental and non-governmental organisations that seek to understand and conserve the natural environment, and to educate people about it.
Botany graduates are in high demand in industries such as biotechnology, horticulture, tourism and agriculture.
A Botany degree can also lead to a career in conservation, biosecurity, environmental education, environmental consultancy or academic research.
Our graduates take up positions in local and national government, for instance at the Department of Conservation, and Ministry of Primary Industries and Crown Research Institutes.
While an understanding of basic biology would be useful, it is not essential – you will be taught everything you need to know once you start your course.
The basics of cells, plants and their environments are covered in the first year Biology and Ecology papers. All you need is enthusiasm and curiosity!
Explore your study options further. Refer to enrolment information found on the following qualification pages.
- Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc)
- Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc)
- Bachelor of Science (BSc)
- Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons))
- Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad)
- Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci)
- Master of Science (MSc)
- Doctor of Philosophy (P
The Department of Botany at Otago is the only university department in New Zealand specialising in the science of plants, and one of only a few in Australasia.
Modern Botany includes research into the biochemistry, ecology, genetics and physiology of plants, plant evolution, the role plants play in ecosystems and plant biotechnology.
A Botany degree can lead to a career in conservation, biosecurity, environmental education, environmental consultancy or academic research.