Join one of New Zealand’s top research institutions—at the Wellington Faculty of Science you’ll be part of a lively environment fostering world-leading research

Our internationally recognised staff keep Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington well-placed in the global science community. Postgraduate students are a key part of our research and many students carry out work that leads to scientific breakthroughs. Students can also get opportunities to present at international conferences and publish in peer-reviewed international journals.

“Everything the [antibiotic research] team pulls out is completely novel. It’s this opportunity to uncover things that no one has seen before that I love most about my research.”
Luke Stevenson, PhD candidate in Biotechnology

Wellington is the hub of science innovation in New Zealand. Home to many national organisations and the highest concentration of science organisations in New Zealand, our capital city places our students at the heart of science discovery. The University's close connections with the science community provide our students with unparalleled opportunities for research collaboration and future employment.

Research areas

The Wellington Faculty of Science is home to five schools, each with their own research strengths. Use the links to read about research in your subject area or find out who to talk to.

School of Biological Sciences

Find out more about Biological Sciences research.

School of Chemical and Physical Sciences

Find out more about Chemical and Physical Sciences research.

School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences

Find out more about Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences research.

School of Mathematics and Statistics

Find out more about research at the School of Mathematics and Statistics.

School of Psychology

Find out more about Psychology research.

Research degrees

The Faculty offers a range of Master’s research degrees and a PhD. Some Master’s degrees include coursework and a thesis or research portfolio, and others are by thesis only.

In addition to these research Master’s degrees, the faculty offers several other specialist Master’s programmes, which may include a research topic of up to 60 points.

Research across disciplines

The Faculty offers more than 40 subject areas within science. However, we encourage innovation by thinking beyond traditional subject boundaries. You can take an interdisciplinary approach to your research—combining ideas or methods from other subjects within the Faculty or you may collaborate with another school outside the Faculty.


All research students have an academic supervisor to guide and mentor them. If you are applying for admission to a research degree, you can start your own search for a supervisor or get in touch with the relevant school's postgraduate coordinator.

Our research centres

Antarctic Research Centre

Providing world-leading research on how the Antarctic is responding to climate change and the consequences, both globally and for New Zealand.

Centre for Applied Cross-cultural Research

The Centre's research responds to the challenges of globalisation, migration and growing cultural diversity through sound theory and research.

Centre for Biodiscovery

An interdisciplinary centre that aims to improve human health and wellbeing through the discovery and application of nature-inspired products and processes.

Centre for Biodiversity and Restoration Ecology

This Centre focuses on the restoration of depleted species and communities in ecosystems impacted by human activity through a range of research topics.

School of Science in Society

Researchers interested in the relationship between science, scientists, society, the history of science, and the communication of scientific information.

Ferrier Research Institute

The Ferrier Research Institute is a team of carbohydrate chemistry experts and analysts working to bring better drugs, materials and technology to the world.

Institute of Geophysics

The Institute of Geophysics coordinates research in geophysics, meteorology and tectonics.

MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology

Victoria University of Wellington leads a national network of preeminent New Zealand scientists who build materials and devices from atoms and molecules.

Malaghan Institute of Medical Research

A leading medical research institute focused on finding treatments for cancer, asthma, allergies, arthritis, MS, and infectious diseases.

New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute

The CCRI develops interdisciplinary climate change research, with particular emphasis on work that spans the natural and social sciences.

Roy McKenzie Centre for the Study of Families

The Roy McKenzie Centre for the Study of Families conducts research about New Zealand families to assist legal processes.

Victoria University Coastal Ecology Laboratory

This award-winning research facility in Island Bay undertakes research concerned with coastal, intertidal and shallow sub-tidal rock ecosystems.