Awards and scholarships

There are a number of scholarships available to students at Victoria University of Wellington to assist with financing study.

Victoria University of Wellington scholarships

Many scholarships are available for students at Victoria University of Wellington, through the Scholarships Office.

The office maintains the Scholarships database, a comprehensive searchable database listing all available scholarships with criteria, value, tenure and closing dates. Most application forms can be downloaded from this database. For best results when searching the database, keep the search terms broad.

The office also welcomes enquiries from students and staff. Please contact us by email or drop in to 10 Kelburn Parade between 8.00am and 4.30pm.

The School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences' scholarships

Potentially Funded MSc Thesis Opportunity Urban Skyglow 

Expressions of interest are invited from students interested in an MSc project on the relative contribution of street lighting to night-time urban skyglow in New Zealand.

Discussions are currently underway between the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences (SGEES) and the New Zealand Transport Agency about the possibility of financial support for a student to undertake such an MSc project in the SGEES.


A transition from sodium lighting to LED lighting is currently underway for many of the approximately 360,000 road lights in in New Zealand. Benefits include energy savings, extended life / reduced maintenance costs, and improved lighting quality. However, there have been some concerns expressed about potential effects of night-time “blue light” on ecosystems and on human health, and about “light pollution” from street lights. HPS (high pressure sodium) lighting emits little light at the blue end of the visible spectrum, whereas LEDs used for street lighting are closer in colour to daylight, with a higher proportion of their output lying in the blue range than for sodium lights.

Little information is presently available for New Zealand on the relative contribution to nightglow of street lighting compared to other urban light sources, or on how this relative contribution and the spectral makeup of nightglow may change in future as more lighting is changed to LEDs. This project sets out to reduce this information gap.

This is an opportunity to carry out research in an area of growing public interest. For example, material on “Blue Light Aotearoa - Impacts of Artificial Blue Light on Health and the Environment” was recently produced by Te Apārangi, the Royal Society of New Zealand. This was picked up widely in the media.

Required Interests / Capabilities:

The project would be suitable for a student with a background in physical geography, physics or engineering. It would likely include modelling the various contributions to urban skyglow, using theory and model(s) developed overseas along with New Zealand information on light sources and their characteristics. A small thesis advisory panel would include a traffic engineer with street lighting expertise, and an atmospheric scientist.

Next Steps:

If you are interested, please contact Professor James Renwick ( as soon as possible before the end of February 2019 for further information and discussion.