Bachelor of Natural Sciences (BNatSc)

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Available for international students studying in NZ only
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Help solve the big issues

The world needs scientists who have expertise not just in science, but also in putting science into a global context. Join this unique degree to discover the solutions to today’s big issues like species extinction, climate change, spiralling population growth and the spread of disease.

What is it like?

If you are interested in science and in global issues, the Bachelor of Natural Sciences could be for you.

Leading science in New Zealand

In the study of natural sciences you will be encouraged to work across scientific areas, both independently and as part of a team. You’ll learn about the sociology of science, sustainability, philosophy and project management, putting fundamental sciences into the real world to come up with real solutions. This is unlike the traditional study of fundamental sciences, where the study of mathematics, chemistry, biology and physics are kept quite separate.

The degree is unique in New Zealand and is modelled after similar degrees offered at leading international universities.

When you graduate from the Bachelor of Natural Sciences, you will graduate ready to join the scientific community of today, and be equipped to help solve the global problems of tomorrow.

Fast track masters

The Bachelor of Natural Sciences offers a unique fast-track masters. If you do well in your first three years you can complete a master’s degree in your fourth year.

Flexibility in specialisation

The Bachelor of Natural Sciences offers a number of prescribed pathways which allows you to focus on emerging fields such as sustainability and quantitative biology as well as classical fields such as chemistry, physics and biology from an interdisciplinary perspective. 

Core subjects in your first year include chemistry and living systems, biology of cells, physics for life sciences as well as science and sustainability and core skills for natural sciences. The rest of your subjects and pathways through to graduation are very flexible, depending on your area of interest.

Taught by international experts

You will join the highest achievers in science to study across the disciplines of biological and physical science. You’ll learn from international experts in their field.

$30,000 scholarships available

The Massey University Albany Vice Chancellor's Natural Sciences Excellence Award offers a scholarship of up to $30,000 in total for two students who excel in their studies. This is awarded on a yearly basis.

Make your own discoveries

The degree focuses on inquiry-based learning. That means you will work not only on solutions to problems, but on identifying those problems yourself.

First year study is based on structured inquiry. In Year 2, teachers provide guidance to stimulate self-directed exploration of questions. Open inquiry is the aim in Year 3, when you will come up with the questions you want to answer and independently research the answers.

Charlotte Robertson
Current student BNatSci
Graduating in 2015
Intern - DairyNZ and AgResearch

“My experience with the BNatSci degree has been fantastic; I love the breadth and flexibility…”

The best part of this degree was creating my own pathway (agriculture and environmental sustainability) by selecting the papers that would be most interesting and useful to me rather than following a prescribed course.

I think the most valuable skills the degree teaches are: critical thinking, tackling global issues and self-directed research. Because the degree exposed me to a variety of topics in science, I can understand and communicate with people from scientific disciplines very different to my own.

Studying at Massey has set me up very well for my future - I was accepted for a 12 month internship at DairyNZ and AgResearch before I finished my undergrad!

This internship is broad and will give me the opportunity to explore the dairy industry from different sectors and gain experience in these different areas.I am very glad I have this opportunity because I will be able to see the dairy industry from different perspectives.I want to continue my studies after this internship and complete a Masters and PhD. My goal is to get a position where I can develop and implement environmentally sustainable farming practices.


Careers in diverse fields

More than any other science degree, the Bachelor of Natural Sciences opens the door to careers in diverse fields.

Emerge as a highly-employable scientist

Employers are increasingly looking for graduates with a cross-disciplinary background, not only in sciences but across business and social issues.

"Employers are looking for graduates who have a solid and broad grounding in the sciences, a feel for business, and a good understanding of science-and-society issues such as the importance of sustainability. Above all, we want graduates who can think independently and communicate well."
Colin M. Harvey, ONZM, Ancare Scientific Ltd, Auckland.

Become an independent thinker

During the course of your studies there is a strong focus on fostering your research, analysis and discovery skills. This independent-thinking is highly-valued and vital for progressing scientific discovery in New Zealand and around the world.

Your career after you graduate could include working in the following fields:

  • Academic research and education
  • Applied science and technology
  • Sustainability and conservation
  • Policy making and regulation
  • Business and entrepreneurship
  • Counselling and consulting.
Join the engine of the new New Zealand
Apply now! ▸

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