Bachelor of Science (Biological Sciences)

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Learn from the best

Learn first-hand from our highly-qualified and approachable biological sciences staff from genetics, microbiology, cell biology, zoology, plant biology and ecology.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Science parent structure

What is it like?

From genes to entire ecosystems, the study of biological sciences covers the whole spectrum of life.

You’ll gain an understanding of a broad range of life science topics. This includes the molecules organisms are built from, the form and function of molecules, the conservation of plant and animal species and ultimately the management of ecosystems.

Learn from the experts

When you study the Bachelor of Science (Biological Sciences) at Massey, you’ll learn first-hand from our world-renowned biological sciences staff. They are cell biologists, geneticists, microbiologists, zoologists and ecologists, researching many areas of biology. These include applied sciences in agriculture and animal science, to the latest theories about the origins of life and the processes of molecular evolution. This means a major in biological science at Massey will give you an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of a large number of biological disciplines - and beyond. That is a great advantage when you are looking for a job.

Have an impact on the world

Biological sciences has an impact on all sorts of areas of global significance, such as :

  • Human health
  • Unravelling the human genome
  • Novel pharmaceutical products derived from plants and animals
  • Biodiversity
  • Conservation
  • Finding out who is related to whom in the natural world (with spin-offs to forensic science)
  • Managing ecosystem services - which supply us with fresh water, clean air, and fertile soil.

Internationally recognised

Massey University’s programme is ranked in the top 300 university biological sciences programmes in the world by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings.

Caters to diverse interests

You can choose from our extensive range of disciplines to combine all your varied interests in ecology, zoology, environmental science, marine ecology, microbiology and more into one overarching major.

Some of the topics to be taught in biological sciences include:

  • Applied ecology and resource management
  • Flora and fauna of New Zealand
  • Biochemistry
  • Human genetics
  • Behavioural ecology
  • Biodiversity
  • Biology and genetics of micro-organisms
  • DNA technology
  • Ecology and conservation
  • Genes and genome analysis
  • Marine biology
  • Metabolic biochemistry
  • Plant biology
  • Research methods in biological sciences
  • Zoology

Bachelor of Science

The Bachelor of Science aims to give a broad scientific education. You’ll get a strong foundation in key science subjects, as well as the in-depth knowledge of biological sciences directly relevant to a career in this field.

Earn more

A Ministry of Education report, undertaken over nine years, showed that those who complete a qualification in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics field of study have high relative earnings after they complete their study. Earnings can be substantially more than other graduates.


New Zealand’s science institutions want employees who know their industry and therefore invest in the future workforce by providing scholarships to students. Why not have a crack at helping fund your study with a share of hundreds of thousands of dollars on offer every year? For more information visit:

A good fit if you:

  • Enjoy the study of animals, plants and microsystems
  • Are fascinated by looking at life processes at a molecular level
  • Are interested in finding out more about the natural world
  • Are an innovative and patient problem-solver
Kirsty Mann
Bachelor of Science
(Biological Sciences)
Genetic counsellor - Royal Melbourne Hospital

“During my second year, I came across the genetic counselling profession and knew straight away this was the career I wanted to pursue…”

I’ve always had an interest in biological sciences, so I chose to study a Bachelor of Science at Massey University Albany, specialising in molecular biology. During my second year, I came across the genetic counselling profession and knew straight away this was the career I wanted to pursue. Genetic counsellors combine their knowledge of human genetics with the interpersonal and counselling skills required to explore how a genetic condition impacts on the life of an individual and the family unit.

Upon graduating in Australia with a Masters of Science majoring in Genetic Counselling, I was qualified to be employed as a genetic counsellor, and was thrilled to be offered a role at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. In the adult hospital setting, I am predominantly meeting with people with an increased chance of developing an adult onset genetic condition. In a nutshell, this involves providing genetic information to patients that is relevant to their situation and discussing how their genetic condition can best be managed. This process often involves interpreting genetic testing and it relies on my understanding of the intricacies of molecular genetics. I could not do this without the foundational knowledge that I acquired during my learning at Massey.


Your biological sciences major will help you find a career in a wide variety of situations and industries. Employers such as regional and district councils are always looking for people with a broad-based degree with a specialisation, with environmental science and ecology being two good examples.

Processing industries associated with primary production (such as dairy companies) employ similarly broad-based graduates with a specialisation in the molecular aspects of biological science. Crown Research Institutes and universities also seek out programme graduates at the technical level.

In both areas, if you continue to postgraduate study you could move on to a career as a professional scientist. A biological sciences major is also very appropriate for a career as a secondary teacher.

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