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With a postgraduate degree in genetics, you will be at the forefront of the revolution in biology that is rapidly changing our knowledge of ourselves and the world around us.
Find out more about the Bachelor of Science (Honours) parent structure
Massey’s Bachelor of Science with Honours with a major in genetics is a prestigious qualification for those that are interested in progressing to further, in-depth research. This postgraduate qualification will also give you a career advantage.
You will have access to world-class facilities including the Manawatu Microscopy and Imaging Centre and the Massey Genome Service (part of New Zealand Genomics Limited). You will also be able to utilise Massey’s broad range of expertise in the sciences, working with other departments and experts as you need to for your research.
Massey offers a very broad range of research areas in genetics, ranging from classical through molecular, biomedical, genomic and computational projects. These utilise a wide range of biological systems including microbial, plant, animal and human species.
At Massey you have the flexibility to choose from different locations for your study, including both the Manawatu and the Auckland campuses, as well as other research institutes such as AgResearch, Scion, and Plant & Food Research. This flexibility provides a great deal of project choice, as well as providing important industry linkages that enhance job prospects.
There is a well-established community of fundamental scientists and students at Massey. We have a large active student group - the Fundamental Science Students Association (FUSSTA) - where we work together to share discoveries and research and provide peer support.
Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study.
Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning, time management, setting goals and milestones and undertaking research.
“I chose Massey, as I knew that it would take me further than just a degree...”
I have always been interested in how things grow, develop and change throughout their life-cycle so the decision to study developmental biochemistry and genetics in relation to plants was an easy choice to make.
Many of the professors at Massey are world-renowned scientists. They are among the best in their chosen fields. Therefore the opportunities they offer their students, including the potential for both on and off-shore collaborations, helps to ensure that students are well connected and prepared for life after university.
For my honours I worked with Arabidopsis as a model organism to study post- harvest senescence (cell death) with the aim of identifying genes or signalling pathways which control ripening after harvest.
My experience was much better than I ever could have imagined. While studying I had three internship placements at Plant and Food Research and one at Massey, I attended conferences in Queenstown and America and did a three month research project in Germany.
No day is ever the same and there is always something new and interesting to learn when you are doing postgraduate study.
I am now working on my PhD working on analysing genes involved in cell-cell communication and hyphal fusion in the fungus Epichloe and how these genes are important during Epichloe symbiotic interactions with the host plant Lolium perenne.
I hope to go on after my PhD to complete some post-doctorate study.
An honours degree is a sign of your excellence and in-depth understanding of the field of genetics. Should you pursue a career after qualifying, the Bachelor of Science (Honours) with a major in genetics will give you a head start on other potential employees with undergraduate degrees.
Most genetics postgraduates gain employment as scientists in research institutes and universities both in New Zealand and overseas, in a wide variety of fields. Others have become forensic scientists, genetic counsellors, teachers, sales representatives, laboratory technicians, managers, ministry advisors, and health and safety advisors.
International trends are for employers to reward postgraduate study well,especially in larger enterprises. The skills you learn are increasingly recognised as setting you apart from other potential employees.
A 2017 Ministry of Education publication The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates, found that in New Zealand:
Massey’s genetics staff are internationally renowned for their research and teaching and learning methods. You will be working with recognised genetics and related discipline specialists, for example:
Dr Bradshaw started her research career in the UK studying the genetics of fungal Aspergillus spp. and yeasts. After moving to New Zealand she turned her attention to the pine needle pathogen Dothistroma septosporum. As well as elucidating the genetics and biological role of an aflatoxin-like toxin (dothistromin) made by this fungus, she published the genome sequence of D. septosporum in a comparative study with that of the model plant pathogen Cladosporium fulvum. Dr Bradshaw is a principal investigator in the Bio-Protection Research Centre, a National Centre of Research Excellence, and also studies the molecular genetics of forest diseases such as kauri dieback that are caused by species of Phytophthora. In 2012 she was awarded a Willie Commelin Scholten Foundation Visiting Chair of Phytopathology in The Netherlands.
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