Master of Science (Biological Sciences)

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Best of all worlds

Biological sciences gives you expertise in a broad range of biological and fundamental sciences.

Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure

What is it like?

When you study Massey’s Master of Science with a major in biological sciences you don’t have to focus on one particular type of science, but will gain expertise across a range of your interests.

If you are interested in subjects like microbiology, genetics and biochemistry, but don’t have all the prerequisites you need to specialise, or you want to open the door to a broader range of careers, a major in biological sciences gives you a broad-based degree that keeps your options open.

Within the degree you can focus on one particular area of science, or keep your study broad - the choice is yours!

Flexibility and industry links

At Massey you have the flexibility to choose from different locations for your study - either Manawatu or 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.

World-class facilities

Whether you study on the Auckland or Palmerston North campuses, you will have access to world-class facilities. These include the Manawatu Microscopy and Imaging Centre and the Massey Genome Service (part of New Zealand Genomics Limited), our controlled environment plant growth facilities, the unique and extensive university orchards and state-of-the-art plant physiology and biology equipment. We have large animal units and there are extensive Massey farms that operate as commercial beef, dairy and sheep farms.

Massey has a dedicated tissue culture facility, real-time PCR instruments, specialised fluorescence microscopes and plate readers, as well as a microscopy centre, offering confocal, and scanning, transmission and epifluorescence microscopy services.

Genome sequencing services are also readily accessible with both the Massey Sequencing Service and a New Zealand Genome Limited laboratory housed on the university’s Manawatu campus. This service center is equipped with ABI3730 and Illumina MiSeq instruments and associated expertise. We house a full suite of protein purification, separation and analysis equipment, including DIGE imaging and access to mass spectrometers. There is also an X-ray diffraction laboratory and access to the Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne.

Make our expertise yours

Massey offers a very broad range of research areas in chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, microbiology and all the biological sciences, Genetics ranges from classical through molecular, biomedical, genomic and computational projects. These utilise a wide range of biological systems including microbial, plant, animal and human species.

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.

Friendly environment - passionate scientists

A critical part of the postgraduate experience at Massey is being part of the vibrant, well-established community of fundamental scientists and students. We have active student groups where we work together to share discoveries and research and provide peer support.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Master of Science will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. 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.

Not just more of the same

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.

A good fit if you:

  • Have an undergraduate qualification in biological or fundamental sciences

  • Would like a broad-based science master’s that doesn’t constrain you to one particular subject

Careers

As a Master of Science graduate in biological sciences you will have a wide range of career opportunities and can expect these to lead to leadership and managerial roles. These could be in areas including pure and applied research, quality control, product development, and positions of responsibility in medical, forensic, or analytical laboratories. 

You could also work in government departments in policy development and analysis. Jobs in these areas can lead to high-level careers in management and administration in science and health-related fields.

  • Crown Research Institutes (AgResearch, HortResearch, Plant and Food Research)
  • Industry-based research institutes (Dairy, Meat, Wool, Wheat, Forestry, Leather)
  • Wineries, breweries, food and animal feedstuff industries
  • Pharmaceutical development and manufacturing
  • Secondary and tertiary educational institutions
  • Biotechnology companies
  • Scientific publishers
  • District Health Boards
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Ministry of Business and Enterprise

A master’s degree in biological sciences provides graduates with internationally-marketable skills. It will provide opportunities for employment and careers across the globe.

Sought after by employers

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.

Earn more

A Ministry of Education report found that:

  • Earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed
  • Five years after leaving study, most young domestic graduates will be earning above the national median earnings
  • Young masters graduates earn 86 per cent more than the national median
  • Good careers are associated with better health, better wellbeing and more satisfying lives

World-leading lecturers

Massey’s sciences staff are internationally-renowned for their research and teaching and learning methods. You will be working with internationally-recognised scientists for example:

Dr Evelyn Sattlegger, Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biology

Dr Sattlegger’s interest is in the molecular mechanisms underlying normal biological functions, how/why malfunction may lead to diseases or disorders, and how they could be prevented or treated.  Her research group employs a large variety of techniques across molecular and cell biology, genetics and biochemistry. Before commencing at Massey in 2005, Dr Sattlegger was awarded a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship as part of the Research Associateship Program (USA) to conduct studies at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA, in the Laboratory of Nutrient Control of Gene Expression, headed by Dr Alan Hinnebusch. Dr Sattlegger’s research has been funded by various funding agencies as well as industry based in New Zealand and around the world, and she is amongst the top publishers in her research field.

Join the engine of the new New Zealand

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