Bachelor of AgriScience (Horticulture)

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A growing industry

Horticulture graduates contribute to the production of vital food and nutrition for humanity - you could make a real difference. There is an increasing demand for horticulture graduates.

Find out more about the Bachelor of AgriScience parent structure

What is it like?

Horticulture combines science, technology and business in the production, marketing, use and improvement of fruits, vegetables, and other plants globally. This vital industry provides food for a growing global population, and is one of the most rapidly expanding primary industries in New Zealand.

As a Massey Bachelor of AgriScience (Horticulture) student you will also learn how a vibrant and resilient horticultural industry can ensure continuing production and supply of high-value food products for maximum return.

Join a world-leading agriculture university

Massey is world-ranked and New Zealand’s No 1 university in agriculture according to the QS (Quacquareli Symonds) rankings.

Our proud record dates back to 1927 when we offered New Zealand’s first degrees in agriculture and horticulture. As a student, you will benefit from our internationally-recognised capability and leadership in this area.

Award-winning labs

Massey’s Manawatu campus hosts the only multi-function teaching laboratories in Australasia.

The labs, built in 2010, won a Best Practice Award for Innovation at the Association for Tertiary Education Management conference in Australia and was shortlisted for the international UKS-Lab awards.

The facility is unique in Australasia in that it allows each laboratory to be tailored to accommodate a variety of disciplines. Technicians can do preparation in the dedicated technical area before moving this into the lab, which means students can spend more time doing lab practical work.

Use world-leading equipment and facilities

As a horticulture student you will have access to our world-leading equipment and facilities such as our controlled environment plant growth facilities, the unique and extensive university orchards and state-of-the-art plant physiology and biology equipment.

Be surrounded by the best

Massey University is a partner in the Joint Graduate School for Horticulture and Food Enterprise (with Plant&Food). Massey University is also home to ‘foodHQ’, New Zealand’s international centre for collaborative food research.

FoodHQ is a collaboration between organisations including Massey University, AgResearch, AsureQuality, the Cawthorn Institute, SR, Fonterra, Plant & Food Research and the Riddet Institute. There is a breadth of horticultural research activities at Massey, including the work to understand the effects of light in improving crop production and quality, research on fruit crops such as kiwifruit and apples, Maori vegetable crop science, and plant disease.

Gain the skills employers seek

Today’s industry requires graduates who are problem-solvers, have good quantitative skills, are highly motivated, can think and act independently, and shoulder responsibility. We will work with you to ensure that you develop these highly-developed technical, business, communication, leadership, and interpersonal skills that employers seek.

Solve the big issues

As a Massey Bachelor of AgriScience (Horticulture) student you will develop an understanding of the big challenges confronting this global industry. These include biosecurity and continual innovation to create new fruit and vegetable varieties and products.

Flexibility of focus

The aim of this qualification is to help you become a highly-employable graduate. You are expected to gain a deeper understanding of particular areas you are interested in. Initially you will cover a broad range of areas. This flexibility gives you the opportunity to forge your own future career pathway.

Introductory courses covering horticulture, soils, geography, engineering principles, pests and diseases, economics, business management and plant biology will give you the basis for more advanced study later in the programme. In the final year, you will have the option to further focus in an area you are interested in.

Travel while you study

Our Student Exchange Programme provides an international experience with the chance to study courses at overseas universities and cross-credit them back to a Massey qualification. You’ll pay the same tuition fees while abroad and it’s a great chance to gain the overseas experience and knowledge that many employers value. Some of the top science universities available within the exchange programme are the University of Calgary, Canada, Wageningen University, The Netherlands and the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.


There are hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of scholarships available for students who are studying in the areas of agriculture and horticulture. Massey has close connections with all the major agricultural organisations in New Zealand, many of whom provide scholarships for Massey students. In 2016 $540,000 worth of scholarships were distributed to students in this area.

A good fit if you:

  • Are interested in a career in horticulture
  • You enjoy applied sciences
Luke Posthuma
Bachelor of AgriScience (Horticulture)
Graduated in 2016
Trainee Technical Adviser with Farmlands Horticulture in Pukekohe

“My Massey study experience was excellent. I loved the interaction with the lecturers - especially in the smaller classes. Good lecturers along with interactive classes, field-trips and applicable assignments made for a great learning environment…”

I decided on Massey as I liked the business aspect of the applied science degree. I have always had a fascination for science but I am also interested in business. This degree allowed me to dabble in both – practical and useful science while also learning great business and management tools required for operating a rural enterprise.

As part of the degree, I spent a summer working for Knights Nursery, one for Southern Paprika (SPL), and one for Auckland Pack and Cool (APAC). I learnt so much working at each of these businesses, the managers at both Knights and SPL had studied at Massey and were really keen mentors.

I was also given the opportunity to attend the Horticulture NZ conference three times through a Horticentre Trust Scholarship. This was an amazing opportunity to network with industry leaders, listen to some really interesting talks and build friendships with other students also attending the conference.

I am now working as a trainee technical adviser with Farmlands Horticulture in Pukekohe. I’m loving my role up here which involves interacting with local growers, finding solutions to support them and their business, while also carrying out trial work testing exciting new products coming onto the market!


A diverse range of horticultural businesses on a local and international scale are tasked with meeting food production challenges. They are constantly improving product quality for delivery to a demanding world.

Modern-day horticulture is efficient and innovative. Our programme will help you better understand components such as postharvest technology and systems, supply chain and integrated production management. You could work in any of these areas.

Excellent career prospects

Career prospects are excellent for motivated, innovative, and well-educated horticulture graduates. Graduates with the ability to meet horticultural industry targets for sustainable export growth are in high demand.

The horticulture major will enable you to enter a wide range of careers in the diverse horticultural industry including:

  • An entrepreneur owning your own business
  • Managing one of the diverse range of horticultural enterprises
  • Consultancies; providing technical/expert advice and products to the production sector
  • global marketing
  • Logistics and supply chain management of horticultural crops both nationally and internationally
  • Research scientist or technician

Further study

After completing a BAgriScience (Horticulture) you are also able to enter honours, postgraduate diploma or masters programmes to further your learning. A postgraduate qualification in horticulture allows you to consider leadership opportunities as a consultant, technician, or scientist within private companies or Crown Research Institutes or universities, both in New Zealand and overseas.

Academic advice

Do you need help choosing your courses, or would you like to speak to an Adviser about your study? We would love to help you so please contact us.

Join the engine of the new New Zealand

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