Bachelor of Horticultural Science

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A unique degree focused on horticulture

This degree is the only New Zealand horticultural degree fully co-designed and created in collaboration with industry.

What is it like?

New Zealand’s horticulture industry is booming. Already worth billions, it is predicted to be worth NZD $10 billion by 2020. With the growth in industry comes increasing numbers of available jobs, which are also predicted to grow rapidly.

The Bachelor of Horticultural Science is totally focused on helping you become a horticulture graduate who can hit the ground running. It will give you the relevant, contemporary skills that industry requires and will ensure that you can take your place leading this exciting industry into the future.

In demand by employers

Globally there are more jobs in horticulture than there are people to fill them. The apple industry alone estimates that they need 150 new graduates each year for the next decade.  Horticulture will offer you a wide range of exciting career opportunities across business and science roles. Our students that are motivated to work hard often progress quickly to attractive and internationally orientated positions within the horticultural sector.

New from 2019, the Bachelor of Horticultural Science has been specifically designed to give you the skills to take up those careers.

Future focused and industry led

Industry told us they need consistent graduates with a rounded integrated knowledge of science, technology and management applied across the whole horticultural value chain from production to the international marketplace. This new degree has a large number of core courses that will be common to all graduates to meet this need.

This qualification will give you an understanding of the breadth of horticulture in New Zealand and internationally. This includes everything from the genetics of plants through to plant growth, the production of food, agribusiness, the influence of Government policies, regulations and Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations, how products are marketed and sold, through to how to understand what consumers want in international markets.

You will also learn key transferable skills in business, technology and science disciplines.

Experience before you graduate

Industry experience is integrated into this degree, with practical work courses allowing you to experience and analyse real-world scenarios while you are studying. This includes labs, guest lectures, and sponsored multi-day study tours to horticultural regions within New Zealand and overseas, and field trips. You’ll also complete practical work experience over the summer and complete an industry-focused project in your final year.

We are the only New Zealand university where the location of your practical summer experience is flexible, allowing you to gain more of the skills identified by industry as gaps. We will help you to match your interests with the right opportunity.

All this will give you an advantage with prospective employers upon graduation, with industry contacts, a better understanding of the primary industries and the management skills to lead it.

Join a world-leading agriculture university

Massey is New Zealand’s No 1 university in agriculture and horticulture and ranked globally as 22nd according to the QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) rankings. We are also ranked in the top 150 universities worldwide for agriculture by the ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.

Our proud record dates back to 1927 when we were established as an agricultural college. As a student, you will benefit from our internationally-recognised capability and leadership in this area.

Award-winning labs

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

The labs won a Best Practice Award for Innovation at the Association for Tertiary Education Management conference and were 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.

Unique facilities

Massey has comprehensive horticultural resources which are an integral part of your study. These include the horticultural unit which has a protected growing environment suite of 25 glasshouses, 'walk in' controlled temperature rooms and growth rooms. We also have apple and kiwifruit research orchards run in partnership with the horticultural industries.

Travel while you study

Our Student Exchange Programme provides an international experience with the chance to study courses at overseas universities and 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.

What to expect

Your first year

One of the best things about this degree is the variety of study. You’ll learn about plant biology, soils and pasture, be introduced to production horticulture, agribusiness and agri-related analytics and statistics. You’ll also study economics and applied chemistry and physics.

Practical work

As part of this programme, you’ll need to do at least 26 weeks of full-time work in horticulture during your study. This is usually done during the summer when work is readily available in horticultural-related businesses. To ensure you get the most from this experience, you'll provide a report on your activities which will be assessed.


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.

A good fit if you:

  • Enjoy applied sciences
  • Are interested in a career in horticulture
Luke Posthuma
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!


After completing your qualification, you will be prepared for a wide range of technical and management positions, in New Zealand and internationally. Some areas of employment include:

  • knowledge transfer & consultancy
  • orchard and greenhouse production management
  • international markets (access)
  • crop disease and pest control
  • innovation & robotics
  • post-harvest management

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