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Gain a sought-after qualification

A chemistry degree gives you sought-after scientific, analytic and problem solving skills.

  • Level

  • Undergraduate, NZQF Level 7
  • Campus

  • Manawatū
  • Duration

  • 3 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.
  • International

  • Available for international students studying in NZ

This is an exciting and challenging time for chemistry. Solutions to global challenges such as sustainability, energy supply and health and medicine will all require new materials and molecules. These will be developed by chemists.

The study of chemistry is fun, relevant and stimulating. Your lecturers are passionate, engaging and internationally recognised researchers.

Learn the fundamentals

The Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) at Massey University will provide you with a foundation in the fundamental principles of chemistry and how they underpin life and the world itself. Everything is chemistry! You’ll learn key theories and concepts, how they work and why they are important and relevant. You’ll get to apply these principles in the laboratory to synthesise new compounds and use analytical techniques to determine their structure and composition. This all takes place in a hands-on student laboratory where you’ll get to use start-of-the-art scientific instrumentation.

Real-world problem solving

Chemistry students have the opportunity to work alongside our world-recognised researchers on issues of international significance, applying their fundamental knowledge to solving real-world problems. For example, our students have developed new porous materials that can capture carbon dioxide to combat global warming; they have worked with veterinarians to develop new materials for controlled anaesthetic release, they have applied machine-learning methods for fast and accurate spectroscopic analysis of forage feeds and pasture types, and they synthesized new pharmaceuticals.

Graduates from the Massey chemistry programme are able to combine their knowledge of the principles of chemistry with critical thinking and problem solving skills. In this way, they are equipped to make valuable contributions to important areas such as climate change, water quality and the sustainable use of resources.

Get connected

You’ll gain connections and experience with key companies such as Fonterra, Hill Laboratories and AssureQuality. Summer internships for chemistry students are available with research groups on campus, Crown Research Institutes, and local companies.

State-of-the-art equipment

You’ll receive training and learn techniques for instruments. These include:

  • molecular analysis
  • x-ray crystallography
  • nuclear magnetic resonance
  • FTIR
  • Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy
  • mass spectrometry
  • ultra high performance liquid chromatography
  • gas absorption and membrane testing.

Careers and further study


As a chemistry graduate from Massey you will be in demand - both in New Zealand and overseas. Your knowledge and skills can be applied to a wide range of settings including industry, business, research institutes, universities, polytechnics, and schools.

A huge array of companies in New Zealand employ people with chemistry degrees. These employment opportunities range from technical hands-on science to governmental and public policy development, in financial modelling and banking. Increasingly, entrepreneurial opportunities exist with New Zealand‘s scientific start-up companies. 

Jobs taken up by recent graduates include:

  • Food and brewing industries
  • Environmental consulting
  • Pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries
  • Chemistry of materials & paints
  • Finance sector
  • High school teaching
  • Consultancy sector
  • Analysis and forensics
  • Start-up companies

Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication, The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates showed that those who complete a qualification in a science, agriculture, technology, computer science, engineering or mathematics field of study have high relative earnings after they complete their study compared to the national median. Earnings can be substantially more than other graduates.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

Entry requirements

University admission

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Programme admission


There are no specific entry requirements for this programme outside of university admission regulations. However there is some expected background knowledge.

Expected high school preparation

Knowledge gained in the following NCEA subjects (or the equivalent in Cambridge International Examinations, International Baccalaureate, or similar) will give you the expected background knowledge to take this major.

  • At least 16 credits in NCEA Level 2 Mathematics from the following list of standards: 91256, 91257, 91258, 91259, 91260, 91261, 91262, 91269.
  • At least 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 Chemistry.

If it’s some time since you studied mathematics at school you can find out if you have the required background by taking this maths quiz.

English language requirements

To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards.


To be successful in your studies we recommend that you have the following NCEA subjects (or equivalent). These will help your study in this major but are not essential.

  • At least 16 credits in NCEA Level 3 Mathematics from the following list of standards: 91573, 91574, 91575, 91576, 91577, 91578, 91579, 91587.
  • NCEA Level 3 Biology or NCEA Level 3 Physics.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

If you do not have the entry requirements

The following pathways will prepare you for studying this major. If you have not studied NCEA Level 2 Mathematics (or equivalent) take one of the following courses first:

  • 124.103 Biophysical Principles, or
  • 160.104 Introductory Mathematics for Science.

If you have not studied NCEA Level 3 Chemistry (or equivalent) take the following course first:

  • 123.103 Chemistry for Modern Sciences.

These courses (or equivalents) are available in the summer semester and will count towards credits in your degree.

Pathway tool

If you are unsure whether you have the right background/subjects to study this programme, our tool will help you to figure out what you might need to do before starting your qualification.

Find your pathway

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and programmes that may help.

Summer School

If you need to do a course before you start your programme, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

360 credits

  • Core courses – 90 credits
  • Major courses – 120 credits
  • Electives from the Schedule – 30 credits
  • Other electives – 120 credits

Ensure that overall, you have:

  • Not more than 165 credits at 100 level
  • At least 75 credits at 300 level

You could replace some electives with a minor.

Courses for this specialisation

200-level courses

60 credits
123201 Chemical Energetics 15
123206 Environmental and Analytical Chemistry 15
123207 Molecular Chemistry 15
123208 Chemical Analysis 15
123210 Organic Chemistry Perspectives 15
123271 Molecules to Materials 15

300-level courses

60 credits
123305 Contemporary Topics in Chemistry 15
123307 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry 15
123308 Advanced Organic Chemistry 15
123310 Advanced Concepts in Organic Chemistry 15
123331 Advanced Physical and Computational Chemistry 15
123332 Advanced Topics in Chemistry 30
141395 Food Chemistry 15

Planning your programme

Planning overview

If you study full-time, in your first year you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits.

If you wish to study over two semesters, you should aim for 60 credits per semester. You may be able to take some courses at summer school. Make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study.

The first year structure is designed to provide you with a broad knowledge and skill set which will equip you to go on to more advanced courses in the second and third years.

You must pass at least 90 credits from the BSc Schedule A, including any compulsory courses, in your first 120 credits of study towards the Bachelor of Science.

Chemistry has similar first year core courses to several other majors available in the Bachelor of Science, allowing you to change your major before your second year. Changing your major may incur an increase in completion time.

100-level courses

Take these in any order:

Plus choose three 100 level elective courses. One of these electives must be from the BSc Schedule A courses. The remaining two electives can be from a subject area other than Science.

200-level courses in the major

300-level courses in the major

  • 123.308 Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • 123.307 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
  • 141.395 Food Chemistry
  • 123.305 Contemporary Topics in Chemistry.


Completing a minor is optional. Minors increase the breadth of your degree. They give you extra knowledge, attributes and capabilities.

A minor must be in a different subject from your major.

A Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) with a minor

You may choose a minor from any university undergraduate degree that has recognised minors. If the minor is from another undergraduate degree, the regulations of that programme will apply.

Some BSc minors that are particularly compatible with chemistry include those shown below. Timetabling will prioritise these combinations to minimise clashes.

A Chemistry minor (for students who are studying a different degree)

If you are not studying a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) and wish to complete a minor in Chemistry see the BSc regulations for the requirements of this minor. 

Fees and scholarships

Fees and finance

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

A good fit if you:

  • enjoy the challenge of problem solving and have an analytical mind
  • are curious about the fundamental nature of matter and the world around you
  • enjoy experimental science and synthesis.

Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.


Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.

Undergraduate programmes

General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.


Regulations for this programme

Applying and enrolling

Applying for the programme

Check you are ready

If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.

Choose your programme and click on Apply now

You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.

Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.

Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place

You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.

Enrolling in courses

You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.

When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:

  • prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
  • corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
  • restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
  • location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.

Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.

More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.

You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!

If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.

What are courses and credits?

What are courses and credits?

Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).

You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.

Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.

There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.

  • See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
  • Courses search

Understanding course numbers

The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.

The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:

  • sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
  • undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
  • as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study
1 6 3 . 1   3 0
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

About electives

Electives are courses that are not compulsory. Certain guidelines are usually provided on courses you may take. Elective courses contribute to the programme, but not to your major or specialisation.

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

Returning students

If you started the BSc programme before 2020 you may be completing the programme under the previous regulations, which are listed in Schedule C in the Regulations for this programme.

In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Scholarships and awards

Scholarships related to this programme

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships