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Master of Science (Chemistry)

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Available at Manawatū
  • Not all listed subject course options are on offer every year
  • Available for international students studying in NZ

Become part of something bigger

When you join the Master of Science (Chemistry) you will join a group of like-minded scientists, passionate about scientific discovery and the positive impact chemistry can have on the world.

Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.

What is it like?

Massey University’s Master of Science (Chemistry) gives you the opportunity to use the latest advancements across a broad range of disciplines to make your own discoveries in the field of chemistry.

Globally renowned expertise

Let our experts help you develop your own expertise.

Massey’s chemistry lecturers have an extensive range of experience and expertise across both organic and inorganic chemistry. The department also has strong links to related areas like biological science and material science. No matter what your research interest, Massey’s focus on fundamental, natural and mathematical sciences means you will have access to a broad range of experts to assist you develop your own research and expertise.

Broad range of equipment and facilities

Unlike some other institutions you will have easy access to a range of techniques and equipment, making it easier to progress your research in a timely and comprehensive fashion. From a fluorescent spectrometer to a 500 and 700 MHz NMR instruments, we have the specialist equipment to help your research meet global standards.

Friendly environment – passionate scientists

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.

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 and undertaking research.

In-depth research

We have a 180 credit and 240 credit option for the Master of Science, but we do encourage those who are looking at a research project to consider the more in-depth 240 credit option. This takes two years to complete and will enable a more comprehensive project at a more detailed level.

A good fit if you:

  • Have an undergraduate degree in chemistry
  • Are interested in in-depth research
  • Want to become part of a group of passionate scientists who are making world-leading discoveries
James Stevens
MSc (Chemistry)
Graduated in 2011
Jurox (Australia)

“I like the variety in the study of chemistry. There’s lots of different directions you can go in, and always something new to learn…”

I chose to study chemistry because I really enjoyed the subject at school. I did a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and biochemistry and was still enjoying it, so I kept going to a masters.

The things I like most about chemistry are the ability to put two or more different molecules together and transform them into something new/different. I also love the variety. There are so many different interesting areas you can investigate.

My masters project was studying the solid and solution state binding of a variety of anions using a newly synthesised dicopper helicate complex. Using UV-vis titration analysis and X-ray crystallography I was able to determine the binding constants of the helicate complex with anions, basically finding out which anion was more strongly bound within the helicate complex.

One of the things I enjoyed was being a lab demonstrator for the first-year chemistry labs. That was kind of cool, helping the new students learn how to carry out lab experiments and proper lab techniques.

After a stint in a lab at New Zealand Pharmaceuticals, I moved to Newcastle in Australia to take up a position with Jurox, a veterinary pharmaceutical company in Newcastle, NSW, Australia.


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 2017 Ministry of Education publication The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates, found that in New Zealand:

  • Young master’s graduates earn more than one and a half times more than the national median (five years after study)
  • Earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed
  • Five years after completion, the median earnings of young master’s graduates are 15% higher than for those with a bachelor’s degree.

World-leading lecturers

Massey’s chemistry staff are internationally renowned for their research and teaching and learning methods. You will be working with recognised chemistry specialists, for example:

Associate Professor Vyacheslav Filichev

Originally from Russia, Dr Filichev has a PhD in organic chemistry from the Saint Petersburg State Technological Institute. His area of expertise is in using chemistry to manipulate DNA both for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. This work on highly-specific flexible intercalating units embedded into DNA led to the discovery of a novel class of molecules (twisted intercalating nucleic acid, TINA) that enables formation of stable DNA triplexes or G-quadruplexes. TINA molecule is covered by patents worldwide and commercially available.

One of his current global collaborations is working with a Spanish group to elucidate the structural basis of the interaction of fluorescent compounds with different nucleic acids motifs.

Dr Filichev was awarded a Massey University Early Research Career Medal in 2008. He has published more than 40 research papers.

Current projects in the group of Assoc. Prof. Filichev are funded by two charitable organisations, Cancer Society of New Zealand and Worldwide Cancer Research.

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