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Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Horticultural Science)

Key facts

  • Available at Manawatū

Take your excellence and turn it into something more

If you are interested in further in-depth research, this qualification gives you the skills to progress to a PhD.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Science (Honours) parent structure.

What is it like?

Massey University’s Bachelor of Science (Honours) with a major in horticulture is a prestigious qualification for those that are interested in progressing to further, in-depth research. This postgraduate qualification will also give you a career advantage.

Join a world-leading agriculture university

Massey is world-ranked and New Zealand’s No 1 university in agriculture according to the QS (Quacquarelli Symonds)rankings and ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.

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.

Take advantage of our globally renowned expertise

Let our experts help you develop your own expertise. You will learn from, and research with, highly-skilled internationally recognised and active researchers in horticulture, with a huge depth of knowledge and experience. Our current specific areas of horticulture research expertise include fruit and vegetable innovation, high-value plant products and services, applied plant and horticultural science and seed science and technology.

You will also be able to take advantage of Massey’s expertise across the sciences. We have a wide and relevant group of expertise within the university, from engineering and fundamental sciences like microbiology and biochemistry, to agriculture, environmental management and food technology and innovation.

This means no matter what your research interest you will have access to a broad range of experts to assist you develop your own research project.

Award-winning facilities

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 in Australia and were short-listed for the international UKS-Lab awards. Each laboratory can be tailored to accommodate a variety of disciplines, a unique feature in Australasia.

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.

Relevant and topical

We work to ensure that our teaching fits with the changing environment, which means that you will emerge with a relevant qualification valued by potential employers. Massey has strong links with industry, used to help our students find relevant and topical research projects.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Bachelor of Science (Honours) will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. 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. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.


A good fit if you:

  • Are passionate about horticulture
  • Excelled in your undergraduate horticulture-related degree
  • Are interested in going on to more in-depth research, such as a PhD


There are a wide range of careers available to those with a horticulture degree.

  • Agricultural/Horticultural consultant
  • Programme Delivery for large organisations
  • Global Variety Development Programme (GVDP) Administrator
  • Business Analyst for aspects of horticulture like Post Harvest
  • Orchard Sector Manager
  • Crop manager
  • Horticultural representative

Setting you apart

An honours degree is a sign of your excellence and in-depth understanding of the field of horticultural science. Should you pursue a career after qualifying, the Bachelor of Science with Honours will give you a head start on other potential employees with undergraduate degrees.

A step into further study

The honours programme also gives you the research and analytical skills you need to progress into further high-level research/study, such as at a PhD level.

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 and supervisors

Dr Huub Kerckhoffs

Dr Kerckhoffs research focuses on how light and hormones control growth and development in a wide range of plant model systems, like potato, tomato, pea, arabidopsis and rice. Originally from The Netherlands, his PhD was on plant physiological functions of photoreceptors in tomato at Wageningen University (Netherlands). 

He has taught and researched with world-leading horticultural-related laboratories including Wageningen University (The Netherlands), Leicester University (UK), University of Georgia (USA), Frontier Research Program, RIKEN (Japan) and University of Tasmania (Australia) before coming to Crop & Food Research (now Plant & Food Research) where his main focus was vegetable production systems. He is widely published in international journals and publications.

Today he is a lecturer and supervisor in fruit and vegetable production systems with research interests in plant physiology and photobiology. Current projects include work on industrial hemp, bio-energy and manuka.

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