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Programme list > Bachelor of Science > Integrative Biology

Bachelor of Science (Integrative Biology)

Overview

Unique in New Zealand

This degree is the only one of its kind, giving you the skills to combine molecular, ecological and population level views to solve real-world problems.

  • Level

  • Undergraduate, NZQF Level 7
  • Campus

  • Auckland
  • International

  • Available for international students studying in NZ

The Bachelor of Science (Integrative Biology) is a unique degree. You’ll gain an insight into all aspects of biology and cover topics from evolution to genetics and microbiology to ecology. You’ll learn how the natural world fits together from a microscopic through to animal and ecological scales. Historically these areas were taught separately, but true understanding of biology only comes when we examine all these areas.

Solve real-world problems

A major in Integrative Biology will give you the skills to investigate independently and to work broadly in life science, using cutting-edge tools to produce new knowledge.

You will learn how to use broadly applicable molecular and ecological tools to solve problems in medicine, agriculture, ecology and conservation.

Learn to become an independent thinker

The Integrative Biology major gives you practical experience and tools to explore and examine the biological world.

The BSc (Integrative Biology) will help you develop a creative and self-informing attitude. You’ll gain the skills to think critically about how biology works and undertake research. You’ll learn key career and life skills, like critically evaluating new information and communicating clearly.

Topics

Some of the topics taught in the Integrative Biology major include:

  • evolution
  • genetics
  • gene expression
  • microbiology
  • bacteriophage discovery
  • molecular ecology
  • human ancestry and genetics
  • systems and models in biology.

Choose an area of interest

You can choose courses from our other majors such as Ecology and Sustainability, Zoology, Marine Biology, and Molecular and Cellular Biology. You’ll build your investigative, critical thinking and communication skills in biological disciplines that inspire you personally.

Careers and further study

Careers

The Integrative Biology major will help you master a broad range of valuable skills. You’ll be able to offer your expertise to potential employers, whether you are considering a future in industry, business, consulting or academia.

Some examples of roles you may be able to work in after completing this qualification are:

  • forensic scientist
  • environmental/conservation scientist or specialist 
  • bioinformatician or data scientist
  • pharmaceutical sales
  • environmental technician
  • biological technician or research assistant
  • quality control technician 
  • microbiologist or biotechnologist
  • agricultural/food science technician or technologist.

With some further study, you could also use your skills in other areas such as law or teaching.

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

Required

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 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 Biology.

English language requirements

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

Recommended

To be successful in your studies we recommend that you also 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 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 been some time since you studied mathematics at school you can find out if you have the required background by taking this maths quiz.

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 get you prepared to study this major. If you have not studied NCEA Level 3 Biology (or equivalent) take the following course first:

  • 162.103 Introductory Biology.

This course is available in the summer semester and will count towards credits in your degree.

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

Courses for this specialisation

Compulsory courses

120 credits
162215 Microbial Diversity 15
162320 Advanced Integrative Biology 15
196217 Evolutionary Biology 15
196318 Molecular Ecology 15
203212 Principles of Genetics 15
203343 Genetics of Human Health and Ancestry 15
246202 Bacteriophage Discovery and Genomics 15
246303 Systems and Models in the Natural Sciences 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.

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

Auckland

100-level courses

Take all (not necessarily in this order):

  • 247.113 Science and Sustainability for Science
  • 161.111 Applied Statistics or 161.122 Statistics
  • 124.103 Biophysical Principles or 160.101 Calculus or 160.102 Algebra or 160.104 Introductory Mathematics for Science or 160.105 Methods of Mathematics
  • 123.103 Chemistry for Modern Sciences or 123.104 Chemistry for Biological Systems
  • 162.101 Cell Biology
  • 199.103 Animals and the Environment.

Plus choose two 100-level elective courses. These can be from a subject area other than Science.

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

200-level courses in the major

Take all four:

  • 196.217 Evolutionary Biology
  • 203.212 Principles of Genetics
  • 246.202 Bacteriophage Discovery and Genomics
  • 162.215 Microbial Diversity.
300-level courses in the major

Take all four:

  • 196.318 Molecular Ecology
  • 162.320 Advanced Integrative Biology
  • 203.343 Genetics of Human Health and Ancestry
  • 246.303 Systems and Models in the Natural Sciences.

Not sure of your major yet?

You can change to any BSc major at the end of your first year. Moving from the first year of Integrative Biology to one of the majors below is particularly simple, as the required first-year courses are similar. By choosing your courses and electives carefully to cover both majors you could easily swap over at the end of first year.

  • Ecology and Sustainability (include 196.101 in your first year).
  • Marine Biology (include 196.101 in your first year).
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology (include 122.102 in your first year).
  • Zoology (include 196.101 in your first year).

Changing your major may incur an increase in completion time.

Minors

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 (Integrative Biology) 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.

An Integrative Biology minor (for students who are studying a different degree)

If you are not studying a Bachelor of Science (Integrative Biology) and wish to complete an Integrative Biology minor 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?

If you already know which courses you are going to take, you can use our fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.

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 will find their National Student Number on their student homepage.


A good fit if you:

  • are curious about how the biological world is organised and fits together
  • enjoy sciences and would like to learn more about all aspects of biology
  • want to become an independent thinker who can communicate well.

Meet our students

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking - Biological Sciences

Massey University is ranked by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) as one of the top 300 universities in the world for biological sciences.


Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.

Regulations

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 2 . 3   0 1
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

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. You can go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

There is a webpage with information on changes that took place in 2020, which may affect you if you are a current BSc student.

In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may be 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

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