Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Biological Sciences)

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Take your excellence and turn it into something more

If you are interested in further in-depth research, this degree 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 biological sciences 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.

You don’t have to focus on one particular type of science, but will gain expertise across a range of your interests.

If you are interested in subjects like microbiology, genetics and biochemistry, but don’t have all the prerequisites you need to specialise, or you want to open the door to a broader range of careers, a major in biological sciences gives you a broad-based degree that keeps your options open.

Within the degree you can focus on one particular area of science, or keep your study broad - the choice is yours!

Flexibility and industry links

At Massey you have the flexibility to choose from different locations for your study - either Manawatū or the Auckland campuses - as well as other research institutes such as AgResearch, Scion, and Plant & Food Research. This flexibility provides a great deal of project choice, as well as providing important industry linkages that enhance job prospects.

World-class facilities

Whether you study on the Auckland or Palmerston North campuses, you will have access to world-class facilities. These include the Manawatū Microscopy and Imaging Centre and the Massey Genome Service (part of New Zealand Genomics Limited), our controlled environment plant growth facilities, the unique and extensive university orchards and state-of-the-art plant physiology and biology equipment. We have large animal units and there are extensive Massey farms that operate as commercial beef, dairy and sheep farms.

Massey has a dedicated tissue culture facility, real-time PCR instruments, specialised fluorescence microscopes and plate readers, as well as a microscopy centre, offering confocal, and scanning, transmission and epifluorescence microscopy services.

Genome sequencing services are also readily accessible with both the Massey Sequencing Service and a New Zealand Genome Limited laboratory housed on the university’s Manawatū campus. This service centre is equipped with ABI3730 and Illumina MiSeq instruments and associated expertise. We house a full suite of protein purification, separation and analysis equipment, including DIGE imaging and access to mass spectrometers. There is also an X-ray diffraction laboratory and access to the Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne.

Make our expertise yours

Massey offers a very broad range of research areas in chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, microbiology and all the biological sciences, Genetics ranges from classical through molecular, biomedical, genomic and computational projects. These utilise a wide range of biological systems including microbial, plant, animal and human species.

You will also be able to utilise Massey’s broad range of expertise in the sciences, working with other departments and experts as you need to for your research.

Friendly environment - passionate scientists

A critical part of the postgraduate experience at Massey is being part of the vibrant, well-established community of fundamental scientists and students. We have active student groups 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 Bachelor of Science (Honours) Biological Sciences 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, time management, setting goals and milestones and undertaking research.

A good fit if you:

  • Excelled in your undergraduate degree
  • Are interested in going on to more in-depth research, such as a PhD
  • Would like a broad-based science degree that doesn’t constrain you to one particular subject

Careers

Setting you apart

An honours degree is a sign of your excellence and in-depth understanding of the field of biochemistry. Should you pursue a career after qualifying, the Bachelor of Science with Honours with a major in biochemistry 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.

Wide range of opportunities

As a graduate in biological sciences you will have a wide range of career opportunities and can expect these to lead to leadership and managerial roles. These could be in areas including pure and applied research, quality control, product development, and positions of responsibility in medical, forensic, or analytical laboratories. 

You could also work in government departments in policy development and analysis. Jobs in these areas can lead to high-level careers in management and administration in science and health-related fields.

  • Crown Research Institutes (AgResearch, HortResearch, Plant and Food Research)
  • Industry-based research institutes (Dairy, Meat, Wool, Wheat, Forestry, Leather)
  • Wineries, breweries, food and animal feedstuff industries
  • Pharmaceutical development and manufacturing
  • Secondary and tertiary educational institutions
  • Biotechnology companies
  • Scientific publishers
  • District Health Boards
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Ministry of Business and Enterprise

A postgraduate degree in biological sciences provides graduates with internationally-marketable skills. It will provide opportunities for employment and careers across the globe.

Sought after by employers

A postgraduate degree in biological sciences provides graduates with international marketable skills. It will provide opportunities for employment and careers across the globe.

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.

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