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Overview

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 in microbiology or another biological science.

  • Level

  • Postgraduate, NZQF Level 8
  • Campus

  • Manawatū

Massey University’s Bachelor of Science (Honours) with a major in microbiology is a prestigious qualification and a seal of exelence. It is ideal if you are interested in progressing to further, in-depth research. This postgraduate qualification will also give you a career advantage in completing a PhD faster, or in being successful in job applications.

An essential science

Microbiology is an essential science that helps us understand the microbes in the environment, including microbes that dwell in soil, air and water, in our food and inside people, animals and plants.

Microbiology can impact on many different areas, such as:

  • agriculture, where rumen microbes are both essential to dairy and good industries, but also responsible for much of New Zealand’s carbon emission;
  • bioprotection, where efforts to preserve native birds (kiwi) and plants (kauri trees) depend on expert control of microbial pathogens
  • microbes have applications to answer questions beyond the immediate range of microbiology, such as the causes of cancer or birth defects;
  • green and bio-based technologies, where microbes help preserve our environment by producing bio-based materials for use in diagnostics and vaccines or by harnessing solar energy for fuel production.

 

Multi-disciplinary

You will gain the advantage of learning in a multi-disciplinary environment. Massey has world-leading expertise in many areas of science, especially veterinary, animal, health and environmental science and microbial biotechnology. You can take advantage of this for your learning and research to look at microbiological sub-disciplines, such as antibiotic development, diagnostics, medical microbiology, epidemiology, microbial ecology, environmental microbiology, food safety and microbial biotechnology.

Real-world experience

You will complete research projects with the Massey University researchers. You’ll gain a real-world insight into the area and connections with potential future employers.

World-leading facilities

Facilities available to you include our Microscopy and Imaging Centre, Genomics and DNA sequencing facility, protein analysis suite (Mass Spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, NMR), bioreactors and fermentation facilities.

Careers and further study

Careers

Setting you apart

An honours degree is a sign of your excellence and in-depth understanding of the field of microbiology. The Bachelor of Science (Honours) with a major in microbiology will give you a head start on other potential employees with undergraduate degrees.

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.

Further research

If you are interested in pursuing further research, microbiology is a key discipline of biological sciences. Microbiology research skills are particularly suited for work in the research or teaching institutions. You could work in the fields of biomedicine, bioprotection, biotechnology, epidemiology, veterinary or plant pathology.

There are also roles in the legal or business sectors, for instance assisting with the commercialisation of science, drafting of patents and technology transfer agreements.

Dairy, food, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries are key employers. There are also numerous other opportunities in cosmetics, breweries, food and oil industries, horticulture, and agriculture. Government and private sectors provide opportunities for bioprotection, regulatory, sample testing or diagnostic laboratory positions.

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.

Further study

On completion of the BSc(Hons)(Microbiology), if you graduate with B+ or above you may be eligible to enrol into PhD in microbiology or other biological sciences. An alternative option may be a MSc (Microbiology).

Entry requirements

University admission

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

Programme admission

Required

To enter the Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Microbiology) you will have been awarded or qualified for a:

  • a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in microbiology, or close equivalent, with a minimum B+ in majoring courses 300-level courses
  • a bachelor’s degree, followed by a Graduate Diploma in Science and Technology in microbiology, or close equivalent, with a minimum B+ average in the majoring 300-level courses.

For the purposes of entry to this programme, a close equivalent could be a Bachelor of Science with a major in molecular genetics and biochemistry or other biological science degree. 

You will need to provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

English language requirements

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

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

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.

Courses and planning

Courses for this specialisation

Compulsory courses

90 credits
162704 Current Topics in Microbiology 30
162760 Research Methods and Communication in the Biosciences 30
162798 Research Report 30

Subject courses

122703 Gene Expression 30
122704 Molecular Cell Biology 30
122713 Advanced Topics in Biochemistry 15
247712 Advanced Topics in Molecular Biology 30

Planning your programme

Planning overview

If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications.  If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit. 

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 passionate about microbiology, biochemistry or genetics
  • excelled in your undergraduate degree
  • are interested in a research or academic career, and doing a PhD.

Meet our lecturers

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.

Postgraduate regulations

General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate 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

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. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

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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