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Master of Science (Earth Science)

Key facts

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

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Details you need to know about the structure, courses and requirements for this programme.

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Entry requirements

Master of Science 180 or 240 credits

Admission to the Master of Science (180 or 240 credits) requires you to have:

  • a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Earth Science, or close equivalent, with a minimum B average in the majoring 300-level courses; or
  • will have been awarded or qualified for either the Bachelor of Science with Honours or the Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology in Earth Science, having achieved a B grade average over the contributing courses.

Master of Science 120 credits (thesis only)

Admission to the 120 credit Master of Science requires you to have a minimum B average for either of the following:

  • a Bachelor of Science (Honours) with an endorsement in Earth Science; or
  • a Postgraduate Diploma in Science with an endorsement in Earth Science

Documents you will need to supply to support your application

  • a copy of your academic transcript/s
  • A short summary of your research interests (200 words or less). Required if you intend on a pathway which includes at least 90 credits of research.

For general entry requirements see Massey University entry requirements.

Master of Science (Earth Science) structure

You will follow a parts-based course of study, which shall consist of courses totalling at least 180 credits, comprising Part One and Part Two as defined by the Courses Schedule below.



A master’s qualification is made up of two parts. The first part gives you good knowledge and skills that will help you with the research part of your qualification. You must pass Part One before you can progress to Part Two.

For progression to Part Two of the Master of Science, a B Grade Average is needed for the Part One courses.

Time limits for completion for eligibility for Honours, Distinction or Merit

120 credits

Your 120 credit master's degree will carry the award of Distinction, if completed at a superior standard (equivalent to First Class Honours), or Merit (equivalent to Second Class Honours, Division One) and completed within one year of first enrolling in full-time study or within three years of first enrolling in part-time study.

180 credits

If completed within eighteen months of first enrolling in full-time study or within four years of first enrolling in part-time study, your 180 credit master's degree will carry the award of Distinction or Merit.

240 credits

If completed within two years of first enrolling for full-time study or within five years of first enrolling for part-time study your 240 credit master's degree will be awarded with First Class Honours, Second Class Honours Division I, Second Class Honours Division II or a pass.

Maximum time to completion

  • 120 credit masterates must be completed within a maximum of four years.
  • 180 credit masterates must be completed within a maximum of five years.

240 credit masterates must be completed within a maximum of six years.


Part One Choose at least 60 credits from

119.728 Research Practice


119.729 Research Methods
233.701 Advanced Pedology
233.705 Volcanology and Tephrochronology
233.706 Environmental Geographical Information Systems
233.707 Environmental Remote Sensing
233.708 Geochemistry
233.709 Advanced Sedimentology
233.710 Geology, Hazard & Society; Environmental Geology A
233.711 Applied Environmental Geology; Environmental Geology B
233.721 Global Climate Change
233.722 Advanced Quaternary Geology
233.791 Special Topic
247.782 Special Topic
247.783 Special Topic
233.799 Research Report

Part Two (at least 60 credits)

120 credits research

233.897 Thesis 120 credit Part 1
233.898 Thesis 120 credit Part 2


90 credits research

233.871 Thesis 90 credit Part 1
233.872 Thesis 90 credit Part 2


60 credits research

233.870 Research Report

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