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Bachelor of Animal Science (Animal Genetics and Breeding)

Key facts

  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available for international students studying in NZ

Make an impact

Learn how animal breeding and genetics can have a positive impact on animal industries and the New Zealand economy.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Animal Science parent structure.

What is it like?

The Bachelor of Animal Science (Animal Genetics and Breeding) is ideal for you if you have an interest in genetics in relation to animals and how effective breeding strategies can both improve animal health and be more effective for farming and agriculture.

What will I learn?

Have a national impact

New Zealand has a large pasture-based farming industry and continuously strives to produce animals with improved meat, milk, leather and fibre and related products. You will learn about reproductive physiology and reproductive technologies for the purpose of ensuring effective animal multiplication, which can, in turn, improve New Zealand’s export earnings.

Improve animal performance

Through your study you will gain an understanding of breeding and genetics to help improve the performance of animals. This could be production animals (like cows and sheep) and sport animals (for example horses).

Learn about genetic and reproduction strategies

You will learn how to set up a genetic improvement programme based on breeding goals and how to collect the relevant information, analyse it and make decisions to attain those goals. You will learn about reproductive technologies and how to factor these into animal breeding programmes.

A unique degree

This is the only Bachelor of Animal Science (BAnSci) in New Zealand. It focuses entirely on animal science and is ideal if you are interested in a career that combines your love of science and animals.

Learn from the best

Massey University’s animal, agricultural and veterinary science professionals are among the best in the world and they will teach you about the latest developments in animal science. As well as animal breeding and genetics, you will also obtain expertise in nutrition, growth and animal welfare.


This degree has a distinct New Zealand flavour and is equivalent to established international animal science programmes. This allows you to study part of your programme overseas.

Research-led learning

Massey has a number of internationally recognised animal-based research centres relevant to genetics and breeding including: AL Rae Genetics Centre, Parentage Genetic Services Centre, Equine Research Centre, International Sheep Research Centre. These centres are used to enhance the learning experience throughout the degree.

Sought-after by employers

The production and companion animal industries, government departments and agencies, and iwi-owned agribusinesses recognise the importance of animal science in what they do and employ our graduates. Our rigorous programme is supported by industry and provides you with the valuable skills employers are looking for.

Join a world-leading university

Massey is world-ranked and New Zealand’s number one university in agriculture according to the QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) rankings.

Our proud record dates back to 1927 when we offered New Zealand’s first degrees in agriculture. We are also recognised in the QS rankings as a world leader in veterinary education. Massey University is home to the only animal science team in New Zealand and one of the largest in Australasia. As a Massey University animal science student, you will benefit from our internationally-recognised capability and leadership in these areas. 

Our staff have significant and ongoing interaction with farm and service animal genetic improvement programmes with commercial partners such as the Livestock Improvement Corporation and Focus Genetics.

Practical components of the programme are taught on site at our sheep, beef and dairy farms and at our feline and canine facilities and state of the art teaching laboratories.

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.

A good fit if you:

  • Enjoy studying biology and genetics at school
  • Are interested in a career working with animals
  • Are interested in learning more about the selection and breeding of animals
  • Are able to relate to problems solved using maths


The BAniSc (Animal Genetics and Breeding) gives you the skills to go into a variety of interesting careers. You will gain the knowledge, attributes and insights into new technologies and processes, that are relevant for careers of the future.

Whether you are interested in working on small companies or farms, or for a large multinational, this degree will be you the technical, advocacy and management skills that are required. Possible careers include:

  • Reproductive management of animals
  • Livestock genetics companies
  • Corporate ram and bull breeding units
  • Developing country genetic improvement programmes
  • On-farm animal technician
  • Animal-related consultancy


Contact us Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey