Bachelor of Animal Science – BAnSci

Combine your love of animals and science with the only animal science degree available in New Zealand.

Type of qualification

Bachelor's degree

Level of study

Undergraduate study

An undergraduate qualification is usually the first one you study.

More about study levels

NZQF level 7

Our courses follow the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) levels.

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

3 years full-time (360 credits)
Up to 8 years part-time
Part-time available

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand

Study a Bachelor of Animal Science – BAnSci

The Bachelor of Animal Science (BAnSci) is the only degree in New Zealand that focuses entirely on animal science. It 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. They will teach you about the latest developments in animal science. You'll obtain expertise in genetics and breeding, nutrition and growth, and animal welfare. This degree also offers a speciality in equine.

Internationally relevant

This degree has a distinct New Zealand flavour and is equivalent to international animal science qualifications.

Research-led learning

Massey has a number of internationally recognised animal-based research centres including: AL Rae Genetics Centre, Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre, Centre for Feline Nutrition, Equine Parentage Genetic Services Centre, Equine Research Centre, International Sheep Research Centre, Monogastric Research Centre and the Working Dog Centre.

Join a world-leading university

Our proud record dates back to 1927 when we offered New Zealand’s first degrees in agriculture. 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.

Practical components of the qualification 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.

A BAnSci is a good fit if you:

  • want to work with production or companion animals
  • are interested in solving contemporary New Zealand animal production challenges
  • enjoy sciences.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for this qualification, outside of university admission regulations.

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

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 succeed in this qualification.

  • At least 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 Biology.
  • At least 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 Chemistry.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Recommended prior learning

To be successful in your studies, we do recommend that you have:

  • at least 16 credits in NCEA Level 2 Mathematics from the following list of standards: 91256, 91257, 91258, 91259, 91260, 91261, 91262, 91269.

Can't meet the entry requirements?

If it’s some time since you have studied mathematics at school you can find out if you have the required background by taking this maths quiz.

Haven’t studied the right subjects at high school?

The following pathways will get you prepared to study this qualification:

If you have not studied NCEA Level 3 Biology (or equivalent) take the following course first:

If you have not studied NCEA Level 3 Chemistry (or equivalent) take the following course first:

  • 123103 Chemistry for Modern Sciences.

These courses are available in summer school and can be taken as a Certificate in Science and Technology or Certificate of Proficiency.  One 100-level course can be counted as an elective towards the Bachelor of Animal Science.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

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 qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Structure of the Bachelor of Animal Science

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.

Please note that if you start the BAnSci (Animal Genetics & Breeding) or BAnSci (Animal Nutrition & Growth) in semester two without the appropriate level of preparation in Biology and Chemistry, it will extend your time to completion from 3 years to 3.5 years.

Typical pattern for the Bachelor of Animal Science

Core courses These courses are a compulsory part of your qualification.

Major courses Choose from a selection of courses appropriate for your specialisation.

Elective courses Follow your interests. Your qualification may have selection guidelines for elective courses.

Year one
117107 Introduction to Animal Behaviour & Welfare
117155 Introduction to Animal Science
122102 Biochemistry
123104 Chemistry for Biological Systems
124103 Biophysical Principles
162101 Cell Biology
199103 Animals & the Environment
247111 Science & Sustainability for Agriculture & Horticulture
Year two
161140 Agri-Statistics
117201 Livestock Production Science
117202 Animal Science
200-level major
200-level major
200-level major
200-level major
Year three
117371 Animal Production
117381 Solving Problems in Animal Production OR
235312 Case Studies in Māori Agribusiness
300-level major
300-level major
300-level major
300-level major

Courses are each worth 15 credits

Courses and specialisations

Key terms

Each qualification has its own specific set of courses. Some universities call these papers. You enrol in courses after you get accepted into Massey.
Course code
Each course is numbered using 6 digits. The fourth number shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).
Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.

Credit summary

360 credits

  • Core courses – 195 credits
  • Major courses – 120 credits
  • Electives – 45 credits

Ensure that overall, you have:

  • No more than 150 credits at 100 level
  • At least 90 credits at 300 level

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Schedule A: Core Courses (Choose 195 credits from)

Choose 195 credits from
Course code: 117107 Introduction to Animal Behaviour and Welfare 15 credits

An introduction to common ethical frameworks for animal use with a focus on domestic animal species. Principles of the behaviour and welfare of domestic animal species. Theory of safe and effective animal handling.

View full course details
Course code: 117155 Introduction to Animal Science 15 credits

An introduction to animals and animal science, covering a range of animal species and incorporating the principles of nutrition, reproduction, lactation, genetics and growth. A overview of New Zealand’s livestock production systems and consideration of animal ethics, welfare and biosecurity issues.

Restrictions: 117152, and 117153

View full course details
Course code: 117201 Livestock Production Science 15 credits

Developing understanding of the important drivers underpinning New Zealand’s livestock and companion animal industries and how these can be altered to achieve the desired outcomes. Knowledge will be gained on the major animal welfare and environmental issues facing New Zealand agriculture and how these might be mitigated against.

Prerequisites: One of 117152, 117153, 117155, 194101, 199101, or 199103

View full course details
Course code: 117202 Animal Science 15 credits

An exploration of scientific principles underpinning animal husbandry practices. Emphasis will be on examining biological systems in relevant animals, how they are purposely or inadvertently manipulated, and the impact of these manipulations on production, welfare, and the environment.

Prerequisites: One of 117152, 117153, 117155, 194101, 199101 or 199103

View full course details
Course code: 117371 Animal Production 15 credits

The impacts of breeding, nutrition, reproduction and lactation in New Zealand animal production. A modularised course requiring students to select three topics from dairy cattle production, animal, fish & insect protein production, sheep production, pig & poultry production, beef cattle production and the working dog.

Prerequisites: One of 117201, 117202 or 117254

View full course details
Course code: 122102 Biochemistry 15 credits

An introductory biochemistry course covering the fundamental concepts of protein structure and function as well as metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and amino acids. The focus will be on energy transactions in a physiological context including glucose homeostasis and muscle metabolism in mammals. A lecture and problem-based tutorial course involving specific case studies will be complemented by a hands-on laboratory course.

Prerequisites: 123101 or 123104 or 123103 (A pass required) Restrictions: 122222, 227111, 227106

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Course code: 123104 Chemistry for Biological Systems 15 credits

Building on basic chemical principles, this course provides the atomic and molecular foundations for understanding chemistry and the life sciences. Starting from the structure of the atom and an understanding of Gibbs energy, it builds a chemical model for bonding, the composition of molecules, non-covalent interactions, chemical equilibria, acids/bases, chemical reactivity, and biological macromolecules. The theory is supported by practical experiments.

Restrictions: 123101, 123171

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Course code: 124103 Biophysical Principles 15 credits

Students will develop understanding of biophysical principles including the description of motion, forces, equilibrium, fluids and flow, heat as energy, heat transfer, waves and sound, and the use of spreadsheets. Application of foundational knowledge of mathematical principles to biophysical systems, including the rules of arithmetic, fractions, simple algebra, trigonometry, transcendental functions, SI units and unit conversions, and creating and interpreting graphs. A practical course.

Restrictions: 160101, 160102, 160103, 160104, 160105, 160111, 160112, 160132, 160133, 124100, 124104, 124105, 124111

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Course code: 161140 Agri-Statistics 15 credits

An introduction to statistics in an agricultural context, including the presentation, analysis and interpretation of quantitative data.

Restrictions: 161100, 161101, 161111, 161120, 161122, 161130, 115101, 195101, 297101

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Course code: 162101 Cell Biology 15 credits

An introduction to the cellular basis of life. Spanning eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells; cellular structure and function; core biochemical components; mechanisms for generating genetic diversity; the flow of information within cells and between generations; gene expression; and a survey of the landscape of modern genomics, this course provides the conceptual foundation for subsequent courses on molecules, cells and organisms.

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Course code: 199103 Animals and the Environment 15 credits

An introductory biology and natural history course presented within an evolutionary framework that investigates the diversity of animal life, human-animal interactions, nutrient and energy flows, conservation and sustainability. This course places emphasis on wild animals and ecological processes operating within New Zealand and globally.

Restrictions: 199101

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Course code: 247111 Science and Sustainability for Agriculture and Horticulture 15 credits

The pursuit of environmental sustainability is a complex societal issue. This is a problem-based course, where students will develop their critical thinking, communication and information literacy and management skills as they evaluate interdisciplinary approaches to the contemporary sustainability challenge of climate action. Students will explore the intersection of science and community through exemplars of partnership between research and Te Ao Māori (the Māori world) in the context of primary production in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Restrictions: 247177, 141111, 141112, 228111, 228112, 247155, 119155, 246102, 247112, 247113, 247114

View full course details
Choose 15 credits from
Course code: 117381 Solving Problems in Animal Production 15 credits

The critical evaluation of specific aspects of breeding, nutrition, reproduction, lactation, meat/growth and health on animal production and the design and development of improved production systems, focusing on the underlying science.

Prerequisites: 117201 or 117202 or 117254

View full course details
Course code: 235312 Case Studies in Māori Agribusiness 15 credits

This course explores Māori agribusiness through a series of case studies in the field with an emphasis on the temporal understanding of Māori agribusiness. Each case study has an emphasis on analysis and decision making and is applied to a range of Māori agribusinesses.

Prerequisites: 119180

View full course details

Schedule B: Specialisations

Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.

Before you start

Laboratory streams

In your first year lecture and laboratory streaming information will be available on Stream (Massey’s online learning platform) through your student homepage (you will receive access to this page after you have received your Admission Letter of Offer – see the ‘Applying and enrolling’ section on this page for more information).

A link will be emailed to you prior to lectures commencing for first semester.

Laboratory sessions commence in week one of the semester.

Fees and scholarships

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?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

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 can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

The Bachelor of Animal Science will provide you with the expertise you require for the careers of the future. You will be qualified for technical, advocacy and management roles across the production animal, equine and companion animal science industries.

These include:

  • animal management
  • technical/managerial roles both domestically and overseas in a wide range of animal and primary production industries
  • consultancy
  • animal breeding
  • animal nutrition and health
  • sales and technical
  • laboratory roles in nutrition, meat science and animal health
  • feed/pet food manufacturing
  • agricultural biotechnology
  • biosecurity and customs
  • animal welfare officers
  • policy and regulation
  • disease control
  • equine sport and racing
  • academic teaching and research.

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking - Agriculture and Forestry

Massey is world-ranked and New Zealand’s No 1 university in agriculture according to QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) rankings.

Learn more

ShanghaiRanking - agricultural science

Massey University is ranked No.1 in New Zealand for agricultural science by ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.

Learn more