Animal Nutrition and Growth – Bachelor of Animal Science

Combine your love of animals and science with the only animal science degree available in New Zealand. This degree focuses on how nutrition contributes to the performance and health of animals.

Where you can study

Distance and online
Manawatū campus (Palmerston North)

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

Specialise in Animal Nutrition and Growth for your Bachelor of Animal Science at Massey

The Bachelor of Animal Science (Animal Nutrition and Growth) will help you understand how what animals eat affects their growth and health.

What will I learn?

The New Zealand meat industry is well recognised around the world for its pasture-raised product. In New Zealand we also have world-leading industries raising poultry and pigs. Nutrition is also extremely important for sport and companion animals. Improving nutrition can optimise the performance of animals in all these industries.

You will learn how animals digest food and what feeds are best for them. You’ll also learn how much they should be eating for the appropriate growth and development, performance and health.

Massey University’s 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. As well as animal nutrition and growth, you will obtain expertise in genetics, breeding and animal welfare.

Research-led learning

Massey has a number of internationally recognised animal-based research centres including the Centre for Feline Nutrition, Equine Research Centre, International Sheep Research Centre, Monogastric Research Centre and Working Dog Centre. These centres are used to enhance the learning experience throughout the degree.

A Bachelor of Animal Science in Animal Nutrition and Growth is a good fit if you:

  • like working with animals
  • are interested in what diets optimise animal production, performance and health
  • care about the role of the animal in society and in food production.

Planning information

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 this major 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.

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 Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Courses you can enrol in

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.

Compulsory Courses

Choose 120 credits from
Course code: 117224 Animal Feed Science and Technology 15 credits

An examination of feedstuffs and their physical and chemical characteristics and nutritive values. The exploration, through appropriate examples of the different feed preservation processes and feed processing technology employed in animal production.

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Course code: 117225 Animal Production through to Carcass Classification 15 credits

Current and future practices for meat production from farm to carcasses leaving the slaughter floor. Topics include animal growth and development, genetics and breeding, on-farm opportunities to influence carcass and meat quality, pre-slaughter handling of meat-producing animals, slaughter and carcass dressing procedures, carcass classification, animal welfare, occupational safety and health, and factory farming.

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Course code: 117226 Performance Animal Nutrition 15 credits

Develop understanding of the important drivers underpinning the relationship between nutrition and performance, and how these can be maximized to achieve the desired performance outcomes. Knowledge will be gained on the major animal nutrition and performance issues facing New Zealand working and sport animals.

Prerequisites: One of 117152, 117153, 117155 or 194101

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Course code: 117302 Monogastric Animal Nutrition 15 credits

The principles of monogastric nutrition are developed and applied to improve livestock productivity. An in-depth coverage of the digestive and absorptive processes and factors which affect them. The utilisation of absorbed nutrients is addressed, particularly in relation to the determination of nutrient requirements. Techniques central to the study of nutrition are emphasised. The science of nutrition is related back to the practice of feeding animals to optimise productivity and wellbeing. Students will be become familiar with nutrients partitioning computer models used in a practical context.

Prerequisites: 117201 or 117202 or 117254 Restrictions: 117342

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Course code: 117303 Ruminant Animal Nutrition 15 credits

Advanced principles of animal nutrition as related to ruminant livestock. An in-depth coverage of the processes of feed intake, digestion, absorption and metabolism, and the factors affecting them. The determination of the nutritive value of feedstuffs for ruminant, with particular emphasis on forages. Gain in-depth knowledge of schemes for estimating the ruminant animal requirements for energy, protein and minerals and the principles of ration formulation. Design practical feeding regimes and their implementation.

Prerequisites: 117201 or 117202 or 117254 Restrictions: 117342

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Course code: 117344 Animal Growth and Meat Production 15 credits

Patterns of growth and development of farm animals will be described with emphasis on those characteristics of growth with economic implications for meat production, such as the rate, efficiency and composition of growth. Structural and functional aspects of muscle, bone and fat as they relate to animal well-being as well as carcass and meat quality will be considered. In describing factors that can affect animal growth, carcass composition and meat quality, particular attention will be given to on-farm factors.

Prerequisites: 117201 or 117225 or 117254

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Course code: 117348 Animal Metabolism 15 credits

A study of animal metabolism at the whole-body level. The emphasis will be on integrative aspects of metabolism, including developing a quantitative model of nutrient and energy flow from the food to organs, tissues and products. Mechanisms controlling body metabolism in general and the intrinsic and extrinsic factors affecting them will be emphasised.

Prerequisites: (One of 122202, 122233 or 151232) and (one of 117202 or 194241)

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Course code: 122202 The Dynamic Cell 15 credits

Energy metabolism in higher eukaryotes from the perspective of life on earth and the necessary adaptation of living organisms from an anaerobic to aerobic environment. Carbohydrate, lipid and nitrogen metabolism in the context of health and disease. Integration and regulation of carbohydrate, lipid and amino acid metabolism. A lecture and problem-based tutorial course complemented by a hands-on project-based laboratory course.

Prerequisites: 122102 Restrictions: 122233

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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.

English language skills

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

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.

If you need to do a course before you start your qualification, there may be options for you in Summer School.

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 (BAnSci) will provide you with the knowledge, attributes and expertise you require for the careers of the future. You will be qualified for technical, advocacy and management roles across the animal industries. These include:

  • animal management
  • animal nutrition consultancy
  • feed manufacturing and development
  • sales and marketing
  • feed testing services
  • inspection and grading services for animal products.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

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.

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ShanghaiRanking - agricultural science

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

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