Bachelor of Science – BSc

Massey’s Bachelor of Science (BSc) is a flexible qualification that will challenge you, while giving you the satisfaction of discovery.

Type of qualification

Bachelor's degree

Level of study

Undergraduate study

An undergraduate qualification is usually the first one you study.

NZQF level 7

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

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

3 year(s) 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, or studying on-line out
Note: Some distance courses contain compulsory contact workshops.

Study a Bachelor of Science – BSc

With Massey University’s Bachelor of Science, you’ll gain a broad scientific education while also being able to study one or more specialist areas in depth.

Leaders and influential thinkers around the world see the training, nurturing and appointment of well-qualified scientists and technologists as instrumental to health, environmental sustainability, and prosperity. Studying science will set you up to play a part in an exciting and prosperous future.

A flexible programme of study

Massey’s Bachelor of Science degree provides you with an adaptable base from which to develop in your chosen career. With the right choice of first-year courses, you can keep your options open when it comes to selecting your major in your second year.

You can select from a wide variety of majors and minors, or combine your Bachelor of Science with a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Business.

Get the skills employers are looking for

You’ll learn concepts, principles and theories that you can apply in your chosen career, such as how to interpret, summarise, evaluate and present data and information, and how to solve problems.

In addition to the technical skills you’ll gain through practical experience, you’ll also develop the communication and quantitative skills that are essential to success in New Zealand and international workplaces. These include time management, technological knowledge and project-planning skills that are useful across a wide range of industries and science-related organisations.

Learn from the best

Learn from some of the top science researchers and teachers in the world, and use some of the best facilities in New Zealand.

Further study

Top graduates can proceed to a one-year Bachelor of Science with Honours, and from there, directly to a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy).

Alternatively, you could study a Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology or a Master of Science. Many of our subject areas provide opportunities for postgraduate study while you’re working, so you can earn money while becoming more highly qualified.

A BSc is a good fit if you:

  • like making discoveries
  • want to have a career where you can make a difference in the world.

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 the Bachelor of Science, outside of university admission regulations. However there is some expected background knowledge.

Expected high school preparation

A Year 13 background in a number of the science subjects (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) and at least one of the mathematics subjects is expected. Please refer to the webpage for your chosen major to see specific details on expected and recommended high school subjects for your major.

English language requirements

To study this qualification 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:

English language skills

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

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

If you started the BSc before 2020 you may be completing the qualification under the previous regulations, which are listed in Schedule C in the Regulations for this qualification.

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 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.

The first-year structure is designed to provide you with a broad knowledge and skill set which will equip you to go on to more advanced courses in the second and third years.

You can change to any BSc major at the end of your first year. By choosing your courses and electives carefully to cover both majors you could change at the end of first year.

Typical pattern for the Bachelor of 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
247111 or 247112 or 247113
161111 or 161122
124103 or 160101 or 160102 or 160104 or 160105
Core 100-level relating to major
Core 100-level relating to major
Core 100-level
Core 100-level
Core 100-level
Year two
Major 200-level
Major 200-level
Major 200-level
Major 200-level
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective
Year three
Major 300-level
Major 300-level
Major 300-level
Major 300-level
Elective
Elective
Elective
Elective

Courses are each worth 15 credits

Courses and specialisations

Key terms

Courses
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).
Credits
Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
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.

Credit summary

360 credits

  • Core courses – 90 credits
  • Major courses – 120 credits
  • Electives from the Schedule – 30 credits
  • Other electives – 120 credits

Ensure that overall, you have:

  • Not more than 165 credits at 100 level
  • At least 75 credits at 300 level

You could replace some electives with a minor.

Course planning key

Prerequisites
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.
Corequisites
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Restrictions
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 at least 90 credits from)

Compulsory courses (Choose at least 45 credits from)

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

A problem-based, interdisciplinary course introducing students to the context of scientific thinking that underpins sustainability. An exploration of how the Treaty of Waitangi underpins a partnership between Pākehā and Māori and how global citizenship and Tikanga Māori contribute to agriculture, horticulture and animal science. By examining the interactions between economic, environmental and social drivers of sustainability, students will develop their critical thinking, communication and literacy skills as they evaluate contemporary challenges in the agriculture, horticulture and animal industries.

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

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Course code: 247112 Science and Sustainability for ICT 15 credits

A project-based course developing students’ practical skills for critical thinking, analysis and collaboration to address IT-related sustainability challenges in Aotearoa New Zealand. Students will learn to communicate effectively with users, clients, colleagues and managers in the IT industry. The course includes an exploration of how the Treaty of Waitangi underpins a partnership between Pākehā and Māori, focussing on ways in which IT can be guided by Tikanga Māori (including culture, ethics and knowledge systems).

Restrictions: 247177, 141111, 141112, 228111, 228112, 247155, 119155, 246102, 247111, 247113, 247114

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Course code: 247113 Science and Sustainability for Science 15 credits

A problem-based, interdisciplinary course introducing students to the scientific thinking and theories that underpin the relationship between science and sustainability. An exploration of how the Treaty of Waitangi underpins a partnership between Pākehā and Māori, focussing on ways in which science can be guided by Tikanga Māori (including culture, ethics and knowledge systems); and how Māori knowledge contributes to knowledge production in science, including the protection of Taonga species and resources within the context of sustainability of lands and waterways in Aotearoa. By examining the interactions between human, environmental and technological systems, students will develop their critical thinking, communication and literacy skills as they evaluate solutions to contemporary challenges in sustainability.

Restrictions: 247177, 141111, 141112, 228111, 228112, 247155, 119155, 246102, 247111, 247112, 247114

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Choose 15 credits from
Course code: 161111 Applied Statistics 15 credits

Statistical literacy, the ability to understand and reason with statistics and data, is becoming increasingly important as our world becomes more and more data-rich. This course focuses on developing statistical literacy in real-world contexts. We teach students to use software (Excel and RStudio) to summarise, display and analyse data. We explore data collection techniques including sampling methods and experimental design. We introduce statistical inference methods (confidence intervals, hypothesis testing and regression) with an emphasis on communicating results in context.

Restrictions: 115101, 161101, 161120, 161122, 161130, 161140

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Course code: 161122 Statistics 15 credits

Statistical literacy and data collection. Descriptive statistics and the interpretation of data, probability, random variables and probability distributions, sampling and estimation, hypothesis testing, correlation and regression, use of R software.

Restrictions: 115101, 161101, 161111, 161120, 161130, 161140

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Choose at least 15 credits from
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: 160101 Calculus 15 credits

A course focusing on the fundamental techniques and applications of calculus including differentiation and integration of functions of one real variable, differential equations, numerical methods, and an introduction to power series with applications to mathematical models. 160.101, alongside 160.102, forms a foundation for further study in mathematics. It is essential for students intending to study Mathematics, Physics, Food Technology or Engineering, or for anyone who wants a strong mathematical component to their degree.

Restrictions: 160112, 160133, 228172

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Course code: 160102 Algebra 15 credits

A course focusing on the fundamental techniques and applications of linear algebra including vector and matrix algebra, vector representation of lines and planes, projections, Gaussian elimination, eigenvectors and complex numbers. 160.102, alongside 160.101, forms a foundation for further study in mathematics. It is essential for students intending to study Mathematics, Physics, Food Technology or Engineering, or for anyone who wants a strong mathematical component to their degree.

Restrictions: 160112, 160133, 228172

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Course code: 160104 Introductory Mathematics for Science 15 credits

An introductory course focusing on the development of mathematical problem solving skills in science contexts. The use of number, algebra, trigonometry, and curve sketching will be employed in different situations to solve problems and interpret results.

Restrictions: 124103, 160101, 160102, 160103, 160105, 160111, 160112, 160131, 160132, 160133, 228171, 228172

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Course code: 160105 Methods of Mathematics 15 credits

An introductory course designed to increase the confidence of students in handling mathematical concepts and skills. Content includes algebraic skills, functions and graphs, and an introduction to calculus.

Restrictions: 160101, 160102, 160103, 160111, 160112, 160131, 160132, 160133, 228171, 228172

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Remaining credits from

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, 117153

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Course code: 119120 Plants for Agriculture and Horticulture 15 credits

An introduction to the agricultural and horticultural species important to New Zealand's economy. Growth and development of agricultural and horticultural plants; their responses to the environment and management, and implications for production. Identification and biology of agricultural and horticultural plants, including weeds, pests and pathogens important to plant production.

Restrictions: 283101, 284101

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Course code: 120101 Plant Biology 15 credits

This course is an integrated introductory study of plants. Major themes include: plant form and function (anatomy, morphology, photosynthesis, respiration, transport systems, mineral nutrition); regulation of growth and development, especially in response to the environment; plant diversity (systematics, evolution, life cycles, New Zealand flora); and plants and people (crop domestication, plant breeding and production, Māori plant use).

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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) Restrictions: 122222, 227111, 227106

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Course code: 123103 Chemistry for Modern Sciences 15 credits

An introductory course in chemistry suitable for students with little previous experience in the subject. The basic concepts of chemistry, including atoms and molecules, the periodic table, bonding, equilibria, chemical reactions, and chemical energetics, are taught with contextual references to everyday life.

Restrictions: 119153, 119158 123103 may not be taken after 123101, 123102, 123104, 123105, 123171 or 123172 have been passed

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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: 123105 Chemistry and the Physical World 15 credits

An examination of how the properties of atoms and molecules determine the properties and behaviour of matter. The transfer of energy that occurs during chemical and physical processes and the rates of these processes are discussed and rationalised using atomic and molecular properties. Techniques for characterising matter and materials are introduced.

Restrictions: 123102, 123172

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Course code: 124100 Introductory Physics 15 credits

An introductory course on phenomena and methods relevant to the study of physics. The use of physics concepts, including conservation laws, to analyse physical systems. Conversion of information between written, algebraic, graphical and diagrammatic forms. Methods for solving appropriate quantitative problems. Practical demonstrations and experiments.

Restrictions: 119153, 124103 124100 may not be taken after any of 124101, 124102, 124111, 124171, 124172, 124104, 124105 has been passed

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Course code: 124104 Physics 1A: Mechanics and Thermodynamics 15 credits

This physics course provides foundational knowledge for study in engineering, food technology, and physical sciences. The emphasis is on applying physical principles to problem solving in mechanics, fluid mechanics, and thermodynamics. A practical course.

Restrictions: 124101, 124111, 124171

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Course code: 124105 Physics 1B: Electricity, Waves and Modern Physics 15 credits

This physics course provides foundational knowledge for study in engineering, food technology and physical sciences. The emphasis is on applying physical principles to problems involving electricity, waves (including classical waves and electromagnetic waves), optics, quantum physics, and the application of modern technologies such as lasers, mass spectrometers, and nuclear magnetic resonance. A practical course.

Restrictions: 124102, 124172

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Course code: 151131 Introduction to Food and Nutrition 15 credits

An examination of the effect of social, cultural and psychological factors on food habits; a brief study of the composition of foodstuffs and the basic principles of human nutrition; an introduction to food safety and food preservation. Emphasis will be given to topics of current interest.

Restrictions: 141101, 151232, 151344, 214131

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Course code: 158120 Web-based IT Fundamentals 15 credits

In this course, students study how key information technology components combine to form complex information technology solutions. This includes analysis and experimentation with relational databases, web technologies, programming and networking.

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Course code: 159100 Programming for Engineering and Technology 15 credits

This course provides an introduction to computer programming for Technology and Engineering disciplines. The language is C++ which is a "real world" language heavily used in games, real-time applications and the control of devices. The course guides students through all the steps needed to write, compile and debug simple C++ programs with lots of practical examples. No previous programming experience is required.

Restrictions: 159101

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Course code: 159101 Applied Programming 15 credits

The focus of this course is on problem solving and the design of logical and efficient programming solutions. It is an applied course with an emphasis on software construction using basic algorithmic methods and simple data structures. The course introduces the C++ programming language and is an essential preparation for advanced programming courses.

Restrictions: 159100

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Course code: 159102 Computer Science and Programming 15 credits

This course advances the programming knowledge to include abstract data types, recursion, pointers, and the foundations of object-oriented programming. Foundational Computer Science topics are also covered including bits, bytes, twos complement arithmetic, gates, logic circuits and an introduction to assembler programming.

Prerequisites: 159100 or 159101

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Course code: 159171 Computational Thinking and Programming 1 15 credits

The focus of this course is on problem solving and the design of logical and efficient computer-based solutions to real-world problems. This is a practical course with an emphasis on software construction using basic data structures and algorithmic methods that are common to many programming languages. The programming language used will be a high level, multi-paradigm, programming language, such as Python. The course is intended as preparation for advanced courses in object-oriented, functional and scientific programming. Students will gain an appreciation of simple software design principles and the ability to create useful custom-built programs.

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Course code: 159172 Computational Thinking and Programming 2 15 credits

This course follows on from 159.171 by extending programming ability and putting the developed methods into context. It advances the programming knowledge obtained in 159.171 to include recursion, abstract data types and basic foundations of functional and object-oriented programming. It introduces elements of algorithm design and analysis. The programming language used will be a high level, multi-paradigm, programming language, such as Python. The course is intended as preparation for advanced courses in object-oriented, functional and scientific programming. Students will gain an appreciation of aspects of computer science theory and the ability to program using a range of computational techniques and data structures.

Prerequisites: 159171 Restrictions: 159102

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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: 162103 Introductory Biology 15 credits

An introductory course in biology suitable for students with little previous experience in the subject. Topics include: the diversity of life; cells as the basic unit of life; form and function of cells, microbes, animals and plants; DNA and molecular genetics; classical genetics; evolution and ecology.

Restrictions: 162103 may not be taken after 162101 has been passed

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Course code: 175101 Psychology as a Social Science 15 credits

An introduction to psychology as the scientific study of human behaviour, with emphasis on individual differences and social influences. The course aims to develop an awareness of the issues, terminology, methods and techniques involved in the study of human behaviour.

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Course code: 175102 Psychology as a Natural Science 15 credits

An introduction to methods and findings from the scientific study of psychology and its application to everyday human behaviour. Examination of basic behavioural, perceptual and cognitive processes and how these are influenced by biological mechanisms and cultural context.

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Course code: 189151 Principles of Soil Science 15 credits

An integrated introductory course in soil science. An exploration of the interaction between soil and the environment, soil formation and morphology, soil physical, chemical, and biological properties and their influence on soil management, nutrient cycling, and soil-plant interactions.

Prerequisites: One of 119153, 119158, 123101, 123103 or 123104

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Course code: 194101 Introductory Physiology 15 credits

An introduction to the physiology of mammals, including humans, with comparative reference to some other taxa. The course focuses on physiological processes that help maintain a constant internal environment, physiological adaptations to changing external environments, and the relationship between the structure and function of tissues and organs.

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Course code: 196101 Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour 15 credits

An introductory biology course on the way organisms react, adapt, and interact. The course investigates the relationships between genotype, phenotype and environment, and the diversity of life on Earth within a phylogenetic framework. The course includes an examination of the dynamic interactions within and between abiotic and biotic components of ecosystems, including a focus on the evolutionary ecology of behaviours such as foraging, mating, parenting, and cooperation.

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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: 214101 Human Bioscience: Normal Body Function 15 credits

Human body structure and function (anatomy and physiology), including relevant concepts of homeostasis and metabolism and development throughout the lifespan.

Restrictions: 194101, 117155

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Course code: 233105 Our Dynamic Earth 15 credits

An introductory course exploring the dynamics of Earth and how it changes through time, from the core to the atmosphere, plate tectonics to volcanoes, glaciers to rivers, mountains to oceans, and mass extinctions to the evolution of life. Through exploration of these processes and their interrelationships with environments and society, including natural hazards, climate change, and earth resources, students will develop their practical, problem solving, and communication skills.

Restrictions: 233101 and 145121

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Course code: 234121 Functional Anatomy 15 credits

An introduction to the structure and function of the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular and cardiopulmonary systems and their importance to health, movement and exercise.

Restrictions: 214170

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Schedule B: Specialisations

Majors

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.

Completing a major is compulsory. To complete a major in the BSc, you must pass 120 credits in specified areas, comprising 60 credits at 200-level and 60 credits at 300-level.

Minors

Completing a minor is optional.  Minors increase the breadth of your degree and give you extra knowledge, attributes and capabilities. A minor must be in a different subject from your major. 

You may choose a minor from any University undergraduate degree that has recognised minors. If the minor is from another degree the regulations of that qualification will apply.

All BSc majors are available as minors. See the BSc regulations for requirements.

  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Data Science
  • Earth Science
  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Ecology and Sustainability
  • Environmental Science
  • Exercise and Sport Science
  • Human Nutrition
  • Integrative Biology
  • International Agriculture
  • Marine Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Cell Biology
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Physics
  • Physiology
  • Plant Science
  • Psychology
  • Statistics
  • Zoology

Before you start

Laboratory streams

Lecture and laboratory streaming information will be available in your online classroom (called Stream) through your student homepage. You will get access to your student homepage after you have applied and been accepted into your qualification. A link will be emailed to you prior to lectures starting.

Make sure you take a look before semester starts because laboratory sessions commence in the first week 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.