Certificate in Border and Biosecurity – CertBBiosec

Massey University’s Certificate in Border and Biosecurity will give you a credible and contemporary qualification to enhance your career prospects in border, biosecurity, or primary industries.

Type of qualification


Level of study

Undergraduate study

An undergraduate qualification is usually the first one you study.

More about study levels

NZQF level 6

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

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

1 year part-time. Not available for full-time study
Up to 8 years part-time
Part-time available

Where you can study

Distance and online

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students studying online from outside New Zealand

Study a Certificate in Border and Biosecurity – CertBBiosec

Massey’s Certificate in Border and Biosecurity is a part-time, multi-disciplinary border and biosecurity qualification.

Follow your interests

You can choose from a wide range of subject areas including plant and animal science, border security, biosecurity, organisational behaviour, law, globalisation and trade, data management and decision making, logistics and supply chain management.

Study to suit you

Your first year will include two compulsory courses relating to border and biosecurity studies. The rest of your qualification will be made up of elective courses that you choose to suit your interests.

Massey excels at distance learning, and all your teaching will be provided by distance and/or block courses. This offers flexibility for students with jobs or other commitments.

You’ll learn about:

  • the concepts of border security and biosecurity
  • contemporary border and biosecurity issues and practices, and
  • the implications of these for countries’ national security and the economic and social wellbeing of their people.

Protect New Zealand’s economy, taonga and way of life

Biosecurity is a multi-disciplinary practice concerned with protecting valued life from pests and diseases. New Zealand’s primary industries are critical to the economy on a local scale and play an important role in food security on a global one. Protecting the biodiversity of indigenous flora and fauna is equally important. The qualification has a distinctly New Zealand focus while maintaining global relevance.

Why Massey?

Massey University offers knowledge and expertise across the breadth of disciplines required for a border and biosecurity qualification. Massey provides a high level of prestige and international recognition for the provision of this qualification, including associated research opportunities.

Industry connections

Massey is well connected within the government sector. Both the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and the New Zealand Customs Service (Customs) are members of Massey University’s Strategic Advisory Board, along with other key government security and intelligence agencies. You’ll be able to specialise in border management and biosecurity issues that focus on government-relevant skills.

Real-world learning

You’ll have the opportunity for applied learning and/or community and civic engagement that will connect you with the wider community and authenticate your study through real-world application.

Further study

On completion of this certificate, you could go on to study a Diploma in Border and Biosecurity. You would then have the opportunity for further university undergraduate study, such as a Bachelor of Arts (Security Studies).

A CertBBiosec is a good fit if you:

  • work, or wish to work, in a government agency, local council or the primary production sector
  • aspire to be part of New Zealand’s biosecurity front line
  • want to preserve New Zealand’s cultural heritage and natural taonga.

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 Certificate in Border and Biosecurity, outside of university admission regulations.

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

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.

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

60 credits

  • Compulsory courses – 30 credits
  • Electives from the Schedule – 30 credits

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 30 credits from)

Choose 30 credits from
Course code: 294101 Introduction to Biosecurity 15 credits

This course exposes students to a range of contemporary biosecurity issues and practices and incorporates a preliminary understanding of conceptual approaches to the management of pest and diseases.

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Course code: 294170 Introduction to Border Security 15 credits

An introduction to the concept of border security. It will explore security challenges and the implications of these to border security both internationally and for New Zealand. It will also look at the various border security agencies and their responses to managing border security risks with a focus on interagency collaboration, risk management and the impact of policy.

View full course details

Elective courses

Course code: 114240 Organisational Behaviour 15 credits

A theoretical and practical examination of the behaviour of people in the work environment. Students develop a basic understanding of individual behaviour and team dynamics, exploring issues of motivation, communication, leadership, decision making, power and organisational change.

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Course code: 117153 Introduction to Animal Production in New Zealand 15 credits

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

Restrictions: 117152 and 117155 and 199101

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Course code: 146209 Food and Eating 15 credits

This course explores the food chain, from production, through consumption, to exchange. It considers the ways in which food is implicated in the reproduction of identities and inequalities.

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Course code: 150103 Nau mai e noho: Engaging with Māori 15 credits

This course will equip students with a range of skills to engage with Māori communities including common expressions in te reo, an understanding of key traditional concepts, customary practices (tikanga), the importance of the Treaty of Waitangi and the nature and structure of Māori social and political organisations.

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Course code: 155202 Essentials of Law 15 credits

Introduction to the New Zealand legal system, legal interpretation and substantive law.

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Course code: 157216 Management, Analytics and Decision Making 15 credits

Introduction to techniques and issues involved in using data to support organisational decision making.

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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: 214215 Food Safety and Human Health 15 credits

Introduces students to the key issues surrounding the preparation, handling and delivery of safe food, and applications of food safety, HACCP, inspection and assessment techniques, food legislation and common problems, will be examined. Will include a study of relevant organisations involved in the food industry.

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Course code: 240260 Logistics and Supply Chain Fundamentals 15 credits

A study of logistics and supply chain management fundamental concepts. The supply chain management paradigm that underpins modern business is fully explored with a specific focus on customer service, forecasting, process integration, relationship management, and performance measurement.

Restrictions: 115260

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Course code: 285201 Understanding Plant Protection 15 credits

The importance of diseases, pests and weeds to horticultural, agricultural and forestry production, trade, gardening and conservation is outlined. The course introduces the biology of these organisms and gives an understanding of their management and control. An introduction to strategies available for chemical, non-chemical and integrated control methods is included together with examples. A course of practical work.

Prerequisites: 119120 or 120101 or 283101 or 284101 Restrictions: 171284

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Course code: 294201 States, Borders and Resource Security 15 credits

This course examines the dynamics of states seeking to secure resources for their own requirements, alongside the need to sustain and protect global resources such as oceans and the poles.

Restrictions: 149271

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Choose no more than 15 credits from
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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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 Certificate in Border and Biosecurity will enhance your career prospects in the primary industries, local bodies and government agencies. You’ll have an edge when applying for sought-after roles within organisations such as MPI, Customs, and Maritime New Zealand. Primary sector employees, such as pack house staff, farm managers and labourers, council staff undertaking pest control, and horticulturalists will all benefit from this qualification.

Work here, or overseas

This certificate is highly relevant to the domestic situation and will enhance your career prospects within New Zealand. In addition, as New Zealand is a world leader in border and biosecurity expertise, graduates with this knowledge will also be sought-after internationally.

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