Master of Science – MSc

With Massey's Master of Science, you will get the knowledge and skills you need to gain a more in-depth understanding of an area of scientific study.

Type of qualification

Master's degree

Level of study

Postgraduate study

Once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree – or have equal experience – you can study at the postgraduate level. Doctoral qualifications require additional entry requirements.

NZQF level 9

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

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

2 year(s) full-time (180 credits)
Up to 5 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 Master of Science – MSc

Note: This qualification has specialisations that may have an on-campus or in-person requirement and therefore requires that students submit a current My Vaccine Pass on enrolment.

Studying for your master's is a challenging and satisfying postgraduate experience.

Massey University’s Master of Science will give you the knowledge and skills you need to gain a more in-depth understanding of an area of scientific study and advance your career.

When you graduate with a Master of Science you will have learned how to work at a high level of academic achievement, work to deadlines under pressure and communicate effectively.

Complete in a shorter time-frame

Massey University’s Master of Science is a 180-credit master qualification (a 240-credit MSc is also available). The 180-credit masters offers a rigorous programme of learning, yet can be achieved in one and a half years.

Research-led learning

Massey teaching is research-led and our academics are ranked among the best in the world. Our teaching staff are widely published and are in demand as keynote speakers on topical global issues. International visitors regularly seek out visits to our science facilities to learn more about what we do.

Accessible lecturers

We work to help you succeed. Massey University offers smaller classes and more personalised learning, giving you greater access to lecturers and the help you need to succeed and thrive during your master’s study.

Relevant learning

Your lecturers and supervisors at Massey have strong connections with the industry. We work to ensure that our teaching fits with the changing environment, which means you will emerge with a relevant qualification valued by potential employers.

A MSc is a good fit if you:

  • are passionate about science
  • are interested in a postgraduate qualification that combines both structured learning and research
  • want to progress your career to the next level of seniority and stand out in the job market.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

To enter the Master of Science you will have been awarded of qualified for:

  • the Bachelor of Science degree with a major in the intended postgraduate subject, or equivalent, with a minimum B average in the majoring 300-level courses, or
  • the Bachelor of Science with Honours, in the intended MSc subject, having achieved a B grade average over the contributing courses and a B grade in an approved research methods course, or
  • the Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology in the intended MSc subject, having achieved a B grade average over the contributing courses and a B grade in an approved research methods course, or
  • the Postgraduate Certificate in Science and Technology in the intended MSc subject, having achieved a B grade average over the contributing courses and a B grade in an approved research methods course.

You must submit an approved research supervision plan with your application. This means you need to secure the agreement of a suitable supervisor for your agreed research topic.

If you have a Bachelor of Science (Honours), Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology, or Postgraduate Certificate in Science and Technology as outlined above, you may apply for credit towards Part One of the qualification in accordance with the limits specified in the Recognition of Prior Learning regulations.

Please see individual webpages for specific entry requirements for specialisations in Nutrition and Dietetics, Psychology and Psychology-Health Psychology, Mathematics and Statistics.

You will need to provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

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.

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications.  If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the qualification if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit. 

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 Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate 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 Master of Science

If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

The Master of Science is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part, before moving to the second.

The first part gives you good knowledge and skills that will help you with the research part of your qualification. You must pass Part One before you can progress to Part Two.

Coursework pathway

For progression to Part Two of the Master of Science, you will need a B grade average across the Part One courses including a B grade for the research methods course.

Research pathway

For progression to Part Two of the Master of Science, you will need a B grade average across the first 60 credits of Part One courses including a B grade for the research methods course.

For progression to Part Two of the Master of Science (Psychology), you will need a B+ grade average across the first 60 credits of Part One courses including a B grade for the research methods course.

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

180 credits (most subjects)

  • Part One compulsory and subject courses – 60‑120 credits
  • Part Two research – 60‑120 credits
  • A specialisation (subject) is compulsory.

These subjects require 240 credits:

  • Nutrition and Dietetics (includes 150 credits of compulsory Part One courses)
  • Psychology
  • Psychology - Health Psychology

Advanced entry: Those who have already completed specified qualifications in advance of the minimum entry requirements may be able to complete this degree by undertaking a 120 credit thesis.

This is a parts-based qualification. This means there are regulations around your completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two, etc.

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.

Subjects

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.

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

Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication, The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates, found that in New Zealand:

  • young master’s graduates earn more than one and a half times more than the national median (five years after study)
  • earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed
  • five years after completion, the median earnings of young master’s graduates are 15% higher than for those with a bachelor’s degree.