Agricultural Science – Master of Science

Join the Master of Science (Agricultural Science) to help increase the productivity and sustainability of agricultural systems in New Zealand and around the world.

Where you can study

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
Note: Not all listed subject course options are on offer every year.

Specialise in Agricultural Science for your Master of Science at Massey

What is it like

Studying Massey’s Master of Science in agricultural science is an opportunity to gain advanced knowledge in agriculture. This is a research-based master's. You will get the analytical and management skills to help you improve productivity and sustainability of agricultural systems.

World-leading lecturers and industry-relevance

As an agriculture student at Massey, you will have access to lecturers and supervisors acknowledged as being among the best in the world. Collaboration between Massey University and nearby Crown Research Institutes offers unrivalled advantages to postgraduate students. It includes access to specialised skills, equipment and networking opportunities.

You will have access to a wide range of facilities and services including:

  • Pasture and Crop Research Unit
  • Fertiliser and Lime Research Unit
  • Plant Growth Unit
  • Life Cycle Management Centre
  • Massey University farms, teaching laboratories and library resources.

Become a sought-after employee

Studying towards your master's is a satisfying and challenging process that will give you a sought-after postgraduate qualification.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The workload of the postgraduate diploma replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ as undergraduate study. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise, especially in planning and undertaking research.

A Master of Science in Agricultural Science is a good fit if you:

  • are interested in a research-based degree
  • wish to study a qualification with a broad science base
  • are looking for a career in science as a senior technician or researcher, or are interested in progressing to a PhD.

Planning information

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.

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.

Courses you can enrol in

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.

Part One

Choose at least 15 credits from
Course code: 119728 Research Methods in Animal, Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences 15 credits

Research methods for students planning to undertake research in animal, veterinary, agricultural, horticultural or applied sciences, with a focus on experimental research designs. Topics include: philosophy of science; research ethics; literature search and review techniques; project development and management; scientific writing; oral presentation skills; vocabulary of statistics; introduction to quantitative data analysis; and completion of a research proposal.

Restrictions: 119729, 162760, 162761, 162762

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Course code: 119729 Research Methods 15 credits

Research methods for students whose research focuses on the human-science interface and human applications of science. The course includes foundations of science, ethics, the scientific method, and systems approaches to problem-solving and research; selection of appropriate research methods, including survey methods, case studies, enterprise/project analysis, and modelling; analysis and presentation of research results and communication skills.

Restrictions: 119728, 162760, 162761, 162762

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Course code: 162760 Research Methods and Communication in the Biosciences 30 credits

A directed course in research methodology and communication in biosciences. Assignments may include a research proposal, a literature review, scientific writing for a journal and a formal seminar presentation.

Restrictions: 162761, 162762, 119728, 119729

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Subject courses

At least 30 credits at 700 level from the 117, 119, 189, 283, 285, 286 prefixes

Part Two

Option A: Animal Science

Course code: 117873 Thesis 90 Credit Part 1 (30 credits) 30 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

Restrictions: 117871, 117872

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Course code: 117874 Thesis 90 Credit Part 2 (60 credits) 60 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

Corequisites: 117873 Restrictions: 117871, 117872

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Course code: 117875 Thesis 90 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

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Course code: 117887 Research Report 60 credits
Course code: 117897 Thesis 120 Credit Part 1 60 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

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Course code: 117898 Thesis 120 Credit Part 2 60 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

Corequisites: 117897

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Course code: 117899 Thesis 120 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

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Option B: Agriculture/Horticulture Plants

Course code: 171873 Thesis 90 Credit Part 1 (30 credits) 30 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

Restrictions: 171871, 171872

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Course code: 171874 Thesis 90 Credit Part 2 (60 credits) 60 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

Corequisites: 171873 Restrictions: 171871, 171872

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Course code: 171875 Thesis 90 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work

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Course code: 171887 Research Report 60 credits
Course code: 171897 Thesis 120 Credit Part 1 60 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

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Course code: 171898 Thesis 120 Credit Part 2 60 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

Corequisites: 171897

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Course code: 171899 Thesis 120 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

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Option C: Soil Science

Course code: 189873 Thesis 90 Credit Part 1 (30 credits) 30 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

Restrictions: 189871, 189872

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Course code: 189874 Thesis 90 Credit Part 2 (60 credits) 60 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work

Corequisites: 189873 Restrictions: 189871, 189872

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Course code: 189875 Thesis 90 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

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Course code: 189887 Research Report 60 credits
Course code: 189895 Thesis 120 Credit Part 1 60 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

View full course details
Course code: 189896 Thesis 120 Credit Part 2 60 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work

Corequisites: 189895

View full course details
Course code: 189899 Thesis 120 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

View full course details

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 (Agricultural Science) you will have been awarded or 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.

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.

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. 

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.

English language skills

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

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 primary industries are a growing sector and there are great employment and business opportunities for suitably qualified graduates. This qualification is suitable if you are interested in a career in science either as a senior technician, a researcher or may be looking to acquire entry into a PhD.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Occupational Outlook indicates that employment prospects are good in all primary industry sectors. The New Zealand Immigration service has also included a wide range of primary industry jobs in the skills shortage list, particularly in supervisory and management roles.

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.

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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