Animal Science – Master of Science

Stand out from other animal science graduates with Massey's Master of Science (Animal Science).

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 Animal Science for your Master of Science at Massey

Massey’s Master of Science (Animal Science) will allow you to make a major contribution to animal science.

Whether you want to take the first step in a research career or would like a specialised role in livestock or animal industries, a MSc (Animal Science) will give you the skills you need.

A wide range of specialities

Animal science is a broad subject and you could engage in study and research in one of many subjects from livestock production, genetics, nutrition, reproductive physiology, lactation, animal behaviour and welfare.

Massey University has an active research programme in many areas of applied and theoretical aspects of animal science, much of it funded by industry. You’ll have the opportunity to research a relevant issue and generate solutions for the real world.

A master’s builds your capability in sourcing, generating and interpreting quality information to make informed decisions. You’ll develop specialised knowledge in your chosen field.

Join a world-leading agricultural university

Massey University’s proud record in land-based study dates back to 1927 when we offered New Zealand’s first degrees in agriculture.

Relevant learning

At Massey, you’ll be part of this world-leading animal and agricultural science hub. Massey’s Manawatū campus is surrounded by working farms and state-of-the-art animal science research facilities. You are able to access our extensive research and working facilities as part of your study. These include:

  • two dairy farms
  • sheep and beef blocks, in the Manawatu and Wairarapa
  • dedicated feline and canine units
  • intensive livestock facilities
  • a deer farm
  • New Zealand’s only veterinary science teaching facilities including
    • 24-hour pet hospital
    • wildbase hospital which treats native New Zealand animals
    • equine hospital.

We also host The International Sheep Research Centre which leads the world with its investigations into sheep husbandry and related areas.

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

  • have a degree in animal science, veterinary science, animal husbandry or agriculture
  • want to develop expertise or upskill in a specific field of animal science.

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

Compulsory courses

Choose 30 credits from
Course code: 117709 Biometrics for the Animal and Nutritional Sciences 15 credits

Study in applied statistics with emphasis on animal and nutritional sciences. Introduction to and extensive use of statistical packages, regression and multiple regressions analysis, analysis of variance of standard experimental designs, covariance analysis and general linear models

Restrictions: 151709

View full course details
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

View full course details
Choose at least 30 credits from
Course code: 117710 Reproduction, Lactation and Fertility 15 credits

An advanced course in the physiology and application of reproduction, lactation and fertility in domestic animal species

Restrictions: 117767, 117769

View full course details
Course code: 117711 Nutrition, Growth and Meat Science 15 credits

An advanced course in the physiology and application of nutrition, growth and meat science in domestic animal species

Restrictions: 117761, 117762, 117764

View full course details
Course code: 117765 Genetics and Breeding 15 credits

An advanced course in animal breeding and genetics designed to introduce aspects of breeding value estimation, index selection and maternal effects across herd/flock genetic evaluations, genotype by an environment interaction, major genes, applied molecular genetics, inbreeding, crossbreeding, physiological genetics and genomic selection.

Prerequisites: 117345

View full course details
Course code: 117768 Metabolism and Endocrinology 15 credits

An advanced course in the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat and protein in ruminants and/or non-ruminants. Endocrine control and nutrient flows in various physiological states.

Prerequisites: 117348

View full course details

Subject courses

Courses at 700 level from the 117, 122, 194, 199, 283 prefixes

Part Two

Either

Choose 120 credits from
Course code: 117897 Thesis 120 Credit Part 1 60 credits

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

View full course details
Course code: 117898 Thesis 120 Credit Part 2 60 credits

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

Corequisites: 117897

View full course details
Course code: 117899 Thesis 120 credits

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

View full course details

Or

Choose at least 60 credits from
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

View full course details
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

View full course details
Course code: 117875 Thesis 90 credits

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

View full course details
Course code: 117887 Research Report 60 credits

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 (Animal 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

Potential careers after completing a Master of Science with a major in animal science include:

  • research associates at Crown Research Institutes such as AgResearch
  • sales and technical reps for feed companies and feed manufacturers
  • consultants and advisors to farmers or industry bodies such as Beef+Lamb or DairyNZ
  • laboratory and on-farm technicians
  • biosecurity/customs roles
  • wildlife conservation
  • Ministry of Primary Industries in a policy or advisory role
  • sales and technical representatives for equipment manufacturers (e.g. milking machines)
  • providing specialist animal services
  • animal welfare consultant
  • technical institute tutor.

Sought-after by employers

International trends are for employers to reward postgraduate study well, especially in larger enterprises. The skills you learn are increasingly recognised as setting you apart from other potential employees.

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.

Related study options