Horticultural Science – Master of Science

Dig deeper into horticulture. Use Massey’s experts and world-leading facilities to develop your own ground-breaking research.

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 Horticultural Science for your Master of Science at Massey

With Massey’s Master of Science (Horticultural Science), you can create your own innovative research project. Massey University’s horticultural science qualifications are the most research-focused in New Zealand.

Take advantage of our globally-renowned expertise

Let our experts help you develop your own expertise. You will learn from, and research with, highly skilled, internationally recognised and active researchers in horticulture. Our current specific areas of horticulture research expertise include:

  • fruit and vegetable innovation
  • high value plant products and services
  • applied plant and horticultural science
  • seed science and technology.

Use world-leading equipment and facilities

As a horticulture student, you will have access to our world-leading equipment and facilities such as our controlled environment plant growth facilities, the unique and extensive university orchards and state-of-the-art plant physiology and biology equipment.

Be surrounded by the best

Massey University is a partner in the Joint Graduate School for Horticulture and Food Enterprise (with Plant & Food Research). Massey University is also home to ‘foodHQ’, New Zealand’s international centre for collaborative food research. FoodHQ is a collaboration between organisations including Massey University, AgResearch, AsureQuality, the Cawthorn Institute, SR, Fonterra, Plant & Food Research and the Riddet Institute. There is a breadth of horticultural research activities at Massey, including:

  • the work to understand the effects of light in improving crop production and quality
  • research on fruit crops such as kiwifruit and apples
  • Māori vegetable crop science
  • plant disease.

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

  • have an undergraduate degree in a horticultural-related area
  • would like to help develop innovative approaches to quality, nutrition, flavour, market access and sustainability in horticultural products
  • are interested in a research-based postgraduate qualification.

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

Course code: 283708 Quantitative Plant Breeding 30 credits

A career development course on the application of quantitative genetics and plant breeding. Topics include objective setting, plant genetic resources, base population development, quantitative genetic variation, selection efficiency, selection of multiple traits, GXE interactions, line development, backcross breeding, recurrent selection and variety development. Two block courses allow students to visit plant breeders, and encourage discussion and networking.

Prerequisites: One of 1203xx, 283305, 284301 or 284342 Restrictions: 171754

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Course code: 284703 Vegetable Production Science 15 credits

The science and production of quality vegetable products from establishment to harvest. Topics will align to student interests in vegetable crop science including: factors affecting productivity and quality, specialist production systems including root, tuber and leafy crops, crop nutrition, irrigation and harvest.

Restrictions: 171722; 171724; 284701; 284702

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Course code: 284704 Fruit Production Science 15 credits

Production of quality products of subtropical, warm and cool temperate fruits. Topics meet student interest and could include factors affecting productivity and quality; manipulation of tree, flower and fruit development; biological production systems; pre-harvest factors influencing product quality; quality management.

Restrictions: 171722; 171724; 284701; 284702

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Course code: 284741 Post-harvest Physiology 30 credits

Reviews the role of physiological principles in post-harvest systems. Topics covered depend upon class interests, and may include control of water loss, functions of cell walls and membranes; calcium; ethylene; chilling injury; genetic manipulation; modified atmospheres and non-chemical disease control.

Restrictions: 171749

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Course code: 285742 Topics in Advanced Plant Protection 30 credits

Selected topics in Advanced Plant Protection, including host defence and disease resistance mechanisms, weed control and herbicide activity, as well as principles and methods of integrated arthropod pest (insect and mite) management.

Prerequisites: 199310 or 283311 or 285301

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Part Two

Either

Choose 120 credits from
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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Or

Choose at least 60 credits from
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

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 (Horticultural 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 Master of Science (Horticultural Science) is most suitable if you’d like to move into further research such as a PhD, or work for an organisation such as a crown entity in a research capacity.

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.

What our students say

“I was attracted to Massey because of its reputation in the agriculture and horticultural sector. The support from staff and my peers was incomparable, helping me have a low stress study environment.”
Jack Wilson

Master of Science (Horticultural Science)

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