Two people in field with sheep
Areas of interest

Study animal science , Te pūtaiao kararehe

Study animal science at Massey to improve the health, productivity and wellbeing of the animals we rely on for companionship, for food, or for sports.

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Be unique

Massey offer's New Zealand's only dedicated animal science degree.

We go way back

Animal science has been in our DNA since 1927 when we first started offering agricultural degrees.

Global recognition

Our qualifications in this area are accredited by international industry bodies, so you can work in New Zealand and overseas.

Get ahead at work

Expand your existing expertise at work or advance your career with Massey. Or change direction with a new qualification.


Animal science is in our DNA — we've offered agriculture degrees since 1927.

Learn from world-class lecturers and researchers with industry experience in areas such as animal behaviour and welfare, equine science, or livestock production. Discover new ideas in areas such as animal nutrition or genetic technologies.

Get hands-on experience at our cat and dog facilities and Massey's on-site farms, which include dairy cows, deer and sheep. Master new skills in state-of-the-art laboratories and other research facilities. Graduate with a qualification recognised nationally and internationally.

Animal science is a good fit if you:

  • do well in sciences and maths
  • want to work with animals and contribute to the economy
  • like solving problems and tackling challenges.

Animal science courses may cover:

  • animal welfare and wellbeing of companion animals (pets) and farm animals
  • biodiversity and conservation
  • equine science
  • food production from animals such as cattle, pigs, poultry and sheep
  • genetics and breeding
  • nutrition and growth.

Coursework covers a wide range of animals including:

  • companion animals (pets) such as cats and dogs
  • farm animals, including cattle and sheep
  • horses and other animals used in sports.

We have strong partnerships with the animal sector to keep courses up to date and relevant — and offer practical learning with field trips including:

  • local businesses such as livestock farms and Kraft Heinz Watties
  • Massey's farms and companion animal research facilities.

Massey farms

How to study animal science

Discover what we offer if you’re interested in animal science – whether you’re coming to university for the first time, changing direction or returning to advance your study or career.

Undergraduate study

An undergraduate qualification is generally the first thing you’ll study at university.

Bachelor's degrees

Degrees are the standard qualifications you do at university – the most common is called a bachelor’s. Degrees give you enough time to explore your interests, and also focus on specific subjects.

Undergraduate certificates

If you want to study at university, but aren't sure if you want to commit to a degree, try an undergraduate certificate.

Graduate certificates

Graduate certificates let you study in a subject you're interested in without doing a second bachelor's degree. Or you can use it as a bridge to postgraduate study if you already have an undergraduate degree.

Undergraduate diploma

Undergraduate diplomas let you try university study before you commit to a degree. They’re also useful if you need to advance your career.

Graduate diplomas

Graduate diplomas can help you advance to postgraduate study or research in a subject you haven’t majored in for your undergraduate study.

Relevant undergraduate subjects to major or specialise in

When you apply to study at Massey, for some undergraduate qualifications you can choose what subject you’d like to specialise in. You can usually change your mind after you get to university, depending on the courses you enrol in.

Postgraduate study

Once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree – or have equivalent experience – you’ll be ready to take on postgraduate study.

Master's degrees

A master's degree normally builds on a main subject of study from your undergraduate degree.

Postgraduate diplomas

Postgraduate diplomas are postgraduate-level qualifications that are longer than a postgraduate certificate. If you’re successful, you might be able to use the credits towards the longer master’s degree.

PhD and other doctoral degrees

Doctoral degrees, including PhDs, are the highest degrees we award. They’re very demanding and their entry criteria reflect this.

Relevant research areas at Massey

Discover research expertise, projects and initiatives relating to animal science at Massey.

Animal and veterinary research

What our students say

“I loved my experience at Massey University, keeping busy with sport, study and Massey Young Farmer’s Club. My time at Massey University gave me friendships and skills that will last the rest of my life.”
Courtney Hill

Bachelor of Agriscience (now Bachelor of Agricultural Science)

“There was a significant practical component to the courses which I was very excited about, and they are designed to help you find your passion while at the same time develop key skills that you can contribute in the workforce.”
Juhi Mascarenhas

Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Zoology

Our facilities

You'll have access to a wide range of first-class facilities when you study with us.

Massey Farms

Students and researchers can access 2,000 hectares at our six working farms, including:

  • dairy farms
  • sheep and beef farms
  • deer breeding unit
  • mixed enterprise and cropping unit.

Location: Manawatū campus

Large Animal Teaching Unit (LATU)

This is a dedicated facility to help train Massey veterinary students in aspects of large animal handling and examination across a range of species.

The facility includes a small working farm with horses, cattle, sheep and camelids. A range of veterinary procedures are taught as students progress through their course.

Location:  Manawatū campus

Jobs in animal science

Careers focus on keeping animals fed, healthy and productive, from farm animals to household pets. Our graduates go everywhere from agribusiness to pet food companies, wildlife sanctuaries to zoos, breeders to livestock exporters. Some do research or policy work for charities, government agencies or industry bodies.

Job prospects are good. Agriculture is a cornerstone of Aotearoa New Zealand's economy, with high demand for specialists focused on making sure animals are healthy and productive. There's also demand for those who help protect our unique biodiversity.

Animal science careers include:

  • animal scientists, who specialise in areas such as breeding, nutrition or welfare
  • conservation or ecology jobs, which focus on protecting sustainable animal ecosystems
  • livestock or agribusiness consultants
  • equine careers, including horse racing or breeding.

Annual salary ranges for jobs

Salary ranges disclaimer

Indicative pay rates are:

Which animal science qualification?

Examples of where our qualifications may take you.

Table showing jobs and what you could study to enter them.
Jobs Examples of what you could study
Agricultural consultant Bachelor of Agricultural Science
Animal scientist Bachelor of Animal Science (Animal Genetics and Breeding)
Bachelor of Animal Science (Animal Nutrition and Growth)
Bachelor of Animal Science (Animal Welfare)
Animal scientist specialising in horses Bachelor of Animal Science (Equine Science)
Conservation or ecology specialist Bachelor of Science (Ecology and Conservation)
Environment scientist Bachelor of Science (Ecology and Conservation)
Bachelor of Science (Zoology)
Marine biologist Bachelor of Science (Marine Biology)
Policy analyst Bachelor of Science (Ecology and Conservation)
Bachelor of Science (Zoology)
Zoologist Bachelor of Science (Ecology and Conservation)
Bachelor of Science (Zoology)

Accreditations and rankings

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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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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Global Farm Platform

Massey's Dairy 1 farm is part of the Global Farm Platform, an international group for optimisation of grazing livestock production systems.

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Get an information guide

Download our guide to find out more about studying animal and veterinary at Massey.

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