The sky's the limit
Endless career options await Massey science grads, including biotechnology, conservation, genetics, medical advances, and more.
Learn by doing
Get hands-on experience in labs, field trips, and practical projects that focus on solving real-world problems.
Go broad or specialise
Massey's large range of science courses means you can specialise in your area of interest or mix and match across disciplines.
Part of the community
Wherever you are and however you learn, you join the Massey community. Connect with other students in classes, forums and events.
Human, animal and plant sciences are in our DNA. We've taught biological and natural sciences for many decades.
Learn from world-class lecturers and researchers. Explore and contribute to latest research. Master new skills with state-of-the-art equipment and laboratories. Gain hands-on experience during lab work and field trips.
Solve real-world problems during internships — examples include crown research institutes such as GNS Science and NIWA, agribusinesses, or health or sporting organisations. Graduate work-ready, with skills employers need.
Biological and natural sciences are a good fit if you:
- enjoy school subjects such as biology, chemistry, physics or health
- want to help tackle challenges facing our world, such as climate change, health inequalities, or devising new materials and medicines
- like analysing data, solving problems or testing new ideas.
Courses within health may cover:
- exercise and sport science
- human nutrition
- physiology (how bodies work)
- sleep science
- ways to improve health outcomes, including intervention, prevention and promotion.
Courses within the sciences may cover:
- biochemistry and biotechnology
- cell biology and genetics
- chemistry, including chemical analysis and how to design new molecules
- geological processes and resources — including the impact of natural disasters and climate change
- microbes in our bodies, in plants or animals, or in the environment — including those which cause diseases
How to study biological and natural sciences
Discover what we offer if you’re interested in biological and natural sciences – whether you’re coming to university for the first time, changing direction or returning to advance your study or career.
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.
PhD and other doctoral degrees
Relevant research areas at Massey
Discover research expertise, projects and initiatives relating to biological and natural sciences at Massey.
What our students say
“Massey provided me with a very strong foundation in genetics and introductory research skills that allowed me to hit the ground running.”
Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahu
“I would recommend studying at Massey University due to the high level of support, guidance and valuable expertise from staff from both the academic and practical placement setting. I am now in a career where I feel I am making a true difference to the nutrition and health of the community.”
“Studying extramurally at Massey University enabled me to pace my study within other commitments and gave me access to experienced supervisors. I could largely independently pace my work providing I stayed within our set timelines. The knowledge I gained has contributed largely to my governance and director roles.”
You'll have access to a wide range of first-class facilities when you study with us.
State-of-the-art laboratories and equipment include:
- nuclear magnetic resonance lab
- optical lab with optical tweezers, light scattering, and spectrometers
- PC2-certified lab for molecular biology, protein expression and purification
- solar cell construction and testing facilities
- X-ray diffraction lab.
Massey Genome Service
Our lab provides sequencing services to New Zealand researchers and students, including:
- analysis of genomic DNA
- RNA and ABI sequencing.
Location: Manawatū campus
Human Performance Laboratory
This laboratory evaluates performance for a wide range of sports and occupational activities, with state-of-the-art research and testing equipment.
Sport and exercise students learn and practice at this laboratory.
Location: Manawatū (Palmerston North) campus
Sport and Exercise Science Research Laboratory
This laboratory offers a physiological and biomechanical analysis for many sports and occupational activities. Laboratory staff have experience with a wide range of sports, athletes and occupations.
Sport and exercise students learn and practice at this laboratory.
Location: Auckland campus
BodPod and other specialist equipment
BodPod accurately, easily and reliably measures body composition and body fat using air displacement. Massey also has:
- Fit3D body composition scanner
- DXA machine to measure bone density
- PeaPod — a BodPod for babies.
Manawatū Microscopy and Imaging Centre
The centre is available for use by organisations such as researchers, Crown Research Institutes, other teaching institutions, hospitals and commercial clients.
We have a team of specialists and offer:
- transmitted light and fluorescence microscopy
- electron microscopy
- image analysis.
Jobs in biological and natural sciences
Careers in biological and natural sciences can be in many different sectors. Examples include biotechnology, conservation, the energy sector, genomics, healthcare, medical research, and more.
Some of our graduates work in research and development at crown research institutes, multinational companies or specialist laboratories. There are also opportunities in management and in scientific start-ups.
Job prospects are good in New Zealand and overseas, with high demand for skilled workers.
- biotechnologists or biochemists, who may develop new animal, plant or molecular products such as drugs or vaccines
- chemists, also called chemical scientists, who study the make-up and behaviour of chemicals
- environmental health officers
- medical laboratory scientists and technicians
- microbiologists, who study the bacteria, fungi or viruses that cause infections or diseases
- molecular biologists, who study genes and molecules for medicine, agriculture or ecology
- nutritionists or health promoters, who work in community, health or sports organisations
- researchers, who may specialise in areas such as bioscience, forensic, manufacturing or medicines
- teachers or lecturers.
Annual salary ranges for jobs
Salary ranges disclaimer
Indicative pay rates are:
- in New Zealand dollars
- based on careers.govt.nz data.
Which biological or natural sciences qualification?
Examples of where our qualifications may take you.
|Jobs||Examples of what you could study|
Bachelor of Science (Chemistry)
Master of Science (Chemistry)
|Biotechnologist (biotech researcher) or molecular biologist||Bachelor of Science (Molecular Cell Biology)|
|Chemical scientist (chemist)||Master of Science (Chemistry)|
|Environmental health officer||Bachelor of Health Science (Environmental Health)|
|Medical laboratory scientist or technician||
Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Medical Laboratory Science)
Master of Health Science (Medical Laboratory Research)
|Microbiologist||Bachelor of Science (Microbiology)|
|Nutritionist or health promoter||Bachelor of Science (Human Nutrition)|
|Researcher in a specialist laboratory, such as at a crown research institute, manufacturer or university||Master's degree in your chosen specialisation|
Accreditations and rankings
QS Ranking - Biological Sciences
Massey University is ranked by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) as one of the top 450 universities in the world for biological sciences.
Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand
The Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Medical Laboratory Science) is accredited by the Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand.
Environmental Health Officers Qualifications Regulations 1993
Our environmental health qualifications are recognised by the Ministry of Health as meeting qualification requirements for environmental health officers. Our qualifications are also recognised by Environmental Health Australia (EHA).
Get an information guide
Download our guides to find out more about studying biological and natural sciences at Massey.