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Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Without Specialisation)

Key facts

  • Available at Manawatū
  • Not all subject course options are offered every year.
  • Available for international students studying in NZ

Join an industry with a bright future

The Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree gives you the contemporary agriculture-related skills you will need to become a leader in this rapidly growing international industry.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Agricultural Science parent structure.

What is it like?

Agriculture dominates New Zealand’s economy - generating billions in export earnings every year. The future of this industry is bright with international demand and available jobs predicted to grow rapidly.

New from 2019, the Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Without Specialisation) will give you the relevant, up-to-date skills to help you take your place in this exciting industry.

A future-focused degree

You will dig into every aspect of agriculture including pastures, crops, animal and soil sciences as well as economics, agribusiness and the influence of Government policies, regulations and Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations. You will learn about future and present issues in the industry and gain skills in the use of technology in agriculture. Disciplines like engineering, physics, chemistry and biology are also an important part of gaining a broad understanding of the primary industries.

Experience before you graduate

Industry experience is integrated into this degree, with practical work courses allowing you to experience and analyse real-world scenarios while you are studying.

In-demand by employers

Massey aligns its world-ranked agriculture programmes to agribusiness industries throughout the world.

All this will give you an advantage with prospective employers upon graduation, with industry contacts, a better understanding of the primary industries and the management skills to lead it. Most Agriculture students secure employment before they graduate.

Join a world-leading agriculture university

Massey is world-ranked and New Zealand’s No 1 university in agriculture according to the QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) rankings and ShanghaiRankings.

Our proud record dates back to 1927 when we were established as an agricultural college. As a student, you will benefit from our internationally-recognised capability and leadership in this area.

Award-winning facilities

Massey’s Manawatū campus hosts the only multi-function teaching laboratories in Australasia. The labs won a Best Practice Award for Innovation at the Association for Tertiary Education Management conference and were shortlisted for the international UKS-Lab awards.

The facility is unique in Australasia in that it allows each laboratory to be tailored to accommodate a variety of disciplines. Technicians can do preparation in the dedicated technical area before moving this into the lab, which means students can spend more time doing lab practical work.

Travel while you study

Our Student Exchange Programme provides an international experience with the chance to study courses at overseas universities and credit them back to a Massey qualification. You’ll pay the same tuition fees while abroad and it’s a great chance to gain the overseas experience and knowledge that many employers value. Some of the top science universities available within the exchange programme are the University of Calgary, Canada; Wageningen University, The Netherlands and the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

* The Bachelor of Agricultural Science replaces the Bachelor of AgriScience which is no longer available to new students from 2019.

What to expect

Your first year

One of the best things about this degree is the variety of study. You’ll learn about animals and agriculture, soils and pasture, be introduced to agribusiness and decision-making skills. You’ll also study economics, chemistry, physics and ecology.

Practical work

As part of this programme, you’ll need to do at least 26 weeks of full-time work in an area related to your major. This is usually done during the summer when work is readily available on farms and with rural businesses. To ensure you get the most from this experience, you'll provide a report on your activities which will be assessed.

Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates showed that those who complete a qualification in a science, agriculture, technology, computer science, engineering or mathematics field of study have high relative earnings after they complete their study compared to the national median. Earnings can be substantially more than other graduates.


A good fit if you:

  • Enjoy applied sciences
  • Are interested in a career in the primary industries
Isabel Tait
Massey University PhD student

I grew up on my parent’s sheep farm, where I became interested in animals at an early age. This curiosity led me to attend Massey University with the hope of gaining a selection in the professional phase of the Bachelor of Veterinary Science. Then during my first year I realised that I didn’t actually want to be a vet, but the other courses in the degree opened my eyes to the amount of interesting jobs there are in the agriculture sector.

So I decided to do an agriculture degree instead, followed by an honours year, where I completed research into the effect of skin thickness on lamb survival. I then approached Massey University Professor Michael Hedley. I asked him if I could be involved in the Pastoral 21 Next Generation Dairy Systems programme and I was appointed as a Junior Research Officer. Working on the programme was awesome. I started to see where I could apply my undergraduate learning. It’s hard to see the application of things such as learning about feed budgeting when you’re doing your undergraduate degree, but when you actually start working in the industry, you start to use the skills and it all starts to click. I then decided to undertake a PhD in animal genetics, which took me full-circle back to the area of veterinary science!


The industry is made up of a huge range of organisations, including farming, processing and marketing produce, logistics of product supply, as well as the associated service industries such as banking, company representatives and consultants. That means there is a huge range of careers on offer for those with the right skills.

Industries where agriscience skills are utilised include:

  • fertiliser
  • banking
  • biosecurity
  • breeding
  • consultancy
  • farming in all sectors
  • farm tourism
  • horticulture
  • management
  • policy
  • equestrian sports including racing
  • research and development
  • sales and marketing
  • teaching

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