Bachelor of AgriScience with Honours (BAgriScience(Hons))

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Take your excellence and turn it into something more

If you are interested in further in-depth research, this qualfiication gives you the skills to progress to a PhD

What is it like?

The Bachelor of AgriScience with Honours is a one year postgraduate degree which builds on the knowledge and skills acquired during a BAgriScience or equivalent degree from a New Zealand tertiary institution. It is a prestigious qualification if you would like to specialise and gain advanced knowledge of some aspect of land-based industries.

Massey’s world-class Bachelor of AgriScience programme focuses on the overlapping areas of agriculture, management and technology, enabling you to come up with innovative solutions to the challenges our primary industries face today.

Award–winning labs

Massey’s Manawatu campus hosts the only multi-function teaching laboratories in Australasia. The labs, built in 2010, won a Best Practice Award for Innovation at the Association for Tertiary Education Management conference in Australia and was 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.

Massey University has a wide range of other facilities which are available for use by postgraduate students. Dairy, sheep and beef and deer farms are located adjacent to the Palmerston North campus. In addition, a number of research facilities are also available, including the Pasture and Crop Research Unit, the Fertiliser and Lime Research Centre, the New Zealand Centre for Precision Agriculture and Seed Tech Services, an ISTA-accredited seed testing laboratory.

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. Our proud record dates back to 1927 when we offered New Zealand’s first degrees in agriculture and horticulture.

As a student, you will benefit from our internationally-recognised capability and leadership in this area.

World-leading lecturers and industry-relevance

As a student of the Bachelor of AgriScience with Honours you will have access to lecturers and supervisors acknowledged as being among the best in the world. Massey University has very good industry contacts, facilitating research with a commercial context. Collaboration between Massey University and adjacent Crown Research Institutes offers unrivalled advantages to postgraduate students’ access to specialised skills, equipment and networking opportunities.

You will have access to a wide range of facilities and services including the Pasture and Crop Research Unit, the Fertiliser and Lime Research Unit, the Plant Growth Unit, The Equine Unit, the Life Cycle Management Centre, Massey University farms, teaching laboratories and library resources.

Develop research skills

The programme includes taught courses as well as supervised, reported research. This helps students develop research skills and report writing skills, providing an ideal foundation for those who want to go on to advanced postgraduate research degrees.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding, empowering you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles. Our experts are there to guide but you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.

If you are interested in a more traditional research-based masters, our Master of Science (Agricultural Science) may be more suitable for you.

A good fit if you:

  • Are interested in going on to in-depth research, such as a masters or PhD
  • Are passionate about agriculture
  • Excelled in your undergraduate agricultural-related degree
  • Would like to gain real-world experience
Holly Phillips
Bachelor of Science Honours (Agricultural Science)
Graduating: 2016

“My study experience has been fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed my undergraduate degree. In particular I liked that we were able to apply what we learnt in lectures to actual on-farm situations by having multiple field trips and talking to farmers…”

Prior to starting my honours degree I completed a Bachelor of Science at Massey with a double major in animal science and agricultural science. This allowed me to combine my two loves - animals and science. Agriculture is such a huge part of the New Zealand economy and is something I have really enjoyed learning more about. Having the two majors also opened up a huge variety of career options.

Massey has a fantastic reputation for its agricultural degrees, and gave me a variety of related courses to choose from. I came to the open day in Year 13 and Massey had a great atmosphere, both staff and students were helpful and welcoming. I was able to select the course that was right for me and I haven't looked back.

Agriculture students are a tight-knit community and that has made my study experience even more enjoyable.
The university halls, and clubs such as Young Farmers were great to be a part of, and definitely enhanced my university experience. Continuing onto an honours year in 2015 allowed me to gain more knowledge on the subjects that really excited me, and opened up even more career options.

I completed a summer studentship with Massey in the summer of 2014/2015 and that was the perfect lead in to honours. I was able to work with a number of Massey's scientists on their relative projects and get a feel for what a career in research could involve. I was able to learn a number of new skills which undoubtedly helped me this year for my honours, and will help me in my career.

I have been lucky enough to have been offered the position of Science Intern for DairyNZ and AgResearch for 2016. I am incredibly excited about this opportunity and I hope to return to Massey in the future to complete my PhD.


For those with a passion for research the Massey Honours programme is a pathway into a PhD.

Complementing your existing skills with advanced knowledge, analytical, project management and communication skills will be valued by a wide range of horticultural organisations particularly in supervisory and management roles.

The primary industries are a growing sector and there are great employment and business opportunities for suitably qualified graduates.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Occupational Outlook indicates that employment prospects are good in all primary industry sectors. The New Zealand Immigration service has also included a wide range of primary industry jobs in the skills shortage list, particularly in supervisory and management roles.

Join the engine of the new New Zealand
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