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Master of Engineering Studies (Life Cycle Management)

Key facts

  • Available at Manawatū
  • Not all listed subject course options are on offer every year
  • Not available for international students
  • Some courses are offered in block mode.

A unique qualification

The Master of Engineering Studies (Life Cycle Management) is part of a group of unique qualifications at Massey - we are the only New Zealand university to offer postgraduate qualifications in environmental life cycle management.

Find out more about the Master of Engineering Studies parent structure.

What is it like?

The Master of Engineering Studies (Life Cycle Management) is a unique postgraduate programme in New Zealand.

This qualification is suitable if you either have an undergraduate degree and wish to specialise in environmental footprinting and life cycle management, or you have found yourself working in a related role and need to upskill. Your undergraduate degree does not need to be in engineering, as long as it is in a relevant field.

What is life cycle management?

Life cycle management is about improving the environmental profile of a product from extraction of raw materials through manufacture, distribution, use and on to waste management.

Critical thinking and skills

Let our experts help you develop your own expertise. You will learn the theory and practice behind life cycle management and environmental footprinting from lecturers who have been working internationally, contributing to research and the development of life cycle management standards.

When you have completed this programme you will be able to undertake life cycle assessment and related environmental footprinting studies.

You will learn how to critically evaluate the LCA system modelling options available for a decision situation and evaluate the role of alternative life cycle based approaches in environmental management.

Real-world learning

You will gain an in-depth understanding of the theory of life cycle management and environmental footprinting - but also focus on practical information that can be applied to real-world situations.

You are encouraged to apply the skills developed during the programme in real-life situations during exercises and assignments.


You can study towards the Master of Engineering Studies on campus, or study via our distance learning. This gives you the flexibility to remain in full-time employment while studying. Massey University has been offering distance education for over 50 years and you will be able to take advantage of our well-developed systems for teaching and learning.

Dig deeper

The life cycle management major includes an optional research project, where you can either investigate a topic you are interested in, or work with us to develop an industry-relevant piece of work.

A year full time

The Master of Engineering Studies is a 120 credit qualification able to be completed in one year full-time, or part-time between 2.5 and five years..

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Master of Engineering Studies will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.

A good fit if you:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree with honours or excelled in your undergraduate study
  • Are interested in assessing how we can progress to more sustainable consumption and production systems
  • Would like a postgraduate qualification that combines taught courses and a research component


Sought after by employers

International trends are for employers to reward postgraduate study well, especially in larger enterprises. The skills you learn are increasingly recognised as setting you apart from other potential employees.

Roles for those with this qualification include environmental manager, environmental consultant or policy analyst within local or central government.

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.

World-leading lecturers and supervisors

Massey’s staff in this area are internationally renowned for their research and teaching and learning methods. You will be working with recognised specialists, for example:

Professor Sarah McLaren

Professor McLaren is director of the New Zealand Life Cycle Management Centre (NZLCM Centre). She has spent the last twenty years teaching and researching how to integrate life cycle thinking into management practices, product design, and policymaking. She chairs the Standards New Zealand International Review Group on LCA, was New Zealand representative on the ISO 14046 “Water Footprint: Requirements and Guidelines” Working Group, and is a founding committee member of the Life Cycle Association of New Zealand (LCANZ).

Her work with industry includes advising multi-national companies such as Nutreco and Unilever on their sustainable product strategies and measurement systems, carbon and water footprinting projects for key New Zealand primary sector products, and guiding development of the Australasian Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) Programme.

Previously she worked at Landcare Research where she managed the Life Cycle Management Project to integrate LCM into the operations, management and strategies of manufacturing companies. Prior to moving to New Zealand in 2006, Sarah was director of the postgraduate Environmental Life Cycle Management programme at the University of Surrey, UK. Sarah publishes and lectures widely on development and application of LCA and related approaches.

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