Master of Agribusiness

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Relevant skills for a growing industry

Gain skills aligned to industry requirements and join this rapidly growing industry.

What is it like?

Massey’s Master of Agribusiness is an internationally recognised qualification. You will gain the research and professional skills required across the value chain from farm production to food marketing.

Join a world-leading university

When you study agribusiness at Massey you’ll gain from our expertise across relevant agribusiness-related skills.

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 offered New Zealand’s first degrees in agriculture and horticulture. Our expertise in agricultural and environmental systems is supported by the Centre for Farm Business Excellence.

Massey University also has a focus on food - we were the first university to offer a food technology degree and today are the host of FoodHQ, the Palmerston North based centre for collaborative food research.

We are also ranked No.1 in New Zealand and in the top 150 universities worldwide for our business administration programmes by ShanghaiRanking and in the top 250 by QS.

A relevant qualification

Key skills you will learn in the Master of Agribusiness include how to communicate results of investigations and analyse opportunities clearly and persuasively, work effectively in small teams and apply advanced knowledge of agribusiness to effective solutions to agribusiness issues in an ethical and culturally-appropriate way.

You can choose a research or professional practice pathway.

Professional practice pathway

The professional practice pathway is most relevant if you wish to continue to work while studying and offers an industry-related research project. Part-time this qualification can be completed in 2.5 to five years.

You will learn how to take advantage of new agribusiness opportunities and conduct an investigation of these ethically, taking into account relevant cultural and regulatory issues. You can choose a research project relevant to your own career and industry.

Research pathway

The research pathway is appropriate if you wish to go into a research or academic career, or have come from undergraduate study and wish to continue your learning at a more in-depth level. This pathway allows you to complete an in-depth thesis on a topic of your choice.

Our close links with industry will help you identify research that specifically addresses organisational problems.

Join industry at a senior level

New Zealand’s economy is dominated by agriculture and food - it generates tens of billions in export earnings a year and international demand is predicted to continue to grow. Join the large group of Massey students that have secured jobs before they graduate. They have gone on to become leaders in the industry.

Relevant international knowledge

Massey’s agribusiness programme aligns itself with agribusiness industries throughout the world - ensuring our graduates have the skills and industry knowledge employers want today, and in the future.

Take less of your time

This qualification is 180 credits, which means you can complete full-time in 1.5 years, or two and a half to five years full time.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Master of Agribusiness 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:

  • Achieved at a high level in your undergraduate degree in agricommerce, business or agriculture
  • Would like to undertake in-depth research
  • Are in an agribusiness-related industry and wish to move up the hierarchy in your career


There is growing demand for professional skills in the primary industries.. The 2014 MPI People Powered report forecast growing demand and up to 50,000 more jobs in this sector.

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 agribusiness staff are renowned for their research and teaching and learning methods. You will be working with specialists, for example:

Professor Nicola Shadbolt

Nicola Shadbolt is Professor of Farm & Agribusiness Management and the DairyNZ Chair in Farm Business Management. She holds board positions in the International Food & Agribusiness Management Association, Fonterra Cooperative and various farming entities.

Her research includes a specific focus on strategic management, farm business analysis and risk and resilience in farming systems. Parallel research related to off-farm strategies has focused on collective action by landowners, in particular through the formation, management and governance of cooperatives.  She and her graduates are widely published in international publications such as the International Food & Agribusiness Management Review  and the International Journal of Agricultural Management.

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