Programme list > Bachelor of Agricultural Science

Bachelor of Agricultural Science


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.

  • Level

  • Undergraduate, NZQF Level 7
  • Credits

  • 360
  • Duration

  • 3 year(s) full-time.
  • Other

  • Available at Manawatū campus and by Distance

Note: This programme may have an on-campus or in-person requirement and therefore requires that students submit a current My Vaccine Pass on enrolment.

Agriculture dominates New Zealand’s economy – generating billions in export earnings every year.

The Bachelor of Agricultural Science will give you the relevant, up-to-date skills to help you take your place in this exciting industry.

You will dig into every aspect of agriculture. That includes pastures, crops, animal and soil sciences, 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. You’ll be able to experience and analyse real-world scenarios while you are studying. We align this programme with what employers are looking for – globally. Most agriculture students secure employment before they graduate.


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. This is usually done during the summer when work is readily available on farms and with rural businesses.

Award-winning facilities

Massey’s Manawatū campus has internationally award-winning multi-function teaching laboratories. These are unique in Australasia.

Careers and further study


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 technical representatives and consultants. That means there is a huge range of careers on offer for those with the right skills.

Industries where agricultural science skills are utilised include:

  • fertiliser
  • seed
  • banking
  • biosecurity
  • breeding
  • consultancy
  • agricultural production
  • farm tourism
  • management
  • policy
  • research and development
  • sales and marketing
  • teaching. 

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

Entry requirements

University admission

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Programme admission


There are no specific entry requirements for this programme, outside of university admission regulations.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language and the admission requirements were not completed at an educational institution where English is the medium of instruction, you need an IELTS of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0 to enter this programme.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

If you do not have the entry requirements

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and qualifications that may help.

Summer School

If you need to do a course before you start your programme, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

360 credits

  • Compulsory courses – 255 credits
  • Schedule A compulsory course selection – 90 credits
  • Elective selected from specified degrees – 15 credits
  • 26 weeks of practical work experience and reports

Ensure that overall, you have:

  • No more than 165 credits at 100 level
  • At least 75 credits at 300 level

Elective can be chosen from BAgSci, BHortSci, BAgribusiness, BSc, BA, BBus, BAnSci or BInfSc.

Courses for this programme

Schedule A (345 credits)

Compulsory courses

255 credits
115113 Economics for Business 15
117153 Introduction to Animal Production in New Zealand 15
117201 Livestock Production Science 15
119120 Plants for Agriculture and Horticulture 15
119150 Practicum I 0
119180 Introduction to Agribusiness 15
119250 Practicum II 0
119258 Agricultural Systems 15
119270 Policy, Regulation and Government in Primary Industry 15
119281 Decision Tools for Primary Industries 15
119373 Integrative Studies 15
119381 Decision-Making in Primary Industry 15
123103 Chemistry for Modern Sciences 15
138255 Applied Engineering in Agriculture and Horticulture Systems 15
161140 Agri-Statistics 15
189151 Principles of Soil Science 15
189251 Soil Fertility and Fertilisers 15
247111 Science and Sustainability for Agriculture and Horticulture 15
283201 Pasture and Crop Agronomy 15

Compulsory course selections

90 credits
117107 Introduction to Animal Behaviour and Welfare 15
117303 Ruminant Animal Nutrition 15
117345 Genetics for Livestock Improvement 15
117371 Animal Production 15
119358 Farm Production Systems 15
138301 Precision Agriculture Technologies 15
189362 Soil Fertility and the Environment 15
283301 Pasture Production and Practice 15
283311 Controlling Weeds 15
283321 Trees on Farms 15

Schedule B: Elective course (15 credits)

An approved course selected from the schedules to the following degree programmes: BAgSci, BHortSci, BAgribusiness, BSc, BA, BBus, BAnSci and BInfSc.

Schedule C: Specialisations

Please refer to individual specialisation page for a list of courses for your specialisation.

Elective courses (60 credits)

An approved selection of 100-, 200- and 300-level courses listed in the schedules to the following degree programmes: BAgSci, BAgribusiness, BSc, BA, BBus, BAnSci and BInfSc.

Planning your programme

Planning overview

If you study full-time, in your first year, you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits.

If you wish to study over two semesters, you should aim for 60 credits per semester. You may be able to take some courses at summer school. Make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study.

Compulsory courses

You will take a selection of compulsory courses throughout the degree, most of which are in the first year. These include courses in introductory science, economics and agribusiness. This will equip you to go on to more advanced courses in the second and third years of study.

Practical work requirement

The practical work requirement consists of at least 26 weeks full-time work. This is completed by submission of two reports for assessment. Practical work is normally done during summer vacations throughout the degree. Summer jobs are readily available on farms, orchards and other rural enterprises.

Transition students

Majors are no longer available for this programme. Transitioning students with a major may complete 60 credits of electives. Please refer to the regulations for this programme for a list of courses for your major.

Typical pattern for the Bachelor of Agricultural Science

Core courses These courses are a compulsory part of your qualification.

Elective courses Follow your interests. Your qualification may have selection guidelines for elective courses.

Year one
115.113 Economics of Business
117.153 Introduction to Animal Production in NZ
119.120 Plants for Agriculture & Horticulture
119.180 Introduction to Agribusiness
123.103 Chemistry for Modern Sciences
161.140 Agri-Statistics
189.151 Principles of Soil Science
247.111 Science and Sustainability for Agriculture and Horticulture
Year two
117.201 Livestock Production Science
119.258 Agricultural Systems
119.270 Policy, Regulation & Government in Primary Industry
119.281 Decision Tools for Primary Industries
138.255 Applied Engineering in Agriculture and Horticulture Systems
189.251 Soil Fertility & Fertilisers
283.201 Pasture & Crop Agronomy
Elective from selected degrees
119.150 Practicum I
0 credits
Year three
300-level course from compulsory list
300-level course from compulsory list
300-level course from compulsory list
119.373 Integrative Studies
119.381 Decision-Making in Primary Industry
Course from compulsory list
Course from compulsory list
Course from compulsory list
119.250 Practicum II
0 credits

Courses are each worth 15 credits

Fees and scholarships

Fees and finance

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

A good fit if you:

  • enjoy applied sciences
  • are interested in a career in the primary industries.


Meet our students

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking - Agriculture and Forestry

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

ShanghaiRanking - agricultural science

Massey University is ranked No.1 in New Zealand for agricultural science by ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.

Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.


Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.

Undergraduate programmes

General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Regulations for this programme

Applying and enrolling

Applying for the programme

Check you are ready

If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.

Choose your programme and click on Apply now

You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.

Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.

Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place

You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.

Enrolling in courses

You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.

When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:

  • prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
  • corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
  • restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
  • location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.

Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.

More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.

You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!

If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.

What are courses and credits?

What are courses and credits?

Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).

You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.

Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.

There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.

  • See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
  • Courses search

Understanding course numbers

The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.

The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:

  • sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
  • undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
  • as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

About electives

Electives are courses that are not compulsory. Certain guidelines are usually provided on courses you may take. Elective courses contribute to the programme, but not to your major or specialisation.

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Scholarships and awards

Scholarships related to this programme

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships