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Join the data analytics revolution

Become a high-tech data specialist and join this fast-paced, growing industry.

  • Level

  • Undergraduate, NZQF Level 7
  • Campus

  • Auckland
  • International

  • Available for international students studying in NZ

Massey University’s Bachelor of Science (Data Science) will teach you how to make sense of complexities so others can easily understand them. You will learn how to apply computing to data-oriented challenges.

You may have an interest in commerce, government, natural and social sciences. Or, you may want to learn apply technology to drive innovation, decision-making and research in those fields. You may want to learn how to use programming to solve potentially world-changing issues.

If you have a curious mind, are fascinated by data, enjoy the thrill of making discoveries and want to join a rapidly growing industry, this qualification is for you.

A brand new job

Data scientist is one of the newest job descriptions in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. This degree will give you a solid background in the sciences with a focus on this growing industry.

You will learn how to solve real-world problems using data, in combination with cutting-edge computing technologies and analytical methods.

Include your interests

You’ll take advantage of Massey’s expertise across a broad range of science disciplines. In your study you can include topics you are interested in including chemistry, biology, genetics or physics. Or, even business, health, creative arts or humanities and social sciences.

Join a growing industry

We are in the midst of a data deluge. Hidden within all this information is knowledge. Businesses, governments and institutions are recognising that their future success and survival is increasingly dependent on their ability to transform their data into information, insights and novel data-products.

Careers and further study


Massey University’s Bachelor of Science (Data Science) will give you the skills to fill the rapidly growing number of jobs in the area of data science and analysis.

A shortage waiting to be filled

Data analysts are in high demand, according to Digital Skills for a Digital Nation, a 2017 New Zealand report. This is because:

  • organisations are able to collect large amounts of data about their customers due to multiple devices being connected to the internet
  • data analysts are needed to make sense of this data so that organisations can gain insights into their customers' needs and make sound business decisions.

Although the number of data analysts is increasing, there are still not enough to meet demand.

LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report lists Data Scientist and Artificial Intelligence Specilists as being the top three professions for the last three years. This trend is likely to continue throughout the disruptions in the job market and economic uncertainties.

Data scientists are in high demand because they:

  • innovate new products
  • drive greater efficiency in profitability in competitive environments
  • enable management to make better decisions.

Great salaries

The average paying salary for a data scientist in the United States is $90,000 and over $100,000 for those with working experience. The skills you learn at Massey University and the qualification you will receive are recognised throughout the world and enable you to work in any industry or government sector.

A career with variety

Some examples of careers that could lead on from this qualification include:

  • data science engineer
  • business analytics consultant
  • data-product entrepreneur
  • banking fraud detection analyst
  • machine learning specialist
  • government researcher
  • government communications and security analyst
  • customer insight analyst
  • data management architect
  • text mining analyst
  • software developer
  • scientific researcher.

Earn more

A Ministry of Education report, undertaken over nine years, showed that those who complete a qualification in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics field of study have high relative earnings after they complete their study. Earnings can be substantially more than other graduates.

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. However, there is some expected background knowledge.

Expected high school preparation

Knowledge gained in the following NCEA subjects (or the equivalent in Cambridge International Examinations, International Baccalaureate, or similar) will give you the expected background knowledge to take this major.

  • At least 16 credits in NCEA Level 2 Mathematics from the following list of standards: 91256, 91257, 91258, 91259, 91260, 91261, 91262, 91269.

If it’s some time since you studied mathematics at school you can find out if you have the required background by taking this maths quiz.

English language requirements 

To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards. 

Massey University English language requirements 


To be successful in your studies we recommend that you have the following NCEA subjects (or equivalent). These will help your study in this major but are not essential.

  • At least 16 credits in NCEA Level 3 Mathematics from the following list of standards: 91573, 91574, 91575, 91576, 91577, 91578, 91579, 91587.

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

The following pathways will get you prepared to study this major. If you have not studied NCEA Level 2 Mathematics (or equivalent) take one of the following courses first:

  • 124.103 Biophysical Principles, or
  • 160.104 Introductory Mathematics for Science.

These courses (or equivalents) are available in the summer semester and will count towards credits in your degree.

Pathway tool

If you are unsure whether you have the right background/subjects to study this programme, our tool will help you to figure out what you might need to do before starting your qualification.

Find your pathway

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and programmes 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

Courses for this specialisation

Compulsory courses

158222 Data Wrangling and Machine Learning 15
158333 Applied Machine Learning and Big Data Processing 15
158337 Database Development 15
159201 Algorithms and Data Structures 15
159302 Artificial Intelligence 15
161250 Data Analysis for Biologists 15
161251 Regression Modelling 15
161324 Data Mining 15

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.

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.

The first year structure is designed to provide you with a broad knowledge and skill set which will equip you to go on to more advanced courses in the second and third years.


100-level courses

Take these in any order:

  • 247.112 Science and Sustainability
  • 161.122 Statistics (you will need to take the Distance offering)
  • 160.101 Calculus or 160.102 Algebra or 160.105 Methods of Mathematics.

Take these in the order shown:

  • 159.101 Technical Programming I
  • 159.102 Technical Programming II.
200-level courses in the major

Take all four:

  • 158.222 Data Wrangling and Machine Learning
  • 159.201 Algorithms and Data Structures
  • 161.250 Biological Data Analysis
  • 161.251 Regression Modelling.
300-level courses in the major

Take all four:

  • 158.333 Applied Machine Learning and Big Data Processing
  • 158.337 Database Development
  • 159.302 Artificial Intelligence
  • 161.324 Data Mining.

Not sure of your major yet?

You can change to any BSc major at the end of your first year. Moving from the first year of data science to one of the majors below is particularly simple, as the required first year courses are similar. By choosing your courses and electives carefully to cover both majors you could easily swap over at the end of first year. Include the below courses if you are interested in the below topics. Changing your major may incur an increase in completion time.

  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics (include 160.101 and 160.102 in your first year).


Completing a minor is optional. Minors increase the breadth of your degree. They give you extra knowledge, attributes and capabilities.

A minor must be in a different subject from your major.

A Bachelor of Science (Data Science) with a minor

You may choose a minor from any University undergraduate degree that has recognised minors. If the minor is from another undergraduate degree, the regulations of that programme will apply.

A Data Science minor (for students who are studying a different degree)

If you are not studying a Bachelor of Science (Data Science) and wish to complete a minor in Data Science see the BSc regulations for the requirements of this minor. 

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?

If you already know which courses you are going to take, you can use our fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.

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 will find their National Student Number on their student homepage.

A good fit if you:

  • want to be on the cutting-edge of technological discoveries in the big data industry
  • think logically and analytically
  • like uncovering hidden patterns, trends and associations in the world.

Industry endorsements


EROAD has endorsed this degree. EROAD provide an automated solution for Road User Charge purchase and management.

Jared Smith, Enterprise Information Manager, Auckland Transport

It’s great to see that Massey University has acknowledged the role that data has within an organisation. Turning data into information to support critical business decisions and to help build competitive advantage is clearly the way in which organisations need to head. I’m impressed that Massey has recognised this and can provide a degree to fill the gap that I encounter in the resource market on a regular basis.

Matt Hobbs, Head of Business Development and Partnerships, Two Degrees Mobile Limited

Big data is unlocking a whole new world for businesses by shaping a better understanding of our most valuable commodity - our customers. Those that understand it, make meaning of it and evolve the field of big data further will be the game-changers of the future. We commend Massey University for having the foresight to develop such a valuable course in Data Science which will see graduates play a vital role in the evolving businesses of the future.

Nigel Parker, Director, Developer Experience, Microsoft NZ

One of the four megatrends that will shape our industry over the next decade is big data. Data is the new currency and being able to draw insight from data and predict outcomes will be the new business advantage. I am excited to see that Massey is introducing a degree in Data Science and am encouraged to see how quickly they are responding to transformation in our industry.

Stephen Dickens, Director of Professional Services New Zealand, WhereScape

Being a leading New Zealand-based big data and data warehousing company, and the global pioneer in data warehouse automation software, WhereScape is excited to see Massey University offer a qualification specialising in data science. This qualification will create significant opportunities for the graduates to build their knowledge and skills working with cutting edge software automation technology, in a dynamic and fast growing industry.

Tim Whittington - Vice President: Data & Analytics, Orion Health

The future of health delivery is precision medicine and personalised healthcare: bringing together all sources of health and social information to tailor care to each individual, while delivering better decision making, health outcomes and efficiencies for providers and communities.

Data science provides the tools and insights for us to create these future solutions, and we commend Massey on building a degree that prepares graduates to make a tangible contribution in our industry."

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. You can go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

There is a webpage with information on changes that took place in 2020, which may affect you if you are a current BSc student.

In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may be 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

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