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Programme list > Bachelor of Science > International Agriculture

Bachelor of Science (International Agriculture)


Gain a world view of globally sustainable agriculture

Gain knowledge of the latest science and technologies and the world’s environmental and food security problems. Learn the skills to come up with globally applicable solutions.

  • Level

  • Undergraduate, NZQF Level 7
  • Campus

  • Manawatū
  • International

  • Available for international students studying in NZ

The best of both worlds

Enjoy science? Interested in agriculture? This degree is perfect for you. Massey’s Bachelor of Science (International Agriculture) combines an excellent science programme with an agricultural programme recognised throughout New Zealand and the world for its quality.

Change the world. No, really!

New Zealand is a world leader in producing premium food from its land-based sustainable agricultural systems using the latest in science and technology.

But, feeding the world’s increasing population while protecting the environment and meeting climate change mitigation targets is still an urgent global challenge. This programme will give you the skills to become a scientist who is able to develop innovative solutions to this global challenge.

What will I learn?

When you study the Bachelor of Science (International Agriculture) you will gain an understanding of the major agricultural production systems around the world, including New Zealand. Your learning will include the plants, animals and soils and the key factors for sustainable production.

This understanding will help you appreciate the multi-disciplinary and integrative nature of agriculture. You’ll learn to apply this to solving agricultural problems.

Award-winning facilities

Massey’s Manawatū campus hosts the only multi-function teaching laboratories in Australasia.  It has a wide range of other facilities related to agriculture. 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
  • Fertiliser and Lime Research Centre
  • Massey AgriFood Technology Partnership
  • Plant Growth Unit
  • Equine Hospital
  • Life Cycle Management Centre
  • Massey University farms
  • Seed Tech Services, an ISTA-accredited seed testing laboratory.

Connected to industry

Massey is leading the way in New Zealand’s agriculture and food industry. Our teaching is research-led and based on the newest developments.

You’ll come into contact with many of New Zealand’s leading agri-based businesses and research centre during your study. That includes companies like Fonterra, DairyNZ, AgResearch, Landcare Research, Plant & Food Research and AsureQuality.

Careers and further study


Potential careers include:

  • agricultural scientist
  • horticultural scientist
  • agricultural science advisor
  • horticultural science advisor
  • environmental officer
  • policy analysts
  • agricultural sales and servicing
  • farm management
  • farm consulting
  • extension officer.

Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication, The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates, showed that those who complete a qualification in a science, agriculture, technology, computer science, engineering or mathematics field of study have high relative earnings after they complete their study compared to the national median. 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.

English language requirements

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


To be successful in your studies we recommend that you also 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 2 Mathematics from the following list of standards: 91256, 91257, 91258, 91259, 91260, 91261, 91262, 91269.
  • At least 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 Chemistry.
  • NCEA Level 3 Biology.

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

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 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 (60 credits)

60 credits
119202 International Agricultural Production Systems 15
119203 Agriculture and the Environment 15
119302 Problem Solving in International Agriculture 15
119303 Professional Experience in Agriculture 15

Compulsory course selection

200-level (30 credits)

30 credits
117201 Livestock Production Science 15
189251 Soil Fertility and Fertilisers 15
283201 Pasture and Crop Agronomy 15
284201 Horticultural Production Systems 15

300-level (30 credits)

30 credits
117371 Animal Production 15
283301 Pasture Production and Practice 15
283305 Arable Production 15
284301 Horticultural Crop Development & Yield 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.

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.

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.

International Agriculture has similar first-year core courses to several other majors available in the Bachelor of Science, allowing students to change their major before their second year. Changing your major may incur an increase in completion time.


100-level courses

Take these in any order:

  • 247.111 Science and Sustainability for Agriculture and Horticulture
  • 161.111 Statistics or 161.122 Statistics
  • 124.103 Biophysical Principles or 160.101 Calculus or 160.102 Algebra or 160.104 Introductory Mathematics for Science or 160.105 Methods of Mathematics
  • 123.103 Chemistry for Modern Sciences or 123.104 Chemistry for Biological Systems.

Two of:

  • 199.103 Animals and the Environment
  • 119.120 Plants for Agriculture and Horticulture
  • 120.101 Plant Biology
  • 189.151 Principles of Soil Science.

Plus choose two 100-level elective courses. This can be from a subject area other than science.

Students must pass at least 90 credits from the BSc Schedule A, including any compulsory courses, in their first 120 credits of study towards the Bachelor of Science.

200-level courses in the major

Take both of:

  • 119.202 International Agricultural Production Systems
  • 119.203 Agriculture and the Environment.

And take two of:

  • 117.201 Livestock Production Science
  • 284.201 Horticultural Production Systems
  • 283.201 Pasture and Crop Agronomy
  • 189.251 Soil Fertility and Fertilisers.
300-level courses in the major

Take both of:

  • 119.302 Problem Solving in International Agriculture
  • 119.303 Professional Experience in Agriculture.

And take two of:

  • 283.301 Pasture Production and Practice
  • 284.301 Horticultural Crop Development and Yield
  • 117.371 Animal Production
  • 283.305 Arable Production and Technology.

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 International Agriculture 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.

  • Chemistry (include 123.105 and either 160.101 or 160.102 or 160.105 in your first year).
  • Earth Science (include 189.151 and 233.105 and either 160.101 or 160.102 or 160.105 in your first year).
  • Ecology (include 162.101 and 199.103 and 196.101 in your first year).
  • Environmental Science (include 189.151 and 233.105 and 196.101 in your first year).
  • Plant Science (include 120.101 and 189.151 and 162.101 in your first year).
  • Zoology (include 162.101 and 199.103 and 196.101 in your first year).

Changing your major may incur an increase in completion time.


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 (International Agriculture) 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.

An International Agriculture minor (for students who are studying a different degree)

If you are not studying a Bachelor of Science (International Agriculture) and wish to complete an International Agriculture minor see the BSc regulations for requirements.  

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 understand agricultural production systems in New Zealand and the world
  • think how the world grows food sustainably is important
  • care about the environment.

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