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Massey University
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Bachelor of Science (Microbiology)

This course is available


Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree


3 years

Next start date

Expected Feb 2023


Manawatu Campus


Specialise in Microbiology for your Bachelor of Science at Massey

Microbiology is an essential science that helps us understand the microbes in the environment, including microbes that dwell in the soil, air and water, in our food and inside people, animals and plants. Microbiology can impact on many different areas, such as:

agriculture, where rumen microbes are both essential to dairy and good industries, but also responsible for much of New Zealand’s carbon emission;

bioprotection, where efforts to preserve native birds (kiwi) and plants (kauri trees) depend on expert control of microbial pathogens

microbes have applications as model systems to answer questions beyond the immediate range of microbiology, such as the causes of cancer or birth defects;

green and bio-based technologies, where microbes help preserve our environment by producing bio-based materials for use in diagnostics and vaccines or by harnessing solar energy for fuel production.


In the Massey Bachelor of Science (Microbiology) you will learn about microbiology hand-in-hand with other science areas such as veterinary, animal, and environmental science. This allows you to explore microbiological disciplines, including environment/ecology, medical, veterinary and food microbiology, and biotechnology.

Some of the topics taught in microbiology courses include:

bioinformatics and genomics


DNA technology

environmental microbiology


medical microbiology

developing diagnostic tests for infectious diseases (including SARS-CoV2)

microbial diversity

applied and industrial microbiology

food microbiology.

Heaps of laboratory experience

Exposure and time in labs is a large component of our course and on par with what is usually only seen in employment. For example, you’ll get to do a lab-based simulated research project, such as identification of microbes in environment or food, or producing useful proteins in bacterial culture. As a graduate, you’ll have lab confidence and the unique ability to show potential employers that you are skilled in lab-based experiments.

Real-world experience

You will complete research projects as part of a summer studentship with the Massey University researchers. You’ll gain a real-world insight into the area and connections with potential future employers.

World-leading facilities

Facilities available to you include our Microscopy and Imaging Centre, Genomics and DNA sequencing facility, protein analysis suite (Mass Spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, NMR), bioreactors and fermentation facilities.

A Bachelor of Science in Microbiology is a good fit if you:

enjoy the sciences, specifically biology.

Entry criteria

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

Specific requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for this qualification, 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 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 Biology.

At least 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 Chemistry.

The following pathways will get you prepared to study this major. If you have not studied NCEA Level 3 Biology (or equivalent) take the following course first:

162103 Introductory Biology.

If you have not studied NCEA Level 3 Chemistry (or equivalent) take the following course first:

123103 Chemistry for Modern Sciences.

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

International English Language Requirements:

  • IELTS - 6.0 overall and minimum 5.5 in each band
  • TOEFL iBT - Overall score 80, minimum 19 in Writing
  • Cambridge English - B2 First, or B2 First for schools, or C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency with a score of 169. No less than 162 in each skill.
  • NCEL - Level 4 (Academic)
  • PTE - 50 overall and minimum 42 in each communicative skills
  • LanguageCert - C1 Expert IESOL (LRWS) with PASS and no less than Pass in each skill

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