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Massey University
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Bachelor of Science (Zoology)

This course is available


Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree


3 years

Next start date

Expected Jul 2024


Manawatu Campus


Specialise in Zoology for your Bachelor of Science at Massey

Zoology is the animal science of the natural world. It examines animals on a variety of scales, from biological knowledge at the molecular level to animals as components of systems. It also includes the study of animal behaviour.

The latest thinking

As one of the only universities in New Zealand to offer a specialised major in zoology, our programme is unique.

You’ll learn about land-based animals and environments. You will also develop a strong foundation including the latest thinking in genetic and physiological processes, animal development, anatomy and behaviour. You’ll explore freshwater and marine systems, and our wide range of speciality fields including conservation of biodiversity.

In high demand

From mapping animal migrations to driving conservational change in foreign countries, Massey’s zoology graduates are in high demand all over the world. They have worked in places like Samoa, South Africa, the Netherlands and the United States. You’ll graduate ready to join them, and to take the best of your knowledge to the rest of the world.

World-leading lecturers

At Massey, our lecturers are passionate about what they do. They have examined bird migration pathways from New Zealand to Alaska and the USA. They have investigated species interactions in the alpine environment and unlocked knowledge about morphology through examining fossils and lineages in rocks. They bring this knowledge and love for what they do into their teaching to help you uncover what truly inspires you.

What will you study?

A Zoology major offers you a wide range of specialisations in interest areas, as well as in mainstream zoology. The core Zoology qualification looks at animals on a variety of scales.

You will gain skills in a broad range of related sciences including ecology, conservation diversity and evolution.

This major is not just about land-based animals and environments; you will also explore freshwater and marine systems.

An exciting and practical subject

The most exciting advances in biological knowledge are probably at the molecular level, which we cover in the second year. The level of animals as components of systems is covered in the third year.

A key speciality in your study will be the fascinating and practical field of conservation of biodiversity. This looks at both vertebrates (birds, predators) and invertebrates, and at their impact on New Zealand indigenous plants and animals. Another interesting area is the study of animal behaviour. This speciality also has an applied side.

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

are passionate about the natural world and animals

want to understand and know everything about animals.

Entry criteria

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University. To be admitted to an undergraduate qualification, you will need a minimum level of academic achievement from school, or another university or tertiary institution.

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.

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.

This course is 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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