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Bachelor of Science (Integrative Biology)

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Available for international students studying in NZ

Unique in New Zealand

This degree is the only one of its kind, giving you the skills to combine molecular, ecological and population level views to solve real-world problems.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Science parent structure.

What is it like?

The Bachelor of Science (Integrative Biology) is an unique degree, giving you an insight into all aspects of biology. Covering topics from evolution to genetics and microbiology to ecology, you’ll learn how the natural world fits together from a microscopic through to animal and ecological scales. Historically these areas were taught separately, but true understanding of biology only comes when we examine all these areas.

Solve real world problems

A major in integrative biology will give you the skills to investigate independently and to work broadly in life science, using new tools to produce new knowledge.

You will learn how to use broadly applicable molecular and ecological tools to solve problems in medicine, agriculture, ecology and conservation.

Learn to become an independent thinker

The Integrative Biology major is designed to give you the practical experience and tools to explore and examine the biological world.

The BSc (Integrative Biology) will help you learn a creative and self-informing attitude and you will be encouraged to use these traits towards learning new things. You will gain the skills to think critically about how biology works and give you a taste for how to undertake effective independent research. You’ll learn to evaluate new information critically and communicate clearly – life skills that will be invaluable no matter what career path you choose.


Some of the topics taught in the Integrative Biology major include:

  • Evolution
  • Genetics
  • Gene expression
  • Microbiology
  • Bacteriophage discovery
  • Molecular ecology
  • Human ancestry and genetics
  • Systems and models in biology

Choose an area of interest

Your course covers a broad range of biology-related topics, but you will be encouraged to take electives (courses in areas outside of your main focus of study) that will complement your interests and further build your portfolio.

At Massey you can choose courses from our other majors such as Ecology and Sustainability, Zoology, Marine Biology, and Molecular and Cellular Biology. This will allow you to create a path that is right for you and build your investigative, critical thinking and communication skills in biological disciplines that inspire you personally.

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.


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A good fit if you:

  • Are curious about how the biological world is organised and fits together
  • Enjoy sciences and would like to learn more about all aspects of biology
  • Want to become an independent thinker who can communicate well
Charlotte Robertson
Graduated in 2015
DairyNZ Master’s Scholar - The University of Waikato

“The degree gave me the flexibility to follow my environmental and agricultural interests and the cross-discipline teaching approach taught me about systems…”

I completed a Bachelor of Natural Sciences at Massey. This was an integrative science degree, designed to teach through inquiry-based learning. The degree gave me the flexibility to follow my environmental and agricultural interests and the cross-discipline teaching approach taught me about systems. I soon found farm systems management to be my calling.

I am currently investigating management strategies for Canterbury dairy farms through incorporating fodder beet, plantain and oats into farm systems to reduce nitrate leaching whilst maintaining/improving profitability.

Recently, I became interested in agroecology. This is a management style that integrates ecosystem services into farm systems and shifts the focus of farm management from input-dependence to ecosystem services reliance. Agroecology favours small-scale farms and has distinct socio-economic advantages over conventional farm systems. Conventional large-scale farm systems are profitable and can produce a lot of food, but they are not sustainable. To me agroecology sounds like an excellent long-term solution to our environmental and food-related issues. As agroecology is not well-known in New Zealand, the next step in my career is a PhD in agroecology, overseas.


An integrative biology major will help you master a broad range of valuable skills and be able to offer your expertise to potential employers, whether you are considering a future in industry, business, consulting or academia.

Some examples of roles you may be able to work in after completing this qualification are:

  • Forensic Scientist
  • Environmental/Conservation Scientist or specialist 
  • Bioinformatician or Data Scientist,
  • Pharmaceutical Sales
  • Environmental Technician
  • Biological Technician or Research Assistant
  • Quality Control Technician 
  • Microbiologist or Biotechnologist
  • Agricultural/Food Science Technician or Technologist

With some further study you could also use your skills in other areas such as law or teaching.

Contact us Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey