Bachelor of Science (Genetics)

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See the regulations and courses for this programme.

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Entry requirements

All students must have a university entrance qualification - See Massey University undergraduate entry requirements. It is strongly recommended (but not compulsory) that students beginning their study of genetics should have a sound background in biology and chemistry at NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent).

If you have not done NCEA Level 3 biology you can take 162.103 Introductory Biology before beginning your programme. Similarly, if you have some chemistry background, but not to NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent), we recommend that you take 123.103 Introductory Chemistry. This course will introduce you to basic chemical vocabulary and provides training in the important chemical principles. Before enrolling in these courses you will need a university entrance qualification or, if you enrol over the summer, you must achieve the university entrance requirements before the beginning of Semester One.

For general entry requirements see Massey University entry requirements.


The Genetics programme at Massey University is the most comprehensive on offer at a New Zealand university, covering molecular, developmental, population, quantitative and evolutionary genetics. Graduates in Genetics will have a working knowledge of all these aspects of genetics yet have the opportunity to specialise in an area of particular interest such as molecular genetics, cytogenetics or genomics. Massey University graduates will also be familiar with the bioethical issues that confront genetics and have a working knowledge of the regulations and codes of practice under which research in genetics is carried out. They are expected to have acquired good analytical skills and to be good communicators of their subject. In a rapidly moving field such as genetics the emphasis is on preparation for the future rather than skills for the present.

To plan your study and see what courses are necessary to complete your degree please use the regulations button. It will display the regulatory information for the programme you have selected.

For each course, check for prerequisites, corequisites and restrictions that may affect you, by searching the course code in the Course Search.

Possible First Year

Internal students on the Auckland and Manawatu campuses

247.155 Communication in the Sciences
123.101 Chemistry & Living Systems
162.101 Biology of Cells
122.102 Biochemistry of Cells
161.130 Introductory Biostatistics


In addition to these five courses, choose three elective courses. It is easy to select additional 100-level (first year) courses that will allow you to add another major or minor to your degree or pursue an alternative major in your second year. Check that any additional majors and minors that you would like to add are available at your campus or can be completed with distance study.

  • We recommend that you include a second course in Chemistry, 123.102 Chemistry and the Material World.
  • If you have started with a Veterinary Science Intermediate in Semester One you can continue into the Genetics major in Semester Two. You will have 124.111 Physics for Life Science and 199.101 Biology of Animals which are suitable electives. Add one more elective.
  • If you are interested in Human Nutrition, ensure you are enrolled in 214.131 Introduction to Food and Nutrition and 194.101 Essentials of Mammalian Biology. Add one more elective.
  • If you are interested in Physiology, ensure you are enrolled in 194.101 Essentials of Mammalian Biology. Add two more electives.
  • If you are interested in Biological Sciences, ensure you are enrolled in 120.101 Biology of Plants and 199.101 Biology of Animals. Add one more elective.
  • If you are interested in Chemistry, ensure you are enrolled in 123.102 Chemistry & the Material World, and 160.103 Introductory Mathematics or 160.111 Mathematics 1A or 160.132 Concepts in Mathematics. Add one more elective.

This selection of courses also meets the first year requirements of the Biochemistry and Microbiology majors.

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