New information following the change in COVID-19 alert levels.

Bachelor of Horticultural Science

Key facts

  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available via Distance Learning
  • Some distance courses require attendance at contact workshops
  • 3 years of full-time study
  • Available for international students studying in NZ

A unique degree focused on horticulture

This degree is the only New Zealand horticultural degree fully co-designed and created in collaboration with industry.

What is it like?

Find out more about entry requirements, fees and courses in the planning section.

New Zealand’s horticulture industry is booming and worth billions of dollars to the New Zealand economy.  With the growth in industry comes increasing demand for university-qualified graduates to take on exciting careers. Opportunities are plentiful around New Zealand and overseas.

The Bachelor of Horticultural Science is totally focused on helping you become a horticulture graduate who can hit the ground running. It will give you the relevant, contemporary skills that industry requires and will ensure that you can take your place leading this exciting industry into the future.

In demand by employers

Globally there are more jobs in horticulture than there are people to fill them. The apple industry alone estimates that they need 150 new graduates each year for the next decade.  Horticulture will offer you a wide range of exciting and rewarding career opportunities across business and science roles. Our students that are motivated to work hard often progress quickly to attractive and internationally orientated positions within the horticultural sector.

New from 2019, the Bachelor of Horticultural Science has been specifically designed to give you the skills to take up those careers.

Future focused and industry led

Industry told us they need consistent graduates with a rounded integrated knowledge of science, technology and management applied across the whole horticultural value chain from production to the international marketplace. This new degree has a large number of core courses that will be common to all graduates to meet this need.

This qualification will give you an understanding of the breadth of horticulture in New Zealand and internationally. This includes everything from the genetics of plants through to plant growth, the production of food, agribusiness, the influence of Government policies, regulations and Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations, how products are marketed and sold, through to how to understand what consumers want in international markets.

You will also learn key transferable skills in business, technology and science disciplines.

Experience before you graduate

Industry experience is integrated into this degree, with practical work courses allowing you to experience and analyse real-world scenarios while you are studying. We will help you to secure practical work that matches your interests.

Thanks to the support of industry there are also plenty of opportunities to attend field trips, multi-day study tours around New Zealand and even international study tours to see operations in places such as the Netherlands and Korea with the Horticulture Innovation Programme. These are designed to open your horizons to what is happening in New Zealand and around the world in the future of healthy food production.

As part of this programme, you’ll complete 26 weeks of full-time work in horticulture during your study. This is usually done during the summer when there is plenty of exciting things happening in horticultural-related businesses. There is full support to help you find practical work and have an enjoyable experience where you are learning while working. To ensure you get the most from this experience, you'll provide a report on your activities.

Through your coursework there are plenty of other practical applications and real-world experiences. Guest lecturers from industry are frequently on campus.

All this will give you an advantage with prospective employers upon graduation, with industry contacts, a better understanding of the primary industries and the management skills to lead it.

Join a world-leading agriculture university

Massey is New Zealand’s No 1 university in agriculture and horticulture and ranked globally as 22nd according to the QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) rankings. We are also ranked in the top 150 universities worldwide for agriculture by the ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.

Our proud record dates back to 1927 when we were established as an agricultural college. As a student, you will benefit from our internationally-recognised capability and leadership in this area.

Unique facilities

Massey has comprehensive horticultural resources which are an integral part of your study. These include the horticultural unit which has a protected growing environment suite of 25 glasshouses, 'walk in' controlled temperature rooms and growth rooms. We also have apple and kiwifruit research orchards run in partnership with the horticultural industries.

Being able to grow your own produce, experiment with production techniques, use technology and work in an actual orchard/glasshouse are key benefits to studying horticulture science at Massey. Your lab sessions will have you working on projects in the orchard and glasshouses on-site to get you comfortable and capable in these environments.

Award-winning labs

Massey’s Manawatū campus hosts the only multi-function teaching laboratories in Australasia.

The labs won a Best Practice Award for Innovation at the Association for Tertiary Education Management conference and were shortlisted for the international UKS-Lab awards.

The facility is unique in Australasia in that it allows each laboratory to be tailored to accommodate a variety of disciplines. Technicians can do preparation in the dedicated technical area before moving this into the lab, which means students can spend more time doing lab practical work.

Travel while you study

Our Student Exchange Programme provides an international experience with the chance to study courses at overseas universities and credit them back to a Massey qualification. You’ll pay the same tuition fees while abroad and it’s a great chance to gain the overseas experience and knowledge that many employers value. Some of the top science universities available within the exchange programme are the University of Calgary, Canada, Wageningen University, The Netherlands and the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Variety of study

One of the best things about this degree is the variety of study. You’ll learn about plant biology, soils and cropping, be introduced to production horticulture, agribusiness and agri-related analytics and statistics. You’ll also study economics and applied chemistry and physics.

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.


There are hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of scholarships available for students who are studying in the areas of agriculture and horticulture. Massey has close connections with all the major agricultural organisations in New Zealand, many of whom provide scholarships for Massey students.

Many of our students are able to complete their studies debt-free thanks to the generous help of the horticulture industry. Scholarships are also awarded to attend conferences, study tours, and for practical work both in New Zealand and overseas.


A good fit if you:

  • Enjoy applied sciences
  • Are interested in a career in horticulture
  • Would like industry connections and experience as you study
  • Want to feed the world fresh, healthy, sustainable food
Summer Wynyard
Current student
Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Maniapoto, and Tainui

“If you’ve got a passion for science, or the land, food, international food marketing, meeting great people, or just being a part of an industry that does meaningful work for people, then this is for you…”

I chose Massey because it is New Zealand’s leading horticultural university and studying in Palmerston North means that I am only two hours from my hometown. I come from a big family and so being close to them meant I could regularly visit.

My ultimate goal is to become a research scientist looking at issues relating to genetic modification or pest and disease issues so that I can aid in finding solutions to problems affecting the New Zealand economy and people. In the meantime, I am excited to be a part of any new opportunities that come up.

When I gain my degree, I hope it will encourage all my younger siblings and cousins to do the same. Since I was little I’ve almost always known I was going to university. Being raised a New Zealand Māori I have also felt a huge connection to my whenua (land) and tāngata (people). I will be only the second person in my wider family (the first being my uncle) to obtain a bachelor’s degree. I plan to outdo him one more by gaining my master’s degree, but he doesn’t know that yet.


After completing your qualification, you will be prepared for a wide range of technical and management positions, in New Zealand and internationally. Some areas of employment include:

  • Horticulture science consultant
  • Orchard and greenhouse production management
  • Crop disease and pest control
  • Technology, innovation & robotics
  • Post-harvest management
  • Biosecurity
  • Organic production
  • Perishable supply-chain management
  • International trade, access, and marketing
  • Policy, regulation and advocacy

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