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The Massey University Master of Science (Microbiology) is a multi-disciplinary postgraduate qualification that will give you the research skills to move up the hierarchy of your career, or move onto more in-depth research.

Let our expertise become yours

You will learn from world-leading specialists in microbiology and related areas like biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, food science, plant pathology, immunology and epidemiology.

At Massey we use a diverse range of molecular, cellular, plant and animal model tools to investigate the molecular biology of diseases. We also use metagenomics and other advanced genomic technologies to study microbial communities in the environment, including those that may be health threat if found in food or medical environments.

Our biomedical interests are diverse. We research the mechanisms of neurological, skeletal and muscular disorders, infectious microbial diseases and cancer.

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.

An essential science

Microbiology is an essential science that helps us understand the microbes in the environment, including those that dwell in the soil, air and water, in our food and inside people, animals and plants.

Understanding microbiology can:

  • improve safety and success of food and beverage production and fermentation
  • help prevent infectious diseases through development of novel antibiotics and vaccines
  • use of “good” microbes in prebiotics or probiotics, or microbial community transplantation between patients. 
  • Help treat diseases such as inflammation, allergy, neurological disorders, diabetes and even cancer. Through comparing diversity and composition of gut microbial communities between people, we may better understand and treat these diseases, that are not typically considered related to microbes,
  • Have an environmental impact through creating alternative ways to produce fuel, or by increased ability to mitigate the greenhouse gas emission by working with the microbes in the cattle rumen.


You will gain the advantage of learning in a multi-disciplinary environment. Massey has world-leading expertise in many areas of science, especially veterinary, animal, health and environmental science. You can take advantage of this for your learning and research to look at microbiological sub-disciplines, such as environment/ecology, food and biotechnology.

Relevant learning

During your study you will gain a contemporary, relevant view of microbiology which is in line with topical research and developments in the area. You will be exposed to the latest discoveries and research.

Friendly environment - passionate scientists

There is a well-established community of fundamental scientists and students involved in a broad range of microbiological and microbiology-inspired research at Massey. We work together to share discoveries and research and provide peer support.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The workload of the Master of Science (Microbiology) replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ as undergraduate study. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.


If you are interested in pursuing further research, microbiology is a key discipline of biological sciences. Microbiology research skills are particularly suited for work in the research or teaching institutions in the fields of biomedicine, bioprotection, biotechnology, epidemiology, veterinary and plant pathology.

There are also roles in the legal or business sectors, for instance assisting with the commercialization of science, drafting of patents and technology transfer agreements.

Dairy, food, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries are key employers, however there are numerous other opportunities in cosmetics, breweries, food and oil industries, horticulture, and agriculture. Government and private sectors provide opportunities for bioprotection, regulatory, sample testing or diagnostic laboratory positions.

Positions in industry include:

  • Management
  • Quality control
  • Research, and
  • Product development

Sought after by employers

International trends are for employers to reward postgraduate study well,especially in larger enterprises. The skills you learn are increasingly recognised as setting you apart from other potential employees.

Earn more

A Ministry of Education report found that:

  • Earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed
  • Five years after leaving study, most young domestic graduates will be earning above the national median earnings
  • Young masters graduates earn 86 per cent more than the national median
  • Good careers are associated with better health, better wellbeing and more satisfying lives

Visit the Microbiology (MSc) page on the Massey University website for more details!




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