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Master of Science

The Master of Science is valued for its flexibility and excellence, and can be tailored to suit your needs.  You can select your papers from a range of subjects and the mix of research and taught papers are customised to suit your interests and goals.

Master of Science

The Master of Science (MSc) normally takes 12-18 months of full-time study to complete. The degree requires 180 points, which is made up of 90 points in taught papers and a 90-point thesis (research project).  This balance of theses to taught papers may be changed subject to permission from the graduate co-ordinator in your chosen discipline.

Study a MSc at Waikato University and you will enjoy more lab and field work, more one-on-one time with top academics and access to world-class research equipment. Our great industry contacts will also mean exciting collaborations with local, national and international companies and organisations.

This is an ideal degree for students wanting to improve their career opportunities, and seeking a qualification that is potentially not so research-heavy.

This qualification is taught at a level significantly in advance of undergraduate study, providing you with the challenges and knowledge needed to prepare for a successful career.


The University of Waikato’s School of Science is home to a suite of well-equipped, world-class laboratories.  You will have the opportunity to use complex research equipment and facilities such as NMR spectroscopy, DNA sequencing and the University of Waikato Herbarium (WAIK).

The computing facilities at the University of Waikato are among the best in New Zealand, ranging from phones and tablets for mobile application development to cluster computers for massively parallel processing. Students majoring in Computer Science, Mathematics or Statistics will have 24 hour access to computer labs equipped with all the latest computer software.

Build a successful career

Depending on the major completed and your particular interests, graduates of this degree may find employment in a range of science-related industries.

Key information

Years: 1 - 1.5
Points: 120 - 180
Study Locations: Hamilton; Tauranga
Start Dates: Semester A (February) and Semester B (July)
Fees (Domestic): $7,325-$8,085 per year
See if you're eligible for fees-free study in your first year
Fees (International): $33,085 per year
Entry Requirements: Postgraduate International
*Tuition fees shown are indicative only and may change. There are additional fees and charges related to enrolment please see the Table of Fees and Charges for more information. You will be sent an enrolment agreement which will confirm your fees.
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Career opportunities

  • Local and Regional Council
  • Crown Research Institutes
  • Energy Companies
  • Environmental Agencies
  • Government Departments
  • Biomedical/Pharmaceutical Industries
  • Private Research Companies
  • Food and Dairy Industries
  • Agriculture and Fisheries

Admission requires a relevant Bachelors level qualification or equivalent. Once you have applied to study with us you are welcome to speak with one of our senior academics who will help advise you on your studies based on your goals and previous experience.  This will ensure you have all the support and advice you need to succeed in your studies.  If you are enrolling via the Faculty of Science & Engineering, please consult our Handbook for details of relevant staff.

Please refer to the relevant regulations in the University of Waikato Calendar for official details of admission and degree requirements, available subjects, honours eligibility and more.

If you do not hold the appropriate qualifications required for direct entry, you may be eligible to apply for a pathway via a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma. Contact the Faculty for advice on the possibilities.

Broad Memorial Fund

For students who are enrolled in the thesis year of a MSc, MSc(Research), MPhil or PhD qualification in Earth Sciences. The value of the scholarship will vary.

Closing Date: 2018-03-31 23:59:00

Dr Stella Frances Memorial Scholarship

For students who are enrolled or are intending to enrol in the final year of a masters degree at the University of Waikato and are undertaking research that applies to the conservation or environmental issues in the Waikato region. The scholarship will have a value of up to $5,000.

Closing Date: 2017-12-15 23:59:00

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Graduate Scholarship in Biophysics

For students who are enrolled in full-time study towards an MSc or a PhD with a thesis topic in Biophysics or Cortical Modelling. The scholarship will have a value up to $5,000 for one year.

Closing Date: 2017-07-15 23:59:00

Golden Plover Wetland Research Award

For students who are enrolled part- or full-time in a Honours or masters degree at any New Zealand University and are conducting research in any aspect of ecology or management of wetlands. The scholarship will have a value of up to $1,000.

Closing Date: 2017-11-01 23:59:00

Science and Engineering Masters Fees Awards

For students enrolling full-time in the first year MSc (research), MSc, MSc (Tech) ME or MEnvSci programme in the faculty of Engineering. Part-time applicants may be considered but any scholarship awarded will be on a pro-rata basis. The Scholarship will have a value of up to $2,000.

Closing Date: 2017-03-15 23:59:00

Terry Healy Memorial Award

For students who are enrolled or are intending to enrol, part- or full-time in a masters or doctoral degree in Earth Sciences, and who are not receiving other awards providing significant funds or substantial financial assistance under a research contract. The value of the award will vary.

Closing Date: 2016-10-31 23:59:00

University of Waikato Research Masters Scholarship

For students intending to enrol full-time in a thesis of 90 points or more as part of their first master's degree at the University of Waikato. International students must have completed at least 120 points of study at a New Zealand university in order to be eligible for this Scholarship.

Closing Date: 2018-04-30 23:59:00

University of Waikato Summer Research Scholarship

For students who are enrolled at a NZ or Australian University and have completed at least three years of undergraduate study. The Summer Research Scholarship provides students with opportunities to experience the challenges and rewards of research. The scholarship will have a value of $5,000.

Closing Date: 2017-08-31 23:59:00

Whanganui River Enhancement Trust Scholarship

For students who are enrolled full-time and are undertaking research towards a Masters thesis, Honours degree or Postgraduate Diploma. Candidates must be resident in New Zealand for the tenure of the scholarship and their research should relate to the Whanganui River Catchment.

Closing Date: 2017-11-17 23:59:00

You will spend more time putting theory into practice in the laboratories and out in the field. Smaller class sizes in taught papers mean more one-on-one time with renowned academics.

The University of Waikato also boasts excellent industry collaborations with organisations such as NIWA, AgResearch, Plant and Food Research and Landcare Research. These strong relationships generate numerous research projects for MSc students, who are able to work on real issues with a real client.



Faculty of Science & Engineering
Phone: +64 7 838 4625 / 0800 438 254

Faculty of Computing & Mathematical Sciences
Phone: +64 7 838 4322 / 0800 924 528