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.

Billy Bodger

Earth Sciences
Smaller class sizes, enthusiastic lecturers and field trips to exciting North Island locations has made Earth Sciences study at Waikato a top experience for student Billy Bodger.

Jamie Bridson

Scientist Jamie Bridson is researching how we can use biological materials from the forestry industry to create new environmentally friendly products such as biodegradable plastics.

Claire Forsythe

Sparked by a passion for numbers, a career in the health industry was just what the doctor ordered for University of Waikato statistics graduate Claire Forsythe.

Aaron Huesser

Earth Sciences
Growing up in rural Taranaki, Aaron developed an appreciation and passion for the environment. Surrounded by natural energy producers he also gained an enthusiasm for the energy industry, which sparked his interest in the earth sciences.

Riki Lewis

Earth Sciences
For Riki Lewis, studying Earth Sciences at Waikato has led to an exciting job as a Soil Scientist with the Queensland Government.

Nick Lim

Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics
After completing an Electronic Engineering degree, Nick decided to expand his education experience and come to New Zealand to complete postgraduate research in statistics.

Peter Longdill

Earth Sciences
A University of Waikato science graduate is in the Middle East working to reduce the environmental impacts of a major sea port project.

Kieran Miller

Biological Sciences
Ensuring high profile infrastructure projects have a minimal impact on the environment is a real buzz for graduate Kieran Miller.

Eli Muller

Mathematics, Physics
Physics was Eli's favourite subject all through high school so he didn't find choosing his degree particularly difficult.

Alice Wang

Biotechnology, Chemistry
Waikato Masters Graduate Alice Wang spends a lot of her work life travelling throughout the world.

Cody Wright

A passion for chemistry has led Cody Wright to an exciting position with New Zealand’s leading analytical testing laboratory.

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.


Students enrolling in an MSc via the Faculty of Science & Engineering can study Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Electronics, Engineering, Materials and Processing, Physics, Psychology, and Science and Technology Education.

Students majoring in Computer Science, Mathematics or Statistics will enrol through the Faculty of Computing & Mathematical Sciences.


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.

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

Key information

Study Locations Hamilton; Tauranga
Faculty Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Years 1 - 1.5
Points 120 - 180
Domestic Fees $7,181-$7,926 per year
International Fees $33,085 per year
Tuition fees shown above 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.


These are all the subjects available for the Master of Science

Applied Linguistics
Biological Sciences
Computer Science
Development Studies
Earth Sciences
Education and Society
Environmental Planning
Human Resource Management
International Relations and Security Studies
Labour Studies
Management Systems
Materials and Processing
Political Science
Population Studies and Demography
Public Policy
Public Relations
Screen and Media Studies
Social Science Research
Sport, Health and Human Performance
Strategic Management
Supply Chain Management
Theatre Studies
Tourism Management
Women's and Gender Studies

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: 2017-03-31 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: 2016-12-16 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: 2016-05-15 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: 2016-11-01 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: 2025-12-31 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 Masters degree at the University of Waikato. The Scholarships will have a value of: Tier 1 - $15,000 for 120-point theses (or more), Tier 2 - $12,000 for 90-point theses, or Tier 3 - thesis paper domestic tuition fees only.

Closing Date: 2017-04-30 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: 2016-08-31 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: 2016-11-18 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.

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 Graduate 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.


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

Degree Structure

Year 1 Year 2
120 Points 60 Points
Grad Papers

An MSc is normally completed over 12-18 consecutive months, although it may be possible to study for the degree on a part-time basis. Each full-time student will normally enrol in the first year of the Masters programme in a minimum of 90 points’ worth of taught papers in addition to 30 points towards their thesis. These taught papers may be assessed exclusively on coursework, examination, or a mixture of both. In the second year each student will normally enrol in the remaining research and taught papers required to complete the degree. The degree may be awarded with First Class Honours, or Second Class Honours (first division), or Second Class Honours (second division), or without Honours.