Studying Agriculture in New Zealand

Introduction to studying an agricultural degree in New Zealand

Agriculture is an underrated professional occupation, yet it is the world's most flourishing and rapidly growing industry. The agriculture sector dominates New Zealand’s economy, generating billions of yearly export earnings. It is an academic discipline of science that studies various scientific, technical, and business subjects related to agriculture, farm management, horticulture, dairy farming, and poultry production. New Zealand offers top-notch agriculture universities if you want to pursue an agricultural education. The agriculture courses in New Zealand are available at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, where universities provide hands-on learning experiences through internships, fieldwork, and research projects.

Lectures and practical assignments are designed to allow you to gain and learn skills like time management, harvesting, organisational skills, and operations management. A career in agriculture in New Zealand can help you achieve jobs as a farm manager, agricultural lawyer, food scientist, and crop manager. 

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Types of Agriculture Degrees

Here is the list of agriculture degrees available in New Zealand -

Diploma in Agriculture

A diploma in agriculture is a short-term certificate program that helps you expand your knowledge of New Zealand agriculture and its management systems and resources. The coursework includes subjects and topics like farm management systems, plant husbandry, soil and soil management, technology and communication, plant and animal health, engineering, and livestock production systems. However, you must have work experience in agriculture or horticultural systems to apply for New Zealand agriculture diploma courses and pass practical requirements to be eligible. 

Bachelor’s in Agricultural Science

The bachelor’s in agriculture science is an undergraduate degree that gives you insights into contemporary agricultural practices and skills to help you become a master in this rapidly growing international industry. 

The curriculum illuminates every aspect of agriculture, including animal husbandry, soil sciences, economics, agribusiness, and crop production. Through knowledge in disciplines like engineering, chemistry, biology, and physics, you will also learn about future and present trends and issues in agriculture. Through lectures and seminars, you will be exposed to practical work on farms and with rural businesses.

Postgraduate Diploma in Agriculture

A postgraduate diploma in agriculture is a research-based degree that allows you to join the pathway level to a master’s degree. The course is conducted through lectures, seminars, and field visits, giving you access to specialised skills, equipment, and networking opportunities. The subjects and topics in the postgraduate diploma in agriculture are reproduction, lactation, fertility, animal production, nutrient management, and sustainable land and water management. 

After completing the postgraduate course, you will be associated with different service industries, such as banking, company technical representatives, and consultants. 

Master’s in Agriculture

A master’s in agriculture is an advanced research degree that aims to improve the productivity and sustainability of agricultural systems in New Zealand and worldwide. During the coursework, you will learn about analytical methods and management skills and have access to a wide range of facilities and services, such as plant growth units, teaching laboratories, and library resources. Graduates with a master’s in agriculture in New Zealand can pursue careers as research scientists, farm managers, agricultural scientists, and field officers. 


Many New Zealand universities offer scholarships to international students based on their academic performance and financial status.

Scholarship name

Offered by

Award value

Vice Chancellor’s International Excellence Scholarship

The University of Waikato

$2500 - $15,000

Bamforth Postgraduate Scholarship

University of Otago


Massey University High Achiever Scholarships

Massey University


GEMS Scholarship

The University of Waikato


Jobs and Careers

Agricultural and horticultural land comprises over 40.1% of New Zealand’s land, resulting in a wide range of economic turnover and productivity in farming, processing, and marketing produce, logistics, and product supply. The skills gained from the agriculture industry are highly valued. New Zealand universities offering agriculture degrees give graduates a range of practical skills that are transferable directly to the workforce. 

Potential places of employment for agriculture graduates are vast, where one can work in cropping, sheep, beef, wool, meat, and dairy sectors. One can also work in consultancy services, finance and insurance, exporting and marketing, education, training, and farmer cooperatives. Some prestigious agriculture jobs include nutrient specialist, agricultural technician, farm technician, horticulture exporter, and environment consultant. 


The average salary in the agriculture field depends on educational qualifications, experience, and skills gained. The average pay scale is around $70,100 annually for students with a diploma degree. On the other hand, the average salary for bachelor’s and master’s agriculture graduates is around $73,200 and $77,400 annually. An agriculture graduate with over eight years of experience can earn $150,000 annually. Some popular companies and organisations that hire agriculture graduates are Landcrop Farming, ANZCO Foods, Blue Sky Meats, and NZ Trade and Enterprise. 

Top Universities for Agriculture Courses in New Zealand

Learn more about universities in New Zealand that offer agriculture degrees below.



Acceptance rate


Massey University



Lincoln University



University of Otago



University of Canterbury


Study Agriculture in New Zealand

If you want to learn more about studying for an agriculture degree at a New Zealand university, arrange a free consultation with SI-New Zealand today.

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Is New Zealand good for agriculture studies?

Agriculture in New Zealand can be an excellent opportunity for students willing to pursue agricultural education, as the universities consistently rank among the best in the world for agriculture. 

Which is the best agriculture university in New Zealand?

According to the QS Subject Rankings 2023, Massey University, Lincoln University, and the University of Otago are some of the best agriculture universities in New Zealand.

Which is the best agriculture program in New Zealand?

Agriculture is one of the popular courses in New Zealand, offering various specialisations. Some widespread agriculture courses include MSc Science - plant Breeding and Bachelor in Agricultural Science. 

How to apply for an MSc in agriculture in New Zealand?

To apply for an MSc in agriculture, visit the specified university and click on the application link. Fill out the required details and upload the documents as per the instructions. Check the details correctly, submit your application form, and wait for the acceptance letter from the university. 

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