Studying Biotechnology in New Zealand

Introduction to studying a biotechnology degree at a New Zealand university

Biotechnology is a discipline that deals with applications of biology in industry for the benefit of humans. Biotechnology courses in New Zealand combine the study of biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics in many specialisations. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), it has been predicted that by 2030, biotechnology will assume a significant role in the global economy, advancing research and development. Hence, there is an excellent chance of achieving a successful career in biotechnology in New Zealand. 

Biotechnology courses in New Zealand aim to develop a deep knowledge of biochemical, molecular, and evolutionary processes and economic solutions. Courses are available in different degree levels, such as diploma, bachelor’s, and master’s (full-time and part-time). For in-depth research, you can also pursue PhD in biotechnology. Graduates in this field can work in various sectors and industries, like biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, fermentation industries, and educational institutions. 

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Types of Biotechnology Degrees

Biotechnology is a growing field covering major agricultural, environmental, food, and medical sectors. New Zealand universities provide biotechnology degrees in many specialisations, such as drug research, biomedical engineering, molecular biology, cell biology, and biodefense.

Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Biotechnology

As an honours student in biotechnology, you learn and gain knowledge, observe phenomena, experiment with ideas, and become a part of innovative discoveries. The course curriculum includes lectures, practical sessions, field trips, and internship opportunities. You will study different subjects and topics during your coursework, such as biotechnology, chemistry principles, molecular biotechnology, organic chemistry, and genetics. At the end of the program, you can continue pursuing postgraduate studies or work as a biomedical scientist, clinical research associate, bioethicist, and agricultural technician. 

Master of Biotechnology (MBiotech)

The Master’s in Biotechnology in New Zealand is curated for students to explore possibilities, gain insights, and address emerging global challenges for human and environmental health and wellbeing. You will study how to use living organisms or components like proteins, enzymes, and genes to create commercial products. The courses are delivered through lectures, seminars, lab sessions, and fieldwork, allowing you to work closely with renowned researchers for thesis submissions. This qualification is a pathway to more advanced study, such as PhD in biotechnology. 

Postgraduate Diploma in Biotechnology

The postgraduate diploma in biotechnology is coursework that provides more advanced and in-depth study in biotechnology. The curriculum comprises microbiology, cell biology, and ecological and evolutionary processes, followed by a dissertation submission. Upon completing the degree, you can opt for a master’s program in a relevant specialisation. 


Here is the list of scholarships available for biotechnology courses in New Zealand -

Scholarship name

Offered by

Award value

Tongarewa Scholarship

Victoria University of Wellington


University of Auckland International Student Excellence Award

University of Auckland


University of Otago International Master’s Research Scholarship

University of Otago


Jobs and Careers

As an emerging field, biotechnology provides many career opportunities in universities, businesses, and government organisations. Biotechnology graduates can also work in primary industries like agriculture, food, and dairy. Some popular jobs related to biotechnology in New Zealand are clinical research associate, plant breeder, biochemist, and genetic counsellor. 


The average salary of a biotechnology graduate in New Zealand is $113,731 annually. A fresher with one to three years of work experience earns an average pay of $80,479. On the other hand, a senior-level biotechnology scientist with 8+ years of experience earns an average salary of $141,040 annually. 

Top Universities for Biotechnology Courses in New Zealand

To learn more about the best biotechnology courses in New Zealand, find details on the top ranking Biotechnology universities in the EduRank Guide 2024 below:



Acceptance rate


University of Auckland



University of Otago



Massey University



University of Canterbury



Lincoln University



Auckland University of Technology



University of Waikato



Victoria University of Wellington


Study Biotechnology in New Zealand

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

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Is New Zealand good for studying biotechnology?

Biotechnology in New Zealand can be an excellent opportunity for biotechnology students. Programs offered at universities are globally recognised, and students can work as interns or full-time after graduation. 

What are the benefits of getting a biotechnology degree from New Zealand?

A biotechnology degree from New Zealand offers many career opportunities. Graduates in this field can work in various sectors and industries, like biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, fermentation industries, and educational institutions. 

What kind of career opportunities are there in New Zealand after studying biotechnology?

Graduates in biotechnology can work in different sectors, such as pharmaceutical companies, healthcare industries, and government agencies. Some popular careers are clinical research scientists, biochemists, and genetic counsellors. 

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