massey university food technology

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

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A unique degree in Australasia

Massey University’s Bachelor of Food Technology with Honours is the only degree in Australasia that combines food science, food engineering and food business. Our graduates are highly employable and sought after.

  • Level
  • Undergraduate, NZQF Level 8
  • Credits
  • 480
  • Duration
  • 4 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.

A unique qualification

Massey University’s Bachelor of Food Technology with Honours has been producing graduates for the New Zealand and international food industries for more than 50 years. It is the only degree in Australasia that combines food science, food engineering and food business.

Move straight into work

At the end of the four-year programme, you will be able to move directly into key roles in the food industry (such as product development, process improvement or food engineering) without further training.

Work on real food industry issues

Massey’s food technology programme teaches you the fundamental and applied food technology skills that you will need in your career. You learn not only in the classroom, but practical laboratory and workshop sessions that focus on real industry problems and solutions.


The study of food technology is science and engineering-based. It combines fundamental sciences, mathematics, chemistry and physics – and the more applied sciences and engineering – with business and management.

There are two majors in the Bachelor of Food Technology with Honours degree:

  • Food Product Technology – you’ll learn how to lead and manage food product development from idea generation to product launch
  • Food Process Engineering – you’ll focus on engineering principles, learning how to design processes and use technology to create effective food production systems.

Although you do need to choose one of these majors at enrolment, you can change your mind as you learn more about the food industry during your study. You have until half-way through your third year to make your final specialisation choice.


Majors, subjects or endorsements

Food Process Engineering
Food Product Technology

Careers and further study


When you graduate with your Bachelor of Food Technology with Honours you will find there is a wide range of employment opportunities in New Zealand and around the world.

Career progression in the food industry can be rapid. You may start out in your career in a technical role – often the stepping stone to senior management and leadership positions in the industry, or you could set up your own business. There are many potential roles.

  • Food technologist – researching new foods and drinks and developing new products, packaging or processes.
  • Product development technologist – specifically working on developing a new product from concept to product.
  • Process technologist – improving and fixing food product processes.
  • Process engineer – developing new technology that makes food production processes better.
  • Flavour technologist – developing flavour and texture innovations.
  • Packaging technologist – developing more efficient or sustainable food packaging.

Others include:

  • quality manager
  • food safety manager
  • production team leader
  • technical sales and support
  • winemaker or brewer
  • food microbiologist
  • food chemist.

Sought-after by employers

With your Bachelor of Food Technology with Honours from Massey University, you will be sought-after by the food industry.

Massey graduates are renowned for their ability to co-ordinate product development, process development, quality management and production management. They are also known for their ability to become specialists in specific technical areas such as food microbiology, food chemistry and packaging technology.

Further study

You could further your studies with a postgraduate research project, or become a teacher.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

Entry requirements

University admission

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Programme admission


There are no specific entry requirements for this programme, outside of university admission regulations.

English language requirements

To study this programme you must meet Massey University’s English language standards.


To be successful in your studies we recommend that you have the following:


  • Mathematics: At least 16 NCEA Level 3 credits in Mathematics, normally including two of the following standards: AS91577 (Algebra), AS91578 (Differentiation), or AS91579 (Integration).
  • Physics: At least 16 NCEA Level 3 credits in Physics.
  • Chemistry: At least 14 NCEA level 3 credits in Chemistry.

Cambridge International Examinations

  • Mathematics: A Level: Mathematics (C Grade).
  • Physics: A Level: Physics (C Grade).
  • Chemistry: A Level: Chemistry (C Grade).

International Baccalaureate

  • Mathematics: (5 points Higher Level).
  • Physics: (5 points Higher Level).
  • Chemistry (5 points Higher Level.

Each application will be given individual consideration and assessed on a case by case basis irrespective of recommended prior learning achieved.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

If you do not have the entry requirements

There are some alternative ways to help you enter the Food Technology programme:

Certificate in Science and Technology

This one-semester pathway is for students who need extra preparation in mathematics (160.105 Methods of Mathematics), physics (124.100 Introductory Physics) or chemistry (123.103 Chemistry for Modern Sciences). These courses can be taken separately (depending on your background) or as part of the CertScTech qualification.

Please note you must have achieved 16 Credits in NCEA Level 2 Mathematics (or equivalent) before you enrol into 124.100 Introductory Physics, 160.105 Methods of Mathematics. To find out if you have what it takes, or what you need, to do the introductory courses we recommend that you attempt the relevant quiz here. Once you have completed the test(s), please contact the relevant course coordinator or enquire through this page to discuss your suitability for this course or an alternative pathway.

Diploma in Science and Technology

This two-semester pathway is if you need extra preparation in mathematics, physics or chemistry. This is suitable if you wish to study a wide range of courses and keep your options open to change to another programme.

You can also choose subjects from: biology, programming, statistics, food, accounting, marketing, finance and management.

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and programmes that may help.

Summer School

Summer Compact Courses (at Auckland Campus only)

These courses may be suitable if you need extra preparation in mathematics, physics or chemistry. These courses are an intensive learning experience. You are advised to only take two introductory subjects. Tuition in each course takes six weeks and attendance is required during January and early February. These courses can be taken as a Certificate of Proficiency and can be put towards another qualification in the Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Information Sciences and Bachelor of Business.

If you prefer to study at a slower pace, equivalent preparatory courses are available via distance learning mode: 123.103 Chemistry for Modern Sciences, 124.100 Introductory Physics or 160.105 Methods of Mathematics.

If you are currently completing Year 13 you should apply for discretionary entrance if you intend to begin study over summer before your NCEA Level 3 results (or equivalent) become available in January. See Massey University entry requirements for more information.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

480 credits

From the Schedule to the Degree including:375 credits

Core courses105 credits

Major courses

This is a parts-based qualification. This means there are regulations around your completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two and so forth.

Ensure that you also have 800 hours of practical work experience and complete reports 228.210 and 228.310.

Attend field trips, studios, workshops, tutorials and laboratories as required.

See ‘Courses for this programme’ below for schedules of courses.

Courses for this programme

Part One

120 credits
120101Plant Biology15
123104Chemistry for Biological Systems15
123105Chemistry and the Physical World15
124104Physics 1A: Mechanics and Thermodynamics15
228115Engineering and Technology Principles15
247114Science and Sustainability for Engineering and Technology15

Part Two

120 credits
123201Chemical Energetics15
123271Molecules to Materials15
141211Food Technology 3: Product Development15
141212Food Technology 4: Manufacturing15
228271Engineering Mathematics 215
280201Industrial Microbiology15
280271Heat and Mass – Conservation and Transfer15
280272Fluid Flow and Particle Technology15

Part Three

120 credits
141311Food Technology 5: Food Microbiology and Safety15
141312Food Technology 6: Food Characterisation15
141362Food Formulation Technology15
141395Food Chemistry15
228371Statistical Modelling for Engineers and Technologists15
280371Process Engineering Operations15
280372Reaction Technologies and Process Modelling15

Part Four

120 credits
141710Food Packaging Engineering and Legislation15
141723Industrial Systems Improvement15


Please refer to individual specialisation page for a list of courses for your specialisation.

Majors and minors

About specialisations

Completing a major is compulsory.

Whichever major you enrol in, you will have identical courses for the first 2.5 years of the course. You can change majors at any time up to the end of Semester One in your third year.

Food Process Engineering
Food Product Technology

Planning your programme

Planning overview

The Bachelor of Food Technology with Honours is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part, before moving to the second etc.

There are four parts, made up of eight courses (120 credits) in each part. Each part corresponds to a year of full-time study.

You will complete the first year (Part One) of your studies over two 14-week semesters (Semester One and Semester Twi). You will enrol in four courses per semester (eight courses per year) and pass these courses to progress on to the next part. If you successfully pass all courses in Part One you will progress to Part Two which starts in the February of the following year.

Food Processing Engineering major

Note that the Food Processing Engineering major can be started at the Auckland or Manawatū campuses but the final one and a half years of the programme must be completed at Manawatū. You will need to decide before Semester Two, Year Three begins if you are changing majors or moving to Manawatū campus.

How much time does it take?

You will be expected to spend on average 40 hours per week on study, which includes attendance at lectures, tutorials and laboratories, completing assessments and self-directed study.

How does it work?

The first year is made up of eight courses (120 credits) covering fundamental sciences and technology principles.

For the second and third years, each year is made up of six courses (90 credits) covering core science and engineering, delivering the fundamental knowledge, including key principles a technologist is expected to have. The remaining 30 credits comprise project work in which you will put your knowledge into practice while working on real world problems and tasks, applying the fundamental knowledge gained in other courses.

In the fourth year, there are two 30 credit projects with the remaining 60 credits obtained from four courses.

Year One/Part One

The first year (Part One) provides underpinning knowledge, required for subsequent years, in physics, chemistry and mathematics. These courses cover aspects of biochemistry, biology and statistics. You will also study the engineering and technology fundamentals required to find sustainable solutions to engineering and technology problems.

Year Two/Part Two

Part Two introduces process engineering and industrial microbiology. The two project courses concentrate on product development processes and the development of manufacturing systems.

Year Three/Part Three

Part Three includes substantial studies in food chemistry, food ingredients, food characterisation, food formulation, food microbiology, food process engineering, food reaction kinetics, food process modelling, human nutrition, food legislation and experimental design. The two project courses involve integrating knowledge gained so far via projects on food microbiology and safety, and food characterisation.

Year Four/Part Four

Part Four integrates all knowledge gained in the first three years. You will accumulate further knowledge on business and quality management, innovation and improvement, and food packaging. The Food Process Engineering major will include courses on process control and biochemical processing, while for the Food Product Technology major there are more courses of advanced food technology. In the final year over half of the courses are project courses, with two projects spanning the full year. The projects will cover food product and process development, industrial problem solving and research.

Practical work experience

As part of your degree programme you will have to work for relevant employers for a total of 800 hours during three of your summer vacations. You must work for approved companies in the food manufacturing, distribution, retail or food service sectors, and you will be required to submit two reports on your experiences.

Practical work requirements


228.210 Practicum I
228.310 Practicum II

A requirement of the Bachelor of Food Technology with Honours is to complete two periods of practical work over the study breaks of the academic year in the second and third years of study, respectively. To access the Engineering and Technology Practicum Stream site you need to have enrolled into the practicum course relevant for the period.

The practical work employment should total a minimum of 800 hours over the two periods (with no less than 200 hours for a period) and you are required to submit a written report for each period completed. The work undertaken should be related to your major.

If you have already completed 228.110, you will still need to do 228.210 and 228.310 as these courses are compulsory. However, the hours recorded for 228.110 will be included in the calculation of the total hours. The minimum for each course is 150 hours and total hours should be no less than 800 hours.

You may be permitted to complete the practical work periods overseas but the host company and proposed work must be approved by your mentor prior to beginning the practical work period.  This is identical to the process for practical work carried out within New Zealand. The host company’s manager (or equivalent) must be able to read and fill in the Massey University’s Practical Work Hours Sign-Off Form, which certifies the number of hours you have worked and assess you against the graduate profile.

Failure to complete this practical work prevents you from graduating as it is a mandatory requirement.

If you require any further information which is not available on our website for the above courses, please contact Academic Advice or contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have questions about your study.

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete some undergraduate and all postgraduate qualifications. If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

If you complete this programme within the stated time limit, you will normally be able to graduate with a class of Honours.

Look for further information under ‘Student Progression’ in the regulations for this programme.

More information

  • Read the regulations for this programme thoroughly
  • Contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Typical pattern for the Bachelor of Food Technology with Honours

Core courses These courses are a compulsory part of your qualification.

Major courses Choose from a selection of courses appropriate for your specialisation.

Year one
120.101 Plant Biology
123.104 Chemistry for Biological Systems
123.105 Chemistry & the Physical World
124.104 Physics 1A: Mechanics & Thermodynamics
160.101 Calculus
160.102 Algebra
228.115 Engineering & Technology Principles
247.111 Science & Sustainability for Engineering & Technology
Year two
123.201 Chemical Energetics
123.271 Molecules to Materials
141.211 Food Technology 3: Product Development
141.212 Food Technology 4: Manufacturing
228.271 Engineering Mathematics 2
280.201 Industrial Microbiology
280.271 Heat & Mass – Conservation & Transfer
280.272 Fluid Flow & Particle Technology
228.210 Practicum I
0 credits
Year three
141.311Food Technology 5: Food Microbiology & Safety
141.312 Food Technology 6: Food Characterisation
141.362 Food Formulation Technology
141.395 Food Chemistry
228.371 Statistical Modelling for Engineers & Technologists
280.371 Process Engineering Operations
280.372 Reaction Technologies & Process Modelling
300-level major
228.310 Practicum II
0 credits


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