118.759 Ophthalmology in Small Animal Practice (15 credit)

Lecturer: Mark Billson BVSc PhD DVOphthal DipVetClinStud MANZCVSc MRCVS
Specialist in Veterinary Ophthalmology in Australia

Massey University’s Master of Veterinary Medicine (MVM) Ophthalmology in Small Animal Practice course helps practicing veterinarians become more confident in ophthalmology issues with small animals.

With practical support material and a knowledgeable lecturer, this course will help you manage troubling and often debilitating eye problems with understanding and confidence, benefiting both you and your patients.

What will you learn?

On this course you'll learn:

  • a step-by-step approach to ocular examination.
  • current medical and surgical options available for treatment.
  • confidence in the ongoing management of canine and feline eye diseases - both common and complicated.
  • the range of referral procedures available and when to refer a case for specialist management.

How the course works

Ophthalmology is one of the MVM courses  for postgraduate veterinarians which is taught online via distance learning and led by a recognised international expert in the field.

The course is supported by the latest research, reviews and case material to challenge veterinarians with in-depth, relevant continuing education. Course materials include a printed guide to your reading and assessment which integrates online learning activities such as discussions, quizzes, lessons, library searches, critical evaluation and exercises for self-assessment with reading materials and personal study tasks.

Highlights of the ophthalmology course include:  teacher feedback on case material and the contact course experience.

With the MVM programme you have the flexibility to study when and where you want and the support of the MVM team to gain an internationally-recognised veterinary qualification that will help you in your practice every day.

Your lecturer

Mark graduated from the University of Sydney, Australia in 1990. He was awarded his PhD in 1996 from the University of Sydney before moving to the University of Glasgow to take up a residency in Veterinary Ophthalmology. He obtained the RCVS Certificate in Veterinary Ophthalmology in 1997 and RCVS Diploma in Veterinary Ophthalmology in 1999. He was appointed as a Lecturer in Veterinary Ophthalmology at the University of Glasgow in 2001 before returning to Australia in 2003. Mark became a recognised specialist in Veterinary Ophthalmology in Australia in 2005 and set up the Small Animal Specialist Hospital (SASH) in Sydney in 2007 along with two other specialists where he continues to work. Mark is interested in all aspects of ophthalmology and has a keen interest in ocular pathology. Mark has a strong interest in teaching and providing a unique and rewarding experience for students. He is a regular presenter at CPD events and also contributes to undergraduate teaching of ophthalmology.  He is the current President and an Examiner for the ophthalmology chapter of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists.

Sponsored by

Sound Veterinary Equipment


Course features

In-depth part-time study 24 teaching weeks spread over a 7-8 month period

Learning materials and facilities

  • Study guide
  • Self-assessed activities
  • Electronic library access
  • 3 day workshop face-to-face or an online option for some sessions

Learning community

  • MVM Commons community site
  • Online case discussion required
  • Social forum


  • Portfolio of coursework (two submissions)
  • Online final examination (remote proctoring)

Course requirements

  • Internet access
  • Textbook: Slatter's Fundamentals of Veterinary Ophthalmology, 6th Edition (2018)
    Authors: David Maggs, Paul Miller, and Ron Ofri
    ISBN: 9780323443371 (hardcover)
    Publisher: Elsevier
    You may already have a copy of the 5th edition - this will also be suitable as a core text for the course.

Cost for international students

The fees for each 15-credit course in 2019 are NZ$6746.  Note: fees are revised annually.

*Please note, all prices are approximate based on recent exchange rates and are quoted excluding Goods and Services Tax. Additional non-tuition fees also apply which vary from approx NZD$195-400.

DOMESTIC students:

Fees for domestic students are subsidised by the NZ government. See fees information for domestic students.


Contact workshop (contact course)

In 2019 the contact workshop for Ophthalmology in Small Animal Practice will run alongside those for the Canine and Feline Neurology and Orthopaedic Surgery courses.

The contact workshop is an opportunity for face-to-face time with your class and lecturer. Together you can build on the knowledge you’ve gained on the course through small group teaching, practical sessions and discussions of experiences in your own practice. The new format also provides a great opportunity for you to meet students and staff from other courses within the MVM programme by combining with them for some sessions.

For the best contact workshop experience we recommend that you attend in person. While attendance is highly-recommended it is not compulsory in order to pass the course. If you can’t make it in person you will be able to join some (non-practical) sessions live via the internet (we endeavour to record these sessions for review, but are unable to guarantee the quality of the recording).

dates and timings*

Enrolments open 1 October 2018
Course start 15 July 2019
Exam period 10 - 15 February 2020
Course end 15 February 2020

*Please note: You can still apply for enrolment after the due dates above.
Places cannot be assured after these due dates; but late applications will be considered as long as remaining places are available.
If you have any questions please check with the MVM office to see if you can still enrol.

You may also be interested in online oiled wildlife response training.  This course is available for both veterinarians and non-veterinarians

Massey University

In 2018 Massey University celebrated 55 years of veterinary education.

Read more about the qualifications and courses in the MVM programme, how to enrol and fees, our supportive distance learning community and key dates and timing.


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