118.775 Advanced Mastitis Management for the Production Animal Veterinarian (15 credit)

Lecturer: Andrew Biggs BVSc MRCVS

Mastitis is one of the mostly costly production diseases affecting dairy cows. This course will help you increase your knowledge of the aetiology, epidemiology, management and prevention of bovine mastitis. It will focus on a preventative approach including: husbandry, housing and the environment, milking technique and hardware, as well as the investigation of herd problems.

Please note: Courses are revised following each offering. Details of content, assessment and cost are subject to change between offerings.

What will you learn?

On this course you will learn:

  • to identify the major drivers of disease within a herd and formulate a prioritised mastitis control plan which tailors management to the pathogen involved
  • about the impact the environment and housing can have on influencing mastitis rates both within lactation and the dry period
  • to appraise milking machine installations, their design and function, to create and optimise milking routines for real case herds
  • to integrate data from farm records, bulk tank and individual cow somatic cell count data, milking machine service reports, culture or PCR results  with on-farm  observations to formulate a herd specific mastitis control plan which is practical, affordable and achievable. 

How the course works

This course is taught via distance learning (you may know it as continuing education, distance education or continuing professional development) by a recognised international expert in his field.

Andrew will use his own reference text book and a mixture of recent literature, multimedia presentations, videos and discussions to refresh and refine your knowledge. Improve your knowledge and communication skills by participating in case-based discussions that tackle real life mastitis problems. Learn to obtain a holistic overview and then target advice and changes to deliver the best return to the farmer in terms of animal health, management effort and financial input.

Your lecturer

Married to Vikki, Andrew Biggs has three grown up children, two sons who are mechanical engineers and one daughter who is a teacher. His hobbies are music, playing squash, go karting and sailing.

He qualified from Liverpool Veterinary School UK in 1981 and is now a partner in a 20 vet mixed practice in Devon, UK. He runs a commercial laboratory which processes milk and bedding samples and is also involved in trial work and pharmaceutical company funded practice mastitis support schemes.

Andrew has experience of teaching, examining and mastitis consultancy ranging from under- to postgraduate veterinarians and farmer to pharmaceutical company. He also provides consultancy on bovine tuberculosis for both the English and Welsh governments. A founder member of the European Mastitis Panel, he has been president of his local veterinary association and the British Cattle Veterinary Association. He is currently an honorary fellow lecturer at the Royal Veterinary College London and a member of the Nottingham Veterinary School Dairy Herd Health Group.

Course features

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

Learning materials and facilities

  • 3 day workshop: face to face as well as streamed online 
  • Study guide
  • Electronic library access

Learning community

  • Social forum
  • Lecturer facilitated online case discussions


  • Case study report
  • Online assessment
  • Final paper-based exam in a centre near you

Course requirements

  • High speed internet access is required for this course to enable you to access full online content with ease
  • Textbook:
    A Biggs, Mastitis in Cattle (2009)
    Crowood Press Ltd., Ramsbury, UK.
    ISBN 978 1 84797 071 8

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 NZ$195-400.

DOMESTIC students:

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

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 2017
Course start 26 February 2018
Exam period 29 October – 14 November 2018
Course end 14 November 2018

*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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