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Group 1 International students - pathway to the BVSc

Group 1 students are international students who come to New Zealand and complete the pre-selection semester in order to prove their capability for the professional phase.  Group 1 students usually either do not meet all of the eligibility criteria for Group 2, or met the criteria but were not ranked highly enough to be offered a Group 2 position.  

In 2022, Group 1 students may be in New Zealand (on-shore) or may be studying by distance (off-shore).  Please ensure that as you read the information below you are noting the correct information for whether or not you are on-shore or off-shore.


If you are an on-shore Group 1 international applicant you must undertake your Semester One study, whether it is in the BVSc Pre-selection semester or another programme in the Pre-selection phase, at the Massey University Manawatū campus if either:

If you are an off-shore Group 1 international applicant you must undertake your Semester One study via distance.

All Group 1 applicants - If you have completed any prior university study then you need to contact a specialist veterinary academic adviser in Academic Advice at Massey University to seek written advice regarding:

  • which grades or credits from your previous study are relevant to your selection application, or
  • whether the location and courses in your planned study content will be eligible for veterinary selection.

All Group 1 international students will need to complete two admission applications – one for the BVSc Pre-selection semester and a second for the BVSc professional phase by the due dates below (late applications are not accepted for the professional phase).  

Admission due dates

Documentation required

As a Group 1 international you will need to submit the following documentation as part of your BVSc Pre-selection admission application:

  • A verified copy of your birth certificate or a valid passport that will not expire during your time in New Zealand.
  • Evidence you have met our International English Language entrance requirements. Request your English language proficiency scores be sent to Massey University. We require different IELTS requirements for entry into the pre-selection and professional phases.
    • BVSc Pre-selection semester – minimum IELTS score of 6.0 (with no band less than 5.5).
    • BVSc Professional Phase – minimum IELTS score of 7.0 in every band.
      Applicants from countries where English is the recognised first language (eg USA, Canada, UK etc.) OR the applicant has completed at least 6 years of secondary school and/or tertiary education in English may be exempted from this requirement (must supply written evidence to support an exemption).
  • The Veterinary Practical Work Experience Verification form completed by a veterinarian(s) confirming you have completed at least 10 full days (80 hours) veterinary clinic experience within the last three years.
  • Official academic transcripts from ALL your previously completed university courses (if any).

For any questions regarding admission to Massey University email

Veterinary Programme Supplementary Application

Once you have submitted your BVSc Professional Phase application you will be granted access to a BVSc Applicants stream site where you will be required to complete a Veterinary Programme Supplementary Application by the date below.  Access is granted to the stream site after the due date for admission of your BVSc Professional Phase application.

If you fail to submit the Veterinary Programme Supplementary Application by the deadline you will not be considered any further in the selection process for that year. The total number of times you can apply for the BVSc professional phase regardless of pathway is limited to THREE (3), counted from 2020 academic year.  Submission of your Veterinary Programme Supplementary Application constitutes an application for this purpose.  

Veterinary Programme Supplementary Application due date

  • 9 March

Selection Application Fee

There is a fee associated with applying for selection into the BVSc professional phase.  If you submit the Veterinary Programme Supplementary Application you will have the fee invoiced against your student account at Massey University by 31 March. The selection application fee is non-refundable and is not covered by student loans (StudyLink).

Selection Process - Overview

The process for selection into the professional phase consists of two stages, both of which take place in Semester One.

Stage 1 – Shortlisting

You will participate in the two Stage 1 selection assessments – CASPer and the STAT (online). More information about timing and venues for these assessments is below. Results are combined into a Stage 1 score based on CASPer (50%) and STAT (50%). Applicants are then ranked by their Stage 1 scores, with applicants invited in order of rank to participate in Stage 2 of the selection process. There will be up to 60 interview places for Group 1 international students. 

If you are not invited to Stage 2, you will be waitlisted in the event a Stage 2 position subsequently becomes available.

If you have completed prior tertiary studies a GPA will be calculated for your prior university study and if you have a low GPA, we will calculate the maximum possible GPA that you could achieve by the end of the semester by including 60 credits at A+ level. If your maximum possible GPA is lower than the minimum GPA for eligibility (5.0) you will not be invited to Stage 2 and will not be waitlisted for Stage 2.

Stage 1 - key dates (TBC for 2022)

Sit CASPer: 23 March, 12:15pm (New Zealand timezone)
Sit STAT:  TBC (testing window)

Stage 2 – Final Selection

If you are invited and accept the invitation to Stage 2 of the selection process, you will then participate in a online, asynchronous multiple mini interview (MMI). You must accept your Stage 2 invitation to participate in the MMI or your MMI place will be forfeited and allocated to another applicant. 

At the end of Semester One, a Stage 2 selection score for each applicant will be calculated based on GPA (50%) and MMI performance (50%). More information on the MMI process and calculation of GPA is below. This Stage 2 selection score will be used to rank applicants who have met all of the minimum eligibility criteria (see below) for offers into the BVSc professional phase.

Minimum Eligibility Criteria

You must meet all of the following minimum eligibility criteria to be considered as eligible for selection into the BVSc professional phase as a Group 1 international applicant:

  • Submit all applications by the specified due dates
  • Complete 10 full days (80 hours) of pre-entry veterinary practical work experience and you must submit the official verification form by the due date.
  • Evidence you have met our International English Language entry requirements
  • Pass all the prerequisite courses
  • Complete all selection assessments (CASPer, STAT and MMI)
  • Obtain a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of a 5.0 (B Grade)

Please note that the actual GPA for selection will likely be higher than the minimum for eligibility depending on the number, and academic ability, of the applicants each year. 

Pre-entry Veterinary Practical Work Experience

As a Group 1 international it is highly recommended for you to complete the Veterinary Practical work experience before the start of semester 1.

Due to the interruptions from COVID19 during 2020-21, some applicants have found it difficult to complete placements. In 2022 only, we have amended the work experience to be an expectation that applicants have completed the 10 days of veterinary practical work experience, rather than a compulsory requirement for selection in 2022. The veterinary work experience is for your benefit to see some of the reality of veterinary clinical practice and as such all applicants are expected to undertake as much of this experience as possible.

If you are unable to complete the full 10 days, please submit a veterinary practical work experience verification form with your personal details and in the explanatory comments section note the number of days that you were unable to complete and your reason.

You will need to complete the  Veterinary Practical Work Experience Verification form (518 KB) and submit by the due date.

You must complete 10 days (total ≥80 hours) of veterinary practical work experience in a veterinary clinic(s) or hospital(s) within three years of starting the professional phase of the degree. This may be completed in New Zealand or overseas. Your should complete this BEFORE you start the pre-selection semester as you won’t have time to complete it after the semester starts. For your preparation, we recommend (but do not require) that you complete one week of small animal and one week of large animal experience.

Veterinary Practical Work Experience Verification due date

  • 26 April

Prerequisite courses

The four prerequisite courses for selection into the professional phase of the BVSc are offered in Semester One and must be completed at the Manawatū Campus if you are currently in New Zealand.  If you are not able to enter into New Zealand due to current border restrictions then you are able to complete the prerequisite courses online in Semester One 2022.  When you apply for admission you can only choose the Manawatū campus even if you are off-shore.  Once you have submitted the application our admissions team will check your details and change you to the distance offering if you are off-shore. 

If you have not undertaken any university study you must enrol in and pass all of these courses to be eligible for selection into the professional phase. If you have done some university study, please email and in the subject line write “Vet selection advice” so that we can advise you which prerequisite courses you may be given credit for.

123.104 Chemistry for Biological Systems
124.103 Biophysical Principles
162.101 Cell Biology
199.103 Animals and the Environment

Selection Assessments – Further information


CASPer is an 90-minute online, video-scenario format, situational judgement test. In this assessment you will be presented with a set of video format scenarios that might be experienced by people in everyday life. For each scenario you will be asked to type open-ended responses to questions in a set period of time. You will also be asked to type open-ended responses to some non-video based questions. You may find it helpful to develop your typing skills for this assessment and as a general skill.

CASPer is offered as an online test by an external provider on a fixed date and time, so you can complete this assessment anywhere you have access to a computer with a webcam and excellent internet access (broadband or fibre). There is a fee for sitting the CASPer assessment which you will need to pay with the providers of CASPer online when you register for the assessment.

In 2022, CASPer will be held on 23 March at 12.15pm (TBC)


The STAT (Special Tertiary Admissions Test) is a two-hour multiple choice question test designed to assess your ability to understand, analyse and think critically about written and numerical material. See STAT info and practice questions(PDF) for further information about the STAT F and sample questions.

All applicants must sit the online STAT test in 2022 irrespective of whether you studying on-shore or off-shore.  If an applicant is reapplying and they completed the online STAT test through Massey University in 2021, they may choose to re-use their previous online STAT score.  However, if an applicant chooses to re-sit the online STAT test, then the most recent score will be used (irrespective of whether or not it is the highest).

The testing window is TBC.

Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)

The online, asynchronous MMI consists of a round of 8 short scenarios.  At each interview station, you will be presented with a hypothetical scenario that might be experienced by veterinary students during the course of their training and questions about the scenario.  In each station you have two minutes to read the scenario, prepare your thoughts, and make notes to help you respond to the scenario questions.  At two minutes, recording will begin and you can explain your responses to the scenario questions. When you are finished or at the end of the recording time, you move to the next interview station where the process is repeated.  You will have one attempt to record your response to each scenario.  There will be raters who will watch your recordings and will score your responses.

We utilise the MMI format of interview as research demonstrates significant benefits of this format over traditional panel or one-on-one interviews. One benefit is that the MMI enables multiple assessments of an applicant’s abilities by different interviewers, which increases the reliability of the assessment.

The date of the MMI will be advised on the BVSc Applicants stream site.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The grade point average (GPA) is a calculation that gives a number (0 - 9) representing an applicant’s average academic performance over time. Grades from courses eligible to be included in the GPA calculation are converted to a grade score and the following formula is used for GPA calculation:

GPA = ∑ (University Grade Scores x Subject Credits)
                                  Total Credits

Grade scores from 0 to 9.0 are used as follows:










D, E, F, or DC











The determination of grades for courses is outside of the remit of the veterinary student selection sub-committee. Any questions or concerns regarding grades from Massey University courses should be directed to the course coordinator or examinations.

Where an applicant has no prior university study, their GPA will be calculated from the four prerequisite courses for selection into the professional phase of the BVSc (“prerequisite courses”) calculated as described above.

Where an applicant has completed any prior university study (including university courses taken while in high school), their GPA will be calculated as described above following an extensive set of rules that take into account the applicant’s previous and current university study.

To reliably determine which grades will be included in the GPA for selection into the professional phase of the BVSc, an applicant with prior university study should contact a specialist veterinary academic adviser in Academic Advice at Massey University and put “Vet Selection advice” in the subject line so appropriate written advice can be given. Applicants may only rely upon such written advice regarding their GPA calculation for selection. To receive reliable written advice before the start of semester, applicants need to email the advisors by 1 February for Semester One and by 30 June for Semester Two.

Only grades that are available to the Selection Committee by 12 noon on the date of the Veterinary Student Selection Appeals Committee meeting can be considered for selection into the professional phase of the BVSc in that year. Grades finalised or changed after this time can only be considered for inclusion in the GPA calculation for future applications for selection.

See the GPA Calculation Regulations for Veterinary Science.

If you are not invited to Stage 2 or not selected into the professional phase

If you are not invited to Stage 2, or progress to Stage 2 but are not selected into the professional phase of the BVSc, we recommend that you seek Academic Advice  on progressing into another university qualification starting in Semester Two.  The prerequisite courses you pass in Semester One will transfer directly into the Bachelor of Animal Science, several majors in the Bachelor of Science, and may be compulsory or elective courses within other qualifications at Massey University.

If you are intending to reapply for entry into the BVSc professional phase in the future, we strongly recommend you have your courses approved in writing PRIOR TO STARTING THEM by a specialist veterinary academic adviser in Academic Advice to confirm your planned course of study will be eligible for re-selection. Failure to seek such confirmation will not be considered an adequate reason to appeal non-selection. Please be aware of the restriction on the number of times you can apply for selection into the BVSc professional phase (see above).

Special Consideration Application

If you believe you have been subject to difficult circumstances outside of your control, you may apply for Special Consideration of your application.  Special Consideration applications are considered by the Veterinary Student Selection Committee twice per year; first meeting in February and the second after the end of Semester One. The Committee’s decision on your Special Consideration application is final and cannot be appealed.

The Special Consideration application only allows for consideration of difficult personal circumstances outside of your control that are not adequately covered by the Aegrotat/impaired performance process (e.g. ongoing medical problems, multiple events in a semester etc.). Special Consideration applications will not be considered where they relate to circumstances that are adequately covered by the Aegrotat/impaired performance procedure, such as acute personal circumstances that impair preparation for, attendance at, or performance in an assessment.

There are two outcomes for which you can apply for special consideration. The first is for removal of a semester (or more) of grades from your GPA for selection, while the second is to have an application attempt removed from your total attempt count. The Committee will not change your selection outcome (i.e. from not selected to selected) on the basis of a Special Consideration application.

Removal of grades

In your application you will need to explain what the difficult circumstances were, how these circumstances affected your academic performance, and which semester(s) of grades you are seeking to have removed from your GPA.

If your application is approved, the Committee may elect to remove the grades of one or more semesters from your GPA calculation, so that your selection is based only on grades from semesters unaffected by the difficult circumstances.  In order to be eligible for selection either that year or in a future selection application, following the exclusion of grades on the basis of a Special Consideration application (or applications) you must have completed at least two unaffected semesters. For students who are completing a semester to create a GPA for selection, this will mean they will not be eligible in that year of application.

Removal of selection attempt from total attempt count

In your application you will need to explain what the difficult circumstances were and why these should be considered for removal of a selection attempt from your total attempt count.  Students will need to state which selection attempt (academic year) you are seeking to have the attempt removed.  If your application is approved, the Committee may elect to remove your selection applications from your total attempt count.

Applying for Special Consideration

To apply for Special Consideration you must submit the following to the Veterinary Student Selection Committee:

  • A completed Special Consideration application form with appropriate explanation as outlined above, and that specifies whether you are seeking removal of grades and/or removal of selection attempt from total attempt count.
  • A personal statement to explain the difficult circumstance(s) AND the effect of those circumstances on you.  The personal statement is attached to the application.
  • Appropriate verification (evidence) of your difficult circumstance(s) and the effect the circumstance(s) had on you.  Appropriate verification would vary by circumstance but would usually be from a medical professional (doctor, counsellor etc.) and would follow similar guidelines to Aegrotat/impaired performance applications.  Verification by family members or friends is not appropriate and will not be considered.
  • A copy of your academic transcript for any study you have completed outside Massey University.

Special Consideration Application 

Appealing your selection outcome

The BVSc professional phase selection process has been approved by the Veterinary Programmes Committee. If you are not selected into the professional phase of the BVSc, you have a right to appeal your selection outcome subject to the following:

  • The grounds for appeal can only be based on procedural irregularities relating to the selection assessments or decision-making process.
  • No appeal will be allowed based on dissatisfaction with the judgement of the assessors (such as the choice of assessment questions or the scores or ratings from assessments).
  • No appeal will be allowed on grounds relating to circumstances affecting your performance on the assessments. You may be able to apply for Special Consideration to the Veterinary Student Selection Committee by June 30 in the year you are applying for selection (see above).

Examples of appeals that cannot be considered include:

  • You, your family, a veterinarian or any other person think you would make a great veterinarian.
  • You have a lot of experience with animals or are very practical.
  • A course grade is lower than that which you feel you deserved.
  • That you didn't seek confirmation of which of your grades would be included in your GPA for selection, or that you did not understand the GPA guidelines.

To appeal your selection outcome you must apply to the Veterinary Student Selection Appeals Sub-Committee by the specified due date.  You must complete the Veterinary Student Selection Appeal form outlining the grounds of the appeal and submit any supporting evidence by the due date. The date/time of the selection appeal meeting will be confirmed on the stream site by 1 May.

Selection Appeal Application