Bachelor of Veterinary Science – BVSc

By studying veterinary science at Massey University, you’ll join a world-leading veterinary qualification that will qualify you to work as a veterinarian in many different areas.

Bachelor of Veterinary Science Semester One applications

To apply, please see the pre-selection semester page

BVSc selection process

The selection process is changing for 2023. Please read the “Entry Requirements” information thoroughly for more details.

Type of qualification

Bachelor's degree

Level of study

Undergraduate study

An undergraduate qualification is usually the first one you study.

More about study levels

NZQF level 7

Our courses follow the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) levels.

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

5 years full-time (600 credits)
Up to 8 years part-time

Where you can study

Manawatū campus (Palmerston North)

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand
Note: This is the professional phase (selected entry) of the BVSc

Study a Bachelor of Veterinary Science – BVSc

By studying at Massey you’ll join a highly ranked, world-class veterinary science qualification that will open up career options in a wide variety of rewarding areas relating to animal and human health. Massey’s veterinary degree is highly ranked globally and widely accredited. Our graduates work in many countries including the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the UK, and Asia.

Great facilities

Massey University is the veterinary school for the whole of New Zealand. So it is a key focus for Massey University and we have some of the best facilities in Australasia. You can see some of them in our Behind the Scenes virtual tour. We’re also currently building more great facilities that will make our future veterinary students’ learning experience even better.                         

Degree structure overview

Our Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc), is a five-year (10 semester) qualification offered solely on the Manawatū campus in Palmerston North. The first semester (starting in February) is referred to as the ‘pre-selection’ semester. Depending on your performance in the pre-selection semester courses and selection assessments, you may be selected to the ‘professional phase’ (4.5 years long) beginning in July. Selection is competitive so it pays to come well prepared for the pre-selection semester.  Make sure you work on your communication and interpersonal skills and get a good background in the sciences before joining us.

Professional veterinary training

If you’re selected into the professional phase, you’ll be well trained in a broad range of animal species. You’ll get hands-on experiences from day one and develop problem-solving skills, while learning everything you need to work as a veterinarian. You’ll spend the final year on clinical placements and have the opportunity to focus more in an area of interest. In line with the international recognition of this degree, you will find the study rigorous, challenging and interesting.

International students

Many international students study veterinary science with Massey. We understand it takes a special kind of person to choose to complete their veterinary degree abroad and we welcome you to join us.

Fast track your veterinary career

In New Zealand, professional training qualifications (like medicine, vet and law) are undergraduate degrees, so you don’t need a previous degree to study. Whether you’ve recently completed high school or have already done a couple of years or even a degree at university, you can join us to become a veterinarian in a total of five years or less.

The Massey veterinary degree is one of the fastest paths to becoming a fully qualified veterinarian, who is accredited to work in many countries (e.g. USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, NZ, South Africa and others). By spending fewer years at university, you can start your veterinary career sooner and save on tuition fees.

Renowned for an excellent lifestyle, New Zealand is a great place to study abroad for your American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited veterinary degree.

A note for Canadian and American applicants

An undergraduate veterinary degree is a different educational model than you would be used to. However, as our degree is accredited by the Canadian and American Veterinary Medical Associations, you can be confident that it is recognized as the equivalent of a DVM degree from a North American vet school. This means you can return and work in the same way as if you had graduated from a vet school there.

A BVSc is a good fit if you:

  • do well in science and mathematics
  • like solving problems and are self-motivated
  • want a challenging and rewarding career working with animals.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

The Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) is a five-year degree divided into two phases:

  • Pre-selection phase (a minimum of one semester). Entry into the pre-selection semester is open to anyone who meets the Massey University admission requirements.
  • Professional phase (9 semesters – 4.5 years). Entry to the professional phase is by selection based on academic performance, non-academic performance, and relevant experience.

Expected high school preparation

Successfully completing the following NCEA subjects (or equivalent in Cambridge International Examinations, International Baccalaureate etc) should give you the background knowledge to pass the prerequisite courses.

  • At least 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 Biology.
  • At least 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 Chemistry.
  • At least 14 credits of NCEA Level 2 Physics
  • At least 14 credits of NCEA Level 2 Mathematics

However, the more science and maths experience you have, the better prepared you will be to do well enough in the pre-requisite courses to meet the requirements for selection into the professional phase of the BVSc. If you haven’t done this level of science, contact us through the “Get advice” button on this page and we can discuss programmes to help you get ready for the pre-requisite courses. Put “vet selection advice” as the first line of your enquiry.

Phase 1: Pre-selection semester

The pre-selection semester for the BVSc is offered at the Manawatū Campus in Semester One beginning in late February each year. It is your opportunity to show us you have what it takes to become a veterinarian. You’ll complete the pre-requisite courses and a range of selection assessments. You’ll need to do well in these to be selected into the professional phase, so work on your communication and interpersonal skills and get a good background in the sciences before joining us for the pre-selection semester.

Phase 2: Professional phase

The professional phase of the BVSc is essentially ‘vet school’. It starts in Semester Two (mid-July) at the Manawatū Campus. There are usually more applicants than the number of places available in the professional phase (domestic students ~3-4 times, international students ~2 times), so there is a selection process. Selection is competitive, so make sure you come prepared.

If you are selected into the professional phase, over the next 4.5 years you will take courses which cover everything needed to become a qualified veterinarian. Please refer to the ‘Courses and Planning’ tab to see the courses in the professional phase.

Important notes regarding veterinary selection

The total number of times you can apply for the BVSc professional phase regardless of group is limited to THREE (3). Attempts from 2020 onwards are counted.

The selection process to enter the professional phase is complex, so you should seek written advice about any questions you may have from a specialist veterinary academic adviser in the Academic Advice team at Massey University. This is especially important if you have completed any previous university-level study.

Contact an academic adviser through the Get advice button and note “vet selection advice” as the first line of your enquiry. Please do not seek advice about veterinary selection from any other university staff members, as only the specialist veterinary academic advisers are trained regarding the many factors that must be considered. Please remember that in your application for admission you have agreed that you will not rely on verbal advice.

Professional phase selection – finding the right group for you

You’ll apply for selection in one of four application groups. There is some guidance below about the groups, but ultimately the university will determine the correct group for you based on whether you are a domestic or international applicant and your university study history.

How do I know if I am a domestic or international student?

Do you have NZ citizenship or residency, or are you an Australian citizen or permanent resident who will be living in New Zealand when you study? If yes, then you are a domestic student (even if you have citizenship in another country). If not, then you are an international student.

Selection overview by Group

The selection process for each group is summarised below. The full details are outlined in the Veterinary Student Selection Regulations, which are confirmed annually by the Veterinary Student Selection Committee.

Eligibility for selection into the professional phase

For each group, you must meet the eligibility criteria which are:

  • Submit all applications by the specified due dates
  • Complete 40 hours of pre-entry veterinary practical work experience. (Please refer to the “Before you start” section for more information.)
  • Pass all of the pre-requisite courses. (Please refer to the “Courses and Specialisations" section to see the pre-requisite courses.)
  • Complete all selection assessments required for your Group.
  • Have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 5.0 or greater (B Grade)

For international applicants - if you are from a country where English is not the first language you must show evidence of English language competence that meets the requirements of the Veterinary Council of New Zealand (see below).

Domestic Students

Have you already studied at least one full time semester of university in NZ or Australia (excluding university classes taken in high school or sub degree/foundation/prep level classes)? If not, you are considered a new to university (“new to uni”) applicant. If you have, then you’re a prior university experience (“prior uni”) applicant

Group A. Domestic new to university applicants

A1 – New to uni - General pathway. You will complete the pre-selection semester and take the four pre-requisite courses on the Manawatū campus. There are two stages in the selection process. In Stage One, you’ll sit the Casper and STAT assessments (see below) and your results in these assessments will determine if you’re invited to Stage Two. If you’re invited to Stage Two, you’ll participate in the multiple-mini-interview ('MMI'; see below).  Your final selection will be based on whether you’ve met the academic entry bar (Grade Point Average, GPA ≥ 5) and passed all the pre-requisite courses, and you’ll be ranked on the basis of your MMI and Casper results. The general pathway is the default for domestic students.

A2 – New to uni - VetMAP pathway. You will complete the pre-selection semester and take the four pre-requisite courses on the Manawatū campus. Your selection has one stage and your final selection will be based on holistic consideration of all your selection assessments (the multiple-mini-interview, STAT and Casper assessments), whether you’ve met the academic entry bar (GPA ≥ 5) and passed all the pre-requisite courses, engagement with the VetMAP programme and feedback from the VetMAP staff. The VetMAP pathway may be chosen by Indigenous domestic students (i.e. Māori whakapapa or Indigenous Pacific ancestry).

VetMAP applicants must complete this application form ideally by November 1 to allow time for early assessment. The absolute deadline is February 1 of the year they are applying for selection.

Group B. Domestic prior university experience applicants

As a prior uni applicant, you may be a graduate from any university, or an undergraduate student at Massey University. You can only apply as an undergraduate student in your second or subsequent years if you are progressing in an appropriate, set of full-time courses that will enable you to complete your specified major in the minimum time (e.g. 3-years for most bachelor degrees). We can only make that determination for students at Massey, hence the restriction to Massey undergraduate students.

B1 – Prior uni - General pathway. There are two stages in the selection process. In Stage One, you’ll sit Casper (see below). You’ll need a previous Grade Point Average (GPA) of ≥4 and a Casper score above the minimum cut-off determined for that year to be invited to Stage Two. Check with a veterinary advisor about your GPA before submitting your professional phase application. If you’re invited to Stage Two, you’ll participate in the multiple-mini-interview (MMI) (see below).  Your final selection will be based on whether you’ve met the academic entry bar (GPA ≥ 5), and passed all the pre-requisite courses, and you’ll be ranked on the basis of your MMI and Casper results. The general pathway is the default for domestic students.

B2 – Prior uni - VetMAP pathway. Your selection has one stage and your final selection will be based on holistic consideration of all your selection assessments (the multiple-mini-interview and Casper), whether you’ve met the academic entry bar (GPA ≥ 5) and passed all the pre-requisite courses, engagement with the VetMAP programme and feedback from the VetMAP staff. The VetMAP pathway may be chosen by Indigenous domestic students (i.e. Māori whakapapa or Indigenous Pacific ancestry).

VetMAP applicants must complete this application form, ideally by November 1 to allow time for early assessment. The absolute deadline is February 1 of the year they are applying for selection.

International students

Group 1. International Applicants

Group 1 international students complete the pre-selection semester at Massey University in order to prove their capability for the professional phase. Group 1 students either do not meet all the eligibility criteria for Group 2 or met the criteria but were not ranked highly enough to be offered a Group 2 position.

As a Group 1 applicant, you will complete the pre-selection semester and take the four pre-requisite courses (or alternate science courses if you have credit for the pre-requisite courses). There are two stages in the selection process. In Stage One, you’ll sit the Casper and STAT assessments (see below) and your results in these assessments will determine if you’re invited to Stage Two. If you’re invited to Stage Two, you’ll participate in the multiple-mini-interview (MMI).  Your final selection will be based on whether you’ve met the academic entry bar (Grade Point Average or GPA ≥ 5) and passed all the pre-requisite courses, and you’ll be ranked on the basis of your MMI and Casper results.

If you are not selected into the Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) at your first attempt, you can continue to study sciences at Massey University and reapply for selection.

Group 2. International applicants (includes VMCAS applicants)

Group 2 international students apply for entry into the professional phase of the Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) based on their academic performance in an appropriate undergraduate or postgraduate science degree at a university or college overseas.

You may be eligible for Group 2 if you are an international student who has:

  • Completed at least one year of full-time largely science-based study overseas at the time of applying, AND
  • Completed the equivalent of our pre-requisite courses AND
  • A GPA ≥ 5 (equivalent to a B average or GPA ≥ 3 in North America).

There are two stages in the selection process as a Group 2 applicant. In Stage One, you will be assessed for eligibility for selection to the professional phase. If you don’t meet the eligibility criteria you’ll be declined for Group 2, and have the option to apply for Group 1. If you meet the eligibility criteria your application will be reviewed, with a strong emphasis on GPA, to decide if you’ll be invited to a live zoom interview with a Massey representative.  Following this, applicants will be ranked for offers based on their GPA and interview scores.

Casper

Casper is a two-hour online assessment. In this assessment you will be presented with a set of written or video format scenarios that might be experienced by people in everyday life. For each scenario you will be asked to type or record open-ended responses to questions in a set period of time. You may find it helpful to develop your typing skills for this assessment and as a general skill. Casper is usually offered in March each year.

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). Read more about Casper.

STAT

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 and sample questions. The STAT test is usually offered in March each year. Group A domestic students and Group 1 international students sit the STAT test. Group B domestic and Group 2 international students do not site the STAT test.

If you are applying as a Group A domestic or Group 1 international student and have previously sat the STAT test in 2022, you can choose to use your STAT score from 2022, or resit it in 2023.  If you resit the STAT, we will use the most recent score.  You will need to contact the Academic Advisors to find out your STAT score.

Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)

The MMI consists of a round of 8 short structured interviews each lasting 8 minutes (for a total of 64 minutes). 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. Before the start of each interview, you have a short time to read the scenario, prepare your thoughts, and make notes to help you respond to the scenario questions. You then enter the interview room and explain your responses to the scenario questions to the interviewer. When you are finished or at the end of 8 minutes, you move to the next interview station where the process is repeated. The MMI is usually offered in May each year.

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.

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. Where an applicant has no prior university study, their GPA will be calculated from the four prerequisite courses. Where an applicant has completed any prior university study (including university courses taken while in high school), their GPA will be calculated following an extensive set of rules that take into account the applicant’s previous and current university study.

If you have prior university experience and want to know what your GPA is currently or what courses will be included in your GPA calculation, contact a specialist veterinary academic advisor using the “Get Advice” button and put “Vet Selection advice” in the first line of your query. 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.

Determining 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.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

If you’re already a student in a veterinary degree elsewhere and you’re interested in transferring into our veterinary degree, contact us through the Get advice button on this page and note “vet selection advice” in the first line of your enquiry. Please note that transfer is not guaranteed and is subject to space being available in the appropriate class for you, your academic history, as well as other factors.

English language skills

International applicants who are from a country where English is not the first language must show evidence of English language competence that meets the requirements of the Veterinary Council of New Zealand as outlined in their Policy on English Competence.  If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Can't meet the entry requirements?

Contact one of our veterinary advisors through the Get advice button on this page. They can talk to you about your options to get prepared for the pre-selection semester.

Special Consideration Application

The Special Consideration application 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.

Complete and submit the Special Consideration Application form by 31 January or 30 June.  Please click on the link to the form to view documentation required for your application.

More detail can be found on the BVSc applicants stream page which is for applicants in the year that they are applying.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations or this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions, and note “vet selection advice” in the first line of your enquiry.

Structure of the Bachelor of Veterinary Science

The Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) is a 5-year degree divided into two phases: a pre-selection phase (a minimum of one semester) followed by a professional phase (9 semesters – 4.5 years).

Bachelor of Veterinary Science planning overview

Practical experience during the degree

Once selected into the professional phase of the BVSc you will complete ~21 weeks of farm and veterinary practical work.  This practical work is usually completed during semester and summer breaks of Years 1-4.  More detail is provided to selected students when they begin the professional phase.

Withdrawal from Veterinary Study

Veterinary students have the option to take some time out of their studies. This might be to take advantage of an amazing opportunity, or for health or wellbeing reasons. In the School of Veterinary Science, we believe students need to prioritise their health and wellbeing, so we see time-out as a proactive choice. We strongly encourage students to talk to their year coordinator or a member of the veterinary programme management team, to ensure they understand all policies regarding their departure and return. On the Massey website, there are instructions regarding withdrawal from courses if this is required.

Key dates

1 November 2022

Deadline for International Group 2 admission application for BVSc Professional Phase submission of transcripts.

International Group 1 admission application for BVSc pre-selection phase due (Late applications may be considered).

VetMAP application due

4 February 2022 Domestic admission application for BVSc pre-selection due
5 March 2023 Deadline for Domestic & International Group 1 admission application for BVSc Professional Phase. Late applications will not be accepted.

Courses and specialisations

Key terms

Courses
Each qualification has its own specific set of courses. Some universities call these papers. You enrol in courses after you get accepted into Massey.
Course code
Each course is numbered using 6 digits. The fourth number shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).
Credits
Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
Specialisations
Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.

Credit summary

600 credits

  • 40 hours of work experience in a veterinary clinic prior to the start of the BVSc pre-selection semester
  • Year 1 BVSc pre-selection semester – 60 credits
  • Year 1 Semester 2 – 60 credits
  • Year 2 – 120 credits
  • Year 3 – 120 credits
  • Year 4 – 120 credits
  • Year 5 – 120 credits
  • Year 5 – 120 credits

This is a year-based qualification. There are regulations around your completion of Year One before progressing to Year Two and so forth.

Course planning key

Prerequisites
Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Corequisites
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Restrictions
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Pre-Selection Phase

First Year

Course code: 123104 Chemistry for Biological Systems 15 credits

Building on basic chemical principles, this course provides the atomic and molecular foundations for understanding chemistry and the life sciences. Starting from the structure of the atom and an understanding of Gibbs energy, it builds a chemical model for bonding, the composition of molecules, non-covalent interactions, chemical equilibria, acids/bases, chemical reactivity, and biological macromolecules. The theory is supported by practical experiments.

Restrictions: 123101, 123171

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Course code: 124103 Biophysical Principles 15 credits

Students will develop understanding of biophysical principles including the description of motion, forces, equilibrium, fluids and flow, heat as energy, heat transfer, waves and sound, and the use of spreadsheets. Application of foundational knowledge of mathematical principles to biophysical systems, including the rules of arithmetic, fractions, simple algebra, trigonometry, transcendental functions, SI units and unit conversions, and creating and interpreting graphs. A practical course.

Restrictions: 160101, 160102, 160103, 160104, 160105, 160111, 160112, 160132, 160133, 124100, 124104, 124105, 124111

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Course code: 162101 Cell Biology 15 credits

An introduction to the cellular basis of life. Spanning eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells; cellular structure and function; core biochemical components; mechanisms for generating genetic diversity; the flow of information within cells and between generations; gene expression; and a survey of the landscape of modern genomics, this course provides the conceptual foundation for subsequent courses on molecules, cells and organisms.

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Course code: 199103 Animals and the Environment 15 credits

An introductory biology and natural history course presented within an evolutionary framework that investigates the diversity of animal life, human-animal interactions, nutrient and energy flows, conservation and sustainability. This course places emphasis on wild animals and ecological processes operating within New Zealand and globally.

Restrictions: 199101

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Professional Phase

First Year

Course code: 227106 Veterinary Biochemistry 15 credits

An introductory biochemistry course covering the fundamental concepts of protein structure and function as well as metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and amino acids. The focus will be on energy transactions in a physiological context including glucose homeostasis and muscle metabolism in mammals. A lecture and problem-based tutorial course will be complemented by case studies relevant to animal health and disease.

Restrictions: 122102, 122106, 122222, 227111

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Course code: 227107 Animal Behaviour and Welfare for Veterinary Science 15 credits

An introduction to common ethical frameworks for animal use with a focus on domestic animal species. Principles of the behaviour and welfare of domestic animal species. Theory of safe and effective animal handling.

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Course code: 227110 Farm Practical Training 0 credits

A practicum during which students will learn practical skills for working with livestock, farm safety and understanding farm-level agricultural economics. Modules on Health and Safety and handling of Agrichemicals useful for practical placements are also provided.

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Course code: 227120 Fundamentals of Veterinary Structure and Function 30 credits

An overview of the anatomy and physiology of domestic mammals, birds and reptiles. The structure and function of each major organ system is considered at a foundational level, with an emphasis on veterinary clinical relevance.

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Second Year

Course code: 227212 Animal Production for Veterinarians I 15 credits

Introduction to animal nutrition (monogastric and ruminant), including feed analysis and feed requirements. Pastoral livestock production systems, including the growth and management of pasture as an animal feed. Animal genetics and breeding.

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Course code: 227215 Animal Production for Veterinarians II 15 credits

Ruminant production systems (including dairy and beef cattle, sheep, goats, deer); application of knowledge related to nutrition, growth, reproduction, genetics, lactation and management of young and adult stock.

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Course code: 227221 Veterinary Structure and Function I 15 credits

This course follows on from the anatomy and physiology courses in BVSc1 (227.108 and 227.109). Together these courses consider the relevant aspects of the structure and function of domestic animals.

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Course code: 227222 Professional Practice 15 credits

An introduction to the clinical and professionalism components of being a veterinarian, including obligations to self, colleagues, clients, the profession and the animal. Skills in basic clinical examination, recording, interpretation and communication of findings in common species of domestic animals will be covered.

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Course code: 227223 Integrative Studies in Veterinary Science I 15 credits

This is the first in a series of integrative and contextualising courses that extends through years 2 to 4 of the BVSc programme. A case-based approach to the integration of concurrent and previous veterinary learning will be undertaken at a level appropriate to that of a second-year veterinary science student. Students will be encouraged to develop their clinical reasoning skills and professional competencies through the analysis of a broad range of clinical situations.

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Course code: 227224 Veterinary Structure and Function II 15 credits

This course follows on from both the anatomy and physiology courses in BVSc1 (227.108 and 227.109) and 227.221 (Structure and Function I). Together these courses consider the relevant aspects of the structure and function of domestic animals.

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Course code: 227225 Veterinary Infectious Diseases 15 credits

An introduction to the viral and bacterial pathogens of animals. Further development of the principles of epidemiology, diagnosis and control of infectious diseases of veterinary importance. Epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and control of bacterial and viral diseases, with an emphasis on diseases endemic in New Zealand, economically important diseases and zoonoses. Principles of the functioning of the immune system and development of immunity following infection or vaccination.

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Course code: 227226 Integrative Studies in Veterinary Science II 15 credits

This is the second in a series of integrative and contextualising courses that extends through years 2 to 4 of the BVSc programme. A case-based approach to the integration of concurrent and previous veterinary learning will be undertaken at a level appropriate to that of a second year veterinary science student. Students will be encouraged to develop their clinical reasoning skills and professional competencies through the analysis of a broad range of clinical situations.

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Third year

Course code: 227310 BVSc Farm Practical Work 0 credits

In this course students will undertake farm work in cattle, sheep, horse and other livestock industries. Students will develop practical animal skills, and skills in observation, identification, analysis and communication.

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Course code: 227311 Farm Animal Population Health and Production 22 credits

The role of the veterinarian as a key agricultural advisor. Causes and investigation of sub-optimal health and production in farmed species, focusing on groups of animals rather than individuals. Relationships between farm management, husbandry, productivity, health and welfare. Treatment and prevention of sub-optimal health and production, including consideration of costs and benefits.

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Course code: 227312 Veterinary Infectious and Parasitic Diseases 19 credits

A further course in Veterinary Infectious Diseases that covers the bacterial, fungal, helminth, arthropod and protozoal pathogens of animals and their role in infectious disease and zoonosis. Epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, prevention, treatment and control of infectious diseases. Zoonoses and the role of the veterinarian in veterinary public health.

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Course code: 227313 Veterinary Anatomic and Clinical Pathology I 21 credits

General pathology. Anatomic and clinical pathology of body systems, including pathophysiology, gross and microscopic lesions. Interpretation of necropsy and laboratory test results (including haematology, serum biochemistry, urinalysis, serology, histology and cytology) for the diagnosis of disease. Specimen collection and handling, test selection, and performance of basic laboratory tests.

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Course code: 227314 Introductory Veterinary Clinical Studies II 16 credits

This course provides the basic principles and skills which are the foundation of clinical work. It covers the principles of pharmacology which provide the basis for therapeutics, the principles of anaesthesia and the skills required to use anaesthetic equipment, the principles of surgery and the basic skills required, the different methods for imaging animals, with emphasis on radiology and the practical aspects of taking and interpreting diagnostic radiographs.

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Course code: 227316 Companion Animal Medicine, Surgery and Therapeutics I 18 credits

This course covers aetiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of common and important medical and surgical conditions of companion animals.

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Course code: 227317 Integrative Studies in Veterinary Science V 12 credits

This course is the fifth in a series of integrative and contextualizing studies that will extend through Years 1 to 4 of the BVSc programme. A case- and problem-based approach to the integration of concurrent and previous veterinary learning will be undertaken at a level appropriate to that of a third year veterinary student. This course will particularly focus on the interaction between therapeutic substances and disease states, alongside the development of professional behaviours. Students will be encouraged to develop a variety of problem solving strategies and professional competencies through the analysis of a broad range of clinical situations.

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Course code: 227325 Integrative Studies in Veterinary Science IV 12 credits

This course is the fourth in a series of integrative and contextualising studies in the BVSc. Students will identify problems related to veterinary science and investigate these through direct (e.g. field studies) or indirect (e.g. literature) research, at a level appropriate to a third year veterinary student. Students will develop problem solving strategies and professional competencies, including scientific writing.

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Fourth Year

Course code: 227410 BVSc Veterinary Practical Work 0 credits

During this course, students will undertake practical work in external veterinary practices under the supervision of a registered veterinarian, to develop clinical skills and gain experience of client-based veterinary practice.

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Course code: 227411 Veterinary Anatomic and Clinical Pathology II 16 credits

Further study of anatomic and clinical pathology of additional body systems which builds upon and extends information given in Veterinary Anatomic and Clinical Pathology I. Pathophysiology, gross and microscopic lesions. Interpretation of necropsy and laboratory test results (including haematology, serum biochemistry, urinalysis, serology, histology and cytology) for the diagnosis of disease. Specimen collection and handling, test selection, and performance of basic laboratory tests.

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Course code: 227413 Cattle Health, Production, Population Medicine and Therapeutics 12 credits

This course covers the medicine, surgery, management and productivity of beef and dairy cattle. The aetiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of disease, and the restoration of animals to normal levels of productivity.

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Course code: 227414 Companion Animal Medicine, Surgery and Therapeutics II 25 credits

A further course covering the aetiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of common and important medical and surgical conditions of companion animals. The application of surgical and anaesthetic principles in teaching laboratories is designed to develop competence in simple elective surgical and anaesthetic procedures.

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Course code: 227416 Integrative Studies in Farm Animal Production Medicine 12 credits

Integration of veterinary medicine and whole farm systems. Farm management and production systems and the relationship between management systems, productivity and patterns of disease. The development of health and production programmes to minimise disease and maximise animal production.

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Course code: 227418 Integrative Studies in Veterinary Science VII 12 credits

This capstone course is the final in a series of 7 courses in integrative and contextualizing studies that have extended through Years 1 to 4 of the BVSc programme. A case- and problem-based approach to the integration of concurrent and previous veterinary learning will be undertaken at a level appropriate to that of a pre-final year veterinary student. This course will particularly focus on the professional abilities of students, and their ability to synthesise heuristic ‘illness scripts’ and other intellectual shortcuts based upon the precepts of diagnostic reasoning. Students will be encouraged to develop a variety of problem solving strategies and professional competencies through the analysis of a broad range of clinical situations.

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Course code: 227425 Integrative Studies in Veterinary Science VI 12 credits

This course is the sixth in a series of integrative and contextualising studies in the BVSc. A case- and problem-based approach to the integration of concurrent and previous veterinary learning will be undertaken at a level appropriate to a fourth year veterinary student. Students will develop problem solving strategies and professional competencies through the analysis of a range of clinical situations.

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Course code: 227431 Companion Animal Medicine, Surgery and Therapeutics III 10 credits

This is the final of a series of three courses in BVSc3 and BVSc4 that cover aetiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of common and important medical and surgical conditions of companion animals.

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Course code: 227432 Equine Clinical Studies 15 credits

An overview of common equine diseases and preventative health programmes. This course covers aspects of equine medicine, surgery, lameness, reproduction and pharmacotherapeutics, with an emphasis on a diagnostic and therapeutic approach to the sick or abnormal horse.

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Course code: 227433 Medicine and Surgery of Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians 6 credits

An introduction to the principles and applications of medicine and surgery of birds, reptiles and amphibians including wildlife, companion animals and backyard flock or collections.

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Fifth Year

Course code: 227511 Veterinary Clinics and Public Health 120 credits

Tuition, demonstration and clinical experience in surgery, anaesthesia, medicine, epidemiology and theriogenology of domestic animals; health and management of production animals; diagnostic procedures, including imaging, necropsies and laboratory tests; and diagnostic reasoning. Professional ethics and legislative obligations to the public and state; the role of veterinary professional organisations and veterinarians as communicators and educators, veterinary business management and the maintenance of physical and mental fitness as a veterinarian. Principles and practical applications of veterinary public health, meat hygiene and quality assurance programmes to meet national and international standards will also be taught. Opportunities for students to gain further experience in chosen areas of interest.

Prerequisites: 120 credits from 2274xx

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Before you start

Pre-entry veterinary practical work experience

To help you get a glimpse into life as a veterinarian, you’ll need to complete 40 hours of observation/work experience in a veterinary clinic in New Zealand or overseas. You can do this any time in the three years before you are applying for selection into the professional phase of the degree. You 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 a mix of small animal and large animal experience so you can see a bit more of what you’re getting into.

While 40 hours is the minimum requirement, if you are able to spend more time you’ll see more of what a vets job is like. It’s not the right fit for everyone so use this time to find out what vets really do to make sure it’s something you want to do as a career.

Once you’re finished your work experience, you’ll need to get the clinic(s) to verify the time you completed with them on the practical work verification form (PDF)

Veterinary School Faculty

If you’d like to know more about the School of Veterinary Science faculty, there is a list of staff in the veterinary school. To learn more about a staff member, you can click on their name to see their profile.

School of Veterinary Science policies

Below are some important policies that are good for you to be aware of. All students who accept a place in the professional phase have to accept the Student Code of Conduct.

Fees and scholarships

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Fees for BVSc pre-selection semester

There is a fee to apply for selection into the BVSc professional phase. You can find the current fee on the non-tuition fee pages.

This application fee is non-refundable and is not covered by student loans (StudyLink). Once you complete the Veterinary Programmes Supplementary Application, you will have the fee invoiced against your student account at Massey University.  

If you are applying for student allowances or a student loan through StudyLink for the BVSc pre-selection semester, you will need to apply for your loan or allowance as a Bachelor of Science (BSc) student. If you have qualified for a student allowance or student loan and are selected into the professional phase you will need to advise StudyLink of your new programme (Bachelor of Veterinary Science - BVSc) for Semester Two of your study.

For any student allowance or loan enquiries, please contact StudyLink directly.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

How much money do I need for university and living costs?

Total cost of attendance

The cost of attendance is an estimate of your total university costs and living costs for an academic year. This document will show estimated the cost of attendance for both domestic and international students. There are some further notes below.

Living Costs

Living costs can vary considerably depending upon type of accommodation (eg living alone or with others), location and personal spending habits, but generally NZD$15,000 – $20,000 is required for 12 months.

For international students who enter New Zealand on a student visa, Immigration NZ requires you to have NZD$20,000 available in addition to your course fees for each year you’ll be studying in New Zealand, plus an additional NZD$2000 to cover a return ticket home. For more information, see the Fees, scholarships and living costs webpage.

Financial Aid

Massey University is registered with the governments of Canada and the United States to process financial aid for citizens and permanent residents of both countries. For more information, see the Financial aid for North American students webpage.

Average student debt

Each year the graduating class is surveyed on their average student debt accrued while studying the veterinary degree.  The average student debt for domestic students is $90,000. Debt for international students is NZ$350,000 on average, and this includes all prior university education.

Scholarship and award opportunities

There are a number of scholarships for veterinary students in the professional phase, but none specifically for students in the pre-selection phase. You can search the full list of scholarships and awards at the Massey Scholarships site.  Below is a list of scholarships that are currently open for application.

Find more scholarships and awards

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

Most veterinary graduates initially work in clinical practice for a few years. Some continue in clinical roles for the rest of their careers, while others may take the opportunity to develop further skills through clinical specialisation or postgraduate study. See the Careers and Jobs tab for more information.

Registering as a veterinarian

New Zealand

Once you successfully complete the requirements for your Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc), you’ll be able to register to practise as a veterinarian in New Zealand through the Veterinary Council of New Zealand.  You’ll need to renew your registration annually to maintain a current practising certificate. As part of your annual renewal you’ll need to meet minimum practising standards (‘fitness to practice’). 

Other countries

The Massey University Veterinary degree allows you to work in many parts of the world. Registration information for some of these countries can be accessed below:

North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE)

The Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree (BVSc) from Massey University is recognised as being equivalent to a DVM from an accredited North American university.  If you graduate with the Massey BVSc and wish to register to work as a veterinarian in the United States of America or Canada, you are required to sit the NAVLE just like any student graduating from an accredited school in North America.  

NAVLE pass rates for Massey BVSc students/graduates

Year

Attempts

Passes

Criterion
average

Average
score

Pass
rate

Nov/Dec 2017 – April 2018

35

33

509

507

94%

Nov/Dec 2018 – April 2019

41

35

503

486

85%

Nov/Dec 2019 – April 2020

22

20

498

486

91%

Nov/Dec 2020 – April 2021

16

15

504

492

94%

Nov/Dec 2021 – April 2022 25 19 463 495 76%
 

Total: 139

Total: 122

Average: 495

Average: 493

Average: 88%

What our students say

“I thoroughly enjoyed my 5 year degree at Massey. I made lifelong friends while learning essential knowledge and skills which have helped me to start my new career.”
Shawn Chandrakumar

Bachelor of Veterinary Science

Accreditations and rankings

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)

Accredited. Last evaluation: 2021. Next evaluation: 2028.

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Australasian Veterinary Board Council (AVBC)

Massey’s BVSc programme is accredited by the Australian Veterinary Boards Council with minor deficiencies; graduates can work in New Zealand and Australia. Last evaluation: 2021. Next evaluation: 2028.

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Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)

Accredited via the mutual recognition process operating with AVBC. Last evaluation: 2021

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