Bachelor of Veterinary Science Pre-Selection – BVScPre-Sel

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.

BVetSc selection process

This process is changing for 2023. More details will be provided as soon. Students who have previously applied who have not yet used their 3 selection attempts will be notified of transition arrangements.

Type of qualification

Bachelor's degree

Level of study

Undergraduate study

An undergraduate qualification is usually the first one you study.

NZQF level 7

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

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

1 year(s) full-time (60 credits)

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 pre-selection (open entry) phase of the BVetSc

Study a Bachelor of Veterinary Science Pre-Selection – BVScPre-Sel

Becoming a veterinarian is a great goal that leads to an interesting, varied and rewarding career working with people and their animals. Massey’s veterinary degree is highly ranked and widely accredited. Our graduates can work in many countries including the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the UK, and several in Asia.

Great facilities

Veterinary science is a key focus for Massey University and we have some of the best facilities in Australasia. You can see 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.                         

Pre-selection and professional phases

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

A broad range of species

If you’re selected into the professional phase, you’ll be well trained in a broad range of species. You’ll get lots of hands on learning 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 your area of interest. In line with the international recognition of the degree, you will find the study rigorous, challenging and interesting.

Come and join us at Massey University and become one of tomorrow’s great veterinarians.

International students

Our international students are an important part of our qualification and we’re well known for the close and supportive relationship our students have with staff. We understand it takes a special kind of person to choose to complete their veterinary degree abroad and we welcome you to join us. 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.

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. Whether you’ve recently completed high school or have already done a couple of years or even a degree or two at university, you could join one of our two pathways to become a veterinarian in five years or less. The Massey veterinary degree is one of the fastest paths to becoming a fully qualified, veterinarian accredited to work in many countries (including the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, NZ 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 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 exactly the same way as if you had graduated from a vet school there.  If you are applying through VMCAS (North America) you will be a Group 2 student.

Studying in New Zealand

How to apply and deadlines

  • If you intend to come to New Zealand and complete this pre-selection semester in order to prove your capability for the professional phase, you’ll enter as a Group 1 student.
  • If you intend to compete for entry directly into the professional phase of the BVSc on the basis of their academic performance at university/college overseas, you’ll enter as a Group 2 student.

Further study

Most BVSc graduates start working 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.

A BVScPre-Sel 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:

  • a 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.

This is followed by:

  • a professional phase (9 semesters – 4.5 years). Entry to the professional phase is by selection in accordance with criteria established by the Veterinary Undergraduate Student Selection Sub-Committee, which will include consideration of academic performance, non-academic performance and relevant experience. Candidates from a country whose first language is not English 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.

Expected high school preparation

Knowledge gained in the following NCEA subjects (or the equivalent in Cambridge International Examinations, International Baccalaureate, or similar) should give you the expected background knowledge for the prerequisite courses.

  • At least 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 Biology.
  • At least 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 Chemistry.

For your own preparation it’s also recommended, but not required, that you do at least 14 credits of NCEA Level 2 mathematics and/or physics before starting the pre-requisite courses.

If you haven’t done the level of science noted above, contact us through the Get advice button on this page and we can discuss preparation programmes to help you get ready for the pre-requisite courses.

Pre-entry Veterinary Practical Work Experience

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. 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 one week of small animal and one week of large animal experience.

To access the pre-entry practical work verification form, click on the “Entry Requirements” tab and scroll down to the “Finding the right professional phase selection pathway and policy for you” section. Select the pathway that is appropriate for you and the verification form will be located on the pathway information page.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

If you’re already a student in a veterinary qualification elsewhere and wish to enquire about transferring into our veterinary qualification contact us through the Get advice button on this page.

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. It is your opportunity to show us you have what it takes to become a veterinarian. You’ll complete pre-selection courses and a range of selection assessments. You’ll want to do really well in these pre-selection courses to improve your chances of selection into the professional phase.

Please refer to the “Courses and Planning” tab to see the prerequisite courses in the pre-selection phase. The selection assessments are described in the selection pathway specific information below.

There is no limit on the number of places in the pre-selection semester. However, selection into the professional phase is competitive, so make sure you are prepared. Work on your people skills and get a good background in the sciences before joining us for the pre-selection semester.

Veterinary applicants must undertake their Semester One study internally at the Massey University Manawatū campus if either:

  • you have not already passed all four of the professional phase prerequisite courses, or
  • you do not have an eligible semester of study (as specified in the BVSc GPA-regulations) completed at Massey University.

The requirement to study internally at the Manawatū campus applies whether or not you are enrolling in the BVSc pre-selection qualification or in another qualification.

Phase 2: Professional phase

The professional phase of the BVSc is essentially ‘vet school proper’. It starts in Semester Two (mid-July) at the Manawatū Campus. There are limited places (113 domestic and 24-30 international places), so entry is competitive. If you are selected you will take courses over the next 4.5 years 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.

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

Finding the right professional phase selection pathway and policy for you

Every year there are more applications than the number of places available (113 domestic and 24-30 international places). So there is a selection process based on assessment of both academic and non-academic performance.  

You’ll apply for selection through one of four pathways. You need to know which pathway is right for you, as they have different selection policies. While ultimately the university will determine the correct pathway for you, please click on the links below to read all the information for each pathway.

Domestic student pathways

  • General
    General pathway is open to all domestic students who are New Zealand or Australian citizens or permanent residents.
  • VetMAP
    VetMAP pathway is open to all domestic students with Māori or Indigenous Pacific ancestry

International student pathways

  • Group 1
    Group 1 pathway is open to 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.
  • Group 2
    Group 2 pathway is open to international students who compete for entry directly into the professional phase of the BVSc on the basis of their academic performance at a university or college overseas from an appropriate undergraduate or postgraduate science degree.

Important note regarding veterinary selection

The veterinary selection process is complex, so written advice should be sought from a specialist veterinary academic adviser in Academic Advice at Massey University by contacting us through the Get advice button on this page. This is especially important if you have completed any previous university-level study. 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 be reminded that in your application for admission you have agreed that you will not rely on verbal advice.

If you have questions, contact us through the Get advice button and note “vet selection advice” in the subject line.

Places in the professional phase

Total places: 113 domestic and 24-30 international

Note: Domestic and International students are NOT competing in the same pool for selection.

School of Veterinary Science policies

Please be aware of the following School of Vet Science policies:

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Registering as a veterinarian

New Zealand

Once you successfully complete the requirements for your Bachelor of Veterinary Science, 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

As the Massey University Veterinary degree is accredited in many parts of the world, you can also register to work there. Access their registration information below.

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 North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) like any students 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 2016 – April 2017

47

42

505

503

89%

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%

 

Total: 161

Total: 145

Average: 504

Average: 495

Average: 91

Employment Rates (6 months post-graduation)

Class of

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

% respondents employed full-time

86.8

97.4

94.2

100

100

% respondents employed part-time

5.7

 

5.8

 

 

% respondents employed

92.5

97.4

100

100

100

Salary

New graduates with one to three years’ experience usually earn between $60,000 to $83,000, depending on experience, responsibilities and location.

Practical work 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.

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.

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.

Structure of the Bachelor of Veterinary Science Pre-Selection

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

Key dates

1 November 2021

International Group 2 admission application for BVSc Professional Phase due and deadline to submit transcripts

1 February 2022

SoVS VetMAP application due

4 February 2022

Domestic admission application for BVSc pre-selection due

5 March 2022

Domestic, VetMAP & International Group 1 admission application for BVSc Professional Phase due

9 March 2022

SoVS Veterinary Supplementary Application due by noon

21-22 May 2022

MMI Interview Weekend (General, VetMAP and Group 1)

12 July 2022

Initial selection outcomes advised through student portal

15 July 2022

Final selection outcomes advised

18 July 2022

Semester Two commences

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

  • 10 days (80 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.
Choose 60 credits from
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

View full course details
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

View full course details
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.

View full course details
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

View full course details

Before you start

Pre-entry veterinary practical work experience

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.

To access the pre-entry practical work verification form, click on the “Entry Requirements” tab and scroll down to the “Finding the right professional phase selection pathway and policy for you” section. Select the pathway that is appropriate for you and the verification form will be located on the pathway information page.

2023

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. 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 one week of small animal and one week of large animal experience.

To access the pre-entry practical work verification form, click on the “Entry Requirements” tab and scroll down to the “Finding the right professional phase selection pathway and policy for you” section. Select the pathway that is appropriate for you and the verification form will be located on the pathway information page.

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.

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 qualification management team to ensure they understand all policy regarding their departure and return. On the Massey website, there are instructions regarding withdrawal from courses if this is required.

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 also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also 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 associated with applying for selection into the BVSc professional phase.

The 2022 fee for selection is $395.

The selection application fee is non-refundable and is not covered by student loans (StudyLink). If 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 other student allowance or loan queries please contact StudyLink directly.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your 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$15,000 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 whilst studying the BVSc degree.  The average student debt for domestic students is $90,000 and for international students is NZ$350,000 and this includes all prior university education.

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

Studying veterinary science at Massey University will give you scientific training with a broad range of species.   As well as working as a clinical veterinarian, your veterinary degree could lead to many different challenging and rewarding careers.

Veterinary practice

If you work as a clinical veterinarian you’ll provide high-quality care for animals, whether they are pets, working animals, livestock or wildlife. You’ll use diagnostic and communication skills to promote the health and wellbeing of a range of animals, to make a real difference for both them and their owners.

Develop specialist skills

If you have a particular interest, you could become a specialist in that area by completing some further training. There are veterinary specialists in areas like oncology (cancer), ophthalmology (eyes), dermatology (skin), epidemiology and surgery.

You could work as a specialist for a private company or use your specialist skills to make your mark as a university lecturer, helping to teach and inspire up and coming veterinarians.

Other potential careers

There are many other career opportunities for you with your veterinary qualification, like:

  • helping to diagnose new and emerging animal diseases and working on responses to potential outbreaks.
  • working as a food safety veterinarian to protect public health.
  • researching in various different areas of animal health.
  • helping to create policies to promote animal welfare in New Zealand or overseas.
  • protecting New Zealand wildlife.

Related study options