Master of Veterinary Medicine – MVM

Join Massey’s Master of Veterinary Medicine, a world-leading online education qualification that attracts students from all around the globe.

Type of qualification

Master's degree

Level of study

Postgraduate study

Once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree – or have equal experience – you can study at the postgraduate level. Doctoral qualifications require additional entry requirements.

NZQF level 9

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

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

1 year(s) full-time (120 credits)
Up to 5 years part-time
Part-time available

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students studying online from outside New Zealand
Note: Not all listed subject course options are on offer every year.

Study a Master of Veterinary Medicine – MVM

Massey’s Master of Veterinary Medicine qualification offers practising veterinarians a flexible, modular system of study via online learning. You may choose from a wide range of small animal, large animal, epidemiology and veterinary business courses, or put them together for a qualification.

You’ll be joining one of the few online distance education qualifications for veterinarians that offers the option of completing a qualification.

This qualification is not designed to retrain veterinarians wanting to return to practice. The courses assume a base level of knowledge of learnings in the veterinary degree, and aim to extend veterinarians to a higher level of knowledge and skill. All courses have some assessments that require reporting of clinical material you may have managed.

In-depth

Your courses will advance your knowledge and skills to an in-depth level beyond that obtained in your primary veterinary degree. Courses can be completed for continuing education or put towards a Master of Veterinary Medicine or other qualification.

Massey University has an excellent reputation for veterinary teaching, with our expert lecturers coming to us from all over the world.

As well as specific knowledge in areas of interest, you will strengthen your:

  • technical knowledge and skills in particular fields of general (non-specialist) veterinary practice
  • ability to explore effective problem-solving strategies within the constraints of general veterinary practice
  • confidence in your skills and in your approach to cases
  • skills in sourcing and evaluation of literature relevant to clinical practice
  • ability to reflect and self-assess your work.

On-campus workshops are held in Palmerston North, New Zealand. Attendance at these workshops is strongly recommended, but not compulsory (with the exception of the capstone contact workshops which are compulsory either in person or online). All courses require a computer and internet access.

Find out more about specific courses and our lecturers at www.massey.ac.nz/mvm.

About specialisations

You may enrol in this qualification with a Companion Animal specialisation, or without a specialisation.

A MVM is a good fit if you:

  • are already a qualified veterinarian
  • would like the flexibility of studying via distance online learning
  • would like to increase your in-depth knowledge of specifics of veterinary medicine.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

To enter the Master of Veterinary Medicine you will have been awarded or qualified for:

  • a Massey University Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc), or
  • have a veterinary qualification that can be registered by the New Zealand Veterinary Council or is considered by the Academic Board to be equivalent to the Massey University BVSc.

In order to enrol directly into the Master of Veterinary Medicine qualification you must have obtained a B grade average in your veterinary degree.

See the MVM web pages for details about:

  • entry by equivalent degree
  • suitable international entry examinations
  • information on discretionary entry.

Entry is subject to final approval by the Director of the MVM.

English language requirements

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

English language skills

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

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications.  If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the qualification if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit. 

Can't meet the entry requirements?

If you are not eligible to enrol directly into the Master of Veterinary Medicine, you may still be able to gain entry. An option is to complete at least two Master of Veterinary Medicine courses within another Massey qualification. You must also achieve a B grade in those courses.

Suitable qualifications are the:

Entry into these qualifications is dependant on your meeting those qualifications’ entry requirements.

If you complete the MVM courses successfully, you may able to transfer your enrolment to the Master of Veterinary Medicine.

For more information, see the MVM entry requirements page.

Official regulations

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

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate 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 Master of Veterinary Medicine

The MVM degree is 120 credits in total, made up of four or five 15-credit taught courses and 45 or 60 credits of research or professional practice. If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

The Master of Veterinary Medicine may be awarded with or without a subject.

You may complete the Companion Animal subject by passing at least 90 credits in the subject.

Qualifications

The Master of Veterinary Medicine (MVM) is the highest-level qualification. Other qualifications you can study towards include the Postgraduate Diploma in Veterinary Science (PGDipVSc) (120 credits) and the Postgraduate Certificate of Science and Technology (PGCertScTech) (60 credits). The master’s degree and the PGDipVSc allow a subject endorsement showing the emphasis of your study.

All courses including those available for the ‘without specialisation’ option

Courses offered in February in odd years

  • 118777 Veterinary Clinical Reproduction and Fertility
  • 118762 Dermatology for Small Animal Veterinarians
  • 118761 Canine and Feline Emergency Medicine
  • 118752 Canine and Feline Endocrinology
  • 118771 Advances in Ruminant Nutrition for Veterinarians
  • 118785 Introduction to Evidence Based Practice

Courses offered in July in odd years

  • 118759 Ophthalmology in Small Animal Practice
  • 118763 Canine and Feline Orthopedic Surgery
  • 118756 Canine and Feline Neurology
  • 118776 Lameness Investigation and Control for Cattle Veterinarians
  • 118786 Applied Veterinary Epidemiology

Courses offered in February in even years

  • 118758 Avian Medicine
  • 118753 Canine and Feline Oncology
  • 118764 Canine and Feline Soft Tissue Surgery
  • 118775 Advanced Mastitis Management for the Production Animal Veterinarian
  • 118785 Introduction to Evidence Based Practice

Courses offered in July in even years

  • 118757 Cardiorespiratory Medicine for Small Animal Veterinarians
  • 118755 Clinical Pathology in Small Animal Practice
  • 118754 Diagnostic Imaging for Small Animal Veterinarians
  • 118751 Canine and Feline Gastroenterology
  • 118772 Calf Medicine, Health and Management
  • 118786 Applied Veterinary Epidemiology

Duration of courses

The duration of most courses is 24 teaching weeks over two semesters (seven to eight months total):

  • Semesters One and Two (late February to early November), or
  • Semester Two and summer school (mid-July to mid-February).

Exceptions are the epidemiology courses, 118785 and 118786, which are single semester (either February–June or July–November).

Time commitment

Each course offered over two semesters involves about five to six hours of work per week – one-eighth of a full-time workload. You need to allow about 150 hours for each 15-credit course.

When are courses offered?

Most courses in the Master of Veterinary Medicine (MVM) qualification are offered once every second year.

These courses are offered every year:

Research reports

There are three ways to complete the final 45 or 60-credit research reports (118851,118852, 118853), which are called capstone courses. Two of these are research reports (45 and 60 credits) (118851, 118852). The third capstone option for the MVM is a 45-credit practicum course (118853). You will spend three months full-time under supervision with an expert in any discipline of veterinary science.

Location

All courses in the Master of Veterinary Medicine qualification are delivered by distance learning. Contact workshops are held in Palmerston North, New Zealand. Attendance at these is strongly recommended but not compulsory (except for capstone courses 118851, 118852 and 118853).

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

120 credits

  • Schedule A subject courses – 90 credits
  • Courses selected from Schedule A or Schedule A and/or B – 60‑75 credits
  • Schedule C research report or professional practice report – 45‑60 credits

A subject is optional, and requires 90 credits in the subject.

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.

Schedule A: Subjects

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.

You may enrol in this qualification with or without a specialisation.

Schedule B: Elective courses

Course code: 118785 Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice 15 credits

Students will study the principles of veterinary epidemiology to provide them with the skills necessary to critically evaluate the literature for the purposes of evidence-based medicine. Examples and case studies will be drawn from a range of species including production animals, wildlife, companion animals and horses.

View full course details
Course code: 118786 Applied Veterinary Epidemiology 15 credits

Students will gain the skills necessary to design an epidemiological study in a clinical setting and investigate an outbreak of disease. Examples and case studies will be drawn from a range of species including production animals, wildlife, aquatic species, companion animals and horses.

Prerequisites: 118785 Restrictions: 118720, 118715, 118815

View full course details

Schedule C: Research courses

Course code: 118851 Research Report (MVM) (45 credit) 45 credits

A detailed examination of a specific topic within the field of study of the candidate, approved by the course co-ordinator in advance, which may include aspects of original research, problem investigation, and/or study of pre-existing data or published literature.

Prerequisites: 2 x 1187xx

View full course details
Course code: 118852 Research Report (MVM) (60 credit) 60 credits

A detailed examination of a specific topic within the field of study of the candidate, approved by the course co-ordinator in advance, which may include aspects of original research, problem investigation, and/or study of pre-existing data or published literature.

Prerequisites: 2 x 1187xx

View full course details
Course code: 118853 Advanced Profession Practice in Veterinary Science 45 credits

A supervised placement in an approved setting of veterinary practice. Students will observe the work of experts in the selected area of veterinary practice, undertake some work under supervision, and gain experience in using the empirical literature to guide evidence-based decision making and writing reports in the discipline.

Prerequisites: 2 x 1187xx (B)

View full course details

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.

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.

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

Graduates of the Master of Veterinary Medicine qualification often become the go-to people in clinical practice to discuss cases. They are confident in communicating with clients and have excellent writing skills. You will develop your critical thinking skills, which are transferrable to many situations in the veterinary profession.

Career prospects for MVM graduates

When you graduate from this qualification, you could go on to:

  • academic research
  • animal feed companies
  • governmental agencies
  • the pharmaceutical industry
  • veterinary administration
  • veterinary journalism
  • the veterinary medical industry
  • veterinary practice.

Skills gained through a master’s qualification

A person with a master’s degree is able to:

  • show evidence of advanced knowledge about a specialist field of enquiry or professional practice
  • demonstrate expertise in sophisticated theoretical subject matter
  • evaluate critically the findings and discussions in literature
  • research, analyse and argue from evidence
  • work independently and apply knowledge to new situations
  • engage in rigorous intellectual analysis, criticism and problem solving.

What our students say

“The main thing I got out of the MVM was confidence! This has helped me realise how much I have to offer in relation to experience, knowledge and teaching our new graduates in practice.”
Nicky Hooper

Master of Veterinary Medicine

“The MVM team is highly supportive, friendly and professional and are eager to help you succeed at every stage.”
Raewyn Taylor

Master of Veterinary Medicine

“I was amazed by the knowledge of the lecturers at Massey and the high quality of teaching provided within the programme.”
Alexandr Mastakov

Avian and exotic animal residency at the University of Queensland

Master of Veterinary Medicine

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking - Veterinary Science

The Massey is ranked by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) as 29th in the world for veterinary science.

Learn more

ShanghaiRanking - veterinary science

Massey ranks 36th in the world for veterinary science — and in the top 3 in Australasia — in ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.

Learn more