Master of Veterinary Studies – MVS

Progress your professional development by gaining expertise in a specific area of veterinary science.

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

2 year(s) full-time (180 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 on campus in New Zealand
Note: Not all listed subject course options are on offer every year.

Study a Master of Veterinary Studies – MVS

Massey’s Master of Veterinary Studies (MVS) is an internationally recognised degree, most suitable for those who would like to undertake a combination of taught courses and a research project. The qualification can be built around your area of interest. For example, you could choose to specialise in epidemiology or public health, or you can develop your expertise across other areas of veterinary science by choosing a MVS without a specialisation. There are a wide range of taught courses for you to choose from, depending on your area of interest and the specialisation that you choose.

Wide range of facilities

Massey University hosts the only veterinary school in New Zealand. Its well-equipped facilities include the Wildbase wildlife hospital, an equine hospital, 24-hour pet hospital and sheep, beef, dairy and deer farms, all located near campus. 

Our courses are led by internationally recognised lecturers and have a reputation for their use of real-life case studies and high staff to student ratios. Our staff cover a wide range of veterinary disciplines and collaborate on research projects with other related disciplines including animal production, physiology and nutrition.

Research flexibility

You can choose from two different levels of research for this degree. You can complete a 60-credit research report, or if you would like to complete more in-depth research, you can undertake a 120 credit thesis.

If you have a specific area of research in mind, we advise you to contact the School of Veterinary Science Postgraduate Office through the Enquire button on this page to discuss.

Other postgraduate veterinary programmes

If you want to improve your knowledge in aspects of veterinary science but are unsure about doing research, then you could consider a Postgraduate Diploma in Veterinary Science.

If you are interested in studying via distance then our Master of Veterinary Medicine may be suitable (there are entry restrictions to this programme).

A MVS is a good fit if you:

  • are a veterinarian keen on professional development
  • want to develop practical skills in non-clinical areas
  • are looking to start the process of becoming a veterinary specialist in a non-clinical field.

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 Studies you will have been awarded or qualified for a Bachelor of Veterinary Science, with at least a B grade average, or equivalent.

 To enter the Master of Veterinary Studies (Advanced Veterinary Practice) you will: 

  • have been awarded or qualified for a Bachelor of Veterinary Science with at least a B grade average, or equivalent; and
  • be selected into the programme on the basis of an interview.

You will need to provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

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. 

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 Studies

If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

The Master of Veterinary Studies is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part, before moving to the second.

The first part gives you good knowledge and skills that will help you with the research part of your qualification.

To be able to progress to Part Two of the Master of Veterinary Studies, a B grade average is needed over the Part One courses.

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

180 credits

  • Part One subject courses (a subject is optional) – 60‑120 credits
  • Part One courses selected from specified prefixes – 0‑60 credits
  • Part Two thesis or research report – 60 or 120 credits

A specialisation (subject) is optional, requiring 180 credits in the subject, including a 60 credit research report or 120 credit thesis.

This is a parts-based qualification. This means there are regulations around your completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two, etc.

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.

Part One (Choose at least 60 credits from)

Elective courses

700-level courses selected from the 117, 118, 194 course prefix series

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.

You may complete a specialisation by passing at least 180 credits, including 60 credits at 800-level, in a subject.

Part Two

Either 120 credits

Course code: 118897 Thesis 120 Credit Part 1 60 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

View full course details
Course code: 118898 Thesis 120 Credit Part 2 60 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

Corequisites: 118897

View full course details
Course code: 118899 Thesis 120 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

View full course details

Or 60 credits

Course code: 118811 Research Report 60 credits

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

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 this qualification have gone on to become world leaders in veterinary epidemiology and veterinary public health.

Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication, The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates, found that in New Zealand:

  • young master’s graduates earn more than one and a half times more than the national median (five years after study)
  • earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed
  • five years after completion, the median earnings of young master’s graduates are 15% higher than for those with a bachelor’s degree.

Accreditations and rankings

OIE Collaborating Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health

Massey's EpiCentre along with mEpiLab and China Animal Health and Epidemiology Center (CAHEC) are recognised by the World Assembly of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) as a Collaborating Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health.

Learn more

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