Without Specialisation – Master of Veterinary Studies

Develop expertise in a specific area of veterinary science to progress your professional development.

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

Specialise in Without Specialisation for your Master of Veterinary Studies at Massey

Note: This qualification may have an on-campus or in-person requirement and therefore requires that students submit a current My Vaccine Pass on enrolment.

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 programme 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 Get advice button on this page to discuss.

Planning information

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

The Master of Veterinary Studies (Without Specialisation) 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.

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.

Courses you can enrol in

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

60 to 120 credits from

Course code: 118705 Decision Making with Animal Health Data 15 credits

This course covers topics related to utilising health and economic data to make decisions around the control of animal health. The focus is on applying the principles of production monitoring, information management and decision-making processes at farm level in a practical way. A broader context is provided of the structure and operation of veterinary services, industry-level process control, and the importance of animal health economics.

Restrictions: 118722, 118718

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Course code: 118706 Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Epidemiologic Data 15 credits

This course provides students with the basic skills necessary to undertake the analysis of epidemiologic data that is clustered in space and time. Throughout the course students will work with data collected via epidemiologic studies or as part of surveillance and will learn how to visualise spatial and temporal patterns, describe and quantify those spatial and temporal patterns and explain the observed patterns.

Prerequisites: 118716 Restrictions: 118816, 118821

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Course code: 118708 Current Topics in Epidemiological Methods and Data Analysis 15 credits

An in-depth view of topics in epidemiology. Students will focus on issues related to the design and management of observational studies and learn one or more multivariable modelling approach for non-linear data.

Prerequisites: 118785, 118716 Restrictions: 118717, 118721

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Course code: 118710 Advanced Veterinary Practice I 60 credits

An advanced course in a specified discipline of veterinary practice that includes supervised investigation, interpretation, diagnosis and management of cases. Students will develop a thorough understanding of knowledge within the discipline; the ability to source and critically evaluate existing knowledge to make evidence-based clinical decisions; and the ability to integrate theory with critical reflection of practice.

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Course code: 118711 Advanced Veterinary Practice II 60 credits

An advanced course in a selected discipline of veterinary practice that includes supervised investigation, interpretation, diagnosis and management of complex cases. Students will develop an advanced understanding of knowledge within the discipline; apply advanced diagnostic and technical skills; and critically reflect on their own practice and identify knowledge gaps.

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Course code: 118712 Advanced Studies in Veterinary Practice I 30 credits

An advanced course in a specified discipline of veterinary practice that includes supervised investigation, diagnosis and management of cases within the discipline. Students will develop a thorough knowledge of principles and practice in the relevant discipline, including the ability to make evidence-based clinical decisions.

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Course code: 118713 Advanced Studies in Veterinary Practice II 30 credits

An advanced course in a selected discipline of veterinary practice that includes supervised investigation, diagnosis and management of complex cases. Students will source and critically evaluate existing knowledge to make evidence-based clinical decisions; will integrate theory with critical reflection of practice; and will apply and synthesise advanced knowledge to evaluate and manage complex clinical cases.

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Course code: 118716 Analysis of Epidemiologic Data 30 credits

This course provides students with the basic skills necessary to undertake analysis of data in the health and biosecurity context. Throughout the course students will work with data collected during epidemiological studies (complete with missing data) and will learn how to interpret results in the light of bias, confounding, effect modification and model error.

Restrictions: 118721 and 195721

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Course code: 118724 Veterinary Diagnostic Pathology 2 60 credits

An advanced course in anatomical pathology that includes supervised performance and reporting of necropsies, histopathology, cytology, and detailed study of selected cases.

Prerequisites: 118731 Restrictions: 116724

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Course code: 118726 Veterinary Public Health 60 credits

The application of veterinary science to the promotion of human health. Interrelations between agricultural practices and the environment significant to animal and human health. Food safety including undesirable residues and the HACCP concept. Food-borne diseases, zoonoses and emergence of diseases from animal reservoirs. The application of epidemiological principles to the investigation, prevention and control of diseases.

Restrictions: 116726

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Course code: 118728 Wildlife Health 60 credits

An advanced course that focuses on the application of veterinary pathology, epidemiology and clinical science to the detection and management of disease in wildlife. It includes supervised practical experience, directed reading, detailed case studies and seminar presentations.

Restrictions: 116728

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Course code: 118731 Veterinary Diagnostic Pathology 1 60 credits

A course in veterinary diagnostic pathology, which includes supervised performance of necropsies, participation in the routine gross and histological examination of pathological material, and directed study of general pathology.

Restrictions: 116721

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Course code: 118757 Cardiorespiratory Medicine for Small Animal Veterinarians 15 credits

The principles and practice of cardiorespiratory medicine in dogs and cats for veterinary graduates. Pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of cardiac and respiratory disease.

Restrictions: 195757

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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.

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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

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Course code: 118854 Advanced Topics in Epidemiologic Data Analysis 15 credits

The course focuses on advanced quantitative methods used to analyse data from epidemiologic studies.

Prerequisites: 118716, 118785 Restrictions: 118816, 118817, 118821

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Course code: 119728 Research Methods in Animal, Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences 15 credits

Research methods for students planning to undertake research in animal, veterinary, agricultural, horticultural or applied sciences, with a focus on experimental research designs. Topics include: philosophy of science; research ethics; literature search and review techniques; project development and management; scientific writing; oral presentation skills; vocabulary of statistics; introduction to quantitative data analysis; and completion of a research proposal.

Restrictions: 119729, 162760, 162761, 162762

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Course code: 161743 Statistical Reliability and Survival Analysis 15 credits

Lifetime data occur in a wide variety of contexts: medical, demographic, industrial, economic. This course gives an introduction to the theory and practice of analysing lifetime data, commonly called survival analysis in medical contexts and reliability analysis in engineering.

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Course code: 232704 Wildlife Disease 30 credits

Techniques and issues fundamental to planning and interpreting wildlife health investigations and incorporating results into species management programmes. A primary focus on issues relevant to New Zealand's fauna together with specific examples from overseas.

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Course code: 232705 Captive Breeding and Management 30 credits

Nutritional, management and disease control programmes relevant to the captive breeding of New Zealand's endangered indigenous species. Problems associated with some selected species illustrating how to obtain healthy individuals for release. Para-veterinary techniques applicable to the safe handling and welfare of a variety of captive species.

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Including up to 60 credits from

Course code: 118751 Canine and Feline Gastroenterology 15 credits

The principles of gastroenterology of dogs and cats for veterinary graduates. Pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of diseases of the alimentary system.

Restrictions: 195751

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Course code: 118752 Canine and Feline Endocrinology 15 credits

The principles of endocrinology of dogs and cats for veterinary graduates. Pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of diseases of the endocrine glands.

Restrictions: 195752

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Course code: 118753 Canine and Feline Oncology 15 credits

The principles of oncology of dogs and cats for veterinary graduates. Pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of neoplastic disease.

Restrictions: 195753

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Course code: 118754 Diagnostic Imaging for Small Animal Veterinarians 15 credits

The principles of diagnostic imaging in small animal practice for veterinary graduates. Principles of radiography and other imaging modalities. Radiologic interpretation of all body systems, primarily of dogs and cats, and integration with case management.

Restrictions: 195754

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Course code: 118755 Clinical Pathology in Small Animal Practice 15 credits

The principles of clinical pathology in dogs and cats for veterinary graduates. It includes the indications, application and interpretation of haematological, biochemical, urine, cytological and special testing of dogs and cats.

Restrictions: 195755

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Course code: 118756 Canine and Feline Neurology 15 credits

The principles of neurology in dogs and cats for veterinary graduates. Pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of diseases of the nervous system.

Restrictions: 195756

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Course code: 118758 Avian Medicine 15 credits

The principles and practice of avian medicine in companion birds and aviary collections, for veterinarians. Pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of diseases of birds.

Restrictions: 195758

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Course code: 118759 Ophthalmology in Small Animal Practice 15 credits

The principles of ophthalmology in dogs and cats for veterinary graduates. Pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of diseases of the eye.

Restrictions: 195759

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Course code: 118761 Canine and Feline Emergency Medicine 15 credits

The principles and practice of emergency medicine in dogs and cats for veterinarians. Pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of conditions seen in emergency practice.

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Course code: 118762 Dermatology for Small Animal Veterinarians 15 credits

The principles of dermatology in dogs and cats for veterinarians. Pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of skin diseases.

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Course code: 118763 Canine and Feline Orthopedic Surgery 15 credits

The principles and practice of orthopaedic surgery in dogs and cats for veterinarians. Pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of orthopaedic diseases.

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Course code: 118764 Canine and Feline Soft Tissue Surgery 15 credits

The principles and practice of soft tissue surgery in dogs and cats for veterinarians. Pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of soft tissue diseases.

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Course code: 118771 Advances in Ruminant Nutrition for Veterinarians 15 credits

An advanced course on ruminant nutrition and feeding practices for veterinarians. Principles of microbial digestion in the rumen, absorption and utilisation of nutrients. Practical nutrition for enhancement of animals’ performance and health, including critical study of the evaluation of feeds, feed intakes and nutrient requirements. Practical assessments of animal and feed resources; ration formulation. Current developments in ruminant feeding technologies, including genetic modification of feeds and rumen flora.

Restrictions: 151705, 117761

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Course code: 118772 Calf Medicine, Health and Management 15 credits

An advanced course on specific aspects of calf rearing, health management and medicine for veterinarians. A critical study of the systems and environments utilised in calf rearing, nutrient and health requirements with respect to disease prevention, herd biosecurity, health, welfare and productivity.

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Course code: 118775 Advanced Mastitis Management for the Production Animal Veterinarian 15 credits

An advanced course on mastitis for production animal veterinarians. This course will provide in-depth study of mastitis causing agents and their treatment and control within the herd and at an individual level. It will address the epidemiology of disease, mastitis prevention, herd biosecurity, herd/animal health, welfare and productivity.

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Course code: 118776 Lameness Investigation and Control for Cattle Veterinarians 15 credits

An advanced course on cattle lameness for veterinarians. This course will provide in-depth study of lameness diagnosis, treatment and control within the herd. It will address the epidemiology of disease, lameness prevention, herd biosecurity, welfare and productivity.

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Course code: 118777 Veterinary Clinical Reproduction and Fertility 15 credits

An advanced course on clinical reproduction for veterinarians. Comparative veterinary reproductive anatomy, physiology, and technology across a range of species. In-depth study of reproductive management in a nominated elective species. Use of scientific literature to inform decision making on reproductive issues.

Restrictions: 117767

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Course code: 118778 Advanced Studies in Equine Lameness for Veterinarians 15 credits

An advanced course on applied aspects of equine lameness for veterinarians. Investigation and management of musculoskeletal diseases of horses and foals. Use of scientific literature to inform decision making on equine lameness issues.

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Course code: 118779 Advanced Studies in Equine Diagnostic Imaging 15 credits

The principles of diagnostic imaging in equine practice for veterinary graduates. Principles of radiography and ultrasonography. Interpretation of the results of imaging and integration with case management.

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Course code: 118780 Equine Gastroenterology 15 credits

An advanced course on aspects of equine gastroenterology for veterinarians. Investigation, critical care and follow-up management of selected gastrointestinal diseases of horses and foals. Use of scientific literature to inform decision making in equine gastroenterology.

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Course code: 118791 Special Topic 15 credits
Course code: 118792 Special Topic 30 credits
Course code: 118793 Special Topic 60 credits
Course code: 118799 Research Report 30 credits

Presentation of the results of a substantial piece of original research within the field of study of the candidate, together with a review of relevant literature, on a subject approved in advance by the Chief Supervisor. The preparation and presentation of the thesis shall comply with the requirements then in force in relation to preparation of theses for the Master of Veterinary Science degree.

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Elective courses

Up to 60 credits from the 117 and 194 course prefix series

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.

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Course code: 118898 Thesis 120 Credit Part 2 60 credits

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

Corequisites: 118897

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Course code: 118899 Thesis 120 credits

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

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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.

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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 (Without Specialisation) you will have been awarded or qualified for a Bachelor of Veterinary Science, with at least a B grade average, or equivalent.

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.

English language skills

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

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.

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