I want to be a Vet

VCNZ Recognised Schools
New Zealand: Massey

Australia: Sydney, Melbourne, Murdoch, Queensland

United Kingdom: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Bristol, Cambridge and London

South Africa: Pretoria

USA: Auburn, California, Colorado State, Cornell, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa State, Kansas State,
Louisiana State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina State, Ohio State;
Oklahoma State; Oregon State; Pennsylvania; Purdue; Tennessee; Texas A & M; Tufts; Tuskegee;
Virginia-Maryland; Washington State; Wisconsin-Madison

Canada: Montreal; Guelph; Prince Edward Island; Saskatchewan

Europe: Utrecht


The Course (New Zealand)

Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc)

Massey University is one of only a few vet schools outside North America that have received American Veterinary Medical Association(AVMA) accreditation for their veterinary degree. This means that in addition to our graduates being able to work in New Zealand, UK, Australia, South Africa, Singapore and Hong Kong they can also work in Canada and the USA. The Massey University veterinary degree is a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree (BVSc) which is recognised by the AVMA as being equivalent to a DVM from an accredited North American university. The MAJOR advantage of this to you is that it will allow you to work in the USA/Canada as if you had graduated from one of the North American veterinary schools/colleges and you will NOT have to complete the US Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduate (ECFVG) programme requirements (either a 4 day practical or 1 year of supervised training).

The Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc), is a 5 year or 10 semester programme. The first semester beginning in February of each year, is referred to as the “pre-selection” semester and is a trial semester for domestic and Group 1 international students competing for entry into the professional phase of the program.

The professional phase of the degree is 9 semesters or 4.5 years in length, and begins in semester 2 (July) of each year. Selection for entry into semester 2 of the BVSc programme is competitive and students are selected on the basis of academic merit. More details on the selection process can be found here. Successful Group 1 students from the pre-selection semester will be joined by Group 2 International students at this stage.

Practical Work Requirements



The Course

Years 1 and 2 of the program focus primarily on instruction in the core medical sciences tailored for veterinary students to learn normal form and function. In year 3 classes help the student recognise abnormality and introduce clinical studies. Year 4 focuses on the medicine, surgery, health management, diagnostics and treatment of companion and agricultural animal species. The fifth year is a semi-tracked clinically based year. Each student will choose a track from the following options: small animal, production animal, equine, mixed animal, or other areas as approved (i.e wildlife, research). All tracks share a core of 18 weeks of clinics covering all species areas, Then depending on the track a further 7-9 weeks will be prescribed. The student will then have a further 7-9 weeks where they can choose to do externships (within New Zealand or overseas), or further clinics at Massey University. The semi-tracked, individualised final year curriculum allows students to further explore their area of interest while ensuring wide coverage of the main veterinary species.

The classes in veterinary degree at Massey University are listed below. Course content descriptions can be viewed by clicking on the title of each class.

Year 1 - Semester 1 (aka Pre-selection semester)
123.101  Chemistry and Living Systems

162.101  Biology of cells
124.111  Physics for Life Sciences
199.101  Biology of Animals

Year 1 - Semester 2
227.102  Biochemistry for Veterinary Science
227.103  Veterinary Anatomy I

227.104  Veterinary Physiology I
227.105  Animal Behaviour, Handling and Welfare

Year 2
227.201  Animal Science for Veterinarians
227.202  Veterinary Genetics and Breeding
227.203  Veterinary Anatomy II
227.204  Veterinary Physiology II
227.205  Comparative Veterinary Anatomy
227.206  Integrative Veterinary Physiology
227.207  Mechanisms of Disease

Year 3
227.301  Veterinary Pathology I
227.302  Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology
227.303  Veterinary Parasitology
227.304  Poultry, Fish and Wildlife Management and Disease
227.305  Veterinary Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Toxicology
227.306  Veterinary Clinical Studies

Year 4
227.401  Veterinary Pathology II
227.402  Equine and Clinical Studies
227.403  Health and Production in Deer, Sheep and Goats
227.404  Cattle Health and Production
227.405  Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
227.406  Pig and Poultry Health Production and Management
227.407  Veterinary Biometrics and Epidemiology

Year 5
227.501  Law, Ethics, Practice Management and Personal Care for Veterinarians
227.502  Veterinary Public Health, Food Safety and Quality Management
227.503  Veterinary Clinics

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Practical Work Requirements

Candidates who commenced the BVSc after 2003 must complete a period of not less than 20 weeks of approved practical work experience and associated reports to the satisfaction of the Veterinary Science Programme Committee, including:

  • not less than fourteen (14) weeks practical farm work and

  • not less than six (6) weeks veterinary practical work.

All students selected into the BVSc program should read the Practical Work Guidelines Booklet for the BVSc in its entirety as only small excerpts from the booklet are provided here. To download a copy of the Practical Work Guidelines Booklet go to this page and select Vet Guidelines “full”.

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Farm Practical Work

The minimum requirements for farm practical work shall be not less than FOURTEEN (14) weeks that must include:

  • at least 4 weeks work on a commercial sheep (sheep/beef) farm(s);

  • and at least 4 weeks work on a commercial dairy farm(s);

  • and at least 3 weeks equine work, which may include a registered farrier, commercial training stable, horse breeding farm or a combination of these.



The balance of 3 weeks may include any combination of the above, or work on deer unit (esp. velvetting stags), piggeries, poultry units, zoological units, or any other livestock units considered to be appropriate.

At least half of the farm practical experience must be undertaken in New Zealand and must include either the Dairy or Sheep/Beef farm experience.

It is strongly recommended that if you are planning to work in rural practice in New Zealand that you undertake at least two weeks deer practical. The New Zealand Deer Farmers’ Association can be contacted for a list of appropriate farmers who are willing to accommodate a student placement.

If you are planning to sit NAVLE Examinations for Registration in North America, you should seriously consider incorporating two weeks piggery practicals.

If you have gained practical experience prior to enrolling for BVSc (e.g. home farm), you may be permitted to claim credit, subject to a suitable report being submitted by the 30th September in the first year of your course. For any questions regarding farm practical work please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">Practical Work Committee Administrator.

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Veterinary Practical Work


The minimum requirements for veterinary practical work shall be:


SIX (6) weeks attendance under the supervision of a registered veterinary surgeon. It is essential that you experience a range of clinical practices – at least HALF (i.e. 3 weeks) of the veterinary work experience must be completed in New Zealand, in a minimum of two practices and one week must be a large animal/rural practice.