Massey University Vet Science

By studying veterinary science at Massey University you’ll join a world-leading veterinary programme that will qualify you to work as a veterinarian in many different areas.

What is it like?

Find out more about entry requirements, fees and courses in the planning section.

Massey is the only university in New Zealand that offers veterinary training, and the degree is widely recognised internationally. The Massey University BVSc programme is fully accredited by the Australasian Veterinary Board Council (AVBC), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). The BVSc is also recognised through reciprocity by the South African Veterinary Association (SAVA).This means you could work as a veterinarian not only in New Zealand, but also Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the USA and many other countries.

Veterinary science is a key focus for Massey University’s Palmerston North campus and we have some of the best facilities in Australasia. The BVSc is a 5-year degree that is divided into a pre-selection phase and a professional phase.

A new wildlife hospital opened in 2016 – the only such facility at a New Zealand university, where we treat many of our endangered species. A 24-hour pet emergency centre and an equine hospital complement the existing veterinary clinic for companion and production animals (e.g. sheep, dairy and beef cows).

Massey’s vet programme leads the world

Massey University’s veterinary programme is ranked in the top 50 universities worldwide by both the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking and ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.

Challenge yourself

In line with the international recognition for the degree, you will find that the study of veterinary science is rigorous and challenging.

You will need to work hard, and apply yourself, but the result will be an interesting, varied, and rewarding career.

You’ll need a good background in the sciences if you want to become a veterinarian.

Work all over the world

Our veterinary school was the first in the Southern Hemisphere to be accredited by the AVMA. This means the Massey University BVSc is recognised by the AVMA as being equivalent to a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from an accredited North American university.

How does it work?

Massey’s Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc), is a five-year (10 semester) programme. The first semester (beginning in February) is referred to as the “BVSc pre-selection” semester.

Depending on your performance in this first semester, you may be selected to the ‘professional phase’ of your qualification, beginning in July (4.5 years long). Selection is highly-competitive so focussing on great results for your first semester is vital.

What will it be like?

You will study core medical sciences (tailored for veterinary students), as well as normal and then abnormal animal structure and function. Then you’ll be taught how to “fix” animals, or return them to normal function through clinical studies, medicine, surgery and health management of companion and agricultural animal species.

Throughout years 1-4 there is a focus on professional studies and attributes for veterinarians and integrative problem oriented courses. These integrative courses encourage students to apply the information learned in the other individual courses to real life veterinary cases and scenarios designed to develop problem solving and critical thinking.

In your fifth and final year you get to choose an area of interest (track), and will do lots of work placements while you are studying. This gives you invaluable on-the-job experience. This individualised final year curriculum allows you to further explore your area of interest while ensuring wide coverage of the main veterinary species.

During the programme you will attend lectures, tutorials, practical classes and clinical sessions and undertake farm and veterinary practical work outside of university semester time.

The School of Veterinary Science advances knowledge in animal health and welfare, biosecurity, conservation and sustainable productivity. We are a world-leader in our field, working with governments, other universities, international and national organisations and companies to improve animal health and production, and human health. We have:

  • Over 1000 students
  • 250 staff
  • 170 research programmes


Massey University offers New Zealand’s only veterinary degree (Bachelor of Veterinary Science), accredited internationally. In addition, we teach the Bachelor of Veterinary Technology and contribute to the teaching of the University’s agricultural and science programmes.

We also have a range of internationally recognised postgraduate and professional development courses and qualifications.


The School of Veterinary Science conducts research across a large number of species in a wide range of disciplines.

Our research underpins advances in New Zealand’s primary industries, companion animals,public health, biosecurity and animal welfare.


Find out more about the Massey study programmes, research, facilities, services and people working in the School of Veterinary Science’s areas of specialisation.


The School of Veterinary Science is located on Massey’s campus in Palmerston North. Academic and administrative staff are located in the Hopkirk building, Veterinary Building and the Vet Tower just off the Ring Road. These offices are adjacent to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and Wildbase Hospital and within walking distance of the Equine Veterinary Clinic and Farm Services.


The study of veterinary science at Massey University will give you broad-based scientific training that can lead to many different challenging and rewarding careers in fields related to animals.

Veterinary practice

If you work as a clinical veterinarian you’ll provide high-quality care for animals, whether they are pets, working animals, farm 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.

Other potential careers

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

  • Animal incursion investigator helping to diagnose new and emerging animal diseases, and working on responses to potential outbreaks.
  • Food safety veterinarian and other contributions to public health
  • Veterinary researcher contributing to animal health and production
  • Protect New Zealand wildlife in the Department of Conservation

Develop specialist skills

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

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

Pathways to postgraduate study

Most BVSc graduates spend some time working in clinical practice or other veterinary endeavours for a few years to gain further experience. However, there are opportunities to develop further skills through clinical specialisation or via postgraduate study.

International students

We welcome international applications for Massey’s Bachelor of Veterinary Science.

From the first day you will get hands-on animal experience and be exposed to ‘real-world’ veterinary problems. 

Fast track your veterinary career

In New Zealand, professional training programs like veterinary medicine are undergraduate programmes so you don’t need a previous degree.
If you successfully complete Massey University’s Bachelor of Veterinary Science you will be qualified in only five years, the fastest pathway to becoming a fully-qualified veterinarian from an AVMA accredited programme.

Studying in New Zealand

How to apply and deadlines

Go to the entry and planning section of this course site to work out what type of international student you might be and what this means for requirements, fees and deadlines.

Find out more

Contact us

Academic advising is primarily about establishing a good fit between you as an individual and a particular programme of study. We would like to help you make the right decisions. There are people who can give you the academic advice you need to meet your personal study goals.

Massey University Contact Centre

Our Contact Centre will provide information about Massey University programmes and courses and can direct you to additional help. You can contact one of our friendly staff by email, fax, phone, live chat, using an online form or visit one of our campuses.

Opening hours: Monday-Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

Telephone: 0800 MASSEY (0800 627 739) 
Telephone (from outside NZ): +64 6 350 5701 
Facsimile: +64 6 350 5618 
Text: 5222

Online form: Information request form 
Internet chat: 
Email: [email protected]

Visit a campus:

Academic Advice

Contact an adviser from our Student Advice and Information Unit to get all the information you need on your study and any programmes and courses you are interested in. This includes advice on progress to completion, graduation, credit for previous study, changing programmes, progression between qualifications, as well as advice on planning and sequencing your course choices.

For academic advice please use the contact details above and the Massey University Contact Centre will arrange for an adviser to assist you further.