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Master of Veterinary Studies

Key facts

  • Available at Manawatū
  • Not all listed subject course options are on offer every year
  • Availability for international students varies. Refer to the major / endorsement web pages for details.
  • Some courses are offered in block mode. Part-time study only.

Improve your veterinary skills

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

What is it like?

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

Intensive professional development

The Master of Veterinary Studies is an internationally recognised veterinary degree, most suited to veterinarians who are focused on professional development and progressing their career. It takes place on the Manawatū campus only.

A flexible programme

Massey’s Master of Veterinary Studies can be built around your particular and personal academic needs. You may choose from endorsements in epidemiology, pathology, public health and conservation veterinary medicine, or develop your skills across any area of veterinary science by choosing a MVS with no endorsement. Within the MVS the range of research opportunities is wide and includes most fields of veterinary science from anatomy to animal welfare.

There are a wide range of taught courses for you to choose from, depending on your area of interest and endorsement that you choose. These include pathology, epidemiology, parasitology, conservation medicine, surgery, medicine, physiology, ruminant livestock feeding, dairy, sheep, beef, deer or poultry production, animal welfare science and much more.

The classroom experience is interactive and there is opportunity for research at an entry level.


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.

Wide range of facilities

Host to the only veterinary school in New Zealand, Massey University’s well-equipped facilities include an equine hospital, 24-hour pet hospital and sheep, beef, dairy and deer farms, all located near campus. The Wildbase wildlife hospital is the only dedicated wildlife hospital in New Zealand.

Internationally recognised and supportive environment

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.

Massey’s veterinary and animal science staff are integrated and cooperative. There is also a wide range of expertise across the sciences at the university, including agricultural science, fundamental sciences and engineering. This will give you access to a wide range of expertise, equipment and facilities on one small campus.

Research flexibility

You can choose 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 work on a 120 credit thesis to complete the research component of this degree. The remainder of this qualification is taught.

Other postgraduate veterinary programmes at Massey

If you would like a programme available via distance our Master of Veterinary Medicine may be more suitable.

If you are more interested in a research-focused postgraduate qualification, the Master of Veterinary Science may be a more appropriate qualification for you.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Master of Veterinary Studies will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study.


A good fit if you:

  • Are a veterinarian keen on professional development a field of veterinary science
  • Want to develop practical skills in non-clinical areas such as veterinary public health, epidemiology or pathology
  • Are keen to start the process of becoming a veterinary specialist in a non-clinical field
Hayley Hunt
Master of Veterinary Studies
Massey University PhD student

“The Master of Veterinary Studies programme provided a great mix of case-based learning, practical skills and theory…”

After completing a five-year veterinary science degree at Massey, returning for postgraduate study was far from my mind. I worked in clinical practice for two years and completed two Master of Veterinary Medicine papers extramurally, before deciding I wanted to pursue my interest in veterinary pathology.

The Master of Veterinary Studies programme provided a great mix of case-based learning, practical skills and theory. My supervisors and lecturers were all extremely approachable and knowledgeable, and included four board-certified veterinary pathologists. The research component of the programme gave me the opportunity to investigate an inherited blindness in sheep and I gained invaluable skills in problem solving and critical analysis. I am now using these skills as I work towards my PhD, and my current research is focussed on an unexplained muscle disease in dogs. It’s exciting to think that I could be the person who discovers what causes this disease, and the new knowledge generated may help prevent and treat cases in future.


Graduates of this programme have gone onto become world leaders in veterinary epidemiology and veterinary public health. It is most suitable for those already in employment who wish to have an intensive period of professional development.

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.

World-leading lecturers and supervisors

Massey’s veterinary science staff are internationally renowned for their research and teaching and learning methods. You will be working with recognised specialists, for example:

Associate Professor Jackie Benschop

Associate Professor Jackie Benschop is an epidemiologist undertaking inter-disciplinary research to answer questions about infectious disease. Her extensive field experience in clinical veterinary practice and as a supervising meat veterinarian informs her research across human and veterinary health.

She has been working on other zoonotic diseases including leptospirosis, an important occupational disease in New Zealand. Current projects include serological studies of prevalence in veterinarians, farmers, livestock and dogs; genotyping New Zealand strains; diagnostic test performance in humans and animals and the economic effects of the disease in livestock. Her work with zoonotic disease has expanded to include the effects of environmental change: from 2009 to 2011 she led Massey’s component of FRST funded project investigating the infectious disease consequences of climate variation and change.

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