No matter how large, ferocious and wild animals can be, they can’t fight diseases and infections themselves.

They need the care and expertise of world-class veterinarians.

Massey’s Bachelor of Veterinary Science is New Zealand’s only degree in veterinary science. It’s world-leading, taught in state of the art facilities, and internationally-recognised. After you qualify you’ll be able to work with animals all over the world including in the UK, US, Canada and parts of Asia.

You’ll study towards a:

Veterinarians treat clients of all shapes and sizes like newborn lambs, wild birds, game animals and of course companion animals like cats and dogs.

As a veterinarian you’ll be able to practice animal medicine, and also specialise in an area of interest such as surgery, radiology, oncology and epidemiology. Your skills and knowledge will make a huge difference to the health and well being of the animal kingdom – and the human one as well!

Being a vet doesn’t just involve working with animals, although that is a large part of it. It’s equally about working with people from colleagues to farm owners, pet lovers and zoo keepers. You’ll need to be caring, compassionate, incredibly hard-working and good at communicating.


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WHAT IS A CAREER AS A VET LIKE?

Many people want to work with animals, and Massey is the only place in New Zealand you can study to be a vet, so applications for vet school are limited. That doesn’t stop when you start work either. It’s a big challenge, very competitive and hugely varied. Most vets work in a clinic, where you will treat a broad range… Read more

Many people want to work with animals, and Massey is the only place in New Zealand you can study to be a vet, so applications for vet school are limited. That doesn’t stop when you start work either. It’s a big challenge, very competitive and hugely varied.

Most vets work in a clinic, where you will treat a broad range of animals.

Or you could specialise in a specific group of animals you are interested in, such as

  • cats, dogs, birds, etc (companion animals)
  • livestock like sheep and cows (production animals)
  • horses
  • zoos and wildlife parks (exotic animals) 
  • wildlife hospitals (native birds and wildlife (e.g. Wildbase)

You could also specialise in a specific type of vet medicine – for instance care of skin (dermatology), surgery or sight (ophthalmology), work in a government department in an advisory role, or go into research or teaching.

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WHY VETERINARY SCIENCE IS AWESOME

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YOUR CAREER PATH

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HISTORY OF VET SCIENCE

Veterinary medicine is a relatively modern creation, with the first veterinary school opening in Lyon, France, in 1761. Practicing vets as we know them today have probably only been around for less time than that. The role is pretty much the equivalent of a doctor in human medicine. Although if you think about it, doctors deal only with humans. Veterinarians… Read more

Veterinary medicine is a relatively modern creation, with the first veterinary school opening in Lyon, France, in 1761. Practicing vets as we know them today have probably only been around for less time than that.

The role is pretty much the equivalent of a doctor in human medicine. Although if you think about it, doctors deal only with humans. Veterinarians deal with many different types of creatures, with different body types and their own unique medical issues. There is indeed heaps to learn!

New Zealand got its own vet school 50 years ago in 1962, when the Bachelor of Veterinary Science was established at Massey University. Today it is still the only place in New Zealand where you can qualify to be a vet.

Wildlife medicine, and a focus on conservation of wild and endangered animals is something that has only emerged in the last century. With that, has come an awareness that to protect endangered animals, we need to protect the environment in which those animals live.

The World Wildlife Fund was conceived in the early 1960s, with a mandate to protect endangered species. As support for the organisation grew, it started to put resources into preservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of natural resources, reduction of pollution and climate change. All areas that have become very important in the 21st century.

Today there are over 2000 vets in New Zealand. In the US there are more than 600,000!

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NEXT STEPS

You’ll need to gain university entrance. There are also certain subjects you must have studied to enrol for the Bachelor of Veterinary Science. Required subjects Biology Chemistry  Physics Recommended Statistics  English Getting some practical, hands-on experience with animals before you apply is also essential and part of the requirements to apply for qualifications in veterinary science at Massey. School Take… Read more

You’ll need to gain university entrance. There are also certain subjects you must have studied to enrol for the Bachelor of Veterinary Science.

Required subjects

  • Biology
  • Chemistry 
  • Physics

Recommended

  • Statistics 
  • English

Getting some practical, hands-on experience with animals before you apply is also essential and part of the requirements to apply for qualifications in veterinary science at Massey.

School

Take biology, chemistry and physics to NCEA level 3. We also recommend you take courses in Statistics and English.

Entry into Vet School is very competitive, so you’ll need to work hard and get good grades at school.

Mature students

If you’re not a school leaver, and do not have the necessary science papers, you will need to sit equivalent preliminary papers before you can apply for the BVSc. If you have completed relevant papers, but over three years has lapsed, you will need to take other papers to be able to apply.  See programme information (link to Massey site) for more detail.

Distance learning

Veterinary qualifications are not available via distance learning.

Download Your Guide to Sciences, Agriculture and Engineering

Find out how to take the next step.