New information following the change in COVID-19 alert levels.

Master of Veterinary Medicine

Key facts

  • Available via Distance Learning
  • Not all listed subject course options are on offer every year
  • Equivalent to one year full-time study. Can be completed part-time.
  • Available for international students via distance learning

A flexible world-leading postgraduate veterinary programme

The Master of Veterinary Medicine attracts students from all around the globe to this world-leading online education programme.

What is it like?

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

Massey’s Master of Veterinary Medicine programme offers practicing veterinarians a flexible, modular system of study via online learning. You may choose from a wide range of small animal, large animal, epidemiology and veterinary business courses.

Internationally recognised

Massey University’s veterinary programme is internationally recognised ­­– we were one of the first in the Southern Hemisphere to earn American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accreditation.

You will also be joining one of the few online distance education programmes for veterinarians that offers the option of completing a qualification.


Your courses will advance your knowledge and skills to an in-depth level beyond that obtained in your primary veterinary degree. Courses can be completed for continuing education or put towards a Master of Veterinary Medicine or other qualification.

Massey University has an excellent reputation for veterinary teaching, with our expert lecturers coming to us from all over the world.

All courses in the Master of Veterinary Medicine programme are delivered by distance learning, and there is no restriction on where in the world you can live.

Massey is New Zealand's premier distance education provider, with fifty years of experience and advanced online tools, forums and interactions with lecturers to facilitate your study.

As well as specific knowledge in areas of interest, you will strengthen your:

  • technical knowledge and skills in particular fields of general (non-specialist) veterinary practice.
  • exploring effective problem-solving strategies within the constraints of general veterinary practice
  • confidence in your skills and in your approach to cases.
  • skills in sourcing and evaluation of literature relevant to clinical practice
  • ability to reflect and self-assess your work

On-campus workshops are held in Palmerston North, New Zealand. Attendance at these workshops is strongly recommended, but not compulsory (with the exception of the capstone Contact Workshops which are compulsory either in-person or online). All courses require a computer and internet access.


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.

Find out more about specific courses and our lecturers at

A good fit if you:

  • Are already a qualified veterinarian
  • Would like the flexibility of studying via distance, online learning
  • Would like to increase your in-depth knowledge of specifics of veterinary medicine
Magdeline Soo
Master of Veterinary Medicine (Companion Animal Surgery) with Distinction

“One of the key factors for deciding on the MVM was that it is internationally-recognised, meaning that many veterinary councils internationally allow MVM papers to be credited as CPD points…”

I really enjoyed studying, so after I completed my BVSc I decided to look at post-graduate papers.

The MVM was an easy choice - it has an excellent range of companion animal papers that I was interested in and that were relevant to me as a clinician in practice. I was familiar with Massey, having completed my BVSc there. Importantly, the MVM also offered flexible learning options which fitted in well with my busy clinical schedules and the MVM (and the MU Library) offered excellent distance-learning support. The MVM also helped me prepare for, and successfully complete my companion animal surgery membership examinations with the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists. Finally, pursuing the MVM at MU was another reason to come back to New Zealand!

The University environment (and the lecturers) provided a very conducive, supportive and encouraging learning environment.

After graduating from the BVSc, I worked in busy small animal practices in Singapore, then returned to Massey University Veterinary Teaching Hospital as the Pfizer Surgical Intern in 2011. I then worked for a while at a local veterinary practice while studying towards my MVM.

I have always been particularly interested in companion and working dog health, particularly canine hip dysplasia (CHD). I have seen first-hand in clinical practice how debilitating the disease can be. My ongoing interest in CHD formed the basis of my MVM dissertation, which provided a comprehensive literature review to the pathophysiology, genetics, diagnosis and treatment of CHD. The dissertation also included original research which was later condensed and prepared for publication in the New Zealand Veterinary Journal as two separate articles.

I am passionate about animals and think I will continue to do research, specifically on both pet and working dogs. I can see how I can make a difference, so I want to do so!


Graduates of the Master of Veterinary Medicine programme are the go-to person in clinical practice to discuss cases. They are confident in front of clients and show excellent writing skills. Graduates of the programme develop critical thinking skills which are transferrable to many situations in the veterinary profession.

Career prospects for MVM graduates

  • Academic research
  • Animal feed companies
  • Governmental agencies
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Veterinary administration
  • Veterinary journalism
  • Veterinary medical industry
  • Veterinary practice

Skills gained through a master’s programme

A person with a master’s degree is able to:

  • show evidence of advanced knowledge about a specialist field of enquiry or professional practice
  • demonstrate mastery of sophisticated theoretical subject matter
  • evaluate critically the findings and discussions in the literature
  • research, analyse and argue from evidence
  • work independently and apply knowledge to new situations
  • engage in rigorous intellectual analysis, criticism and problem-solving.

Earn more

A Ministry of Education report found that:

  • Earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed

Five years after leaving study:

  • most young domestic graduates will be earning above the national median earnings
  • young master’s graduates will be earning more than one and a half times the national median.

More on this report 

World-leading lecturers

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

Mary-Anna Thrall BA DVM MS DipACVPt

Mary Anna is a specialist in clinical pathology. She spent 32 years teaching in this area at Colorado State University. She is now based in St. Kitts, West Indies.

She is active in continuing education to veterinarians and pathologists and has provided more than 300 scientific presentations and continuing education programs. She is author or co-author of numerous scientific publications, abstracts, proceedings, and book chapters, and is the primary author of a clinical pathology textbook, Veterinary Hematology and Clinical Chemistry.

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