New Zealand - Massey University Faculty of Veterinary Science

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MU1.jpg MU2.jpg MU3.jpg
Established 1963
Location Palmerston North, New Zealand
Principal/Dean Professor Frazer Allan, BVSc, MVSc, MACVSc, PhD, PGDip BusAdmin (Dist)
Students 880
  Undergraduates 495 - Bachelor of Veterinary Science

68 - Bachelor of Veterinary Technology

  Postgraduates 317
Website Click Here
Contact Prospective Students - NZ & Australia

Sue Gribbin
+64 6 350 5300

Prospective Students - International

Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences
College of Sciences
Massey University
Private Bag 11-222
Palmerston North

+64 6 350 4525

Facebook page Click Here

The Institute of Veterinary Animal and Biomedical Sciences (IVABS) is grouped within the College of Sciences at Massey University. Founded in 1963, it is the only veterinary training facility in New Zealand and is also accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Australasian Veterinary Boards Council and the New Zealand Veterinary Council.

IVABS mission is to enhance animal and human well-being by promotion of the health, welfare and sustainable productivity of domestic animals and the health and welfare of humans and wildlife.

About Us

The Faculty of Veterinary Science came into existence on 1 May 1962 in the Massey Agricultural College (now College of Sciences) when the first Professor of Veterinary Science, the Foundation Dean, I.J. Cunningham was appointed. In 1963 full autonomy and university status was obtained for Massey University of the Manawatu (as it was originally called, becoming Massey University in 1966).

The first intake into second year veterinary science was in 1964, with the veterinary science clinic opening in 1965, and the vet tower in 1971. In 1997 the Veterinary faculty moved away from the traditional structure of a dean and department to a new more flexible model which more reflected the university environment which it found its self in, along with the structural changes came a rebranding and the vet faculty became the Institute of Veterinary Animal and Biomedical Sciences (IVABS).

Over the last fifty years student number have increased from 32 to 98.



There are several excellent undergraduate programs offered by the University through the Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences with the veterinary degree – Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc), and the Bachelor of Veterinary Technology (BVT) being the main veterinary industry related programs. Animal related Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of AgriScience programs are also available.

The Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) is an internationally recognised degree and continues to produce high quality graduates with excellent problem solving skills. The program 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 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.

Years 1 and 2 of the BVSc focus primarily on instruction in the core medical sciences tailored for veterinary students to learn normal form and function. In year 3, students recognise abnormality and are introduced to 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 (e.g. wildlife, research). All tracks share a core of 18 weeks of clinics covering all species areas. 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 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 Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences have a comprehensive range of Postgraduate level qualifications in Veterinary Science, Animal Science and Biomedical Science at Postgraduate Diploma, Masters and PhD level. There are about 80 PhD candidates from all over the world engaged in research in a wide range of topics including epidemiology of disease, public health, infectious disease and parasitology, pastoral production systems, animal behaviour and welfare, and wildlife health. The Master of Veterinary Medicine (MVM) programme enables veterinarians in practice to continue their education beyond their primary veterinary degree. The MVM programme is a professional development programme delivered by distance education. The Master of Veterinary Medicine (Biosecurity) and Master of Public Health (Biosecurity) degrees are purpose-built training programmes with a shared epidemiology foundation delivered to specific target audiences in Asia. These courses are principally delivered online but also include regional workshops and events. The Master of Veterinary Studies (MVS), Master of Veterinary Science and master of Science are delivered on campus. These programmes can be modified to suit individual requirements. The Institute has over 300 post-graduate students and many of these are international students.

Current Research

The Institute of Veterinary Animal and Biomedical Sciences (IVABS) is a major provider of cost-effective, applied research to internationally recognised quality standards. The nearly 100 academic and research staff are involved in well over 200 research projects many of which contribute to large, multidisciplinary, research programmes that are of relevance and importance to New Zealand.

Some research programmes are organised into either formal University Centres or informal Research Groups. Most of these Centres/Groups draw their expertise from more than one Institute in the College of Sciences and some also utilise expertise from external organisations. The primary function of Centres/Groups is the coordination and profiling of research but some also have a significant service and teaching role. Research Centres / Groups include:

  • EpiCentre (veterinary epidemiology)
  • Sheep Research Centre
  • Equine Research Centre
  • Animal Welfare and Bioethics Centre
  • Deer Research
  • Centre for Service and Working Dog Health
  • The New Zealand Wildlife Health Centre
  • Molecular Epidemiology and Public Health Laboratory
  • Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology & Evolution (a Centre of Research Excellence)
  • National Research Centre for Growth and Development (a Centre of Research Excellence)
  • Equine Trust (a Partnership for Excellence)
  • Infectious Disease Research Centre

Clinical Services

Massey University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, a centre of excellence for veterinary services. The Hospital caters to all animals, no matter how big or how small!

The Veterinary Teaching Hospital offers a full range of medical and surgical care to companion animal, equine, farm animal and wildlife patients through both general practice and specialist referral services. The facilities include advanced diagnostic imaging including CT, Digital Radiography, Fluoroscopy, and Ultrasound, specialist surgical and medical facilities manned by highly qualified veterinary specialists who perform advanced surgical techniques and provide very high levels of medical treatment and patient care. Animals are referred to the veterinary teaching hospital from throughout New Zealand. The Massey University Veterinary Teaching Hospital also has a community practice to service the veterinary needs of the local community.

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