Study Veterinary Medicine in New Zealand

Introduction to studying a veterinary medicine degree

New Zealand's veterinary medicine programs are popular among international students due to the country's commitment to animal welfare, high-quality education, and the opportunity to work with diverse species, including farm animals, wildlife, and companion animals. 

Typically spanning five to six years, a veterinary medicine degree covers various modules, including anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, surgery, and pathology. Students will gain practical experience through clinical placements, allowing them to apply theoretical knowledge to real-life situations. The curriculum is designed to meet international standards, preparing graduates for veterinary licensure and practice globally. The hands-on approach to learning, coupled with the country's stringent biosecurity measures, provides students with a unique and valuable educational experience. 

Upon completing a veterinary medicine degree in New Zealand, international students can pursue diverse career opportunities, and typical employers include veterinary clinics, animal hospitals, research institutions, government agencies, and pharmaceutical companies. Graduates may work as veterinarians in private practice, specializing in small animal medicine, equine medicine, or food animal health.

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Types of Veterinary Medicine Degrees in New Zealand

Many New Zealand universities have healthcare departments that deal with animal issues. Here is the list of degrees that can be pursued in New Zealand. 

New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Level 6)

The New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing is an advanced degree program designed to provide you with skills and knowledge. The coursework comprises advanced medical and nursing, which includes professional communication skills, surgical assistance, cytology, and anesthetic monitoring. 

You will be able to learn through a mix of small groups, full-class discussions, and clinical workshops. A qualification in veterinary medicine courses will enable you to practice independently in a veterinary clinic, where direct veterinary supervision is not required. Once you graduate, you will be eligible for registration with the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association. 

Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine - BVetMed - (Level 7)

A bachelor of veterinary medicine degree is an undergraduate course that offers world-leading scientific and clinical training in veterinary medicine. Through the course, you will gain an understanding of veterinary practice and science and learn how to develop fundamental problem-solving skills, communication, and critical-thinking skills. 

After graduating with the degree, you can choose career paths in animal welfare, public policy, food safety, veterinary public health, and biosecurity. 

Master in Veterinary Medicine

A master of veterinary medicine is a postgraduate program that provides students with advanced knowledge and skills in veterinary medicine. The course is designed to equip students with the necessary skills to diagnose and treat animal diseases, conduct research, and manage animal health and welfare. 

The coursework of the Master in Veterinary Medicine course in New Zealand includes advanced topics such as animal behaviour, animal nutrition, epidemiology, and infectious disease. After graduation, you can work as a veterinary practitioner, researcher, or academic. 


New Zealand universities offer various scholarships and grants to support international students in education. These financial scholarships cover expenses like tuition, travel, and other necessities. Here is the list of top scholarships that are available in New Zealand:

Scholarship name

Offered by

Award value

The University of Auckland International Student Excellence Scholarship

University of Auckland


Tongarewa Scholarship

Victoria University of Wellington

$5000 - $10,000

Helen Macmillan Brown Bursary

University of Canterbury


Jobs and Careers

Graduates with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in veterinary medicine in New Zealand have many career options. Opportunities for freshers and experienced veterinary professionals are good because there are not enough to meet demand, mainly in rural areas. Graduates may also work for companies and agencies, the Ministry of Primary Industries, universities, wildlife services, and animal health companies. They can specialise in large or small animals, zoo animals, horses or farm animals, and domestic pets. 


An average veterinarian in New Zealand earns around $110,550 annually. The annual pay scale for entry-level positions is around $102,839 annually, and experienced workers make up to $126,139 annually. Some high-demand jobs in veterinary medicine include veterinary surgeon, veterinary nurse, animal nutritionist, and zoologist. 

Top Universities for Veterinary Medicine Courses in New Zealand

To learn more about Veterinary Medicine in New Zealand, find details on the top-ranking veterinary medicine universities in New Zealand in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023. 



Acceptance rate


University of Canterbury



Massey University


Study Veterinary Medicine in New Zealand

If you want to learn more about studying a veterinary medicine degree at a New Zealand university, arrange a free consultation with SI-New Zealand today.

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What types of veterinary courses are available in New Zealand?

The veterinary courses in New Zealand are available in diplomas in veterinary nursing, bachelor's in veterinary science (pre-selection| professional phase), and master's of veterinary studies.

What is the typical duration of a veterinary course in New Zealand?

The course duration of a veterinary course depends on the degree you’ve chosen. The program duration for an undergraduate degree is three years, and the master’s is two years. 

What are the career prospects of veterinary graduates in New Zealand?

New Zealand offers many exciting career opportunities to students in veterinary medicine. Graduates can work in fields like diagnostic services, veterinary public health, livestock animal health, and production consultancy. 

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