Bachelor of Veterinary Technology

Open doors to your veterinary career

Massey University’s Bachelor of Veterinary Technology opens doors to a vast range of careers in the veterinary and animal-related industries.

What is it like?

Veterinary medicine is steadily advancing, with greater use of science and technology for the improvement of animal welfare.  There is a growing demand for veterinary professionals who have in-depth knowledge of the science, the latest research, veterinary best practice and current welfare issues.

A diverse degree

The Bachelor of Veterinary Technology is a diverse degree that will provide you with a variety of transferable skills, including how to effectively collect evidence, analyse it and develop appropriate solutions. These skills open up opportunities to work in various different industries.

As a veterinary technologist, you could work with veterinary specialists in a veterinary referral hospital, or with government and private organisations to help maintain and protect the health and welfare of wildlife, as well as exotic, companion, and production animals.

There is also a high demand for the skills you gain in the areas of public health and food safety.

Veterinary technologists work with pathologists, as animal behaviourists, production animal consultants, and senior advisers in regulatory industry bodies. The study of veterinary technology will teach you how to be relevant to contemporary veterinary practice.

Unique

Massey University is the only university in New Zealand to offer veterinary degrees. The Bachelor of Veterinary Technology is unique in New Zealand and is only one of four that are available internationally.

Vital skills

Your study will be challenging and rewarding. You will learn how to become a problem solver and critical thinker. These are vital skills for any career.

Real world experience

Veterinary Technology students are trained alongside Massey University’s veterinary science students in a clinical setting in the state-of-the-art veterinary hospital. A new wildlife hospital (Wildbase) opened in 2016 – the only such facility at a New Zealand university, where we treat many of our endangered species. A 24-hour pet emergency centre and a newly built equine hospital complement the existing veterinary clinic for companion and production animals (e.g. sheep, dairy and beef cows). Our staff are leading the world in their research and work with all types of animals.

Where does a career as a veterinary technologist ‘fit’?

BVetTech – Unlike studying towards a BVSC (five years to complete), studying towards the BVetTech takes less time to complete than veterinary science (three years).

With the exception of performing significant surgical procedures, diagnosing, and prescribing medication, veterinary technologists progress into roles that have perform similar tasks to veterinarians.

Veterinary nursing - Veterinary nursing generally only includes the study basic skills aimed at nursing companion animal pets such as dogs and cats. A veterinary technologist also has knowledge of a wider range of animal species including production animals (e.g. dairy and beef cows, as well as sheep), horses, as well as exotics and wildlife. Veterinary nursing is primarily useful for those who wish to work in a general small animal clinical practice performing basic nursing care or animals and the clinic. The BVetTech graduate has a broad range of options, including a much deeper understanding of animal systems, as well as a quicker career advancement. Vet technologists also work in a much wider variety of industries.

What will it be like?

You will study core veterinary sciences (tailored for veterinary technology students), as well as normal and then abnormal animal structure and function. You will be taught how to care for animals, or aide veterinarians in returning them to normal function.

Throughout years one and two, there is a focus on professional studies and attributes for veterinary technologists and problem oriented courses. Courses encourage students to apply the information learned in to real life cases and scenarios designed to develop problem solving and critical thinking.

In your third and final year, you get to choose an area of interest (track), and will do lots of work placements while you are studying. This gives you invaluable on-the-job experience. This individualised final year curriculum allows you to further explore your area of interest while ensuring wide coverage of the main veterinary species.

During the programme you will attend lectures, tutorials, practical classes and clinical sessions and undertake farm and veterinary practical work outside of university semester time.

Massey’s vet programme leads the world

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.

Do what you want

In your final year you choose an area of interest (track) to gain more knowledge and experience in that area. You can select from small animals, production animals, equine or business.

A good fit if you:

  • Would like a diverse degree that opens multiple career options
  • Would like to work with animals, but want to study for less time that it takes to become a veterinarian
  • Do well in science and mathematics
  • Want a hands-on career working with a variety of animals
  • Enjoy meeting new people and are a good communicator
  • Are good at analysing situations
Sam Tennent
Animal and Feed Developer at DairyNZ

“The Bachelor of Veterinary Technology provided the perfect combination of veterinary science knowledge, clinical experience, and management preparation that I needed…”

I always wanted a career working with animals, however when I fell pregnant in year 13 I had to weigh up my options. I went along to Massey Open Day and was thrilled to discover a degree within the veterinary industry that could be used outside of a clinical setting and didn’t involve committing to five years full time study.

Massey was the perfect choice for me because it is the only university in New Zealand that offers this type of degree. Plus it was close to home so I could enjoy the support of my family while studying and raising my son.

My years at Massey were some of the best in my life – the people I met, the friends I made and the experiences I had were invaluable.

In my final year I chose to specialise in ‘Production Animals’ as my passion lay in farming. I’m now working at LIC, where I work with farmers to help them improve livestock performance and farm productivity. In 2015 I was awarded the top Farm Solutions Manager in the lower north island, as well as the National Award for individual performance.

The skills I gained during my time at Massey really gave me a step up in my career. The agriculture papers I completed during my degree help me understand what farmers are facing on a daily basis, and my animal science knowledge means I can provide solutions to my clients that are educated and sustainable.

Careers

There is growing demand for the skills you will gain through the Bachelor of Veterinary Technology. This qualification can lead to a surprisingly broad range of veterinary and animal-related careers including leadership roles.

A career with a future

As a veterinary technologist you will be relevant and valuable to the future of veterinary and allied animal health professions. Veterinary technology has been identified as one of the top three recession-proof professions internationally.

Examples of career opportunities for veterinary technologists with a BVetTech degree include:

  • Clinic staff supervisors or hospital managers
  • Animal behaviour advisors to clients about problem pets
  • Specialty practice technologists (examples include dermatology, anaesthesia, surgery, internal medicine, and critical case care)
  • Biomedical research technologists and laboratory animal managers
  • Instructors in veterinary nursing/technology/science programmes and veterinary school hospitals
  • Herd health technologists on food animal, poultry, or equine farms
  • Pharmaceutical sales and marketing representatives
  • Health technologists in zoos, animal control, or humane societies
  • Food or livestock inspectors for government agencies
  • Zoo veterinary hospital or wildlife rehabilitation technologists
  • Marketing and/or teaching roles in veterinary organisations and practices
  • On-farm animal health consultants

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