Master of Avian Health & Medicine

Course 882-AM (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008. Search for this in the current handbook

Year and Campus: 2008
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate


Postgraduate Coordinator

Faculty of Veterinary Science

The University of Melbourne

Victoria 3010, Australia

Tel: +61 3 8344 0357

Course Overview:

Avian Health Online is an interactive web based learning environment designed by the University of Melbourne for veterinarians to further their understanding in poultry health and management and enable them to better function in today's global poultry industry. Currently, two postgraduate courses are offered on Avian Health Online; a Postgraduate Certificate in Avian Health and a Master of Avian Health and Medicine. Both are offered on a part-time basis to allow students to study while still continuing to work. Both courses will be suitable for veterinarians currently working in the poultry industry, and for those who are seeking to enter the industry and want to develop a sound foundation of professional competencies. For those without prior industry experience, the University of Melbourne will assist you in developing a mentorship program with an experienced poultry veterinarian close to you. This will build up your practical poultry experience and hands-on skills. The course coordinator will discuss with you how to set up the mentorship program before the commencement of your studies so that the arrangement is in place while you are studying your first Unit: Poultry Industry Fieldwork. The Masters of Avian Health and Medicine is a continuation of studies, building on what has already been learnt in the Postgraduate Certificate.

Objectives: This course should allow graduates to:
  • develop increased breadth and depth of knowledge in poultry production- health interactions and in avian pathology;
  • attain an advanced level of skills in the recognition and diagnosis of infectious and non-infectious diseases of poultry using poultry pathology;
  • apply developed professional competencies in poultry pathology to achieving enhanced health and productivity within the poultry industries.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The Masters program is a continuation of studies, building on what has already been learnt in the Postgraduate Certificate. The program will assist students to develop a working knowledge of the use and applications of pathology; serology and microbiology in avian health; product quality, public health and international trade; financial analysis in decision making for poultry production systems; and critical reading and preparation skills for scientific papers. A 10,000 word dissertation will be produced by the student as part of their studies on a topic in poultry health/management/production that is of interest to them and relevant to their current or future employment.
The Master of Avian Health and Medicine Degree will be awarded to the student after he/she has successfully completed Units 1 to 6. The two Courses offered on Avian Health Online are composed of individual Units, each focusing on topics relevant to the modern poultry veterinarian. Each Unit runs for 16 weeks and will run twice yearly (March to June & September to December). The Units will initially be launched one at a time in six monthly intervals.Students studying the Postgraduate Certificate will be required to work through Units 1 & 2. Master Degree candidates will work through Units 1 to 6 to complete their studies. Each Unit has the basic structure of 1 preparatory week, 14 lecture weeks and an examination week, much like a typical face to face university subject. Students will be expected to be able to set aside approximately 15 hours per week for personal study/reading, assignments and participation in online activities.

For descriptions of Unit 1 and Unit 2, please see the entry for the Postgraduate Certificate in Avian Health (course V01-AV). Units 3 to 6 are described below.

Subject Options:

Unit 3 and Unit 4

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Unit 5 and Unit 6

Unit 5: Avian Production and Financial Analysis
Description: Unit 5 is intended to help students appreciate the economics of poultry production and the financial impact of veterinary health management decisions to the bottom line of a poultry production facility or company. Spreadsheet activities are used in addition to lectures and reading activities to illustrate the impact of management decisions (i.e vaccinating or moulting a flock) or a disease outbreak on the economics of poultry production.

Learning Objectives:
Develop a sound understanding of practical economics of achieving profitable poultry production with poultry flocks (breeder, layer and broiler production). Compare the aims of optimal performance versus least cost of production.

Cost of Welfare e.g. alternative systems versus cage layer systems.

Production costs versus retail selling prices.

Develop the skills needed to analyse the financial implications of veterinary decisions in relation to production scenarios and evaluate the economics of implementing disease preventative measures versus the cost of a disease in a flock.

Gain communication experience through group simulation in the 'selling' of disease prevention and health management programs to management.

Topics: **To be confirmed**
Cost of production (COP) and cost of veterinary interventions
Financial analysis of Poultry Breeding practices
Running hatcheries and the cost of producing day old chicks
Broiler placement programs and their objectives to meet market requirements in regard to the timing of depopulation and weight for age, etc.
Table Egg Layers: economic analysis of productivity of flocks
Financial impact of disease versus the cost of vaccination
Cost/benefit analysis of Biosecurity programs
Valuation of stock for replacement & Exotic Avian Disease outbreak compensation
Producing safe poultry products: financial challenges
Financial implications of decisions in the processing plant
Time management for field veterinarians

Unit 6: Research Project Literature Dissertation
Description: Unit 6 requires students to prepare a 10,000 word research dissertation based on contemporary scientific and technical information on a poultry health or production topic of their choice. Ideally, topics should relate to activities undertaken by the student in his or her workplace. In preparing the dissertation, students will appreciate how to critically read and review scientific literature and prepare a scientific paper in an internationally accepted format.

Learning Objectives:
Develop a balanced understanding of how best to appreciate and use as professional resources the different types of scientific and technical literature.

Acquire techniques and analytical abilities to enable preparation of a valid scientific research dissertation on a poultry health or production issue of your choice.

Develop the ability to critically read and review scientific literature.

Enhance personal communication and presentation skills.

Prepare effective presentations for varying types of audiences.

Entry Requirements:
  • A five-year Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree, or an equivalent qualification from a Veterinary School listed in the World Health Organisation Directory of Veterinary Schools, and
  • Professional veterinary practice: at least one year of documented veterinary experience in the poultry industry OR at least two years of documented veterinary experience with small or large animals, or other category of professional practice in veterinary disciplines.
  • completion of the Postgraduate Certificate in Avian Health with an average of 70%.
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs.
Graduate Attributes:

Students' awareness of the economic, environmental, political, social and welfare factors behind the major poultry health, poultry production, public health, animal welfare and international trade issues will be extended through these courses, as will their ability to understand how these issues affect their own work environment.

Generic Skills: -
Links to further information:

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