Bachelor of Veterinary Science(PV)

Course 875PV (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Year and Campus: 2010 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Undergraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 400 credit points taken over 48 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Professor Bruce Parry


The Academic Programs Manager Faculty of Veterinary Science The University of Melbourne Victoria 3010 Australia Tel: +61 3 8344 7357 Fax: +61 3 8344 7374
Course Overview:

The information provided for the Bachelor of Veterinary Science courses 875-PV and 875-VS is identical.

The BVSc course requires five years of university study. There are two routes of entry. Some students will be admitted on the basis of Year 12 studies into a pre-veterinary year of science at this University. Others will be admitted after completing at least one year of an approved science course at a university. The BVSc degree is required for registration to practise as a veterinary surgeon. Part-time study is not available.

The veterinary science course curriculum is arranged within several frameworks which allow lateral and vertical integration of subject matter. Key among these is the animal framework. The central focus in this framework is the management of animal health and disease. The work covers subjects which lead to the understanding of the normal and abnormal animal, how disease is produced, and how animals and their welfare are managed in the agricultural and companion animal industries. Other frameworks are herd and flock (management of groups of animals), production systems (for example, piggeries and vaccine laboratories), community (dealing with the two-way interaction of professionals with the community), and personal development (providing opportunities for personal development as scientist, veterinarian, environmentalist and community leader). These frameworks also link to particular subjects of the BVSc course or are a synthesis of skills acquired across the whole course. First- and second-year subjects are discipline based. Subjects of the clinical years are based first on body systems (for example, the cardiovascular system), then on animal species, and throughout on practical clinical experience.

Lectures and practical work are required in almost all subjects. Laboratory experiments, demonstrations, clinical work and vacation work on farms and with veterinarians reinforce the theoretical content of lectures. Students work under supervision in the Veterinary Clinic and Hospital at Werribee in conditions similar to those they will encounter after graduating.

Study of Veterinary Science involves the use of animals in teaching. Students should be aware that the use of animals is an essential part of the course. Exemptions are not available. All practical classes where animals or animal tissue are used have been approved by the University's Animal Ethics Committee.

Professional Recognition:
A veterinary science graduate from the University of Melbourne qualifies for registration as a veterinarian in Australia. Graduates may also register to practise as veterinarians in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The University of Melbourne BVSc degree has been accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Graduates are eligible to sit the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination along with graduates from accredited veterinary colleges in the United States and Canada. Further information on specific requirements for licensure should be obtained from the respective bodies in each country and state or province. For registration in Singapore and Hong Kong the applicant must hold a recognised degree in veterinary medicine. As a guide, degrees recognised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, United Kingdom, are generally acceptable. Graduates with the degree of Bachelor of Veterinary Science from the University of Melbourne may register with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.


The aim of the BVSc course, in acknowledgement of the aims, guiding values and objectives of the University of Melbourne, is to educate students of veterinary science to the best international standards and to prepare them for careers in professional work, research and public service.

This course has as its objectives that graduates:
- have acquired the essential information and understand the principles appropriate to each level of achievement;
- can relate the scientific knowledge gained to the technical and vocational aspects of veterinary practices;
- have acquired academic and technical competence with animals and animal production systems, their pathogens, diseases, welfare and management;
- can organise knowledge and ideas systematically, discriminate amongst relevant data, and generalise safely;
- have developed skills in problem definition and solution, in decision-making and in program design and implementation;
- can design and conduct scientific enquiries;
- have developed leadership skills and an ability to interact effectively and communicate with professional colleagues, individuals and the general community; and
- understand the rights, privileges and responsibilities of membership of learned societies and professional associations.

Course Structure & Available Subjects: See below
Subject Options:

Pre-veterinary year

These studies are undertaken by students entering the course directly from secondary school, or they are the prerequisites in a first-year Science course for direct entry into the first year of the BVSc.

The pre-veterinary year in the Faculty of Science has set full-time studies in biology, chemistry and physics (together 75 points) and a choice of subject(s) for the remaining 25 points of the year's work load. Students will be enrolled in a veterinary science stream within the BSc course and must pass all subjects to be able to proceed to the first year of the BVSc course. Students should take advice from the Faculty of Science as to which pair of Physics subjects is appropriate for them.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
January, Semester 2
Semester 1

First Year

Deals with normal animals and an introduction to the veterinary profession.

Veterinary first to fourth year

The veterinary science course is a set course which means all subjects must be studied and completed satisfactorily. All subjects are semester length. Each subject in a year must be passed to pass the year and to be able to proceed to the next year of the course. In addition to formal classes in listed subjects, practical work requirements linked to specific subjects must be completed between academic semesters or terms and between years. The requirements are summarised as follows but reference should also be made to the details of the relevant subjects and rules published for students in each year manual:

  • Experience in animal handling, care and management.At least six weeks of practical experience on commercial farms, and up to two weeks at urban animal shelters such as the RSPCA and licensed wildlife rescue centres. (Both linked to the subjects Animal health, Management and Welfare 1A and 1B, and Animal Health, Management and Welfare 2A and 2B and to be completed during the first and second years of the course.)
  • Extramural work with veterinarians appointed by the faculty as academic associates. Twelve weeks to be completed by the end of the final clinical year for Professional Practice 3 and to include 3 days of abattoir work.
  • Practical training rostered in the Veterinary Clinic and Hospital. Two weeks for Professional Practice 1. Two weeks for Professional Practice 2.
  • Practical instruction in clinical techniques with dairy cattle at the Rural Veterinary Centre at Maffra in Gippsland, hosted by the Maffra Veterinary Centre. One week for Professional Practice 2.
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Second Year

Continues the study of the normal and introduces the abnormal animal and the clinical approach to health and disease.
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Third Year

Continues clinical medicine and surgery and develops the systematic study of diseases of various organs and body systems in Semester 1. In Semester 2 the study of animal health, welfare and production commences according to species.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2
Semester 2
Semester 2
Semester 2

Fourth Year

Continues the study of animal health, welfare and production according to species in Semester 1. In Semester 2 students undertake periods of approved practical work in clinical practice, government and animal industry services diagnostic and research laboratories.

Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours)

The BVSc(Hons) may be awarded to students who achieve a high standard throughout the four years of the BVSc course.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
Semester 1
Semester 1
Entry Requirements: Please refer to the University's Course Search database:
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. This course requires all students to enrol in subjects where they must actively and safely contribute to laboratory activities, practical placements and clinical and paraclinical work with animals. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Subject Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit .

Further Study:

Bachelor of Veterinary Science BVSc
Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours) BVSc(Hons)
Bachelor of Animal Science* BAnimSc
(*Open only to students doing the BVSc degree course.)

Postgraduate Certificate in Avian Health# PCAH
Master of Veterinary Science MVSc
Master of Veterinary Studies MVS
Doctor of Philosophy PhD
Doctor of Veterinary Science DVSc
(# on-line delivery)

Veterinary Science offers opportunities for further study at the Bachelor, Master or PhD level. The Bachelor of Animal Science is an option after the second or third year of the BVSc course. It provides the opportunity to undertake an in-depth study over one year in an area of veterinary science previously studied. The coursework higher degree of Master of Veterinary Studies provides training to achieve an advanced professional competence in selected veterinary science disciplines. Research training at PhD or Masters level is available to veterinary science, science or agricultural science graduates in a number of areas where the faculty has research strengths. However some clinically-oriented projects would only be suitable for veterinary graduates.

Graduate Attributes:

The University of Melbourne is a research-intensive university that attaches the very highest priority to undergraduate education and seeks to stimulate, nurture and develop graduates of the finest international calibre.

The university expects its graduates to be educated and well-informed, able to contribute effectively to their communities wherever in the world they choose to live and work. It expects Melbourne graduates to have the following qualities and skills:

- profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity and for the ethics of scholarship;
- highly developed cognitive, analytic and problem-solving skills;
- capacity for independent critical though, rational inquiry and self-directed learning;
- intellectual curiosity and creativity, including understanding of the philosophical and methodological bases of research activity;
- openness to new ideas and unconventional critiques of received wisdom; and
- extensive knowledge of a particular discipline or professional area, including relevant professional knowledge and skills and informed respect for the principles, disciplines, values and ethics of a chosen profession;
- ability and self-confidence to comprehend complex concepts, to express them lucidly, whether orally or in writing and to confront unfamiliar problems;
- awareness of advanced communications technologies and modalities, sound working skills in the application of computer systems and software, and receptiveness to the expanding opportunities of the ‘information revolution’;
- international awareness and openness to the world, based on understanding and appreciation of social and cultural diversity and respect for individual human rights and dignity;
- leadership capacity, including a willingness to engage in constructive public discourse, to accept social and civic responsibilities and to speak out against prejudice, injustice and the abuse of power;
- ability and confidence to participate effectively in collaborative learning as a team-member, while respecting individual differences; and
- ability to plan work and to use time effectively.

Generic Skills: -
Links to further information:

Use of animals in practical classes
Study in Veterinary Science does involve the use of animals in teaching; this is an essential part of the course and exemptions are not available. All use of animals or animal tissue either for teaching or research in the University must be approved by the University of Melbourne Animal Welfare Committee (which includes membership provision for community members with animal welfare interests).

Attendance requirements
Attendance at practical classes, tutorials and clinical rotations is compulsory. Teaching staff may take a roll to record attendance. Students failing to comply with this requirement may be excluded from examinations. Alternatively, their results may be withheld and additional examinations or assignments given to demonstrate that the required level of competence in the subject has been attained.

Dean's Honours List
The Dean's Honours List recognises the achievements of the Faculty's outstanding students each year. Students are selected on academic merit and receive a letter from the Dean and official acknowledgement on their academic transcripts.

Late submission of assessment
There will be a penalty applied for late submission of work for assessment. Details are provided in the Course and Subject Guide issued to each student for each year of the course.

Plagiarism and collusion
The University policy on plagiarism and collusion will be applied to work submitted for assessment. Details are provided in the Course and Subject Guide issued to each student for each year of the course. The web site for the University of Melbourne's Policy on Academic Honesty and Plagiarism is .

Where to go for assistance
Faculty Office staff at Parkville are available to answer questions on all administrative matters and can help direct you to assistance for personal and study problems. Telephone (03) 8344 7357.

Students based at the Veterinary Clinical Centre, Werribee, may seek advice from staff in the Faculty Office (Werribee) in the first instance. Telephone (03) 9731 2000.
Other help procedures provided are:

- The Associate Deans (Students Preclinical), Dr. J. Gilkerson and Dr. H. Davies, located at Parkville for academic and welfare matters.
- The Associate Deans (Students Clinical), Mr. G. Edwards and Ms J. Charles located at Werribee, for academic and welfare matters.
- A mentor, who will be an academic staff member, is allocated to the student at the commencement of the course for the first two years and then again at the commencement of the clinical training.
- A subject coordinator is responsible for the management of a particular subject and is able to provide academic advice and receive feedback from students on the quality of the course delivery.

Are additional studies available?
Generally the schedule of classes for veterinary science within the academic semester does not allow time for additional studies such as the Diploma of Modern Languages or the Diploma of Music (Practical) or single subjects offered by other faculties. Students should discuss their requests with staff in the Faculty Office, and arrangements will be made to facilitate these studies where possible.

Is study overseas possible?
While the University has formal exchange agreements with a number of overseas universities, a few of which have a veterinary school, course structure and academic year differences have made it difficult to achieve any student exchanges. Often students have done an additional year to participate in a study abroad program. Students who consider undertaking any of the practical farm work or extramural veterinary work overseas should apply to the Faculty office or the Head of Department's office for permission.

Taking leave of absence
Application for leave of absence should be made through the Faculty Office. Normally students take leave for a whole year for a variety of reasons, but if leave is not taken for medical reasons there is an expectation that such leave will assist their personal development.

Discontinuing your enrolment
If you wish to withdraw from the course altogether, you should request to discontinue your enrolment in the course by informing the Faculty Office at Parkville in writing. If you discontinue your course you may be eligible for a refund of fees depending on when the discontinuation take place. It is important to note that if you do not formally discontinue your studies by the census dates you will be liable for fees for those subjects in which you are still enrolled.

Academic progress: mid-year (pre-veterinary year)
For the pre-veterinary year, subjects will normally be examined in the semester in which they are taught. Students will be counselled on their performance at mid-year.

Academic progress: end-of-year (pre-veterinary year)
To continue to the first year of the BVSc course students in the pre-veterinary year must pass all their subjects at the first attempt. A special examination is regarded for this purpose as the examination and, therefore, the first attempt.

Progression in the Bachelor of Veterinary Science course: standing rules
Progression in the BVSc course is normally by year, but the Progress Committee will convene both in the Winter Recess and at the end of the year, to review the progress in the course of those students who fail in the 'Repeat' and 'Termination of Enrolment' categories.

Supplementary examinations
- can be given in a maximum of two subjects per semester;
- the marks in those subjects must be 40%-49%.

- students may repeat if they failed the semester but do not fall into the category for termination of enrolment;
- students may repeat if they fail any of the four allowed supplementary exams;
- when repeating a year, in addition to those subjects which were failed on the first attempt, students must also repeat those subjects with a score of less than 65%. (Note: the 65% rule does not apply to Professional Practice 1,2 and 3.)

Termination of enrolment
Termination of enrolment will be recommended if a student:
- fails all subjects in a semester (subject number ranges from 4 in semester five to 7 in semester three);
- fails at the first attempt with a mark in any failed subject of less than 40%;
- fails consecutive years or a second attempt at a year.

Progress Committee
Students in the repeat and termination of enrolment categories automatically go to committee. Procedures allow that after hearing a submission from the student, the Committee may 'vary the Standing Rules'...'without adversely affecting academic standards'.

The re-enrolment period is generally from mid-October to late November. You will receive a letter in early October outlining the exact dates of the re-enrolment period and how to re-enrol. If you do not receive this letter you should contact Student Administration.Students who are not permitted to re-enrol will be contacted individually by the Faculty Office.

Resumption of course
Enquiries about resuming studies after termination from a course should be made to the Faculty Office. Students will be expected to have demonstrated some academic rehabilitation before any application will be considered.

Credit for previous study
Applicants for the Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree may make application for credit on the basis of previously completed equivalent veterinary studies. No credit may be granted for subjects in the final two years of the course.

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