Bachelor of Veterinary Science(PV)

Course 875PV (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Year and Campus: 2011 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 009750M
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 and Student Centre 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 BVSc is currently in the process of being discontinued. New students will not be admitted to the BVSc. Students interested in studying veterinary science should check the information for our new Doctor of Veterinary Medicine course.

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

The BVSc is currently being discontinued. The pre-veterinary year is no longer being offered.

First Year

The BVSc is currently being discontinued. The 1st year of the course is no longer being offered.

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. The study of animal health, welfare and production commences according to species.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Year Long
Year Long
Year Long
Year Long
Year Long

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.

Please note that the structure of the 4th year of the BVSc will change form 2012 onwards. The 4th year will become a lecture-free clinical immersion year.

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, Semester 2
Entry Requirements:

The BVSc is currently in the process of being discontinued. New students will not be admitted to the BVSc.

Core Participation Requirements:

Prospective students are advised to familiarise themselves with the Faculty's Academic Requirements Statement

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.

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 Dean (Students Preclinical), Dr Simon Bailey located at Parkville for academic and welfare matters.
- The Associate Dean (Students Clinical), Dr Michael Pyman located at Werribee for academic and welfare matters.
- A mentor 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.

Progression in the BVSc Course - Standing Rules
Progression in the Bachelor of Veterinary Science is by semester. The subjects of each semester are prerequisites for those of the following semester. A student may not proceed to the next semester without having satisfied completely the requirements of the preceding semester.

Supplementary Examinations
Supplementary examinations will be granted:
- for a maximum of two subjects per semester, and only
- if a mark of between 40 and 49% inclusive or a grade of NH (failure to satisfactorily complete all prescribed (hurdle) requirements) has been achieved in these subjects.

A supplementary examination will not be granted if a student fails a repeated subject.

A supplementary examination is a complete examination in a subject and alone determines the final mark for that subject. No earlier assessment components of the subject will contribute to the final mark in the supplementary examination. The format of the supplementary examination may differ from that of the primary examination(s) in that subject. The usual format is a single, written examination paper. This format may be modified for students who have failed subjects due to failure to satisfactorily complete all prescribed (hurdle) requirements. The maximum mark recorded for a supplementary examination is 50%.

Students will be permitted to repeat a semester if they do not fall into the Termination of Enrolment category. Repeating a semester will be recommended if a student:
- fails more than two subjects in a semester
- fails a supplementary examination for a subject in that semester.

Normally, repeating students are required to undertake only those subjects that they have failed. However, students repeating Semester 6 or 7 must successfully repeat all of those clinical rotation components of the subjects Professional Practice 1 or 2 respectively that are relevant to the subject(s) which they are repeating. This is a co requisite hurdle requirement for the subject(s) being repeated: students will not be required to re-enrol in the Professional Practice subject they have passed. The overall mark obtained in Professional Practice 1 or 2 on the first attempt will remain on the student’s academic record as the grade in the latter subject.

Students repeating subjects must pass all of those subjects outright and are not eligible for supplementary examinations.

Termination of Enrolment
A student will be placed in the Termination of Enrolment category if he or she:
- fails all subjects in a semester
- fails any subject at the first attempt with a mark of less than 40%
- fails any repeated subject.

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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