Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
- CRICOS Code: 071999D
What will I study?
Study from five streams of learning
Our DVM curriculum has been developed around five learning domains, which are infused in every subject and are based around the attributes of a veterinary scientist:
- The scientific basis of clinical practice
- Ethics and animal welfare
- Biosecurity and population health
- Clinical skills
- Personal and professional development
Follow your clinical interests
Stand out from the crowd upon graduation. Take part in our Tracks program that prepares you best for your chosen career path. You can build professional networks in a particular area of clinical interest and gain complementary industry-ready skills and knowledge. Four tracks are available:
- Small animal track (pets like cats and dogs, plus exotics like rabbits, ferrets and guinea pigs)
- Production animal track (livestock and mixed rural practice)
- Equine track (horses)
- Government, industry and conservation health track (wildlife health, population health, policy, research and industry)
Build skills for your veterinary career
You will gain the skills to communicate and empathise with pet owners in a professional setting, first in mock consultations and clinical skills classes, then with real clients.
External placements and first class facilities
Throughout your degree you will have access to practical and clinical training in our world-class U-Vet animal hospital and via external placements. Our veterinary hospital includes a general practice, referral practice, equine centre and a 24-hour small animal emergency and critical care service. Its facilities include state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging capabilities and on-site diagnostic pathology laboratories as well as our new clinical skills centre.
A lecture-free year of practice-based learning
You will spend your fourth and final year fully immersed in the veterinary profession, working with animals and owners under expert supervision in the University of Melbourne’s veterinary hospital and external placements.
You will gain at least 40 weeks’ experience at a broad range of clinical settings and gain the medical and surgical experience to be confident in your ability as a veterinarian from the day you graduate.
Thinking of becoming a vet? Come join the Pre-Vet Club!
As a member of the Pre-Vet Club you will have the opportunity to:
- Meet our world-class staff
- Attend customised lectures and webinars
- Interact with our current veterinary science students
- See our University of Melbourne Veterinary Hospital in action
- Network with like-minded enthusiasts from all over the world
Who can join?
- University students who are currently studying a Bachelor of Science or science-based degree at any tertiary institution
- Graduates of a Bachelor of Science or science-based degree from any tertiary institution
- Graduates of, and University students who are currently studying the University of Melbourne's Bachelor of Agriculture program, who have undertaken or are undertaking the Animal Production Health Major.
Details of the course structure and individual subjects contained in the degree can be found here.
DVM Study FAQs
Can I receive credit for previous studies?
The opportunity to enter the DVM with advanced standing (ie. credit for previous studies) toward the course is limited to students who have completed veterinary science subjects taught by the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Melbourne.
Applicants who have completed veterinary science subjects at other institutions should expect to enrol in the full four years of the DVM.
When does the course start?
The DVM commences at the start of Semester 1 (end of February/start of March) each year.
The Veterinary BioSciences major (DVM accelerated pathway) in the Bachelor of Science begins on the normal Semester 1 commencement date.
The second year of the DVM also begins on the normal Semester 1 commencement date.
The third year of the DVM commences in early February.
The final year of the DVM commences at the start of January.
Where will classes be held?
Classes for the first two years of the DVM are held primarily at Parkville campus – generally with one day per week at Werribee campus.
Third year classes are held at the Werribee campus.
Fourth year of the DVM is a lecture-free program involving small group classes held at the Werribee campus.
In addition, students in third and fourth years are required to attend clinical and practical placements at a range of different locations. There are opportunities to undertake these placements in rural and regional areas, interstate and overseas.
Can I study part-time?
Can I keep my part-time job?
Possibly – if it is a weekend job. The DVM course is demanding and students should expect to devote their full efforts on their studies to achieve their academic potential. There is very limited opportunity for part-time work in the final (fourth) year because of the requirement that students be available to participate in full time clinical training in the veterinary hospital at Werribee campus and at external practices.
What are the contact hours?
The contact hours in the course are high. There is also a strong expectation that students are devoting additional private/group study time outside these contact hours.
In the first year of the DVM and for students in the Veterinary BioSciences major, the contact hours are approximately 22 hours per week.
The second year of the DVM has approximately 28 contact hours per week.
The third year of the DVM has approximately 35 contact hours per week.
The fourth year is lecture free but students are required to be available full time – generally 9.00am to 5.00 pm, five days per week, with additional rostered after hours work.
Additionally in the first and second years of the DVM students are required to complete pre-clinical extramural placements ('farm work') totalling 12 weeks across summer vacation and mid-year breaks.
How long are the semesters?
In first year and second year the semesters are 12 weeks duration. In third year the semesters are 14 weeks duration. The lecture-free fourth year of the DVM is a 42-week clinical year.