University of Sydney Handbooks - 2021 Archive

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Veterinary Medicine

Course Overview

The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) is accredited internationally. It provides a broad and coherent body of knowledge and the appropriate depth in practical, research and generic skills to enter and sustain a successful career in the veterinary profession. Graduates are able to register for practicing veterinary medicine within Australia, the United Kingdom, South Africa upon graduation, and be eligible to sit the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam.

Teaching in the degree is research-driven and involves learning from the latest developments and advances in evidence-based practice, veterinary science research, animal behaviour and welfare science and veterinary public health. Commencing in the first semester, the curriculum is fully integrated with clinical exposure, clinical skills training and animal handling.

Training in professional and clinical skills with all the major domestic animal species forms an essential part of the course program and teaching occurs at Camperdown and Camden campuses, consisting of interactive small group practical classes and students will undertake intra- and extramural placements in vacation periods.

To ensure that students understand the linkages between veterinary health, human medicine and the environment at local, national and global levels, your studies will take place in the One Health framework.

The program culminates in a capstone experience year where you will get hands-on experience as an intern, working with cases under supervision, in a range of veterinary clinics within Australia and abroad, including core-rotations in the University teaching hospitals at Sydney and Camden.

Contact and further information:
Program Director: Associate Professor Jenny-Ann Toribio


Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

These resolutions must be read in conjunction with applicable University By-laws, Rules and policies including (but not limited to) the University of Sydney (Coursework) Rule 2014 (the 'Coursework Rule'), the Coursework Policy 2014, the Resolutions of the Faculty, the University of Sydney (Student Appeals against Academic Decisions) Rule 2006 (as amended), the Academic Honesty in Coursework Policy 2015 and the Academic Honesty Procedures 2016. Up to date versions of all such documents are available from the Policy Register:

Course resolutions

1 Course codes


Course title


Doctor of Veterinary Medicine


2 Attendance pattern

The attendance pattern for this course is full time.

3 Master's type

The master’s degree in these resolutions is a professional master's course.

4 Admission to candidature

With approval from the Dean, available places will be offered to qualified applicants based on merit, according to the following admissions criteria:
Admission to the degree requires a bachelor's degree from the University of Sydney, or equivalent qualification, and completion of one semester of study in each of:
general chemistry (physical and inorganic)
organic chemistry
biology, and
Applicants must submit a veterinary science supplementary application form including relevant work experience and animal handling experience.
English language requirements must be met where these are not demonstrated by sufficient qualifications taught in English.
Applicants will be ranked by academic performance and aptitude for the practice of veterinary medicine.
If some applicants are ranked equally according to the above criteria a Faculty selection panel will make a further assessment, and possibly require an interview and will make recommendations for admission.

5 Deferral

Applications for deferral of enrolment following an offer of a place in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine will only be considered under exceptional circumstances and requires the approval of the Dean.

6 Course Structure

The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine is structured as a four-year program with learning integrated across units of study in each year:
Year 1 - Function of the Normal Animal Body
Year 2 - Principles and Approach to Clinical Disease
Year 3 - Animal Health and Disease Management
Year 4 - Professional Practice Program

7 Progression

Candidates for the degree may enrol in the units of study prescribed for Year 2 of candidature only after successful completion of all Year 1 units of study.
Candidates for the degree may enrol in the units of study prescribed for Year 3 candidature only after successful completion of all Year 1 and Year 2 units of study, including Industry Placements Units of Study.
Candidates for the degree may enrol in the units of study prescribed for Year 4 of candidature only after successful completion of all Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3, including preparatory clinical placements and the abattoir placement units of study.

8 Assessment

The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine is an integrated program and assessment can occur outside the designated University of Sydney examinations periods.
Details of assessment requirements will be outlined in the unit of study outline.

9 Requirements for award

The units of study that may be taken for the course are set out in the table for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
To qualify for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine a candidate must successfully complete a prescribed program of 192 credit points, and:
Successfully complete the prescribed placements as listed in the unit of study table including:
4 weeks of preparatory clinical placements;
8 weeks of industry placements; and
2 days of abattoir placements.

10 Reassessment

Students enrolled in a postgraduate unit of study prescribed for Year 1, Year 2, Year 3 or Year 4 of candidature of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, who fail one unit of study only within a semester may be offered the opportunity for re-assessment for the failed unit of study.
The scope of the re-assessment will encompass all topics and learning outcomes within the unit of study. The re-assessment type may differ from those used in the original delivery of the unit.
Re-assessment will only be offered to eligible students on the dates prescribed in the year schedule, and it is the student's responsibility to be available to attend at these times.
The maximum mark awarded for a unit of study in these circumstances will be Pass (50 - PS for units of study with Mark and Grade assessment type or SR for units of study with Grade only (Pass/Fail) assessment type).
Students who have been awarded an Absent Fail grade for a unit of study will not be eligible for re-assessment for that unit of study.

11 Time limits

A candidate for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine must complete the requirements for the degree within five calendar years.
The Dean may in exceptional circumstances, extend the time limit for completing the requirements for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine to a maximum of 10 years.

12 Credit for previous study

Advanced standing (including Reduced Volume of Learning or credit for previous study) is not available in this degree.

13 Award of the degree

The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine is awarded as a Pass degree only.