Master of Veterinary Medicine in Veterinary Medicine (Companion Animals)

Ghent University’s Master’s programme in Veterinary Medicine is unique in Flanders. The programme is open only to holders of an academic Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Medicine. In the last year of the Master’s curriculum you choose one of five main subjects: ruminants; pig, poultry, rabbit; horse; companion animals; or research.

Master's Programme
3 year 180 credits
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
About the programme
Programme summary
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Off to a good start
After graduation


The first and second year of the Master’s curriculum cover the entire spectrum of veterinary medicine in the form of lectures, practical exercises, and clinics. You study various diseases and deviations in terms of cause, pathogenesis, symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. In addition, there is a strong focus on the animal as a food source, veterinary rules and regulations and ethics. Our curriculum combines extensive theoretical training with practical exercises and clinical work.

The first year-and-a-half of the Master’s curriculum focuses on theoretical, clinically oriented course units. The curriculum contains the first components of the Master’s dissertation as well as the concluding course units on veterinary public health. In the second term of the second Master’s year, the curriculum exclusively contains course units on companion animals.

In the third year (main subject Companion Animals), you will spend most of your available time in clinics, including night and weekend shifts. In addition, you embark on a mandatory work placement at a veterinary practice and you finalize the last components of the Master’s dissertation.

For whom

The admission requirements vary. Depending on your prior education, you are either able to enrol directly, or there are additional requirements.


The Master’s curriculum covers three academic years. The first year-and-a-half contains a common curriculum for all students. Before the start of the second term of the second Master’s year, you choose one of the following: companion animals, horses or utility animals. Depending on the choice you made in the second master, you will finish in the third master either in companion animals, horses, ruminants, pig, poultry, rabbit or research

Labour Market

Studies have shown that unemployment among our graduates is low. Up to 75% of our alumni find employment as a veterinary practitioner shortly after graduating. Three years after graduation these percentages show a downward curve: a number of practitioners choose other career paths.
Veterinary practitioners usually organize themselves in group practices with other colleagues, with or without the assistance of assistant-veterinarians. Although our graduates increasingly end up in salaried positions, they are often still self-employed. In addition to (primary or secondary) animal care, smooth and professional people skills (pet owners, colleagues, ...) are an important element of the job. Depending on your choice of discipline you must take into account flexible working hours, evening hours, as well as night and weekend shifts. In a fast-evolving discipline as is veterinary practice, continuous and continued learning is a must.
For further specialization into specific disciplines (internal medicine, surgery) you can take on a species-specific specialization at different instituions, the courses of the Faculty of Veterinary Science of Ghent University can be found at the Academy for Veterinary Medicine (in Dutch). If you wish to obtain the title of ‘European Veterinary Specialist’ you will need to take on further training in the form of an ‘Internship’ followed by a ‘Residency’. Thanks to your solid scientific-academic education you are eligible for various positions outside of veterinary practice, too. You could opt for a research career (with the possibility of obtaining a PhD), the education sector (the Master’s Programme of Teaching in Health Sciences is a way to hone your didactic skills), a position in the industry or in diagnostic laboratories (e.g. vaccine and/or (animal) drug development or an advisor in an animal feed company), with the federal or regional government (Federal Agency for Safety of the Food Chain, Animal Health Care Flanders or the army), and European or international government agencies. Your broad academic training offers guarantees for an interesting and sufficiently versatile career path!