Master of Veterinary Medicine in Veterinary Medicine (Pig, Poultry and Rabbit)
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.
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 utility animals (animals as a food source). The main emphasis is on veterinary business counselling.
In the third year (main subject Pig, Poultry, Rabbit), you will spend most of your time on company visits to different pig and poultry farms. In addition, you embark on a mandatory work placement at a veterinary practice and you finalize the last components of the Master’s dissertation.
The admission requirements vary. Depending on your preliminary training, 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
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!
At Ghent University, we strive to educate people who dare to think about the challenges of tomorrow. For that purpose, we provide education that is embedded in six strategic objectives: Think Broadly, Keep Researching, Cultivate Talent, Contribute, Extend Horizons, Opt for Quality.
Ghent University continuously focuses on quality assurance and quality culture. The Ghent University's quality assurance system offers information on each study programme’s unique selling points, and on its strengths and weaknesses with regard to quality assurance.
Ghent University's Education Objectives
Unique Selling Points
- Multiperspectivism: our curriculum integrates various practice-oriented and theoretical perspectives. We also establish links with related disciplines such as (human) medicine, biology, biomedical sciences, husbandry (zootechnics), ethics and animal healthcare, and agriculture.
- Talent Development: the first-year curriculum combines medical basic sciences with a broad focus on specific aspects of veterinary medicine. In so doing, we offer our students a solid knowledge basis for the rest of the programme, and for their later profession as veterinarian. The various majors offer students the chance to tailor the curriculum to their own interests.
- Our clinics are the place par excellence for the integration of theory and practice. During their internal and external work placements, our students are placed under the supervision of veterinary specialists and are encouraged to think in a problem-solving and critical manner. Our students first come into contact with veterinary practice during their introductory work placement.
- Research: we offer our students a study programme with a solid research base. Our lecturers are all experts in their specific research area. This is how we embed research and education into the curriculum.
- Internationalization: encouraging students to embark on an international experience is important to us. Since the 2017-2018 academic year, our curriculum has an international mobility window. This is possible either by taking up a short work placement or a longer clinic module abroad.
- We are a dynamic study programme and stay attuned to the newest development in society. Our close contacts with the professional field allows us to keep abreast of new trends and to revise the curriculum whenever necessary.
- We consider our students to be our partners in this. Our student representatives are valued contributors to the day-to-day management of our study programme. This is why we encourage them to use their right to participate.
- International recognition: our study programme is internationally renowned for delivering premium-quality veterinarians and our clinic is one of the largest university animal hospitals in Europe. Proof of this is our accreditation by the European Association for Establishments of Veterinary Education (EAEVE).
- Our programme boasts a dedicated team of lecturers from various disciplines, who combine their research expertise with a passion for teaching and a continued enthusiasm for the quality of their lectures.
- Study Counselling in terms of clear communication and support vis-à-vis (prospective) students is important to us. Our information initiatives include a benchmark test, summer courses, faculty information days. During their study career, students are always welcome to consult the study track counsellor as well as individual lecturers. Students with specific needs can apply for additional support.
- In terms of assessment and feedback we want to invest more in competency-based education with suitable assessments and exams. In addition, we aim to inform our students better and encourage them to make better use of existing feedback moments.
- Multiperspectivism: bour students come into contact with various perspectives, e.g. through the interplay between theory and practice, or the possibility to take on electives at other faculties. At present, these initiatives are still too much stand-alone initiatives. We want to invest in a policy umbrella that unites and strengthens the existing initiatives.
- Research competencies need further strengthening throughout the entire curriculum and for all students. We want to achieve this by:
- introducing a learning pathway on research skills that logically and gradually culminates in the Master’s dissertation;
- giving all students access to specific competencies in the Research major to all students;
- a clearer demarkation of the practical and research component in the course unit “Master’s Dissertation I”
This study programme is accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (Dutch: NVAO). Accreditation was extended following the positive outcome of the institutional review in 2022. Programme quality was validated by a quality review (peer-learning visit) in 2016. A screening of the Education Monitor by Ghent University’s Education Quality Board is planned in the years 2021-2024.
This information was last updated on 01/02/2023.
In case of questions or suggestions with regard to the publicly available information, please contact the study programme.