Murdoch University

Murdoch University is established, and has continuity, under the Murdoch University Act (1973) of the Western Australian State Government. It is recognised by the Commonwealth of Australia as a part of the national system of higher education, funded by the Commonwealth Government; and is listed on the National Register of Higher Education Providers as an Australian University with self-accrediting status. The first intake of students to Murdoch University occurred in 1975. Currently there are over 22,000 students and 2,500 staff at Murdoch University.

College of Veterinary Medicine

The College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) is the only veterinary college in Western Australia, Australia’s largest State. It is a stand-alone Academic Organisational Unit within the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences (VLS). Professor David Hampson is the current Dean of VLS and also is a registered veterinarian. Professor Peter Irwin is the current Principal of the CVM and is responsible for the College’s teaching, research and clinical components.
The College of Veterinary Medicine is committed to maintaining a world-class veterinary program by creating an educational, research and clinical service environment that will provide graduate veterinarians with the knowledge and skills required to register as veterinarians internationally and to succeed as veterinary scientists.

Veterinary Course

Veterinarians from Murdoch University currently graduate with both a BSc (Veterinary Biology) and a Bachelor in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVMS). The first graduates completed their degree in 1979. In 2014 a new BSc/DVM program was introduced, and the first students with this integrated degree are expected to graduate in 2018.

The current BSc, BVMS degree structure is accredited through the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC) via the Veterinary Schools Accreditation Advisory Committee (VSAAC), the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (UK), and in 2002 Murdoch University was the first Australian veterinary degree to be accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The next accreditation visit will occur in 2014. Graduates with a BVMS from Murdoch University are able to work as a veterinarian in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and after passing the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE) in Canada and the United States of America.

Major strengths of the college

  • The veterinary program at Murdoch University has established a reputation for international excellence in veterinary science and is accredited nationally and internationally.
  • High quality staff provides students with access to staff that combine excellence in teaching, scholarship, research and clinical service. Most clinical academics are veterinarians who are either Board certified (American, Australian or European) and/or have a PhD.
  • High demand by high quality students. Students also demonstrate leadership and initiative through the establishment of a range of active and professionally managed associations and special interest groups.
  • High quality on-site facilities which include excellent teaching and research facilities, a well managed veterinary teaching hospital and an on-campus farm.
  • Students and residents have access to a well-managed veterinary teaching hospital with a high level of primary access cases in the emergency centre, general practice and equine centre. They also have access to referral practices in small animal medicine and surgery, dermatology, cancer care, ophthalmology, equine, production animal and wildlife. The college also trains residents in a range of discipline areas.
  • The veterinary program has been strengthened by the engagement of partners including animal shelters, the state Department of Agriculture and Food, the Perth Zoo, wildlife centres, Portec Australia Ltd for intensive industries, beef, dairy and sheep farms to assist with teaching and external placements for students.
  • A new curriculum that provides greater opportunities for learning and clinical exposure was implemented in 2008. The five year Veterinary Professional Life stream provides students with enhanced training in professional and life skills.
  • Training in Production Animal Health and Management has been significantly enhanced through the introduction of the three year Animal Systems course, an extra week of clinical rotations, the engagement of an industry partner to provide courses in intensive industries and initiatives to ensure exposure to clinical cases.
  • Programs for research and postgraduate training continue to grow in size and quality. Research and scholarship inform the undergraduate teaching program.

Research strengths

In 2012 approximately two-thirds (65.1%) of academic staff were classified as research active by the university, with an average research funding per FTE of $AUD 188,000, 1.55 publications per FTE, 1.87 higher research degree student per FTE and 0.34 higher degree research student (HDR) completion per FTE. Research by academics in the College of Veterinary Medicine is focused on 5 major areas/disciplines:
  1. Animal health and biosecurity
  2. Companion animal research
  3. Production animal research and meat science
  4. Wildlife biology and systems
  5. Animal models of human disease, zoonoses and parasitology
In 2012 academics contributed to eight different Field of Research (FoR) codes and the data on the ranking is presented in the following table. Seven of these rankings were above world standard and the eighth at world standard highlighting the calibre of research undertaken from within the School.


FoR code


ERA rating*

FoR Australian national average






Animal production




Crop & pasture




Fisheries sciences




Veterinary sciences




Clinical sciences








Medical microbiology



* 5 – well above world standard; 4 – above world standard; 3 – at world standard

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