veterinary certificate singapore

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

Preparing to leave Singapore

Do you know anything about veterinary schools in Singapore? Do you ever get perplexed? Do you ever get overwhelmed by the amount of information accessible on Singapore vet schools, making it difficult to determine which one is correct? This article will inform you about Singapore’s veterinary schools. Continue reading to learn everything there is to know about vet schools in Singapore in related articles on collegelearners.

Singaporeans are becoming more interested in veterinary medicine, and there is a demand for manpower in the pet industry. Are you one of these people? While many people choose to pursue veterinary degrees abroad, Singapore now offers three veterinary-related courses.

Who should become a Vet?

Having a strong affinity for animals is a fantastic start, but it is far from sufficient! Veterinarians are simultaneously surgeons, dentists, anesthetists, radiologists, and obstetricians. As a result, their studies are rigorous, and they do not fall behind medical degrees in any way. If you’re not prepared, reconsider your decision. Another thing to keep in mind is that human connection is an integral component of a veterinarian’s career; picking this field to avoid having to deal with humans would be a catastrophic error. Of course, you’ll have to become used to dealing with messes (including bodily fluids, poop, and pee).

To become a vet, you must complete a five or six-year undergraduate course (after high school for those entering British or Commonwealth Universities or in their education systems). Alternatively, you can read a two to four-year related undergraduate course before heading for a four year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine course (the system NUS currently adopts).

How to Become a Vet in Singapore

Thumb Veterinary Services – Sandusky, MI

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) recognises degrees from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, as well as US veterinary schools accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Those with non-recognised degrees may still be eligible for licensing;

Alternate paths for those who do not intend to practise include Research & Development (in academia, pet food companies, pharmaceutical companies, etc) and careers with the AVA.

If you’re unsure about taking this niche path, do take up a volunteering stint with an animal clinic or a student attachment first! The Singapore Veterinary Association (SVA) provides a list of AVA registered vet clinics 

What is a Vet’s average salary?

According to Payscale, the median annual salary of a Veterinarian is SGD 44,911.

Without further ado, here are your options should you want to read a veterinary course in Singapore.

I’m keen on a career in the Veterinary field, but I don’t want to be a Vet

You can become a Vet Tech! Vet Techs assist Vets in the diagnosing and treating of animals. Their duties include the administering of medications and vaccinations, collecting samples, wound care, basic lab work, procedures such as teeth cleaning, monitoring vital statistics, and so on. Generally, the terms vet tech and vet nurse are interchangeable in many places. Here in Singapore, Temasek Polytechnic and Ngee Ann Polytechnic offer programmes that can get you started in this career.

Here are the schools in Singapore offering veterinary courses!

Course List*:

*All course fees are for 2019/20 intakes and subject to changes depending on the school. All fees are in SGD unless otherwise stated. This is merely a list and not an endorsement of the courses listed, do conduct sufficient research to make sure a course fits your needs!

  • National University of Singapore – Concurrent Degree Programme with The University of Melbourne

Newly launched in 2018, this is Singapore’s first-ever offering for veterinary science at the degree level. Interested students must first gain admission into NUS’s Faculty of Science and declared their intent to major in Life Sciences. They can then apply for the programme within the stipulated time frame and await an interview if shortlisted.

Students in this Combined Degree Programme are expected to maintain a CAP of 4.00 or above for the first 3 semesters, before they head to the University of Melbourne for their fourth and fifth semesters where they begin studying for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) in earnest.

Students in this programme have the option of exiting and continuing with the default choice of study (BSc in Life Sciences).

Duration: 5.5-6.5 years in total

Fees: When broken down, local students have to pay approximately SGD 12,300 for the first 3 semesters in NUS, SGD 28,211 for the fourth and fifth semesters (first year of DVM that double counts toward the BSc), and SGD 201,306 for the remaining 3 years (paid as an international graduate student). This is at least 10% cheaper, as compared to taking the DvM route direct.

Curriculum: The DVM at the University of Melbourne has 4 tracks: the Small Animal Track, the Production Animal Track, the Equine Track, and last but not least the Government, industry and conservation health track. The last two years of the DVM will involve industry placements.

  • Temasek Polytechnic – Diploma in Veterinary Technology

The first polytechnic to offer a full-time course in Veterinary Technology, Temasek Polytechnic has an added advantage in having its own veterinary clinic (called the TP Animal Clinic and licensed in 2011) that serves as a learning enterprise for student training. With Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s Diploma in Veterinary Bioscience no longer accepting students, the Polytechnic is currently the only one to offer a full-time Veterinary Science related course. Students will have to undertake a 6-month internship locally or overseas in their final year.

Graduates of the Diploma will have advanced standing for the Bachelor in Animal Science, the Bachelor in Animal Health, and the Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery at Murdoch University, the Bachelor of Applied Science (Veterinary Technology) and the Bachelor of Applied Science (Wildlife Science) at the University of Queensland, the Bachelor of Science (Wildlife and Practical Conservation) and the Bachelor of Science (Wildlife and Zoo Biology) at the University of Salford, as well as other non-Veterinary related programmes across a range of disciplines. Please refer here for more details.

Duration: 3 years

Fees:  SGD 2,994.10 per annum for Singaporean students (with Study Grant), SGD 5,924.10 per annum for PRs (with Study Grant), and SGD 10,557.30 for International students (with Study Grant)

Curriculum: Students will read modules such as Basic Microbiology, Animal Anatomy & Physiology, Aquatic Care, Health & Diseases, Veterinary Pharmacology & Toxicology as well as Fundamental Subject modules and a Major Project.

  • Ngee Ann Polytechnic – Specialist Diploma in Veterinary Clinical Practice

Part of the SkillsFuture Earn & Learn Programme, this programme is eligible for fresh graduates from relevant diploma qualifications. Consisting of 2 Post Diploma Certificates and on-the-job training, the work-study programme currently has 7 companies on its roster. Competition is fierce and successful applicants stand to receive an SGD 5,000 sign-on incentive.

Duration: 12 months (thrice a week per semester, 3.5 hours each time)

Fees: None, as the programme’s costs will be fully borne by the sponsoring company

Curriculum: Modules studied include Veterinary Practice Management, Emergency and Critical Care, Pain Management and Anaesthesia, Pet Industry Operations and Regulations, Veterinary Products and Services, Shelter Management, as well as Clinical Applications

Career possibilities in veterinary sciences are many and diverse – even within the confines of Singapore. Within the membership of the SVA, majority are in private clinical practice with the rest in commercial enterprises, government services and research institutions.

Veterinary Careers

Clinical Practice

This is perhaps the most familiar of the veterinary careers, as direct   contact with the general public is routine. Veterinary surgeons, either   in private practice or employed by organisations such as Singapore Turf   Club, Zoological Gardens, Jurong Bird Park and Underwater World are involved in preventative medicine programmes and the treatment of a variety of animal species.

Those veterinarians in small animal practice generally are presented with the more common domestic animals, such as cats, dogs, birds, fish, rabbits and terrapins. These “general practitioners”   are involved in all aspects of animal care and encounter medical situations in many different animal species on a daily basis. They routinely medically examine and provide treatment for these animals, when needed. They also vaccinate them against preventable diseases, perform a variety of surgical procedures, assist to prevent disease transmission from animals to people, and give advice to animal owners on how to maintain the health of their pets.

Some veterinary surgeons in Singapore may confine themselves to a single species or aspect of veterinary medicine such as equine, avian, marine or zoo animal medicine. They are also involved in multi-discipline medical & surgical treatments of their patients. Given the relative small size of Singapore, it is likely that employment opportunities in these fields would be limited, although there is often a demand for such services in other countries in the region.

Agri-food & Veterinary Authority

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) is one of the largest employers of veterinarians in Singapore. AVA veterinarians have duties in a number of different areas, these include:

  • Ensuring a continuous supply of quality and safe food through an integrated system of accreditation, inspection and testing.
  • Safeguarding the health of animals by administering animal health programmes to prevent and control diseases of economic and public health importance.
  • Enforcing animal welfare standards, licensing of dogs and pet establishments, investigating animal cruelty and nuisance cases and conducting education programmes on responsible pet ownership.
  • Developing tropical agrotechnology, farming systems and technologies.
  • Developing policies for and administering public communication programmes with the population of Singapore.

Other Veterinary Career Paths

As there is no veterinary college in Singapore, the third “traditional” veterinary career of research & academia is relatively limited (although many opportunities exist in the Asia-Pacific region).   Veterinarians may work in local research facilities involved in preventative medicine, diagnosis and treatment of animals used for research, research activities and enforcing the welfare of animals used for research. However, graduates have found both career opportunities and business success in other fields.

Veterinarians   may be found with large companies and multinational corporations involved in the manufacture and supply of pharmaceuticals, biological products (e.g. vaccines), medical and veterinary technologies, pet foods or specialised feeds for primary producers (e.g. fish, pig or poultry farmers). Veterinarians are also employed in research & development, field trials, extension services or use their expertise in management   positions or consultants.

How do I get experience/attachments in veterinary practice?

You can directly approach veterinary clinics or organisations like the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority, Singapore Zoological Gardens etc. for work experience and student attachments.

Demand for such placements is very high, particularly during school and university holidays, so it is best to contact the clinics well in advance of your required dates.

Please note the SVA does not own, operate or manage any veterinary facilities, and cannot arrange such placements on your behalf.

Veterinary Education

Having decided on a career in Veterinary Science, students may be disconcerted to find there is no veterinary school in Singapore. Training and undergraduate qualifications must be obtained overseas. Thus a number of factors must be considered when searching for an university offering a veterinary degree program:

  • whether the university qualification obtained will be acceptable to the authority issuing veterinary licences in Singapore – Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority;
  • the academic requirements of these universities for admission into their undergraduate courses;
    financial considerations not only for tuition costs, but living & travelling expenses for a period of between 5 to 8 years;
  • Employment prospects on graduation;
  • proximity to Singapore – with regard to family, social & other obligations.

Licensing Requirements & Veterinary Schools

Veterinary degrees from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and veterinary degrees from US veterinary schools that are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) are generally acceptable and recognised by AVA. AVA does not recognise veterinarians who have obtained Membership to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS) by virtue of EU Directive 2005/36/EC.

Veterinarians who hold veterinary degrees from non-recognised universities may still be eligible for licensing based on passes in the RCVS Statutory Examination for Membership; North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE); Australian National Veterinary Examination (ANVE) or the New Zealand Veterinary Examination (NZNVE). 

Academic Requirements

As the demand for admission to veterinary schools exceeds the number of places available, the competition and academic prerequisites are of a very high standard. Many universities require the prospective student to have had some experience with animals and  exposure to the veterinary profession. Frequently, there may be an interview phase to the application.

Students entering a British or Commonwealth university can do so directly from high school, and complete a five or six year undergraduate course. Most of these universities require high achievements in matriculation (GCE   A-levels, SCE Highers, International Baccalaureate etc.) in English, chemistry, physics, mathematics, biology and perhaps other subjects in various combinations. Examples of the requirements of this system are the universities of Melbourne, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Massey.

The veterinary schools in North America require the student to enter a college for a 2 to 4 year “pre-veterinary” undergraduate science degree program prior to application and admission. This is then followed by a four year DVM course. The following sites display the typical requirements of the US & Canadian systems: – Cornell University, UC-Davis (California) and Guelph (Ontario Veterinary College)

Expenses & Finance

An overseas course of 5 or more years can be a heavy financial burden. Consideration must be given to not only the tuition fees, but also accommodation, living expenses, books, personal expenses and travel. Estimates of total annual living & tuition expenses run from A$70,000 to US$60,000 and UK34,000.

The following links provide an overview of estimated annual outlays for students studying veterinary science:  Sydney, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Cornell, Washington State

Scholarships to pursue overseas veterinary studies are available from the AVA.

Countries – Veterinary Schools

The degrees conferred by the universities listed below are usually accepted by the AVA for registration as a veterinary surgeon in Singapore. However, this is subject to approval by the Chief Veterinary Officer of Singapore. 

As a guide, veterinary degrees from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and veterinary degrees from US veterinary schools (AVMA-accredited) are generally recognizable.

Please note that AVA does not recognize veterinarians who have obtained Membership to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS) by virtue of EU Directive 2005/36/EC.

What if you already have a veterinary degree?

Veterinarians who hold veterinary degrees from non-recognised universities may still be eligible for licensing based on passes in the RCVS Statutory Examination for Membership; North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE); Australian National Veterinary Examination (ANVE) or the New Zealand Veterinary Examination (NZNVE).

Thought of developing vaccines and therapeutics to save animal lives or doing investigative research into animal and aquatic diseases? How about enhancing your pet health and wellness or breeding endangered species for conservation? The Diploma in Veterinary Technology places ample emphasis on industry-oriented practical training in veterinary and aquaculture science with active participation from the industry partners. You will also have an opportunity to delve deeply into investigative and applied research in either bioconservation, biomedical research , aquaculture, or veterinary science. With fully equipped animal and aquaculture facilities, aquaculture research stattion at fish farm as well as an on-site veterinary clinic, students will receive up-to-date skill-based training to stay current and meet the manpower demand in the veterinary, aquaculture, biomedical research and pet industries. All students will go through clinical training at the veterinary clinics over a year in addition to the on-site applied and experiential learning at the industry workplace as part of the internship programme for at least 6 months. Students will also be able to take on non-diploma core modules such as entrepreneurship, innovation, problem solving, design, foreign language or business fundamentals as part of the holistic training programme.

 Minimum Entry Requirements

The “Previous (2016) JAE ELR2B2” shows the net ELR2B2 aggregate of the lowest ranked students who were admitted to these courses through the 2016 Joint Admissions Exercise (JAE). These aggregate scores are meant as a reference for applicants applying to these courses, and do not constitute the admission scores for subsequent admission exercises. Aggregate Type: ELR2B2-C Previous (2016) JAE ELR2B2: 10 Subject Grade a) English Language 1-7 b) Mathematics (Elementary/Additional) 1-6 c) Any one of the following subjects: 1-6 Biology Biotechnology Chemistry Combined Science Engineering Science Physical Science Physics Science (Chemistry, Biology) Science (Physics, Biology) Science (Physics, Chemistry)

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