Master Degree


General Overview

To obtain the degree of “Master of Small Animal Veterinary Medicine” in the discipline of your choice, you must attend ESAVS courses which are offered in several European locations, take and pass the respective examinations, submit a Case Log which promotes application of newly learned methods and skills in daily practice at home, write Case Reports and a Master Thesis (please refer to detailed information for each part in the respective sections of the program details). All post graduate education is organized in modules.

For participants from EU countries, Norway and Switzerland, the master program is offered in collaboration with the University of Luxemburg (UL). The UL evolved from the former “Luxemburg university center”, which was a partner organization in the creation of ESAVS in 1991 in the frame of the Comet program of the EU. The UL can only admit potential students, who hold a residence of the state of Luxembourg or are citizens of one of the EU states, Norway or Switzerland.
For participants from non-EU countries, the certificate and master programs are offered under the patronage of the “Federation for EDucation in Europe” (FEDE) which has audited and officially approved our certificate and master degrees. FEDE is an international association of ca. 500 private schools of higher learning in a variety of domains from sustainable development to veterinary medicine and holds participatory status in the council of Europe. FEDE strongly promotes educational quality in its member institutions by complying with European standards.

In order to obtain the degree a passing grade has to be obtained for each module:

  • Module I and II: Courses in Major and Minor Subjects
  • Module III: Case Log
  • Module IV: Case Reports
  • Module V: Practical Work
  • Module VI: Master Thesis

Applicants who have already taken ESAVS courses in the past 5 years and who would like to enrol for the Master program may have their previous ECTS credits validated by passing the respective examinations.

Important Information

The Certificate program (CSAVP) and the Master program (EMSAVM) are the two continuing education options ESAVS provides. The CSAVP is ideal for candidates who want to enhance their knowledge in a highly specialized field while avoiding the extra time required for the EMSAVM. Although the EMSAVM does require a greater time commitment, it is perfect for those who desire a more comprehensive scope of knowledge and expertise within their chosen discipline. Before a student enrols in either program, they should consider which option is more suitable to their academic aspirations and time requirements.

Please be aware that it is not possible to obtain the CSAVP and the EMSAVM in the same discipline. This means once you have completed the CSAVP you may not „continue or add on“ the EMSAVM in the same discipline, since validated course work or written work cannot count twice for two separate certifications/degrees.

It is however possible to switch from the CSAVP to the EMSAVM program (and vice versa), during your enrolment time, as long as you stay in the same discipline and switch not later than two years after the initial date of enrolment. All current ECTS credits will be transferred; the maximum study time still applies from the time of initial enrolment. It is only possible to switch programs once.

Please note: the CSAVP and the EMSAVM are both one-time study programs at the University of Luxembourg. This means all disciplines fall under the same generalized degree. Because the degree is the same regardless of discipline, it is only possible to obtain one master and one certificate degree. You cannot, therefore, apply to more than one discipline for either program.

Program Details

The disciplines are taught in a series of 5- to 10-day consecutive courses where admission to the next level may require completion of the previous course (please refer to the specific requirements of the discipline). Each ESAVS course is being credited by the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS credits). Considering student working time to attend courses, to attend the distance learning, to study and to prepare for the examination, a 5-day-course (40 hours) generates usually 5 ECTS credits.

Course work (Module I and II):
In total a minimum of 40 ECTS credits have to be collected from course work. Within the , a minimum of 25-30 ECTS credits must be accumulated in the major subject, i.e the chosen discipline (Module I) and the remaining 10-15 ECTS credits may be collected from minor subjects, i.e. courses related to or supporting the chosen discipline (Module II).
Please refer to the specific outline for the chosen discipline to see which minor subjects are accepted.
On certain conditions, up to 5 ECTS credits of course work may be accumulated from instruction taken outside of ESAVS. Such external courses must be of a similarly high standard, examinable and approved by the program director and the Veterinary Post Graduate-Education Program Committee.

Case log (Module III): 10 ECTS credits
Candidates are required to accumulate 200 well documented cases in the form of a case log. These cases are expected to be mostly accumulated in the second half of the program. All raw data relevant to each case must be filed in a digitalized format and must be accessible upon request by the Examination Board. The respective guidelines of each discipline shall be consulted for details.

Cases for the case log can be collected only after the official enrolment. Cases collected before the official enrolment will not be accepted.

Case reports (Module IV): 20 ECTS credits
10 cases, not from the case log, covering a range of topics in the chosen discipline are selected by the candidate for written in depth case reports. These case reports include a complete presentation of the case, illustrations where necessary, literature review on the subject with references and a discussion. The candidates must demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the topic. Generally, a case report should contain 2000 words +/- 10%, excluding references and appendix.

Cases for the case reports can be collected only after the official enrolment. Cases collected before the official enrolment will not be accepted.


Practical work at your clinic/practice (Module V): 20 ECTS credits
It is expected that candidates will continuously and progressively apply the skills they have acquired in the Master program in their daily practice at home, in this way supporting and reinforcing the learning process. For this effort the candidates will be awarded a total of 20 ECTS credits for the years they are enrolled in the program. This part of the program is not examined.

Cases for case log can be collected only after the official enrolment. Cases collected before the official enrolment will not be accepted.


Master thesis (Module VI): 30 ECTS credits
The thesis can consist of either an analytical retrospective or treatment study on a specific problem, or an experimental study relating to the chosen discipline. An in depth literature review on a chosen subject is also acceptable. Students are required to send in a short outline of the planned thesis project which has to be approved by the examination board. The thesis has to include an introduction with literature review on the subject and delineation of the objectives of the study, a material and methods section, a results section, a discussion and a list of references. The total thesis should generally not contain more than 10.000 words. A peer-reviewed publication of original research work with the candidate as a first author and produced during the enrolment in the Master program may also be accepted as a Master thesis.


IMPORTANT: 15 ECTS credits are required within the first year of studies (first two semesters). As 10 ECTS credits are accumulated with practical work, candidates need to obtain 5 ECTS credits with course or written work by the end of the second semester.

Duration of the Program

The minimum time requirement for the Master program is 3 years for candidates who are employed full-time. For candidates who are employed part-time (minimum 20h / week) the minimum time requirement is 4 years.

Generally, the program is spread out over 4 years. Though a prolongation is possible under certain conditions, the maximum time should not exceed 5 years.

An applicant can enter the program immediately after graduating from veterinary school but the Master degree can only be obtained when the applicant has been practicing small animal veterinary medicine for at least 4 years since obtaining her/his veterinary degree.


Next examination date

Summer semester: 14 June 2023

Course Examination
Each course (5 or 10 ECTS credits) shall be validated by an examination at one of the examination sessions conducted bi-annually. Several exams may be taken together at one single session.
The exams generally consist of an interactive computerized work-up of a clinical case or other questions related to the subjects of the discipline covered in that course. Exams are graded on a 0-20 scale with passing grade of 10/20. Failed exams can be retaken at the next possible examination date.

Grading Scale

<10          = Fail
10 – 11,9 = Sufficient
12 – 13,9 = Fair
14 – 15,9 = Good
16 – 17,9 = Very Good
18 – 20    = Excellent

Evaluation of the Case Log
The caselog is submitted in two batches of 100 cases each. Each batch is viewed by a member of the examination board and graded on a 0-20 scale; both grades are averaged and the passing grade is 10/20.
A sample of cases may be requested by the reviewer to be immediately delivered in electronic form including all relevant information and documents. In case of insufficient grade, the candidate is notified about the shortcomings of the case log and requested to resubmit a revised version, or submit additional cases within 6 months of notice.

Evaluation of Case Reports
The candidate is requested to submit her/his case reports to the ESAVS Office to be forwarded to the Examination Board. Each case report is viewed by one member of the Examination Board and graded on a 0-20 scale. The grades of the individual case reports are averaged to obtain one single grade. When this average grade is below 10, candidates are requested to resubmit new or revised versions of the failed case reports.

Evaluation of the Master Thesis
The candidate is requested to submit her/his thesis to the ESAVS Office to be forwarded to the Examination Board. The thesis is viewed by two members of the Examination Board and graded on a 0-20 scale.The grades of the 2 reviewers are averaged to obtain one single grade. When this average grade is below 10, candidates are requested to resubmit a revised version of the thesis.


Following successful completion of course work, the practical work and the written work, the Post Graduate Jury reviews all the grades collected by the candidate and assigns a final global grade on a scale 1-20. The candidate’s file is transmitted to the rector’s office for final approval and the award of the degree.

Quality Assurance

Post Graduate Education Committee consists of six professors from various European universities. The committee is assisted by a coordinator from the ESAVS office.

The Post Graduate Committee is responsible for:

-Supervision of the quality of the certificate and master programs
-Regular review of the rules and requirements
-Appointing the members of the Examination Board
-Complaint and Appeal management

The Examination Board, consisting of 5 members of the ESAVS faculty and a chairperson
acts as the “Jury” which reviews and approves –and eventually amends- all grades collected by the students during the semester. These grades are assigned by the program directors to exams and written work from the students of their respective discipline and collected by the program coordinator.
Examinations of course work are organized twice a year by the program coordinator of the ESAVS office.

For students from EU countries, The UL is represented in the above named committees.

The Program Directors:
Each discipline has a program director. The program director is a course master who additionally directs and supervises all aspects of a discipline specific Master and/or Certificate program that are related to the student work. The duties of the program director are:
– In collaboration with the other course masters in the discipline, defining and regularly updating the discipline specific requirements that a student has to meet in the Master and Certificate programs consistent with the general rules and standards laid down by the post graduate committee
– Defining the content of the courses/study programs of the discipline (“major subject”) together with the other course masters and listing suitable additional courses (“minor subjects”) of the ESAVS
– Defining discipline specific guidelines for writing the case log
– Being responsible for or overseeing the creation of CASUS based examinations for each course in the discipline
– Nominating and inviting course masters of the discipline to join the examination board
– Overseeing the evaluation/grading of the case logs, case reports (Master) and theses (Master)
– Accepting or rejecting external (non ESAVS) course work submitted for obtaining ECTS credits
– Being overall responsible for the content and quality of the courses