The Master Program

General Overview

To obtain the EMSAVM degree in the discipline of your choice, you shall 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). According to the rules of the University of Luxemburg all post graduate education is organized in modules.

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 points validated by passing the respective examinations.

    Program Details

    The disciplines are taught in a series of 5- to 10-day consecutive courses where admission to the next level ordinarily requires 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 points). Considering student working time to attend courses, to study and to prepare for the examination, a 5-day-course (40 hours) generates usually 5 ECTS points.

    Course work (Module I and II): 40 ECTS Points

    In total a minimum of 40 ECTS points have to be collected from courses. Within those, a minimum of 25-30 ECTS points shall be accumulated in the major subject, i.e the chosen discipline (Module I) and the remaining 10-15 ECTS points 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 points of course work may be accumulated from instruction taken outside of the University of Luxembourg/ESAVS. Such external courses must be of a similarly high standard, examinable and approved by the Veterinary Post Graduate Program Committee.

    Case log (Module III): 10 ECTS points

    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.

    Case reports (Module IV): 20 ECTS points

    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. Two of the case reports should be visually recorded.
    The respective guidelines of each discipline shall be consulted for details.

    Practical work at your clinic/practice (Module V): 20 ECTS points

    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 for the years they are enrolled in the program. This part of the program is not examined.

    Master thesis (Module VI): 30 ECTS Points

    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.

    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, the maximum time may not exceed 5 years (10 semesters). 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.


    Course Examination
    Each course (2, 3, 5 or 10 ECTS points) shall be validated by an examination at one of the examination sessions conducted bi-annually at and by the University of Luxemburg (UL). Several exams may be taken together at one single session.
    The exams generally consist of an interactive computerized work-up of a clinical case 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.

    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.

    The EMSAVM Programs

    Cardiology: Outline

    Dentistry: Outline

    Dermatology: Outline

    Diagnostic Imaging: Outline

    Internal Medicine: Outline

    Neurology: Outline

    Surgery: Outline

    Quality Assurance

    Whereas the ESAVS faculty members, consisting of the course masters and course directors prepare the respective examinations, the Master program is supervised by the Veterinary Post Graduate Committee (consisting of four professors of various veterinary medical disciplines coming from various European universities) as well as by two professors from the University of Luxemburg. One of the latter is appointed as the chairman. The committee is assisted by a coordinator from the ESAVS office.

    The Post Graduate Committee is responsible for:

  • Supervision of the quality of the programs
  • Regular review of the rules and requirements
  • Appointing the members of the Examination Board
  • Assigning the candidates’ written work to the members of the examination board for grading
  • Collecting all grades and assigning the ECTS credits to each candidate following review of all the data

    Chair of the Committee: Prof. Dr. Jean Luc Bueb, University of Luxembourg

    The Post Graduate Committee is assisted by the Examination Board, which consists of at least 10 members of the ESAVS faculty, representing various disciplines of small animal veterinary medicine. The Committee is chaired by a professor of the University of Luxembourg. Up to 5 members of the Examination Board act as the “Jury” which according to the rules of the University of Luxembourg has to approve of all grades.

    The Examination Board is responsible for:

  • Organization and conduction of the examinations with the support of the program coordinator of the ESAVS Office and UL administration.
  • Reviewing and grading the case logs and case reports.
  • Approving/amending all grades at the end of each semester

    Chair of the examination board: Prof. Dr. Iris Behrmann, University of Luxembourg
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