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Programme overview

If you are keen to work with animals but aren't sure in which particular area, then this is the programme for you. Explore the basics of animal health, husbandry, conservation and behaviour across a range of animals. Delve into their anatomy and physiology. Understand how these areas help us care for animals in a range of environments - from the vet clinic to the great New Zealand bush. Develop an awareness of the social, ethical and environmental issues that impact animal management. Apply your knowledge and understanding of what you are learning in self-selected work placements. Discover how to communicate effectively within a team and apply basic business and customer service skills in the work environment.


  • Recognised by the animal industries in New Zealand. Unitec is the sole tertiary provider of this qualification.
  • Practical work placements in an animal industry of your choice.
  • Experienced lecturers who are experts in the fields of animal behaviour, health and welfare, and continue to work and research closely with industry.
  • Strong links with industry: there's an increasing awareness of the importance of animal management in New Zealand, and we're considered a world leader in animal welfare.
  • Flexibility: apply for the stand-alone Certificate in Animal Management, and go on to study one of three specialist endorsements.
  • Use this qualification as an entry to higher-level animal management programmes such as the Diploma of Veterinary Nursing or the Bachelor of Applied Science (Animal Management and Welfare).

Admission requirements

To be eligible for admission, applicants must meet the general, or the discretionary, or the special admission requirements and they must also meet any programme-specific admission requirements. Applicants must also meet the English language requirements and may be interviewed.

Generic Admission Requirements

General Admission

All applicants must be at least 16 years of age on the date of the programme's commencement for the semester in which they wish to enrol (or provide a completed Early Release Exemption form).

For Level 4 Certificate programmes applicants must have a minimum of 4 years secondary education, and a minimum of 12 NCEA credits at Level 1 in each of at least two subjects, OR a pass in two subjects in New Zealand School Certificate, OR Unitec Certificate in Foundation Studies: Whitinga (Level 2) in a relevant pathway, OR equivalent.

Special Admission

Applicants must have:

  1. Attained the age of 20 years on or before the first day of the semester in which study for the Certificate is to commence; AND
  2. Have provided sufficient evidence of aptitude or appropriate work or other life experience that would indicate a successful outcome in the qualification.

Discretionary Admission

In exceptional cases an applicant who does not meet the general admission requirements and who has not reached the age of 20 on or before the first day of the semester in which study for the Certificate is to commence may apply for discretionary admission.

In assessing whether to grant discretionary admission in exceptional cases, the primary focus will be on the applicant's level of preparedness for study at the required level.

English Language Admission Requirements

General English Language requirements
Applicants must have achieved a minimum standard of English as demonstrated by a minimum of 12 credits at NCEA Level 1 in English.

International Students for whom English is not their First Language
Applicants must have achieved one of the following:

  1. Completion of NZ Certificate in English Language (NZCEL) Level 3 with endorsement of either General or Workplace or Academic;
  2. An overall IELTS band score (Academic Format) of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5;
  3. An overall TOEFL pBT (Paper-based Test) score of 530 (plus essay TWE of 4.5) OR an overall TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test ) score of 46 (plus writing score of 20);
  4. Level B1 under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR);
  5. First Certificate in English (FCE) with a pass at Grade C OR Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) with a score of 47 or higher under the Cambridge International standard tests of English as a foreign language;
  6. Pearson Test of English (PToE) (Academic) with a score of 42;
  7. City & Guilds Internal English for Speakers of Other Languages (IESOL) B2 Communicator with a score of 42.

Existing English Language Proficiency
Applicants may also provide evidence of satisfying one of the criteria for existing English proficiency as specified by the NZQA. For more information please visit the NZQA website.

Programme Specific Admission Requirements

To be admitted to this programme, applicants must also meet the requirements set out in this schedule.

To be admitted to this programme, all applicants must meet the following requirements in addition to the requirements set out in the Certificate Generic Regulations:

  1. Have a minimum of 12 credits at NCEA Level 1 Biology and/or Chemistry or other relevant science subjects; or
  2. Have completed the Unitec Certificate in Foundation Studies (Level 3): Whitinga or equivalent.

English language admission requirements

All domestic applicants who do not meet the English Language Requirements as set out in the Generic Certificate Regulations are required to sit an English assessment and attend an interview. The assessments and interview will be used to determine whether the applicant has a level of competency in English Language that is equivalent to the generic requirements. If an ‘equivalent ‘level of competency is obtained the student will be considered to meet the English Language requirements for admission on the programme.

    Courses and timetables

    The courses and timetables for 2015 will be available after the 3rd October 2014.