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Study to work with dogs with a New Zealand Certificate in Animal Management (Canine Behaviour and Training) from Unitec

New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care (Companion Animal)

Are you passionate about the care and welfare of companion animals? This certificate programme is a great place to start your professional career working with animals.

Level
3
Credits
70 credits (0.583 EFTS)
Campus
Mt Albert
Start dates
February (part-time), April (distance learning), July (full-time), or September (distance learning)
Duration
Full-time for 16 weeks. Part-time over one year. Distance learning for six months.

Programme overview

Whether you’re straight out of school, currently working with animals, or thinking about a career change, the New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care is a great place to start your career working with animals!

We cover all aspects of animal care including health, hygiene, behaviour, and handling. We'll give you the applied knowledge and skills to care for a wide range of companion animals including dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents, reptiles, and birds, in a variety of settings including your home, pet shops, kennels, and catteries.

Choose from one of three study options that work best with your schedule:

  • Part-time study (evening classes): This takes place over one year from February to November. Classes run twice a week, Tuesday and Wednesday, 5:30-8:30pm.
  • Full-time study (evening classes): This takes place over one semester from July to November. Classes run three times a week, Monday – Wednesday, 5:30-8:30pm.
  • Distance learning (day classes during block courses): This takes place over one semester from April to September, and September to February. Anyone from across New Zealand is eligible for this programme as the bulk of the programme is online.

Highlights

  • Take the first steps towards an animal care-related professional career by gaining a comprehensive understanding of animal husbandry
  • Develop essential communication skills and professional capabilities
  • Passionate teaching staff who are experts in their fields and work closely with industry
  • This programme can provide a pathway for further study in a range of animal management programmes Unitec; discover your extensive range of options here!
  • Access to Unitec's small animal unit (Te Puna Kararehe) where you'll get a hands-on introduction to animal care through 12 hours on-site practical training and 48 hours of placement experience at an approved external facility.
  • A mix of daytime and evening on-campus classes, practicals, and self-directed learning depending on your study option.

Distance Learning

The distance learning option for this programme is full-time, and students must also be able to attend two compulsory block courses, run at Unitec’s Mt. Albert campus.

We expect students studying from a distance to be self-motivated and committed, and have excellent time management skills. You must attend all block courses, exams, practical assessments, work experience, as well as complete your self-directed study (research, reading, revision) and assessment writing.

Students must have consistent access to a computer with a reliable internet connection and appropriate word processing and slide presentation software. This will be provided by Unitec and downloadable once you‘re enrolled.

Where to next?

Successful completion of this programme will allow you to work in the animal care industry with limited supervision. If you're interested in continuing your studies, this programme will give you the academic admission requirements for higher-level animal programmes at Unitec including: 

Please note: International students who graduate will NOT be eligible for a post-study work visa upon completion of this programme.

 

Admission requirements

Academic requirements

For this programme, you will need the following:

  1. NCEA Level 1, with strengths from the Vocational Pathway Primary Industries sector;
  2. 8 credits at NCEA Level 1 in English

If you don’t meet the academic criteria above, we have a range of Bridging Education programmes which will help you prepare for further academic study.

English requirements

If English is not your first language you will also need one or more of the following:

  • Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University Entrance
  • Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency
  • Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years

If you don’t meet the English criteria above, we have a range of English Language programmes available, depending on your current level of ability.

If you don’t meet these requirements, you may still apply under special or discretionary entrance.

For more information download the programme regulations:

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

For more details on the courses, please click on the course names below. Please note that our systems are updating with new course timetable information for 2020; please check back again soon.

Courses Credits Aim
Companion Animal Industry and Care (NSCI3775) 40 credits (0.333 EFTS) To enable students to develop a theoretical and applied knowledge of husbandry of a range of companion animal species within an animal facility.
Companion Animal Industry and Care (Sem A) (NSCI3775-SA) 20.0 credits (0.167 EFTS) To enable students to develop a theoretical and applied knowledge of husbandry of a range of companion animal species within an animal facility.
Companion Animal Industry and Care (Sem B) (NSCI3775-SB) 20.0 credits (0.167 EFTS) To enable students to develop a theoretical and applied knowledge of husbandry of a range of companion animal species within an animal facility.
Introduction to Companion Animal Biology (NSCI3785) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course examines the basic biology, structure and function of companion animals as it relates to their day-to-day care.
Introduction to Companion Animal Biology (Sem A) (NSCI3785-SA) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) This course examines the basic biology, structure and function of companion animals as it relates to their day-to-day care.
Introduction to Companion Animal Biology (Sem B) (NSCI3785-SB) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) This course examines the basic biology, structure and function of companion animals as it relates to their day-to-day care.
Work Place Practices (NSCI3795) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to apply theoretical knowledge to work place practices in animal facilities.
Work Place Practices (Sem A) (NSCI3795-SA) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To enable students to apply theoretical knowledge to work place practices in animal facilities.
Work Place Practices (Sem B) (NSCI3795-SB) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To enable students to apply theoretical knowledge to work place practices in animal facilities.