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New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology (Veterinary Nursing Assistant)

Learn the fundamentals of animal nursing with lots of opportunity to put theory into practice at Unitec’s on-campus veterinary clinic Vet Care Unitec, sister clinic Vet Care Grey Lynn, as well as your choice of external clinics across New Zealand.

Level
5
Credits
120 (1.0 EFTS)
Campus
Mt Albert
Start dates
February
Duration
Full-time for one year or distance learning options available.

Programme overview

The New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology (Veterinary Nursing Assistant) is a hands-on programme that teaches the practical skills, knowledge and attributes needed to help assist with the care of animals in a clinical environment. 

Through tutorials, group work, practical sessions, and demonstrations you will learn to assist veterinarians and veterinary nurses and contribute to providing a high standard of care for patients. You will be able to put your skills into practice in Unitec’s veterinary simulation clinic as well as during placements at veterinary clinics.

As well as building practical skills, you will get a firm grounding in the principles that underpin the health, husbandry, welfare, and behaviour of animals. You will also learn the communication and business aspects needed to work effectively in animal industries. This combination will give you the ethical values and cultural understanding that you need to be an effective member of a professional veterinary team.

Highlights

  • Learn from lecturers who are experienced veterinarians and veterinary nurses, and who work closely with the veterinary industry
  • Gain hands-on experience at Unitec’s on-campus, award-winning veterinary simulation clinic, our veterinary clinic Vet Care Unitec, as well as Veterinary Specialist Group and external veterinary clinics
  • Develop a solid understanding of best practice in a professional clinical environment
  • Benefit from a blended learning approach that includes group work, online tutorials, practical sessions and one-to-one supervision

Distance Learners:

If you're a distance learner, you will need to take part in four compulsory six-day block courses throughout the year at our Mt. Albert campus.

  • Studying from a distance is somewhat different to studying on-site, however the approximate overall study time is the same as it would be for any full-time campus-based programme.
  • A large quantity of reading material will be supplied, mainly by our web-based learning platform (Moodle), and will come in a range of electronic formats.
  • Lecturers will also provide online assessments which will automatically provide feedback to you. Discussion forums are set up for all students to participate in, some of which may be assessed.
  • Lecturers and course coordinators may use Moodle to contact individual students by email, and will often load important announcements for the whole class to view. It is imperative that you access Moodle consistently during the week (including weekends) to keep on track in all aspects of the programme. You will receive training on how to use Moodle in your first block course.

What's next?

If you successfully complete the programme, you can apply to enrol in the New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing. You’ll need to successfully complete the diploma programme to be able to graduate as a qualified veterinary nurse and become registered with the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association.

You could also continue your studies with the Bachelor of Applied Science (Animal Management and Welfare) which allows for the cross-crediting of multiple papers.

Admission requirements

Part of your first-year practical experience is a minimum of 200 hours in an external clinic placement. It is recommended that you find this placement before the beginning of the programme

For this programme, you will need the following:

1. 60 credits at NCEA Level 2 including 12 credits in English
2. 12 credits at NCEA Level 1 in one science subject
3. 12 credits at NCEA Level 1 in Mathematics
4. Demonstrate work experience with animals and an aptitude for working with the public:

  • Supply an employer letter of recommendation (you need to have spent at least three days working in a veterinary clinic)

  • A reference from an employer where you’ve worked with the public (e.g. retail) or from a teacher

5. Sign a consent form allowing a Ministry of Justice convictions database search by Unitec Institute of Technology
6. Complete a medical declaration form
7. If English is not your first language, you will 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

Don’t have NCEA? We also accept:

  • An equivalent qualification.

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 2019; please check back again soon.

Courses Credits Aim
Introduction to Animal Behaviour and Welfare (NSCI5702) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To promote an understanding of the basic principles of animal behaviour and welfare as it applies to a range of animal species.
Introduction to Animal Behaviour and Welfare (Sem A) (NSCI5702-SA) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To promote an understanding of the basic principles of animal behaviour and welfare as it applies to a range of animal species.
Introduction to Animal Behaviour and Welfare (Sem B) (NSCI5702-SB) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To promote an understanding of the basic principles of animal behaviour and welfare as it applies to a range of animal species.
Animal Clinical Care (Sem A) (NSCI5705-SA) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To enable the student to apply specific husbandry requirements for animals in clinical care and recognise the role of a veterinary assistant as part of a veterinary team.
Animal Clinical Care (Sem B) (NSCI5705-SB) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To enable the student to apply specific husbandry requirements for animals in clinical care and recognise the role of a veterinary assistant as part of a veterinary team.
Clinical Animal Care Practicum (Sem A) (NSCI5710-SA) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to appropriately apply the practical application of ’best practice’ husbandry and veterinary nursing, required for range of animals within a veterinary clinic.
Clinical Animal Care Practicum (Sem B) (NSCI5710-SB) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to appropriately apply the practical application of ’best practice’ husbandry and veterinary nursing, required for range of animals within a veterinary clinic.
Introduction to Veterinary Anaesthetic and Surgical Procedures (NSCI5711) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to apply the principles and practices of anaesthetic, analgesic and surgical procedures in the role of the veterinary nursing assistant.
Introduction to Veterinary Anaesthetic and Surgical Procedures (Sem A) (NSCI5711-SA) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To enable students to apply the principles and practices of anaesthetic, analgesic and surgical procedures in the role of the veterinary nursing assistant.
Introduction to Veterinary Anaesthetic and Surgical Procedures (Sem B) (NSCI5711-SB) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To enable students to apply the principles and practices of anaesthetic, analgesic and surgical procedures in the role of the veterinary nursing assistant.
Introduction to Veterinary Clinical Practice (NSCI5712) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course prepares students to work effectively in the client interfacing areas of a veterinary business, with a focus on communication and job-readiness.
Introduction to Veterinary Clinical Practice (Sem A) (NSCI5712-SA) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) This course prepares students to work effectively in the client interfacing areas of a veterinary business, with a focus on communication and job-readiness.
Introduction to Veterinary Clinical Practice (Sem B) (NSCI5712-SB) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) This course prepares students to work effectively in the client interfacing areas of a veterinary business, with a focus on communication and job-readiness.
Vertebrate Anatomy and Physiology (Sem A) (NSCI5720-SA) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To enable students to understand the concepts of anatomy and physiology as they relate to the maintenance of homeostasis and animal health
Vertebrate Anatomy and Physiology (Sem B) (NSCI5720-SB) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To enable students to understand the concepts of anatomy and physiology as they relate to the maintenance of homeostasis and animal health
Principles of Animal Husbandry (NSCI5738) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable the student to develop an understanding of the theoretical basis and application of animal husbandry in a range of animal species.
Principles of Animal Husbandry (Sem A) (NSCI5738-SA) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To enable the student to develop an understanding of the theoretical basis and application of animal husbandry in a range of animal species.
Principles of Animal Husbandry (Sem B) (NSCI5738-SB) 7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS) To enable the student to develop an understanding of the theoretical basis and application of animal husbandry in a range of animal species.

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Disclaimer

The 'Key Information for Students' below does not reflect any international student information.

Please take this information as a guideline only. For example, you will often see a difference between these tuition fees and our estimate above. This is because there are a number of variables, such as the specific courses chosen within a programme.

The national graduate outcomes information is for all tertiary New Zealand providers including Unitec. This information is provided by the New Zealand Government and is derived from a national database that links educational and income information.



Key Information for Students

Entry requirements

Minimum requirementsInfo Icon: Applicants must meet the general, special or discretionary admission requirements, and meet the English Language entry requirements

Detailed requirements: See the above "Admission requirements" section for more information about entry to this progrogramme.

Duration

1 YearInfo Icon

Tuition Fees

Annual

Total Qualification

Student fees:  $7,391Info Icon $7,391Info Icon
Government tuition subsidy:  $11,584Info Icon $11,584Info Icon
Total: $18,975Info Icon $18,975Info Icon

Compulsory Student Services Fee
Student loan information available at StudyLink.

National graduate outcomes

(3 years after completion)
Median earnings $37,439Info Icon
Earnings range $30,381 - $42,512Info Icon
In employment 73%Info Icon
In further study 23%Info Icon
On a benefit 1%Info Icon

Note:All KIS information is the most recent available relating to domestic students only. Click here for more information about the Key Information for Students.