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Study Animal Management and Welfare today

Animal Management and Welfare

Do you love animals? Animal management and welfare programmes at Unitec prepare you for a satisfying career working with all sorts of animals, both big and small. Whether you’re interested in animal welfare and behaviour, zoo-keeping, canine behaviour and training, or companion animals, there are so many areas to specialise in when it comes to caring for animals.

Explore your options

Study animal management and welfare with us, and you'll learn the industry-specific skills you need for a career working with animals. Whether it's in animal advocacy, health, welfare, and behaviour, or captive animal management, our programmes are in-depth and always relevant to what's happening in the industry and the world.

Hands-on learning means you’ll handle and care for animals in a range of different settings. It’s great practice for the real world and lets you try out your skills in a supervised environment. Through practical work placements, you'll recognise the signs of good and ill health in all sorts of animals. You’ll also get an understanding of the social, ethical, and environmental issues that impact animal management.

A career in the animal management and welfare industry is fulfilling and diverse. Thanks to the increasing global awareness of animal rights, there are jobs worldwide for well-trained, passionate, and enthusiastic professionals. 

Related subjects

We also have a range of programmes in Veterinary Nursing, Conservation, and Biodiversity Management - check them out below!

Veterinary Nursing

Conservation and Biodiversity Management

Programmes and study path

Start with a programme that suits your qualifications and/or experience, then progress to a level that achieves your goals.
New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care - Companion Animals 3 Full-time for 19 weeks. Part-time over 1 year. Animal minder in a range of animal facilities, Boarding kennel or cattery attendant, Pet shop assistant, Wildlife rehabilitation aide, Facility assistant for SPCA, Pet supply sales representative, Entry into further study at certificate or diploma level. February (part-time on-campus), June (full-time, with online and block courses), September (on-campus and North Tec - Whangārei - online and block courses)
New Zealand Certificate in Animal Management - Canine Behaviour and Training 4 Full time for one year with blended learning (includes online and block courses) Dog support services, Kennels/dog daycare, Animal welfare organisations (canine), Pet Dog Trainer February
New Zealand Certificate in Animal Management - Zookeeping 4 Full time for one year with blended learning (includes work experience and block courses) Animal carer in a wildlife park or animal sanctuary, Zookeeper February
Bachelor of Applied Science (Animal Management and Welfare) 7 Full-time for three years or part-time options available Animal welfare scientific officer, Animal behaviour and/or welfare consultant, Welfare education officer, Animal welfare inspector, Animal handler February or July
Bachelor of Applied Science (Animal Management and Welfare, and Biodiversity Management) 7 Full-time for three years or part-time options available Ecologist, Animal welfare scientific officer, Conservation Manager for DoC or Iwi, Animal behaviour and/or welfare consultant, Biodiversity analyst or advisor, Biosecurity analyst or advisor, Geographic information systems (GIS) analyst, Animal handler, Park ranger (Council or DoC), Animal facility manager February or July

Industry connections

Unitec staff are members of, and work closely with, the following professional associations:

  • New Zealand Veterinary Association
  • New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association
  • New Zealand Companion Animal Council
  • Universities Federation for Animal Welfare
  • World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)
  • Ornithological Society of New Zealand
  • Royal Society of New Zealand
  • Royal New Zealand SPCA
  • International Society for Applied Ethology
  • South Pacific Animal Welfare (SPAW)

Work experience

Choose one of our animal management and welfare programmes and you'll get the chance to participate in work placements with organisations like:

  • Auckland SPCA
  • Auckland Zoo
  • Department of Conservation
  • Disability Dogs
  • Hamilton Zoo
  • Ministry for Primary Industries
  • Orana Wildlife Park, Christchurch
  • Royal New Zealand SPCA
  • Wellington Zoo
  • Vet Care Unitec and Vet Care Grey Lynn
  • Veterinary Specialist Group (advanced hospital and emergency care)
  • New Zealand Conservation Medicine Centre at Auckland Zoo

Our Facilities

Study one of our animal management and welfare programmes and you'll benefit from learning in our on-campus small animal unit Te Puna Kararehe, where you'll handle and learn to care for different animals.

Study canine behaviour and training, and you'll have the opportunity to use our Dog Agility Facility, where you'll learn many aspects of canine obedience and training (including off-leash areas). 

We also have a Herbarium - which contains over 10,400 preserved specimens of plants and lichens - a Molecular Ecology Lab  - where we focus on leading-edge molecular tools and genetic data - and an Insect Collection - a preserved teaching and research collection of butterflies, beetles, and other invertebrates. 

Unitec's simulation vet clinic