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Study Animal Management and Welfare today

Bachelor of Applied Science (Animal Management and Welfare, and Biodiversity Management)

Can’t decide between animals or the environment? Our double-major option means you get the best of both worlds, with a selection of both animal- and environment-related courses. Like our other applied science options, you’ll get plenty of practical experience, which means you’ll be work-ready as soon as you graduate.

360 (3.0 EFTS)
Mt Albert
Start dates
February or July
Full-time for three years or part-time options available

Programme overview

Studying a double major in the Bachelor of Applied Science means you get a wide range of course options in animal management and welfare and biodiversity management.

Animal Management and Welfare

Animal management and welfare is a rapidly growing field of study and work. This unique programme will prepare you with the applied knowledge and skills you need to be successful in a wide range of emerging animal management and welfare careers.

This programme addresses the demand for ethical professionals in industries and organisations associated with the management and care of animals. You’ll develop an understanding of animal behaviour modification, health and welfare, handling and husbandry, conservation, and human/animal interactions.

Biodiversity Management

You’ll explore how ecosystems function and support biological diversity and how biodiversity managers (including government agencies, non-statutory organisations, and voluntary bodies) are responding to increasing concern over the impact of human activities on the world.

Find out how society views and influences the natural environment, discover how social, cultural, and policy frameworks influence management decisions, and develop your knowledge and skills related to plant identification.

Programme highlights

  • A holistic approach that combines theoretical knowledge with practical experience in simulated and real-world situations;
  • Visits to relevant environmental and/or animal-related organisations and voluntary groups; you may even be able to undertake part of your studies at one of their sites;
  • An opportunity to complete a research project in an area of your interest to develop the skills you'll need for a career in your chosen field;
  • A teaching team of highly qualified and experienced animal behaviour experts, animal trainers, scientists, veterinarians, botanists, ornithologists, and ecologists;
  • In Biodiversity Management, we’ll help you develop your knowledge and confidence in plant identification, one of our biggest strengths and an essential skill in the conservation industry.

Please note: There is a chance this programme will take an extra semester, depending on the timetables of the individual courses you select. This can be discussed during the application process.

Where from here

Upon completing this programme, you can go on to further study in Master of Applied Science (Biodiversity Management)

The Herbarium

With a collection of 11,500 scientifically preserved plants, fungi, lichens and seaweeds, the Herbarium is where you'll learn about plant specimen collection and preparation techniques.

Lots of important research work happens in the Herbarium including investigations into invasive and native plants and fungi, as well as the studies of an active lichen research group.

There’s also the opportunity to volunteer to assist with accessioning and curation.

Unitec's simulation vet clinic

The GIS Laboratory

Where science meets tech, the GIS Laboratory has 40 workstations complete with industry standard ArcGIS and associated software.

Running on high-performance Graphics Processing Units on Virtual Device Interfaces, with large 24-inch monitors, these computers can run realistic 3D modelling, spatial analysis, image rendering, and other computing intensive tasks.

The GIS Laboratory

Applied Molecular Solutions Laboratory

If you’re interested in the genetics of animals, plants and fungi, this lab is fully equipped for DNA extraction and analysis.

Second year Bachelor of Applied Science students gain first-hand experience in the lab, and in their third year if they take on a research project that utilises molecular techniques, this lab will become their second home.

Some cool research projects currently on the go include DNA barcoding of possible biological control agents, bioremediation of contaminated soils, and the molecular analysis of seabird diets.

Applied Molecular Solutions Library

Admission requirements

What you will need to study this programme. 

Domestic students

Academic requirements

You must have completed at least one of the following:

  • Successful completion of New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care - Companion Animals
  • A minimum of 42 credits at NCEA Level 3 or higher on the National Qualifications Framework, with:
    • ​14 credits at Level 3 or higher in each of two subjects, with;
    • a further 14 credits at Level 3 or higher taken from no more than two additional domains on the National Qualifications Framework or plus;
    • a minimum of 14 credits at Level 1 or higher in Mathematics or Pangarau on the National Qualifications Framework: plus
    • 8 credits at Level 2 or higher in English or Te Reo Māori (a minimum of 4 credits must be in Reading and a minimum of 4 credits must be in Writing);
  • ​​At least 3 ‘C’ passes in the New Zealand University Bursaries Examinations;

And meet one of the English entry requirements;

Don’t meet these Academic requirements?

For more information, download the programme regulations (PDF 595 KB)

International students

Academic requirements 

As a part of this requirement, you must be at least 16 years of age and meet the below;

And English entry requirements;

​If English is not your first language, you will also need at least one of the following qualifications:

Don’t meet these Academic requirements?

For more information, download the programme regulations (PDF 595 KB)


Courses and timetables

For more details on the courses including timetables, please click on the course names below.

Courses Credits Aim
Diversity of Life: Plants and Fungi (NSCI5101) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop an understanding of the basis of classification of plants, fungi and protists and their underlying structure and function.
Diversity of Life: Animals (NSCI5103) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop an understanding of the basis of the taxonomic classification of the major animal groups, their phylogenetic relationships and how different animal forms have adapted to different ways of living.
Principles of Biology (NSCI5104) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop an understanding of the underlying chemical and physical processes which serve to promote and enable order in biological systems.
Introduction to Animal Behaviour and Welfare (NSCI5702) 15.0 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.
Earth Processes (NSCI5730) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To provide a scientific understanding of physical and chemical processes and their interactions which are essential to life on Earth.
Principles of Ecology (NSCI5731) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop an understanding of the interactions that occur between organisms and their environment.
Contemporary Issues in Biology (NSCI5734) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to research contemporary issues in biological sciences and thereby facilitate the acquisition of fundamental academic skills that support studies in the Bachelor of Applied Science.
Science and Society (NSCI5735) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To explore ways in which Science and human society have developed and interacted throughout history; to equip students with an appreciation that science takes place within a broad cultural framework and to recognise the validity of differing points of view.
Principles of Animal Husbandry (NSCI5738) 15.0 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.
Techniques in Field Biology (NSCI5740) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To provide an introduction to a range of techniques used in field biology for the scientific identification and sampling of animals and plants.
Courses Credits Aim
Research Methods (NSCI6730) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop skills in research methodology that will allow students to plan and initiate research, to analyse data and to critically appraise research findings.
Companion Animal Behaviour (NSCI6731) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to apply animal behaviour concepts to a range of applied situations focussing on the welfare of companion animals.
Animal Health and Welfare (NSCI6732) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to evaluate the methods used in assessing the welfare status of animals and to develop an understanding of how animal health is impacted by environmental factors.
Animal Breeding and Nutrition (NSCI6737) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable the students to develop an understanding of the management of breeding and nutrition in a range of animal species.
Vertebrate Physiology (NSCI6741) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To promote an understanding of the physiological responses of animals to environmental challenges and stressors.
Ecological Evaluation and Management (NSCI6745) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop an understanding of how the scientific evaluation (within the context of international and national legislative frameworks) and assessment of ecosystems or species supports decision-making and conservation management practices.
Ecological Risk and its Mitigation (NSCI6746) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To apply ecological theory and techniques to the assessment of environmental risks from human impacts and their appropriate mitigations, including the impacts of invasive species and biosecurity strategies for the protection of New Zealand.
Courses Credits Aim
Global Issues in Animal Welfare (NSCI7101) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To provide students with the opportunity to critically evaluate historical and recent issues relating to animal welfare research and practices in a global context.
Advanced Field Surveying of New Zealand Biota (NSCI7105) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To provide advanced experience of taxonomy, field identification and surveying techniques for a range of animals, plants and fungi.
Courses Credits Aim
Concepts in Biodiversity (NSCI6735) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To provide a synopsis of the theory, methodology and significance of biological diversity.
Captive Wild Animal Management (NSCI6738) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable the student to understand the philosophical, scientific and practical basis for the maintenance of wild animals in captivity.
Behavioural Ecology (NSCI6739) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop an understanding of the ecological and evolutionary basis of animal behaviour, and the role behaviour plays in enabling animals to adapt to their environment.
Geographic Information Systems (NSCI6743) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop understanding in the use and application of GIS, GPS (Global Positioning Systems) and RS (Remote Sensing) for modelling and presenting spatial data and information.
Practicum (NSCI6744) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable the student to reflect on and apply the skills and theoretical knowledge gained during their studies and to develop their transferable and inter-personal skills in a work-based environment.
Courses Credits Aim
Anthrozoology (NSCI7103) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To introduce students to the multidisciplinary field of Anthrozoology, illustrating the conceptual links between research in this relatively new academic field and use in understanding the interaction between animals and humans.
Restoration Ecology (NSCI7104) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable the student to apply ecological theory to the practice of restoring damaged ecosystems, using existing restoration projects as reference sites.
Biosecurity (NSCI7107) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To provide an understanding of the impacts, management and risks of invasive alien species to New Zealand and beyond.
Field Trip (NSCI7108) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To provide an opportunity to consider and study in situ, the ecology and conservation of a critically endangered ecosystem.
One Health (NSCI7421) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course develops the knowledge and skills of students about critically evaluating historical, current and predicted animal and public health threats in the context of `one health’, and critically evaluate historical and current veterinary practices as they relate to public health.
Conservation Science (NSCI7732) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To understand how the knowledge of genetics and population dynamics can be used to influence conservation and wildlife management decisions.
Applied Geographic Information Systems (NSCI7736) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To provide an enhanced understanding of, and competence in, the acquisition, management, analysis, modelling and presentation of spatial information.
Internship (NSCI7810) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to undertake a short-term work and/or training experience related to practice in their chosen field of study. It provides an opportunity to integrate theoretical knowledge and practice through a strategy of applied learning in the workplace.