Advanced Certificate in Animal Management

Start your career working with animals the right way. Learn about animal management, and study online at your own pace. A broad foundation course which can be applied to many careers.

Course CodeVAG056
Fee CodeAC
Duration (approx)900 hours
QualificationAdvanced Certificate

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Aim for Career Satisfaction Working With Animals

This broad based study course is designed to appeal to those who have a love of animals and wish to turn that into a career or business working with them. 

This Advanced Certificate in Animals Management allows you to personalise your studies through choosing elective modules to complement the core studies. 

What you will learn here can lay the foundation for a range of job roles or for further studies.  


Learn to manage a range of animals

Lay the foundation for career or business opportunities with animals:

  • In farming

  • With pets

  • Working with wildlife

Through our core (compulsory)  modules you develop a broad based foundation that relates to animals on farms, as pets, in zoos or the wild. You study of anatomy, physiology, vertebrate zoology, animal behaviour, feed and nutrition, animal biochemistry, health and diseases, and genetics. These modules give students a thorough grounding in the biology of animals.

Following this a choice of electives enables you to streamline or specialise and learn things that are relevant to your own unique needs.

ACS Student Comment:

Yes [the course was a valuable learning experience]. It is providing me with new insights and development beyond my former knowledge of this subject. It also provides me with a proper basic knowledge to pursue my dreams in this career path. - Arnold Taen, Netherlands



Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Advanced Certificate in Animal Management.
 Animal Anatomy And Physiology (Animal Husbandry I) BAG101
 Animal Health Care VAG100
 Research Project I BGN102
 Vertebrate Zoology BEN104
 Animal Behaviour (Psychology of Animals) BAG203
 Animal Feed & Nutrition (Animal Husbandry III) BAG202
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 3 of the following 31 modules.
 Industry Project BIP000
 Aquarium Management BEN105
 Biochemistry I (Animal and Human) BSC103
 Dog Care BAG105
 Farm Management BAG104
 Nature Park Management I BEN120
 Ornithology BEN102
 Pet Care AAG100
 Workshop I BGN103
 Animal Diseases BAG219
 Animal Health (Animal Husbandry II) BAG201
 Aquaculture BAG211
 Beef Cattle BAG206
 Cat Psychology and Training BAG222
 Dairy Cattle BAG205
 Dog Psychology and Training BAG221
 Genetics BSC207
 Goat Production BAG223
 Herpetology BEN209
 Mariculture - Marine Aquaculture BAG220
 Natural Health Care for Animals BAG218
 Pasture Management BAG212
 Pigs BAG209
 Poultry BAG208
 Primatology (Primate Animals) BEN210
 Sheep BAG210
 Sustainable Agriculture BAG215
 Wildlife Management BEN205
 Zoo Keeping BEN208
 Animal Breeding BAG301
 Horse Breeding BAG307

Note that each module in the Advanced Certificate in Animal Management is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


The amount and type of learning needed to manage animals well is not the same as what is needed to be a veterinarian; but there is no argument that the more you know and understand about animals, the better you will be at managing them.

This course takes longer than some courses, but in studying for longer you learn more.

As a graduate from this course, your understanding of farm animals will have changed, and you will perceive and make decisions about farm animals in a different and more informed way than ever before.

When You better Understand Veterinary Practice, You will make Better Decisions about Using Veterinary Services

By ensuring the animals under our care attend regular veterinary health checks, we are preventing risks of ill health.  Some types of health checks can be informed frequently by anyone who knows what they are doing; and others will require a fully qualified veterinarian. Routine health checks play an important role in ensuring the animal is in optimum health and for early diagnosis of any illnesses. 

Vet practices also put in place immunisation programmes as preventative measures.  Different programmes may be available depending on the locality, but generally there are vaccinations available for pets, farmed animals and zoo animals.  Vaccinations contain a very minute amount of the disease or organism, which is injected into the animal.  This will then trigger the white blood cells within the animal to produce antibodies to start fighting the disease.  In any future cases of the vaccinated animal coming in contact with the disease, the antibodies will recognise it and fight it off quickly.  The animal may show no signs at all or only very small symptoms of the disease.

Parasitic control is also a preventative measure offered by veterinary practices.  Again, these do vary depending on locality but there are a range of treatments available for both ectoparasites (external parasites) and endoparasites (internal parasites).  
Some common ectoparasites include;

  •     Fleas

  •     Ticks

  •     Sarcoptes Mite

  •     Cheyletiella Mite

  •     Demodex Mite

  •     Harvest Mite

  •     Lice

Some common endoparasites include;

  •     Roundworms

  •     Hookworms

  •     Whipworms

  •     Tapeworms

  •     Flukes

  •     Heartworms

  •     Lungworms

Veterinary practices urge owners to keep up to date with parasitic control to try to prevent outbreaks which will cause severe irritation, risk of disease, internal damage and secondary infections.  These preventative measures are also in place to decrease any risk to humans.  Some endoparasites are zoonotic meaning they can be passed onto humans and can be detrimental to the health of a child.  People can also become infected with ectoparasites, including ticks which can carry a range of diseases, for example Lyme disease.  

Animals Need Different Types of Food at Different Times

Seasonal change in the diet of many wild animals is common worldwide.  However, this change in nutritional needs is not completely understood or managed in many zoo feeding programs. Photoperiod and temperature are the main factors influencing diet changes. For example, the temperature can affect the appetite of animals such as carnivores.  These factors can also influence the feeding behaviour of animals.

Ruminants from temperate and arctic areas often show a marked seasonal variation in feed intake which corresponds to the natural seasonal availability of feed in the wild. For example, deer have a high feed intake in the summer, accumulating large fat quantities. In the winter they can go for days without eating, meeting their energy requirements by metabolising the fat in their bodies.

The data collected from zoo animals wild counterparts, can provide the best basis for optimum diets of zoo animals. Based on observations made in the field, zoo keepers can identify seasonal changes in diet and behaviour and adapt feeding plans to meet these. Accurate records of weight and growth are important when identifying seasonal changes in diet.  The animal’s diet should be monitored regularly and adjusted accordingly.

The amount of energy an animal requires will generally increase during pregnancy and lactation. In late gestation (pregnancy) feed intake may actually decrease, due to the high levels of estrogens in the body affecting metabolism. The increased size of the foetus will also reduce the volume in the abdominal cavity for storing food.

During peak lactation an animal’s energy requirements is at its highest. At this time body reserves are being used to meet this increased energy demand.

For birds, the breeding season also influences energy intake. Researchers have observed that the appetite of breeding emus rises dramatically in late winter when egg production ceases.  This is followed by a sharp decline in energy requirements in the following autumn when the new breeding season commences.


The world of animal management is so big, and there are so many things to explore and learn about that it is hard to know where to begin.

Everyone needs a solid overview though; to understand animal anatomy and physiology, as well as the psychology and behaviour of animals. You need to know what they eat and drink, how to protect them from all sorts of risks; and a lot more.

This course will provide that broad foundation; and in doing so, give you a framework to move forward with a career, a business or simply pursuit of your lifelong passion.


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Dr Robert Browne

Zoologist, Environmental Scientist and Sustainability, science based consultancy with biotechnology corporations. Work focused on conservation and sustainability. Robert has published work in the fields of nutrition, pathology, larval growth and develop
Dr. Gareth Pearce

Veterinary scientist and surgeon with expertise in agriculture and environmental science, with over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in the UK, Australia and New Zealand
Alison Pearce

Alison brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to ACS students. She has worked as a University Lecturer, has also run a veterinary operating theatre; responsible for animal anaesthesia, instrument preparation, and assistance with surgical techniqu
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