New Zealand Certificate in Animal Management (Level 4) with Companion Animal Strand.xml New Zealand Certificate in Animal Management (Level 4) with Companion Animal Strand

A-Z study guide
NZ Certificate Animal Management

CertificateFull-time, 1 year

Annual Fees(indicative 2019)

Programme code



$6,240 - $6,770







Course related costs

Approximately $200 for text books and fuel for work placements



Domestic Applications due

30 October (late applications may be considered)

International Applications due

30 October for February start


Christchurch - Madras Street


Match your passion for animals with the skills and knowledge needed to work in a diverse and rewarding field of animal care.

This highly practical programme will equip you with the knowledge and skills required in a wide range of animal related industries.

Foundation courses cover animal anatomy and physiology, occupational health and safety, safe handling of animals, basic animal behaviour and an introduction to the equipment and software commonly used in animal care environments. More advanced topics include nutrition, care during illness/injury, designing optimum housing spaces, behavioural correction and intervention and the safe transport of animals.

Work-integrated learning is a significant component of the programme and you'll have the opportunity to select an appropriate workplace to suit the area of animal care you're most interested in.

Due to the practical nature of the programme, you must have a good level of fitness to be able to carry out the physical activities with the animal room and on your work placement.

Credit recognition

If you have work experience in this area, or a relevant prior qualification, you may be eligible for credit recognition towards this qualification.

Programme structure

To complete this Certificate you are required to complete a minimum total of 120 credits. Please browse the guide below to view the course options currently available within this qualification.

Core courses
Elective Courses

To be a full time student you need to maintain a workload of 120 credits per year. We recommend you talk with us to ensure you choose electives to benefit your future career.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements
  • 40 credits NCEA L1 including: 10 Literacy credits and 10 Numeracy credits and 10 Science credits (general science, biology, chemistry, physics)

    OR New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Prep (Animal Management/Veterinary Nursing Pathway) Level 3

    OR New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care (Level 3) or equivalent

    OR If you have undertaken examinations other than NCEA (e.g. International Baccalaureate, Cambridge Examination), Ara will assess your qualification for academic entry equivalency.

    Pending approval by NZQA

Alternative requirements
  • Skills for tertiary study (including literacy and numeracy) may be acquired through study, work and/or life experience. Students who can demonstrate these skills may be approved for alternative entry. Literacy and numeracy assessments are available.

    If you do not meet the entry requirements for this programme, pathways are available through New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation Level 3.

Additional requirements
    • Practical requirements: Due to the practical nature of the programme, students must be able to carry out physical activities within the Animal Room and work placement to fulfil the requirements of the programme.
    • Referee reports: Provide two referee reports, one a character reference and one outlining experience working with animals.
    • Interview: Applicants who meet academic entry may be required to attend an interview.
English requirements
  • If English is not your first language you may also be required to provide evidence of your English language skills. If you have no evidence of your English language skills and are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, contact us for an assessment.

    Note: Students who have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance requirements are not required to provide evidence of English Language Skills.










Acceptable Alternatives Chart

Selection criteria

Applicants who meet the requirements for admission are accepted in the order their applications are received.

If this programme is oversubscribed and you meet academic entry requirements, you may be required to attend an interview.

Next steps

To apply for this programme please complete:

  • an Admission and Enrolment form and
  • New Zealand Certificate in Animal Management Application Pack

Application documents

Career opportunities

With this qualification you will have the skills to competently manage the day-to-day care of animals in a variety of situations such as kennels and catteries, rescue centres and pet sitting facilities.

Depending on your interests, you could also find employment as an animal welfare worker, pet sitter, pet shop assistant,pet supplies sales representative or in the animal education industry.

Study pathways

After completing this programme, you can continue to build on your knowledge and skills in this area with the New Zealand Certificate in Animal Management Captive Wildlife Strand Level 4, or the New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology with strands in Rural Animal Technician and Veterinary Nursing Assistant Level 5.

Recommended school subjects

  • English
  • Biology/ Anatomy