New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology (Level 5) with Veterinary Nursing Assistant Strand - Pending Approval.xml New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology (Level 5) with Veterinary Nursing Assistant Strand

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CertificateFull time - 1 year, part time available

Annual Fees(indicative 2018)

Programme code



$6,000 -$6,400







Course related costs




Domestic Applications due

30 October - late applications may be considered

International Applications due

30 October for February start


Christchurch - Madras Street


Gain the skills and knowledge needed to be an effective part of the veterinary team, assisting veterinarians and veterinary nurses in clinical practice.

This programme focuses on the experience and knowledge needed to work in the exciting and rewarding animal health sector. You'll participate in small group tutorials, full class discussions and workshops.

You'll also undertake work placements at animal facilities and veterinary clinics, giving you a variety of hands-on experience. Your tutors will help you make the most of the opportunities available while assisting you to develop your communication skills.

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
  • 60 NCEA credits at level 2 including:

    • a minimum of 12 NCEA credits in English at level 2 and;
    • a minimum of 12 NCEA credits in Maths at level 1 and;
    • a minimum of 12 credits of relevant Science at level 1.

    Or New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care (Level 3).

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

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
    • Curriculum Vitae: Applicants are to provide a recent curriculum vitae demonstrating previous experience of working with animals and with contact details for two referees.
    • Referee reports: Provide two referee reports:
      • one demonstrating previous experience working with animals including a minimum of 3 days observing in a veterinary clinic.
      • one demonstrating an aptitude for working with the public - a reference from an employer where the student has worked with the public (e.g. retail) or a reference from a teacher attesting to social skills.
    • Interview: Applicants who meet academic entry will be required to attend an interview.
    • 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. Students must also have no objection to working with animals, dissection of animal body parts, body fluids and cadavers.
    • Consent to Disclosure of Information Changes to government legislation may require police vetting for registration as a veterinary nurse after qualification. If you consider that this may be an issue we recommend you discuss it with a course tutor prior to entry. You can view the New Zealand Police Vetting Service (NZPVS) Request and Consent Form and see further information on the NZ Police Vetting Service on the New Zealand Police website.
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

All applicants must meet academic entry criteria. They are then ranked and preference given based on their application and interview.

Next steps

To apply for this programme please:

  • complete an application form
  • provide two referee reports
  • provide a current CV

If you don't meet the criteria for entry into this programme, we can help you meet entry level with our foundation and bridging programmes.

Alternatively, if you feel you have gained your learning through on the job experience talk to us about recognition or assessment of prior learning .

Application documents

Career opportunities

As a graduate of this programme 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

Upon completing this programme, graduates are able to apply for the New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing. Graduates may also be able to receive credits from the Rural Animal Technician strand of the New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology.

Recommended school subjects

  • Biology
  • Physiology
  • Chemistry
  • English writing
  • Mathematics