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



$6,360 - $6,910







Course related costs

Approximately $200 for text books and fuel for work placements



Domestic Applications due

30 October

International Applications due

30 October


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.

Please note: As places are limited on this programme we strongly recommend applying as soon as you know you wish to study with us.

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

Programme structure

To complete this Certificate you are required to complete 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
  • 36 NCEA credits at level 2 including 12 credits in English at Level 2 and 12 credits of a relevant science (biology, chemistry or physics) at Level 1.

    New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care Level 3

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

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

Alternative requirements
  • Still want to study but don't meet the Academic Requirements?

    If you show that you have equivalent skills for tertiary study gained through study, work and/or life experience, you may be able to gain alternative entry.

    Note: The number of courses you have to complete for this qualification may be reduced where you have relevant credits from previous study, or evidence of similar learning or experience in the workplace. Contact Ara for advice.

Additional requirements
  • In addition you need to:

    • be physically able to undertake manual work and handle companion animals.
    • provide two referee reports, one a character reference and one outlining experience working with animals.
    • you may also be required to attend an interview.
English requirements
  • What if English is not my first Language?

    If English is not your first language, we want to make sure that you will be successful in your chosen programme of study. Please provide a result from a test or qualification on the acceptable alternatives English Proficiency Outcomes Chart .


    • If you are a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent Resident, complete an Admission and Enrolment form and Ara will contact you regarding a free assessment.
    • If you are not a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent resident, book an IELTS, Pearson or other test through the Ara Examination Centre or in your home country.

    IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS test report form and are valid for two years from the date of the test.

    What if I have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance?

    You do not need to provide additional 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

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.