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Duration (approx) 2100 hours
Qualification Diploma
Learn to manage all types of animals in captivity and under observation.

  • A broad and detailed course, with Core Modules which focus on the 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.
  • A wide choice of Elective Modules enables students to streamline their studies to make them relevant to their own situations and career paths.

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Learn how to manage and maintain the health of animals.

  • Learn about the biology of animals.
  • Understand the environmental and psychological elements that impact on animal behviours.
  • Learn the essentials of food and nutritional requirements for animals.
  • Learn about approaches to maintaining animal health, and how to diagnose and treat ill health.
  • Elective Modules provide the opportunity for students to tailor the Diploma In Animal Management to areas of their own particular interest.

Course Duration: 2,100 hours.

Start Date: Start at any time - study at a pace that suits you, and with full tutor support for the duration of your studies.

Content: Study 11 Core Modules and then choose 10 Elective Modules.

The Core Modules cover Animal Biology, Animal Health Care, Biochemistry I (Animal), Vertebrate Zoology, Animal Behaviour, Animal Husbandry II (Animal Health), Animal Husbandry III (Animal Feed and Nutrition), Breeding Animals, Research Project I, Workshop I, Industry Project.

Then choose 10 Electives from - Farm Management, Nature Park Management, Ornithology, Pet Care, Marine Aquaculture, Beef Cattle, Dairy Cattle, Diagnosing Animal Diseases, Fish Farming and Aquaculture, Natural Animal Health Care, Pasture Management, Pigs, Poultry, Sheep, Sustainable Agriculture, Wildlife Management, Animal Welfare.

The Core Modules the Diploma in Animal Management are summarised below.  Follow the title link for further information on each.


Students are required to complete the following 11 Core Modules.

Animal Husbandry I (Animal Anatomy And Physiology) BAG101
The 11 lesson module will teach students about the structure and function of different animals which provides a solid foundation of knowledge for the understanding, care, and management of animals.  The course looks at all types of animals, but is principally geared towards horses, cattle, sheep, dogs, goats, and pigs.

Animal Health Care VAG100
Learn to identify and describe common signs of ill health and diseases in animals, and the appropriate types of treatment for these.  This 12 lesson module looks at the broader aspects of animal welfare and control as well as codes of practices and the services provided by veterinarians.  The module includes preventative health care, as well as considering routine health treatments (such as de-sexing and castration).  It is concluded with a lesson on animal rehabilitation and recovery.

Biochemistry – Animals BSC103
A 10 lesson foundation course in the biochemistry of animals. Students will learn about the major chemical elements and compounds that are important in animals and humans.  Major biochemical groups are included, such as carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins.  Students will understand the characteristics of chemicals which control biological processes in animals and humans, including areas such as digestion, respiration, and temperature regulation.  Lessons in the module include chemical analysis – which will teach the student skills in simple technical analysis relevant to testing of animals, and biochemical applications which involves the student conducting research in their chosen industry area.

Vertebrate Zoology BEN104
A 10 lesson module which looks at the taxonomy of different classes of vertebrates.  Students will learn about the form and structure of different vertebrates, including fishes, amphibians and reptiles, birds, mammals, and more.  Outcomes from this module will see the student being able to distinguish between major groups of vertebrates through their understanding of their taxonomic classification and diversity.  They will understand the environmental and genetic influences on vertebrate development, and understand the importance of these with regard to the well-being of animals.

Animal Behaviour BAG203
This 8 lesson module teaches students to understand the motivations of behaviour in animals.  It focuses on the behaviour of animals and how the knowledge of this can be applied to handling, training and managing animals.  Students will study the influences of genetics, perceptions, and the environment on animals’ behaviour, understanding also the elements of learned and unlearned behaviour.  

Animal Husbandry II (Animal Health) BAG201
In this 10 lesson module, students will learn about recognising ill health in animals the reasons why animals contract different diseases.  As well as the identification and classification of diseases, students will learn about how to examine different animals and what methods of treatment can be used on them.  The module includes such areas as vaccination, nursing, quarantine, slaughter, and disease prevention in sheep and cattle.  The module also includes lessons on wounds, tissue repair, and the biological mechanisms which cause cell changes in animals (leading to such conditions as tumours, cancers, and infectious diseases).   

Animal Husbandry III (Feed And Nutrition) BAG202
Learn about the composition of a range of feeds, including pasture, fodder crops, grasses, cereals, seed, and other edible plants.  This 10 lesson module also explains the role of proteins, vitamins and minerals in animal diets.

Animal Breeding BAG301
This 7 lesson module will provide students with an understanding of the principles of breeding animals – farm animals, working animals, and pets – including the relevance of breeding in wildlife conservation.  Students will learn about genetics, and the different types of breeding, including pure breeding and cross breeding.  They will be able to devise procedures for breeding, and evaluate the relevance of different breeding methods.  The module concludes with a lesson focusing on the improvement of livestock.

Industry Project BIP000
The Industry Project is designed to foster networking, practical skills and industry awareness.  There are various ways that the requirement can be satisfied and it can be completed from wherever you live in the world.  The approach will differ dependent upon whether or not you have relevant experience within the industry relating to your studies.  Your tutor will be on hand to assist and guide you with the options open to you, including completion of Workshop modules which through a Problem Based Learning approach will enable you to develop your capacity to identify, select and apply knowledge and skills to perform workplace tasks in an industry

Research Project I BGN102
Students will learn to plan and conduct research into the current status of an aspect of the equine industry relating to their area of study, and complete a descriptive report based on that research.

Workshop I BGN103
Develop your capacity to identify, select and apply knowledge and skills to appropriate perform workplace tasks in the equine industry through a problem-based learning project.  The 3 lesson module identifies 3 areas of study, covering workplace tools and equipment, workplace skills, and workplace safety.  The approach of problem-based learning (PBL) enables students to consider and resolve hypothetical problems which mimic those that may occur in real world situations.  This helps to equip students with the skills and confidence to approach and resolve problems that they may encounter through their work.  It provides added benefits in areas such as planning and assessment by equipping students with the ability to effectively plan, view, and outline their intended outcomes in areas of work and projects that they may be engaged in.

Students are then required to choose and complete 10 of the following Elective Modules.  Follow the title link for further information on each of these.

Farm Management BAG104

Nature Park Management I BEN120

Ornithology BEN102

Pet Care AAG100

Marine Aquaculture BAG220

Beef Cattle BAG206

Dairy Cattle BAG205

Animal Diseases BAG219

Aquaculture BAG211

Natural Health Care For Animals BAG218

Pasture Management BAG 212

Pigs BAG209

Poultry BAG208

Sheep BAG210

Sustainable Agriculture BAG215

Wildlife Management BEN205

Animal Welfare BAG224

Note that each module in the Qualification - Diploma in Animal Management is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
You can start the course at any time.

It is studied by distance learning, so you can study in the comfort of your own home. But this doesn't mean you are all alone in your studies.  Our highly qualified and friendly tutors are there to help you every step of the way.  If you have any questions at all, they are always happy to help.

Each lesson includes set tasks, and is completed with an assignment which the student submits to their course tutor.  The tutor will mark the assignment and return this to the student with comments and suggestions for further reading.

The Diploma In Animal Management requires approximately 2,100 hours of study. It is made up of twenty 100 hour modules, including a research project, and 100 hours of industry experience/work experience.

To pass the course –

  1. Pass all assignments on the 100 hour modules. There will be an assignment at the end of each lesson to submit to your tutor for marking and feedback.
  2. Pass 20 examinations – one on each module. These are usually taken at the end of the module and can be arranged at a time and location to suit you.
  3. Complete Research Project I.
  4. Complete a Workplace Project.  The project should last around 100 hours.  There are four options available to you to satisfy this requirement.  Don’t worry if you are not sure at this stage, your tutor will be there to help you every step of the way. This includes evidence of work experience or other studies or workshops, a research project or completion of Workshop I.

This qualification is accredited by IARC (International Accreditation and Recognition Council).


  • Quality and relevance - ACS courses are written and taught by specialists with real world experience, so you know you can expect courses relevant to today's world and devliered with a high quality of teaching and support.
  • Start at any time - You can start the course at any time and study at your own pace.
  • Flexible - Fit your studies around your own busy lifestyle - we provide full tutor support for all the time you are studying.
  • Study where you choose - Study where you want to - choices of online studies or eLearning offer the flexibility for you to determine where and when you study.

Studying the Diploma In Animal Management can be relevant to a diverse range of jobs working with animals, and can include:

  • Pet Industries.
  • Agricultural Industries.
  • Sport: racing dogs, horses, showing/competitions.
  • Captive wildlife management.
  • Free wildlife management.
  • Animal health.
  • General: writing, photography, tourism, pest control, etc.

Animal Industries are serviced by businesses that manufacture and supply products and equipment, as well as enterprises that deliver services.

  • Manufacturing involves making things from raw products. These things can vary greatly and may include: animal food, pet treats, medicines (pharmaceuticals), fencing (e.g. for farms), pet products (e.g. leashes, coats, collars, pet toys, food bowls, saddles, bridles, electronic tags for people doing wildlife surveys, and much more).
  • Retailing involves selling things for animals. These may include pet shops, large pet barns, online stores, departments in chain stores, farm suppliers, etc.
  • Animal Traders and Producers are enterprises that supply animals, or products derived from animals. They can include breeders and stock agents; meat producers, milk and wool producers, and others. Some animal trading can be illegal; particularly trading protected wildlife.
  • Animal Industry Services are different to the above, in that you are not supplying a product or animal that can be physically touched. Examples include selling veterinary services, grazing rights, boarding kennels, catteries, dog walkers, health care/medical, grooming, animal rescue/shelters; dog catchers, funeral services, carcass disposal, abattoirs, etc.

Employees in animal related industries are always in demand; consider that:

  • People always have pet animals.
  • People always farm animals for primary produce.
  • People always need to manage wild animals.
  • People always like to observe animals.


Qualifying in a relevant area of study can help equip you in pursuing your chosen career path.  If you have any QUESTIONS or would like guidance on choosing the right course for you, please get in touch with one of our animal specialists via our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE - they will be more than happy to help you with any questions you may have.

Horns and Hooves
Imagine the condition you might be in if you never clipped your finger nails.
Many types of animals grow horns an hooves; which similarly can lead to problems if they are not properly understood and cared for by the animal's owner.
There are several types of horns. Some of these are comprised of specially derived keratinized tissue and others are bony projections extending from the skull. Deer antlers are also bony outgrowths; however these are shed and replaced each year.
Cattle and goats have “true horns”, meaning that they have a bony, vascular core which can encompass the frontal sinuses. The extent to which this occurs depends on the breed, sex and species of the animal. These cores are covered by tissue of epidermal origin. These horns are permanent, but there is some loss of the external horn due to exfoliation. The horns grow by internal deposit at the base, however the rate of growth can differ at different points around the circumference of the horn. This can vary by genes, and is demonstrated in animals of different breed. The result is horns of different shapes, such as the typical corkscrew of the ram, or straight horn of some antelope and goats.
Hooves are derived from claws. The unguis of a hoof is comprised of horny tubules. The shape of the hoof is a result of the weight of the animal on its feet, and is spread out accordingly. Inside the foot is a complex arrangement of bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilages, nerves and blood supply. The parts of the hoof have been divided into the toe region, the quarters (or sides) and the heel region.
A hoof, plural hooves or hoofs, is the tip of a toe of an ungulate mammal, strengthened by a thick, horny, keratin covering. The hoof consists of a hard or rubbery sole and a hard wall formed by a thick nail rolled around the tip of the toe. The weight of the animal is normally borne by both the sole and the edge of the hoof wall. Hooves grow continuously and are constantly worn down by use.
Hooves occur on species known as “ungulates”. Ungulates are found in even toed and odd toed varieties. As the name suggests, even toed ungulates have an even number of toes, where as odd toed have an odd number.
The feet of almost all even-toed ungulates are divided into two hooves, and commonly referred to as “cloven”. A cloven hoof is a hoof split into two toes. This is found on members of the mammalian order Artiodactyla. Examples of such animals are sheep, goats, deer and cattle.
While there are exceptions, such as the giraffe, most of these also exhibit two smaller hooves further up the leg. These are tough, fibrous outgrowths on the rear of the leg which sometimes touch the ground during running or jumping, however are not used for walking. In some ways they provide padding for the suspension system of the lower leg. Animals such as camels and alpacas also differ from the norm in that there are no proper hooves. In these cases the toes are softer and the hoof reduced to the status of a nail.
The toes of animals with cloven hooves are the equivalent of the third and fourth fingers of the hand. The two toes are called claws, and are named for their location on the foot: the outer (lateral) claw, and the inner (medial) claw. The space between the two claws is the interdigital cleft and the associated skin called the interdigital skin. The hard covering of the hoof is termed the hoof wall (or horn). It is a hard surface, with properties similar to a fingernail. Even toed ungulates usually exhibit a complex digestive system with more than one stomach.
Odd-toed ungulates are mammals which have hooves featuring an odd number of toes. Some odd-toed ungulates have one hoof on each foot; others have (or had) three distinct toes, or one hoof and two dew-claws. Odd-toed ungulates and represent the order Perissodactyla. The hoof on the middle toe is usually larger than the lateral or medial toes. Odd-toed ungulates are usually large grazers and have simple stomachs. Odd-toed ungulates include the horse, tapirs, and rhinoceroses.
The following is information relating to the anatomy of a number of features found in ungulates of both even and odd-toed varieties. Please note that some features of hoof anatomy will develop and are seen differently between the two.
The outside of the hoof is made up of horny tissue known as the hoof wall. This tissue grows continuously to replace the wall that is worn away through daily wear and tear. The thickness of the wall will differ between animals, but can be distinguished by the distinct white line (detailed below) between it and the soft part of the hoof. It is thicker at the toes than at the heels.
The outer wall of the hoof is a thin veneer of horn. It protects the hoof from damage and loss of moisture. The wall grows down continuously from an area known as the coronet at a standard rate per species. It takes approximately 9-12 months to grow a completely new hoof.
The wall bears the major weight of the hoof. It is thickest at the toe and thinnest at the heels, allowing for expansion when weight bearing. Although it is still growing, it is insensitive. Because of this, trimming and processes such as shoeing may be undertaken without causing the animal pain.

The frog is also made up of horn but it is tough and elastic. This is the softest of the three horny tissues. The frog has four main uses:

  • It is the shock absorber of the feet.
  • It acts as an anti slip device because of its wedge shape.
  • It expands the heels. When the hoof comes to the ground, the frog bulges outwards, makes the heels spread and this disperses the shock of impact outwards.
  • It helps with blood circulation. It squeezes the sensitive inner parts of the foot against the insensitive horn which pumps the blood up the lower leg. If there is not much pressure on the frog the blood circulation is slowed.

If the frog is in contact with the ground it is kept well and healthy. When it is not in use it shrivels and dies.
The frog will appear differently between odd and even toed ungulates. The frog of a horse, for example, is easy to distinguish. It extends from the back of the hoof at the heel in a V-shape up the middle of the hoof. In smaller, even toed animals the frog may appear as a soft and padded heel, which does not necessarily assume a distinct shape unless the animal is on sift ground or does not undergo hoof trimming. In the wild, these animals will wear the frog away and it should retain its appearance as a heel.
This is made up of similar material to that of the wall but it is not designed for bearing weight except at the edges. There are two layers of sole:

  • The outer or insensitive layer.
  • The inner or sensitive layer.

This inner layer feeds the outer layer which constantly flakes away. The flakes should not be pared or cut away unnecessarily because it lessens the ability of the insensitive sole to protect the sensitive sole. Excessive pressure on parts of the sole leads to bruising, often called corns. The softness of the sole also makes it susceptible to abscesses, formed as a result of penetrating injuries and foreign bodies.

The White Line
This is a narrow, waxy strip of horn between the wall and the sole. Trimming nails or penetration beyond this white line will cause pain.

The Coronary Groove
The coronary groove is a cavity extending around the top of the wall. It contains a large number of tiny holes which are the beginning of the horny wall. The periople is secreted from this cavity. The wall grows down from the coronet to the toe so if an injury occurs here, hoof damage may be seen later.

To enrol, simply go to the enrolment box at the top right-hand side of this page.  If you have any QUESTIONS or would like guidance on choosing the right course for you, please get in touch with one of our animal specialists via our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE - they will be more than happy to help you with any questions you may have.

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Meet some of our academics

Alison Pearce (animal)B.Sc.(Hons) in Animal Science. Masters Degree in Ecotourism. P.G.Cert. Ed. (Science). Alison's first job was in 1982 as a stockwoman, working with pigs in Yorkshire. Within a few years she of that she was working for the University of Western Australia as a Research Technician and instructor with their school of Agricultural Science.In 1989 she moved to Melbourne University as Unit Manager and Instructor in Animal Husbandry. By the mid 1990's she moved back to England to work in Animal Care and Veterinary Nursing at Cambridgeshire College of Agriculture. Throughout her career, Alison has developed and delivered courses in veterinary nursing and animal sciences for vocational colleges and universities in Australia, New Zealand and Australia. She has built a high level of expertise and an outstanding international reputation as an expert in animal sciences.
Dr. Gareth PearceGraduated from the University of Nottingham in 1982 with a B.Sc.(Hons) in Animal Science. Between 82 and 85 worked as Research Assistant and Demonstator in Animal Science at the University of Leeds. Over more than 30 years he has furthered his studies, obtaining eight significant university qualifications including degrees in Veterinary Science, Wildlife Conservation and Animal Behaviour. Gareth has significant teaching experience around the world as a faculty member at eight different universities including Associate Professor at Murdoch University and Director of Studies in Veterinary Science at Cambridge University. He has over 100 prestigious research papers published, and enjoys an outstanding international reputation in the fields of animal and veterinary science.
Marius Erasmus Subsequent to completing a BSc (Agric) degree in animal science, Marius completed an honours degree in wildlife management, and a masters degree in production animal physiology. Following the Masters degree, he has worked for 9 years in the UK, and South Africa in wildlife management, dairy, beef and poultry farming.

Check out our eBooks

Horse CareThis book is an accumulation of information from biology, agricultural science and veterinary medicine. It looks to explore and explain the fundamentals of appropriate horse care aims and techniques. In doing so it will consider horsemanship as a combination of art and science.
PoultryPoultry are entertaining as pets and life sustaining as a commercial product! Whether you are seeking a book as a beginner poultry keeper or if you are embarking on a new career in poultry production or management, this book is for you. Easy to read, easy to understand and packed with easy to implement practical advice. Know how to care for the health and wellbeing of poultry and make production a commercially viable enterprise.
Animal HealthUnderstand animal health issues, diseases and how identify and manage illnesses and injuries. Animals can become sick for many different reasons -diseases caused by infections, injuries, poisoning, genetic disorders, poor nutrition and other things.
Caring for DogsA book for both students and dog owners. This book has been designed to complement our dog care and pet care courses; but also to provide a sound foundation for choosing the right breed, and caring for a dog whether as a pet, or a working animal. Contents cover Breeds, Creating a healthy home for dogs, legal issues, dog biology, recognising poor health, parasites, illnesses, nutrition, reproduction, dog psychology, behavioural development, training tips, behaviour problems, grooming, working in the dog industry, and more.