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Duration (approx) 600 hours
Qualification Certificate

Study for the Certificate In Animal Science - gain core knowledge in animal anatomy, physiology, zoology and much more.

  • Study 5 Core Modules - Animal Husbandry, Animal Biochemistry, Animal Behaviour, Vertebrate Zoology, Invertebrate Zoology.
  • Choose 1 Elective Module to tailor the course to an area of your particular interest - choose from Biochemistry II, Ornithology, Marine Studies I, Herpetology, Primate Animals, Wildlife Conservation.
  • Suitable for students looking to develop careers in pet or agricultural industries, captive wildlife management, wildlife conservation, animal health, or writing about animals and environments.

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The Certificate In Animal Science: core studies in animals - their anatomy, physiology, behaviour, environments and much more.

  • Start your studies at any time.
  • Learn from highly knowledgeable, experienced tutors.

Suitable for persons looking for career development in areas such as:

  • Animal care
  • Agriculture
  • Captive Wildlife Management / Zoos / Safari Parks
  • Animal / Wildlife Conservation
  • Animal health
  • Writing about animals.



  • Course Duration: 600 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: Students will study a total of 6 Modules (5 Core Modules and then choose 1 Elective Module).
    The Core modules cover Animal Husbandry - Anatomy And Pshysiology, Animal Bioshemistry, Animal Behaviour, Vertebrate Zoology, Invertebrate Zoology.
    Then choose one elective from – Biochemistry II, Ornithology, Marine Studies, Carnivore Zoology, Herpetology, Primate Animals, Wildlife Conservation.

All modules for the Certificate In Animal Science are summarised below.  Follow the title link for further information on each.


Details of the Core Modules are given below. For more detailed information, please follow the links in the module titles to access their respective pages.

Animal Husbandry I (Anatomy and Physiology)
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.

The lessons are:

  1. Introduction to Cells and Tissues
  2. The Digestive System
  3. The Circulatory System
  4. The Urinary System
  5. The Nervous System
  6. Respiration
  7. The Reproductive System
  8. Muscles And Meat
  9. The Skeleton
  10. Animal Growth, Development, and the Endocrine System
  11. Comparing Different Animals

Biochemistry I (Animals)
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.

The lessons in this module are:

  1. Introduction To Biochemistry 
  2. Lipids and Proteins
  3. Enzymes and Hormones
  4. Nucleic Acids
  5. Thermo-regulation
  6. Carbohydrate Metabolism
  7. Absorption
  8. Acidity and Alkalinity
  9. Chemical Analysis
  10. Biochemical Applications

Animal Behaviour
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.

The lessons in this module are:

  1. Introduction
  2. Genetics and Behaviour
  3. Animal Perception and Behaviour
  4. Behaviour and the Environment
  5. Social Behaviour
  6. Instinct and Learning
  7. Handling Animals
  8. Behavioural Problems

Vertebrate Zoology
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.

The lessons in this module are:

  1. Vertebrate Taxonomy and Diversity Taxonomic Classifications  
  2. Fishes:  Fish Diversity - Covering major groups: 
  3. Ectotherms – Amphibians and Reptiles
  4. Birds 
  5. Mammals (Mammalia)
  6. Marsupials 
  7. Grandorders Glires and Insectivora 
  8. Carnivores 
  9. Hoofed Mammals (Ungulata).
  10. Primates and other Archonta.

Invertebrate Zoology
This 9 lesson module looks at different types of invertebrates – from microscopic invertebrates to more common types of insect. Students will look at the similarities and differences between different groups of invertebrates. The lessons in the modules each focus on different types of invertebrates, including worms, sponges, molluscs, arthropods, and insects. On completing the module, students will understand not only the structure of different types of invertebrates, but also the function that they perform and how some of these are of significance to man.

The lessons in this module are:

  1. Scope and Nature of Invertebrate Animals
  2. Microscopic Animals
  3. Worms and Worm Like Animals
  4. Sponges, Corals, Anemones, Jellyfish
  5. Molluscs and Echinoderms
  6. Arthropods 1
  7. Arthropods 2
  8. Insects 1
  9. Insects 2



The Elective Modules are summarised, below. Follow the links in the module titles for further information on each.

Biochemistry II
This 9 lesson module follows on from Biochemistry I (BSC103) and focuses on biochemical molecules. The module looks at metabolic processes, the properties of amino acids, the functions and structures of proteins, sugars and polysaccharides, DNA and RNS and much more. Students will learn to understand the difference of molecule types and their roles and functions.

This is a 9 lesson module which is concerned with the classification and biology of birds. Students will study the classifications of different orders of birds and learn about their different characteristics. They will then go on to learn about the biology and anatomy of birds, including the physical attributes and organs, their internal biology and systems, behaviours, migration, and habits. The module then turns to look at specific types of birds, with lessons on land birds, giant and long-legged birds, seabirds, birds of prey, and so on. The module concludes with a lesson on how you can attract, feed, and keep birds.

Marine Studies I
A 9 lesson module which is concerned with study of marine ecology systems. Students will learn about the environments in which marine life exists, including nutrient cycles, and food chains. Those completing this module will be able to identify the different characteristics of marine environments, and the different types of marine life supported within these. The module includes lessons specific to Shellfish and Crustaceans, Squid and Octopus, Cartilaginous and Bony Fish, Marine Mammals, Turtles and Sea Snakes, and Seabirds. The final lesson in the module looks at the human impact on marine environments, as well as considering techniques used to manage stocks of fish and other farmed marine life.

Carnivore Zoology
There are 9 lessons in this module. Students will study the classification and evolution of carnivores. The module looks at the biology of carnivores, how this is developed for their diet and lifestyle. Students will study the biological characteristics of different groups of carnivores and learn about their origin, characteristics, behaviour and threats of different species.

Through the course of 9 lessons, students will study reptiles and amphibians. They will look at the classification and characteristics of different reptiles and amphibians and learn about their biology. The module includes lessons which look at their environment and behaviours, as well as conservation issues and the requirements for looking after them in captivity.

Primate Animals
This 10 lesson module looks at the anatomy, physiology, taxonomy, and more, of primates. Learning about the physiological characteristics and evolution of primates, students will go on to study a variety of species of primate. The module then focuses on areas such as diet, nutrition, health, before turning to the psychology and behaviour of primates in the wild and in captivity. Lessons on breeding programmes and conservation of primates in the wild are included in this module, which then concludes with a lesson on the management of primates in captivity and considers their requirements and the design of enclosures which highlights considerations of wild primates which students will have studied earlier in this module.

Wildlife Conservation
Wildlife Conservation is a 10 lesson module where students will gain a solid foundation of knowledge in the conservation of animals and habitats. Students will learn about ecosystem management, the process of habitat fragmentation, surveying for endangered species, planning for the recovery of threatened species and much more.


You can start studying the Certificate In Animal Science 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 Certificate requires around 600 hours of study. This is made up of six 100-hour modules.

To pass the course –

  1. Pass all assignments on the six 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 six 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.


  • Quality - our courses are developed and tutored by experienced professionals, with real world experience.
  • Relevant - our courses are relevant to today's world, with teaching that you can apply to real life situations.
  • Independent - ACS were established in 1979 and remain an independent distance learning school, meaning we remain fully focused on the development and teaching of our students. 
  • Flexible - our courses can be started at any time and studied at your own pace, therefore fitted around your existing commitments.
  • Choice - other than offering a wide range of courses in a multitude of disciplines, we provide the options of either online studies or eLearning - you choose the option which best suits you, so you can determine where and when you study.



"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 - Diploma in Animal Management


Choosing the right course and the right options is important.  If you have any questions, please get in touch with our specialist tutors using our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE.  They will be more than happy to help you make the right choice that suits your career goals and aspirations.

Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

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.

Check out our eBooks

Animal PsychologyExplore how animals think and comare how this differs between different animals (and humans)
BirdsIdeal for Ornithology students or the budding bird enthusiast, this ebook offers an ideal foundation on birds. Learn to identify birds from around the world with over 130 colour photographs and 117 pages of fascinating bird facts.
Carnivore AnimalsLearn about mammals of the Order Carnivora which includes such animals as dogs, wolves, bears, racoons, cats, weasels, hyenas, seals, sea lions and walruses. This book covers an array of facts about the biological characteristics of different groups of carnivores. Learn about the anatomy, habitat, behaviour, physiology, diet and reproduction of different carnivores. The eBook also covers the relationships between humans and carnivores, both in the context of managing domestic and wild carnivores.
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.