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Duration (approx) 600 hours
Qualification Certificate

Study the Certificate In Wild Animal Studies and indulge your passion for wild animals.

  • Kick start a potential new career path.
  • Learn about all sorts of wild animals - from primates to birds, herpetology, marine studies and vertebrate zoology.
  • This is an excellent course for anyone wishing to develop an expanded knowledge and understanding of wild animals; and from there a raised awareness and understanding of the scope and nature of work being undertaken by all sorts of animal enthusiasts around the world.
  • Improve your job and career prospects working with wild animals.






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Identify animals and learn about them and their environments.

This course focuses on wild animals and is useful for people who work in zoos or with animals and want to learn more about them.

Core Modules
The Certificate In Wild Animal Studies consists of six 100 hour modules -


Marine Studies I

Marine Studies II



Vertebrate Zoology

How The Course Works
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.

To complete the course, you are required to study six 100 hour modules.
There is an assignment at the end of each lesson. For example, in the Marine Studies I module, there are nine lessons, so nine assignments. At the end of each module, there is also an examination which you can take at a time and location to suit you. To pass the course you are required to pass all assignments and six exams.

If you are not sure about going straight to the certificate, you can study each of the modules mentioned as a standalone course. Please click on the links for more information.

Learn to Identify Animals Accurately
In the 18th century, a scientist called Carl Linnaeus, brought about a revolution in the way we name plants, animals and all other living things. His system organised all life forms into a series of different levels of classification, which he called ranks.

  • Everything was divided into three different “kingdoms”, one of those being animals.
  • The animals were then divided up into a series of “Classes”
  • Classes were then divided into “Orders”
  • Orders were sub divided into “families”
  • Families were sub divided into “Genera”
  • Genera were subdivided into “Species”
  • Within species, a further subdivision was made into “Varieties”

This way of classifying plants was based on what could be observed about the different organisms. In the 18th and 19th century, the differences we could see between animals were limited by the science of the day. This was before electron microscopes and DNA testing.

As a general rule, if organisms interbred between each other, they would be considered to be in the same species. There are exceptions, but they are not common occurrences.

If two different individuals from different species interbred; the new individual is called a “hybrid”.

Modern Science has Changed Taxonomy
With the tools of modern science, our understanding of the evolution of animal species has become much more informed than what it was when we first gave scientific named to different species.

As a result, some very credible scientists today will disagree with each other both in terms of the names that should be given to different organisms, and in terms of the value of the “rank based” system set up by Linnaeus. Some argue strongly for a “rank free” system of classification; but the vast majority still support and use the Linneaus system.

The International Commission for Zoological Nomenclature acts as a global authority for managing the naming of animals internationally. They produce & manage any changes to an International Code for Zoological Nomenclature; which provides a central reference that all animal taxonomists can refer to.

As we learn more about animals (and plants), and understand the genetic, chemical and anatomical similarities and differences in ever increasing detail, our perception of the relationships between different organisms continues to grow. As understanding increases, different scientists will make varied interpretations of this growing pool of information, and from time to time, they will have differing opinions.

Why Do You Need to Know This?

As you study animals you may sometimes encounter conflicting information. Animals may have been renamed or reclassified at times since the time of Linneaus, and sometimes changes are not accepted by everyone; or some may be slower to adopt a change even if it does become accepted.

You may find two books that say different things. You may find two different authorities disagreeing upon whether two different animals are two different species or just two varieties of the same species.  Seeming conflicts such as this do not mean that scientific names are inaccurate though. It is important to recognise that the Linneaus system is still he most accurate and widely used way of identifying different types of animals. Above all, it provides an extremely useful tool for understanding, studying, managing and protecting the diversity of animal life on earth.

Where Can this Course Lead You?
This course can set you on a very exciting path that could lead in any of a large number of directions. It gives you the foundation to work in animal health, care, welfare or rehabilitation. Graduates have an enhanced understanding of the scope and nature of working with wildlife. Through this understanding the graduate will have begun to connect (network) with the industry, and start seeing opportunities to become engaged.

Working with wildlife starts out all sorts of different ways -

  • Some find paid employment with a zoo, wildlife reserve, veterinary practice or elsewhere.
  • Some start out as a volunteer
  • Others discover business opportunities and become self-employed.
  • Some graduates become involved with professional bodies, and through networking with established professionals, encounter great career opportunities.

If you have any questions, please do get in touch with us - connect with our expert tutors, use our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE.

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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.
Cheryl McLardyA scientist, teacher, writer and animal scientist, with more than 20 years experience including: Sports Horse Stud Groom, Stable Manager, Yard Manager, Equine industrial Training Manager, FE Distance Learning Manager. Cheryl has travelled widely, working in England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand; and is now based in Scotland. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons), Higher National Diploma in Horse Management, and a City and Guilds Teaching Certificate.
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

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.
Working with AnimalsIf you enjoy interacting with animals, are interested in biological science, or are passionate about wildlife, pets or farming; you may thrive in the type of jobs outlined in this book. Get to know more about the industries and the occupations that you could do. The Working with Animals ebook is a comprehensive catalogue to inspire you in your career in working with animals!
Marine AnimalsWith colour photos splashed throughout, this Marine Animals e-book is designed to provide a guide for some of the more common animals found in marine ecosystems around the world. Learn about the creatures hidden by the other 70% of the earth's surface. Explore more...
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.