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Duration (approx) 1000 hours
Qualification Foundation Diploma

Understand the Biology and Behaviour of Wild Animals

The course is studied by distance learning and you can start at a time to suit you. There are ten 100 hour modules in the course. Eight are compulsory core modules, then you choose two modules to suit your own interests. Study breeding animals, marine studies, vertebrate zoology, wildlife management, wildlife conservation and more.


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Study Wild Animals

Improve your knowledge of wild animals, wildlife conservation, wildlife management, primates and more. 

Work with animals?  
Do you want to make sure that animals in zoological parks are healthy and happy? This course is a terrific introduction to working in zoos, safari parks, aquariums, fauna sanctuaries or managing wildlife in nature.
You will cover many aspects of zoo work such as:  
  • Animal Welfare
  • Animal Care
  • Diet and Nutrition
  • Enrichment - Environmental and Feeding 
  • Captive Breeding
  • Optimum Enclosure Design 
  • Research and Conservation
  • Educating the Public


Study seven core modules and then choose modules to suit you and your interests.

Core Modules


Marine Studies I

Marine Studies II


Vertebrate Zoology

Wildlife Management

Wildlife Conservation

Elective Modules - Please choose three modules

Breeding Animals

Animal Behaviour

Animal Feed and Nutrition


Animal Welfare


Carnivore Zoology


Wild animals are those species that occur in nature, not domesticated, not pets, working animals or farm animals. Most roam free, some may be captive in zoos, wildlife parks or reserves. For the purpose of this course wild animals are both captive and non captive individuals.

Many wild animals are considered important to our environment, often in subtle but nevertheless important ways. Wildlife helps maintain balance in the environment we live in; and to eliminate or seriously degrade any species populations, may have a serious impact upon this delicate balance.

Wild animals are both small and large, obvious and hidden. They include birds and reptiles, frogs and fish. They include large predators, rabbits, and mice.

By studying this course you will gain a foundation for understanding the biology and behaviour of wild animals. This is knowledge that can underpin employment or further studies across a very wide range of jobs, from pest controller to environmental assessor and zookeeper.

How Many Different Animals are there?

There are thousands of species. This course will help you to understand the way they all fit into the grand scheme of things. There is a "system" to how animals are classified, and a key to understanding animals is to learn how they fit into that grand scheme. Mammals are the most complicated of all animals, and they are grouped into a relatively small number of groups, including: Marsupials, Ungulates, Carnivores, Rodents, Lagamorphs and others.

Lagamorphs are a significant group. You may not be familiar with the term, but you will know animals in this group. They include rabbits, hares and pikas.

The taxonomic family "Leporidae" are Lagamorphs. 

This family includes over 50 rabbit and hare species within 11 genera.  They can occupy a vast range of habitats including the arctic, deserts, grasslands, forests, swamps and alpine areas.  All have short tails with long ears and legs. The soles of their feet are furred to assist with traction when running.  They have excellent hearing and good night vision with their large eyes.  Although physically similar, rabbits and hares differ in many ways.  Rabbits generally build nests and give birth to dependent young whereas Hares will make shallow depressions to give birth and the young are quite independent, being able to run a few hours after birth.  

Two of the more significant genera in this family are the genera Lepus and Oryctolagus.

Genus Lepus
Lepus genera includes around thirty three species of both Hares and Jackrabbits.  Hares and Jackrabbits are different to rabbits in many ways.  They do not build burrows like rabbits, however females will build nests for birth in shallow depressions on the ground, and this allows a hideout until the young are able to defend for themselves, with exception of Lepus arcticus, the arctic hare, who builds underground burrows for protection from the harsh environment.  All Lepus males will stand on their hind legs and box in order to compete for females during courting.  Leverets are well developed when born, with their eyes open and coats are fully furred.

Genus Oryctolagus
The European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is distributed worldwide in the wild, except Asia and Antarctica, and this is mainly due to human interference.  This species is the ancestor of all domesticated rabbits, which their appearances have changed over time due to breeding and human choices.  In the wild they thrive in a variety of habitats including, forests, grasslands, bushed areas, fields and grassy areas within tows or cities.  O. cuniculus is approximately 38 to 50 cm in length and tend to have a grey coat with fine black hairs throughout.  Their ventral area is paler and their tail is white.  They are can breed all year round as their ovulation is induced and can have many letters per year, usually about five or six.  Young are born helpless, with no hair and blind, and their mother will care for them until around 4 weeks of age.  O. cuniculus are social individuals and they will live in groups of six to ten adults, where they will build complex burrow systems underground, otherwise referred to as warrens.  These groups are made up of dominance hierarchies, where the most dominant male will have his pick of the females.  They are mainly nocturnal, however can be seen throughout the day.  Whilst foraging in their groups, if one rabbit senses danger or sees a predator, then the individual will thump its hind leg to warn others.  O. cuniculus will mainly forage on grasses, leaves, roots, vegetation and crops.  

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.

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 ten 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 ten exams.

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




  • Anyone with a passion for wildlife.
  • Zookeepers, rangers, veterinary assistants
  • Animal welfare staff
  • Conservationists
  • Ecotourism professionals - tour operators, tour guides
  • Anyone else with a passion for, or interest in wildlife. 




Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!