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Duration (approx) 900 hours
Qualification Advanced Certificate

Study Animal Science and build a foundation for working with animals

  • Learn more about animal behaviour.
  • The course requires the successful completion of seven Core Modules, one Elective Module, plus a Research Project.
  • Study the form, structure and features of vertebrates and how they have developed.
  • Study the biology and physiology of birds.
  • Understand more about marine ecology and different marine animals.
  • Learn about the structures and functions of different systems in animals, animal growth and animal development.
  • Learn about the function and roles of chemical processes that take place within the bodies of animals.


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Understand the structure and function of animals (wildlife, pets or farm animals)

  • Learn about animal behaviour and what causes animals to behave in certain ways.
  • Understand the effect of external influences on animal behaviour.
  • Learn the characteristics of different types of biochemical molecules and become familiar with basic laboratory techniques used in biochemistry.
  • The choice of Elective Modules enables you to focus part of your qualification on Environmental Assessment - learning more about environmental law, and producing environmental reports - or Professional Practice For Consultants - how to run a consultancy practice.
  • Start at any time, study in your own time and at your own pace.
  • Study with support from our highly experienced tutors.


Students are to complete seven Core Modules, one Elective Module, plus a Research Project.

The Core Modules

The Core Modules and lessons are shown below; please follow the link in the title of each module for further information.

Animal Husbandry I (Animal Anatomy And Physiology) BAG101
Biochemistry I - Animals BSC103
Biochemistry II BSC203
Animal Behaviour BAG203
Vertebrate Zoology BEN104
Ornithology BEN102
Marine Studies I BEN103

The Elective Modules

Students are to select one of the following modules:

Environmental Assessment BEN301
Professional Practice for Consultants BBS301

Keep Animals Cool!

Most animals have an optimum body temperature around which they function most efficiently. This is known as thermoregulation. Most animals are also able to influence their own body temperature to some extent, by means of adaptive behaviour or by utilising specialised physiological responses. Animals are able to detect changes in their body temperature, the environment or both through thermo-reception.

Ecto-therms are animals which derive heat primarily from outside their bodies, i.e. they are cold-blooded. That is, their body temperature conforms to that of the environment. Endo-therms derive their heat primarily from metabolic activity within their bodies, i.e. they are warm-blooded. Endo-therms can raise their heat production through muscular activity, i.e. shivering, increased metabolic rate, and by increasing food consumption since heat is a by-product of digestion.

Response to Overheating

Animals can overheat when they are active due to increased metabolic activity. They can also overheat in hot environments when they are unable to lose heat. Body temperatures of 47 degrees and over tend to be lethal for most species so they need to have different means of losing heat.

The four main ways are:

  • Conduction - the transfer of heat across regions that vary in temperature and can occur between solids and liquids. It can occur between body tissues and also between the body and the ground. Conduction can be reduced through layers of fat under the skin and by feathers and hairs that trap air.
  • Convection - the transfer of heat through fluids. Since heat loss can result from the transfer of warm blood from the centre of the organism to the cooler periphery of the body the animal can control temperature by reducing blood flow to the extremities.
  • Radiation – This type of heat loss can occur within a vacuum. The resultant heat loss is proportional to the temperature difference between the animal and the environment. Animals can both gain and lose heat by radiation. An animal’s colouring does not affect heat loss through radiation, though it does affect heat absorbance. That is, darker animals will gain more heat through radiation and white ones will have a greater reflection.
  • Evaporation - The loss of water from the animal’s body is also an important means of losing heat.


You can start the Advanced 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.


The Advanced Certificate In Animal Science requires approximately 900 hours of study. It is made up of eight 100 hour modules and a workplace project lasting 100 hours.

To pass the course –

  1. Pass all assignments on the eight 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 eight 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 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 guide you.

If you are not ready to study the full Advanced Certificate In Animal Science, then each of the Modules can be studied as individual standalone courses.  Course fees are shown on the respective pages.


  • We are an independent School, and the course has been developed by specialists in Science, Environment and Agriculture.
  • You can start the course at any time and study at your own pace.
  • Fit your studies around your own busy lifestyle - we provide full tutor support for all the time you are studying.
  • Study where you want to - a choice of online or eLearning methods of study offer the flexibility for you to determine where and when you study.


This is a great course to choose, if you want to develop your knowledge and career in working with animals. Our courses are designed improve your skills and knowledge,and to also encourage you to keep learning after you finish studying. We believe a good course should not only develop your skills and knowledge; but also the Advanced Certificate In Animal Science is intended to:

  • Improve your ability to communicate with others who work with animals.
  • Develop problem solving skills relevant to animals.
  • Expand your awareness and develop creativity.
  • Facilitate networking in the worlds of farming, wildlife management and pet care.
  • Develop attributes that set you apart from others who work with animals.
  • Become more motivated, confident and aware of career possibilities involving work with animals.

Some people study so they can better care for their own animals; others are seeking to forge a career. Whatever your purpose; this course is a major step forward for anyone who loves animals.

Your Next Step

You can enrol today - go to “It’s Easy to Enrol” box at the top of the page and enrol now.

If you have any questions or need advice on choosing a course to suit your career goals, please get in touch with us by -

Phone on (UK) 01384 442752, or (outside UK) +44 (0) 1384 442752,

or connect with our specialist Science, Environmental or Agriculture tutors using our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE.

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

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.
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.
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.