Training courses
James Godwin

Training courses

There are many different courses available which can be useful for those interested in careers in zoos and aquariums.

Whilst BIAZA recognises that course decisions can be difficult, it does not validate or endorse the below courses.  

The Diploma in Management of Zoo and Aquarium Animals (DMZAA) is run by Sparsholt College and BIAZA. It is a two year program and delivered by distance learning. Units in the course cover subjects found in modern collections such as organisations, research, education, conservation, enclosure design, breeding, nutrition, (animal) health and horticulture. Please be advised that at the moment due to the practical elements of the course applicants must already be placed or working in a zoological collection or aquarium to be able to partake in the course. Sparsholt College also runs the Diploma in Management of Zoos and Aquarium Animals Volunteer Programme. As the title suggests this programme is similiar to the DMZAA programme for keepers except this is tailored towards volunteers in zoological collections or aquariums and is only open to those that do not have paid employment in zoological institutions. 

Foundation degrees

University Centre Askham Bryan, York
Degree Information UCAS code
FdSc Management of Animal Collections with Conservation This programme covers the skills and knowledge that can be applied in a range of animal management industries, particularly in the areas of substantial and varied animal collections, with a focus on conservation of animal species. There is an emphasis on project work focused on specific areas of individual interest. Students will be able to work in our very own fully licenced zoo, Askham Bryan Wildlife and Conservation Park. D328
FdSc Animal Management This degree programme covers the skills and knowledge that can be applied in a range of animal management based industries, giving students a range of career options at the end of the course. There is an emphasis on assignment work where students can concentrate on specific areas of individual interest. Work placement forms a vital part of the course, giving students real-life experience as well as adding to their employability. D301
Berkshire College of Agriculture - validated by the Royal Agricultural University
Degree Information UCAS code
FdSc Animal Behaviour and Welfare This 2-year full-time foundation degree prepares students for employment and academic progression to BSc (Hons) and beyond. The broad range of modules, supported by strong animal-industry links, develops practical skills alongside sound theoretical knowledge. The programme takes full advantage of BCA's outstanding Animal Centre (including a BIAZA accredited zoo), which houses around 1,200 individual animals from more than 100 species. D329
FdSc Ecology and Conservation With a wide range of on-campus habitats on our stunning 400-acre estate and access to many more, you will study the relationships between organisms and a range of habitats in order to gain sound ecological and conservation knowledge. The interdisciplinary nature of the programme allows you to not only gain academic knowledge, but also practical skills in surveying, identification and data handling. C297
Cornwall College Newquay, validated by Plymouth University
Degree Information UCAS code
FdSc Animal Behaviour and Psychology will teach participants, through the study of the underlying science, about the techniques used in the management of animal behaviour with a special focus on the consideration of animal welfare and promotion of humane treatment of animals DC38
FdSc Animal Husbandry and Welfare offers specialised modules which develop skills in animal care and health and enhance knowledge of animal biology D301
FdSc Conservation and Ecology will teach participants about field (research) techniques used conservation management programmes C180
FdSc Marine Conservation teaches participants about marine ecology, biology and conservation as well as practical survey skills F711
FdSc Wildlife Education and Media mixes biological and conservation science with creative modes of communication and is designed for those interested in a scientific communications careers (e.g. educators in zoos or aquariums) XP33
FdSc Zoological Conservation gives participants the skills required to help conserve wild animals by developing knowledge in topics such as ecology, biodiversity, animal nutrition, captive breeding, reintroduction and conservation of marine species C390
University Centre Reaseheath
Degree Information
FdSc Animal Management (Behaviour and Welfare) This course combines academic knowledge with practical experience to give you a comprehensive understanding of the behaviour and welfare of many different animals, both in captivity and in the wild
FdSc Zoo Management Aimed at those who wish to pursue a career within the zoo industry, this programme provides a unique combination of academic study with hands-on training and experience in the management of zoo animals
FdSc Canine Behaviour and Training This course is asimed at students who wish to develop a career within the canine industry, but spefically those involving aspects of behaviour and training. Through a combination of academic study with practical learning oppertunities you will develop the skills, knowedge and practical competencies needed to work within this industry. 
Capel Manor College, validated by the Royal Agricultural College
Degree Information UCAS code
FdSc in Animal Management and Zoology Participants will gain advanced practical animal care skills whilst developing the business knowledge needed to manage zoological collections. Learning how to enrich customer experience, education and animal encounters so that they make a lasting impression. 103Z
University Centre Sparsholt, validated by University of Portsmouth
Degree Information UCAS code
FdSc in Animal Management and Applied Science This course gives participants a strong science foundation in biological science, biochemistry and vertebrate anatomy and physiology. D329
FdSc in Applied Zoo Science Teaches students to develop research techniques in aspects of zoo animal welfare, behaviour and population management and to consider the wider roles of the modern zoo in conservation and education. CD34

 

Bachelor degrees

Berkshire College of Agriculture - validated by the Royal Agricultural University
Degree Information UCAS code
BSc (Hons) Veterinary Physiotherapy This three-year full-time BSc (Hons) degree programme prepares students for clinical practice as a Veterinary Physiotherapist through a unique blend of intensive attended sessions and distance learning. The broad range of modules, supported by strong industry links, develops effective clinical skills alongside sound academic knowledge. 242W
BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare Top Up Our one year, full time programme includes modules on Animal Cognition, Anthrozoology, a research project of your choice as well as either Zoo Animal Management (utilising BCAs own BIAZA accredited zoo) or Companion Animal Behaviour Modification. D330
Hadlow College
Degree Information UCAS code
Bsc (Hons) Animal Management offers participant a broad understanding of applied animal sciences with modules including husbandry, exotic animal collection management, conservation and behaviour D300
Bsc (Hons) Animal Conservation and Biodiversity which focusses on wildlife and offers subjects which include ecology, field ID skills, exotic collection management, global conservation and wildlife and landscape conservation DC41
Bsc (Hons) Applied Animal Behaviour Science and Welfare teaches participants about the welfare of animals in captive environments and offers modules which include animal training, behaviour, problem behaviour management, behavioural therapies and neuroscience D302
University Centre Askham Bryan, York
Degree Information UCAS code
BSc/BSc (Hons) Top-Up Animal Conservation This is a ‘top-up’ route to a BSc honours degree or BSc ordinary degree for those who already hold a foundation degree, HND or equivalent qualification. This programme has an emphasis on conservation projects and how animal conservation organisations are funded, together with a critical review of the recent advances associated with the conservation of species. C3T4
BSc/BSc (Hons) Top-Up Zoo Management This is a ‘top-up’ route to a BSc honours degree or BSc ordinary degree for those who already hold a foundation degree, HND or equivalent qualification. This programme reviews the recent advances associated with collections management as well as the role of zoo visitors in terms of visitor experiences, conservation education and their importance to sustaining a business. It also explores how species and habitats are conserved and the role collections play in conservation. D303
BSc/BSc (Hons) Top-Up Animal Management This is a ‘top-up’ route to a BSc honours degree or BSc ordinary degree for those who already hold a foundation degree, HND or equivalent qualification. This programme has an emphasis on applying knowledge to real-life situations, and explores the biology of a range of animals in captive and natural environments. D300
Hartpury University Centre
Degree Information UCAS code
Bsc (hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare will provide participants with detail knowledge about animal behaviour and welfare and includes modules on assessing animal welfare, measuring behaviour and animal training D329
Bsc (hons) Applied Animal Science will teach participants a wide range of skills and include pathways within the degree including animal nutrition, wildlife conservation, health and diseases, behaviour and welfare and laboratory science D320
Writtle University College, Chelmsford
Degree Information UCAS code
Bsc (Hons) Animal Management (Zoo and Wildlife Conservation) An opportunity to learn the practical, applied, and theory aspects of animal and zoo-based knowledge and skills. Develop a sound understanding of zoo husbandry and management alongside wildlife conservation and reintroductions. This course provides rounded education; including nutrition, breeding, animal behaviour, health, welfare and ethics. D305
Bsc (hons) Animal Science (Zoo and Wildlife Conservation) With emphasis on greater science, this course equips students with knowledge of nutrition, biochemistry, health science, genetics and more. The zoo and wildlife content cover zoo husbandry and management alongside conservation and reintroductions. Writtle has excellent links with Zoos, the Royal Veterinary College and the Institute of Zoology. D308
University Centre Sparsholt, validated by University of Portsmouth
Degree Information UCAS code
BSc (hons) degree in Animal Management (Applied Animal Science) Full Time - The programme combines knowledge and research techniques in aspects of animal welfare and behaviour, animal collections management and wildlife management. D320
BSc (Hons) Animal Management (Applied Animal Science)  Top-Up A great progression route for graduates who have an animal-based foundation degree and are keen to combine knowledge and research techniques in animal welfare and behaviour. D328
BSc (Hons) Applied Animal Behaviour Top-Up This course focuses on the practical application of animal behaviour science and theory, this programme studies human and animal psychology and ethology, as well as considering the anatomical and physiological control of behaviour, legislation and ethics. Apply directly on Sparsholt Website
BSc (Hons) Zoo Biology Top-Up This course develops research techniques in aspects of zoo animal welfare, behaviour and population management, as well as considering the wider roles of the modern zoo such as visitor learnings. C300
Cornwall College Newquay, validated by Plymouth University
Degree Information UCAS code
Bsc (Hons) Applied Marine Zoology offers participants who are interested in marine wildlife a complete understanding of marine animals and ecosystems 0B4X
Bsc (Hons) Applied Zoology and Conservation has an emphasis on practical application within the field of conservation. Modules range from anatomy, physiology of specific animals, behaviour and population managements 0V47
Bsc (Hons) Applied Zoology is designed for foundation degree graduates and will develop skills of scientific analysis, communication and evaluation C300
University Centre Reaseheath
Degree Information
BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare Aimed at students who wish to develop a career within animal behaviour and/or animal welfare, this course includes specialist modules and practical experience with a range of domestic and companion species. This experience will enable you to understand the behaviour and welfare of many different animals, both in captivity and in the wild. Students are based at Reaseheath during their first year, utilising the zoo-licensed facilities on campus. You will be based at the University of Chester during your second and third years.
BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare with  a Foundation Year in Animal Sciences This course is all about building your confidence and giving you the skills and knowledge required to progress on to study the BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare or other courses. Supported by a team of dedicated staff, you will develop your study skills and gain plenty of guidance through regular one-to-ones and small group tutorial sessions. You will enjoy hands-on sessions in our licensed zoo and study vital scientific principles in our dedicated science laboratories.
BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation and Ecology Aimed at those who wish to develop a career within wildlife conservation, this course provides a unique combination of academic study with hands-on training and experience in conservation, ecology and wildlife.There is an opportunity for your dissertation research in the final year to include ecological field work. This allows students to work with lecturing staff on relevant unique research experiences.
BSc (Hons) Animal Management (Behaviour and Welfare) Top-Up A great progression route for graduates who have an animal-based foundation degree and are keen to pursue a career working with a range of domestic, exotic or companion species.Through lectures, seminars, workshops and practical sessions you will focus on developing your academic and professional skills in rehabilitation therapies, behavioural management and related topics.
BSc (Hons) Canine Behaviour and Training Top-Up The flexible structure of this top-up degree means it’s ideal preparation for working in a range of roles involving the welfare, training or behaviour modification of dogs. The emphasis of this course focuses on the ethical, legal and welfare issues associated with dogs, looking at a variety of contexts and circumstances.Modules are designed to prepare you for professional work in the industry so feature extensive practical experience using the college kennels and dedicated training facilities, working closely with staff and dog owners. You will also complete an undergraduate dissertation project giving you the opportunity to consider a chosen specialism in-depth as well as gain first-hand experience of the scientific research process.
BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation and Ecology with a Foundation Year in Animal Sciences This course is all about building your confidence and giving you the skills and knowledge required to progress on to study the BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation and Ecology or other courses.Supported by a team of dedicated staff, you will develop your study skills and gain plenty of guidance through regular one-to-ones and small group tutorial sessions.You will enjoy hands-on sessions in our licensed zoo and study vital scientific principles in our dedicated science laboratories.
BSc (Hons) Zoo Management Top-Up This course is ideal for students who have successfully completed a Foundation Degree in Zoo Management (or equivalent qualification) and are looking to top-up to a full BSc Honours Degree. This programme provides a unique combination of academic study with hands-on training and experience in the management of zoo animals. The course includes specialist modules and practical experience with a range of exotic species – mammals, amphibians, invertebrates, reptiles and birds of prey. You will study in our award winning zoo, accredited by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA).
Nottingham Trent University
Degree Information UCAS code
Bsc (Hons) Zoo Biology The course focusses on the biology of exotic animals and applies this to all aspects of management and species conservation in captive and non captive populations.  
University of Wolverhampton
Degree Information UCAS code
BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Wildlife Conservation The emphasis will be on wildlife species and their conservation in the UK, with field visits and residential fieldwork integral to the course. There will also be opportunities to study more exotic species through participation in international field courses and engagement with zoos, aquaria and wildlife parks. This course will develop students’ interest, knowledge and understanding of the behaviour of animals in their natural environments. This will also enable students to use the knowledge of the behaviour and biology of animals in order to effect the protection and conservation of species and their habitats. As well as develop practical skills in species and habitat survey alongside techniques in behavioural observation to prepare students for employment. DD34


 

Master degrees

Hartpury University Centre
Degree Information UCAS code
MRes Animal Behaviour and Welfare The course will expand participants knowledge of animal behaviour and animal welfare science and offers subjects such as animal cognition, animal personality, animal communication and language, social behaviour and method of animal welfare assessments, welfare legislation and implications on welfare of keeping captive animals. D329
University Centre Askham Bryan
Degree Information
MSc Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare The MSc programme in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare is aimed at those that are due to graduate or have graduated in a related subject area. Alternatively, you may be employed within the animal industry with significant experience and would like to develop higher level skills relating to clinical behaviour in animals. Animal welfare is increasingly becoming a focus in all animal related industries, with increasing demand for clinical behaviourists and trainers across the UK and internationally. Key organisations such as the RSPCA and the Dog Trust are requiring more behaviour and welfare specialists as the industry moves towards becoming more regulated. Modules will be delivered in week blocks (4-5 days) at our main York Campus. Each module (with the exception of the postgraduate project) will be studied over one week block. There will be four weeks per year which students will be expected to attend.
MSc Zoo Management and Conservation The MSc programme in Zoo Management and Conservation is aimed at those that are due to graduate or have graduated in a related subject area. Alternatively, you may be employed within the industry with significant experience and would like to develop higher level skills relating to animal wildlife conservation. You will gain skills to critically assess the role of management, infrastructure, income generation, stock and visitors in zoo environments. Additionally, the course will equip you with the ability to analyse ecosystems and produce solutions to complex ecological models. You will develop advanced knowledge and expertise necessary to help conserve habitats, species and preserve biodiversity. Modules will be delivered in week blocks (4-5 days) at our main York Campus. Each module (with the exception of the postgraduate project) will be studied over one week block. There will be four weeks per year which students will be expected to attend.
Edinburgh University
Degree Information
Msc International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law is a part time programme delivered by Online Learning and aims to develop the participants understanding of how scientific evidence can be applied to give insight and improve animal welfare standards worldwide.
Msc Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare is run in conjunction with SRUC and aims to give participants a scientific background and approach to animal behaviour and welfare
Universtiy of Plymouth
Degree Information
Msc in Zoo Conservation Biology This course focusses on captive populations and how those effects behaviour, conservation, welfare and interactions and how zoological institutions are managed. Working closely together with Paignton Zoo provides participants access to direct insight into management of a zoological institution.
The Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London and the Royal Veterinary College
Degree Information
Msc Wild Animal Health The Msc Wild Animal Health teaches participants principles and practices of managing all aspects of wild animal health in both captivity and in the wild.
Msc Wild Animal Biology The Msc Wild Animal Biology provides participants with advanced training in principle of biological science which underpin wildlife health and wildlife research strategies.
Manchester Metropolitan University
Degree Information
Msc in Zoo Conservation Biology This course is run in collaboration with the North of England Zoological Society (Chester Zoo) and is designed to teach graduates who want to develop careers in a zoo-based research, welfare, conservation or a managerial role. The theory classes take place both at Manchester Metropolitan University and Chester Zoo. The course offers the possibility for a three month placement and relevant research project at zoological institutions around the UK.
University Centre Sparsholt
Degree Information
Msc in Applied Zoo Biology With a strong science foundation, the course is designed to expand knowledge of zoo animal biology and welfare, while investigating contemporary issues in the zoo industry. There is a particular emphasis on research methods and application, not only to improve animal husbandry, but also to consider visitor experience and education.
Writtle University College
Degree Information
MSc in Animal Welfare and Conservation This course develops an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the biology, welfare and conservation of domesticated and wild animals managed for production or leisure. Writtle has excellent links with Colchester Zoo and new links have been established with the University of Aberdeen, the University of Reading, the Royal Veterinary College and the Institute of Zoology
University of Chester
Degree Information
MRes in Biological Sciences: Wildlife Behaviour and Conservation This course focuses on developing core research skills whilst carrying out student-led projects in the fields of animal behaviour and conservation. We work with a range of zoos and NGOs, both within the UK and internationally, to ensure our students’ projects contribute directly to the conservation of the species or habitats involved. Students work closely with their supervisory team to acquire the specialist skills necessary to pursue their chosen career path.
University of Wolverhampton
Degree Information
MSc Wildlife Conservation This comprehensive course provides an in-depth view of the contemporary issues and techniques required of professional wildlife conservationists working both in the UK and overseas. The course is taught not only by our experienced academic staff but with the assistance of world-leading experts and conservation practitioners both in class and also in the field. Importantly throughout the course we stress a holistic appreciation of the link between field and laboratory-based work and the necessity of professional level communication with a range of audiences. Where possible teaching will be undertaken through workshops and seminars so providing a more immersive environment to help develop an understanding of the operation of professional-level applied conservation skills in communication and problem solving.

 

Other courses of interest

Writtle University College offers a two-year Diploma of Higher Education in Animal Management (Zoo and Wildlife Conservation), which includes subjects such as animal behaviour, nutrition, breeding, Zoo management and wildlife conservation. Participants on the course develop legal knowledge and applied management skills necessary to effectively manage an animal collection (Writtle University College, Chelmsford. UCAS code D313). It also offers a two-year Diploma of Higher Education in Animal Science (Zoo and Wildlife Conservation). A wide range of species are available to enable students to gain sound practical animal management skills, which are then complemented by an academic programme that covers topics such as nutrition, breeding, health and behaviour. Students are able to focus their studies on different animal species in order to make their degree relevant to a particular career (Writtle University College, Chelmsford. UCAS code D312). Writtle also offers a one-year Certificate of Higher Education in Animal Studies UCAS code D303. For more information contact their admissions team.

The University of Wolverhampton offer a HND Animal Behaviour and Wildlife Conservation. This course is designed to develop your interest, knowledge and understanding of the behaviour of animals and the issues that affect their conservation.

The Royal Veterinary Colleges in collaboration with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science in Sri Lanka together with Chiang Mai University in Thailand in recent years have run the Asian Elephant Health Course. To stay up to date with the latest information and availability please visit here

Sparsholt College in Hamshire run a Certificate and Diploma in Zoo Leadership. This course builds on the DMZAA course and develops management skills for zoo leadership. To apply please email Andy Beer at Sparsholt College by clicking here.