ACM30117 Certificate III In

Animal Studies (Online)

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Build on your skills and knowledge for a successful career in animal care!

AVT’s nationally recognised ACM30117 Certificate III in Animal Studies is perfect for students who have some experience in animal care and wish to further their knowledge and refine their skills.  On completion, you can start a career in the animal care industry, improve opportunities at your current place of employment or move on to a higher level qualification.

Animal Studies graduates have increased opportunities for employment in the animal care industry in both voluntary and paid positions on course completion. Your certificate will be highly regarded within the animal care industry and will increase your employment opportunities.

Course snapshot

  • Duration: Up to 1 year
  • Start: Flexible start date to suit you
  • Practical Training: at an Approved Workplace of your choice
  • Online Study Time: Approx. 2 days per week
  • Prerequisite: none required
  • Best suited to: Students who have some knowledge or experience in the animal care industry, are looking to consolidate their skills with a national qualification, are looking to take the next step in their animal care pathway and who have a genuine interest in the welfare and care of animals.
Nationally recognised animal care course in Australia NRT
Cert 3 in Animal Care - online course bird
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Course outline

This course is delivered online and you will not be required to attend classes or lectures. You will:-

  • be provided with a login to our Online Learning Platform where you will find all of the course materials including interactive learning material, videos, and assessments. 
  • receive the personal support of our qualified Trainers & Assessors either via email, online chat or phone.  Our education team is made up of experienced and working veterinary nurses, veterinarians and animal scientists who have hands-on experience in a range of veterinary hospitals and animal related organisations and businesses, and 
  • have help and assistance from our student support team to help you stay on track

To gain the valuable practical skills required to successfully complete this course, you will be required to complete workplace based training (a Work Placement).

You are ultimately responsible for finding and securing your work placement position. This means you have the flexibility to select a workplace that suits your location, availability and interests. If you do not wish to find your own placement, you can consider our RSPCA (WA) based option. 

If you are already working in an animal care related business, or volunteering in an animal related organisation, it may be possible to use your place of employment for your workplace training. You will still need to submit your workplace details for review and approval.

Ideal work placement facilities include kennels, catteries, doggy day care centres, animal welfare shelters, pet shops (with access to animals), wildlife rehabilitation centres or zoos. Keep in mind, you will need to have access to at least two species of animals.  For more information see our Work Placement FAQ’s below or visit Practical Work Placements in Animal Studies

This animal care qualification is a natural progression after the successful completion of ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies. Direct entry into the Certificate III in Animal Studies is available in some circumstances however, we recommend beginning your study pathway at the Certificate II level.

To complete the course you will:-

  • have a reliable internet connection and access to a desktop computer, laptop or electronic device. You will be required to write, submit and in some cases upload assessments and various types of multi-media files online, therefore we strongly recommend using a desktop or laptop computer for your studies
  • be proficient in speaking and writing in English
  • be physically capable of restraining animals, handling animal feed e.g. large bags of food of up to 10 kg and standing for extended periods of time.
  • need to be at least Year 10 high school age
  • to find a suitable workplace for your practical training where your supervisor can also read and write English.

You do not need to complete the Certificate II in Animal Studies to commence this course, however, we do recommend commencing your study pathway with the Certificate II in Animal Studies.  Read our FAQ for more information.

We are unable to offer this course to students currently living overseas or those on a student visa. For more information visit our frequently asked questions below:-

When you visit your Work Placement you will be required to wear:

  • an AVT shirt and name badge (supplied by AVT),
  • suitable enclosed shoes (supplied by student),
  • neatly presented, long comfortable work pants suitable for bending and manual work (supplied by student).

You will be required to wear the AVT uniform unless specified by your approved workplace. 

What will you learn?

You will complete 12 units of study covering a broad range of topics relating to the principles of working in the animal care industry.  You will become competent in:-

  • Carrying out daily health care requirements of animals
  • Understanding animal health management practices and how to monitor animal health
  • Nutritional planning for a range of animal species
  • Safely and correctly handling and restraining animals in a variety of situations
  • Providing behavioural management and enrichment for different animal species
  • Implementing infection control policies and procedures in animal care workplaces

All of the skills and knowledge you will learn can be applied across a broad range of animal care facilities. For more information on careers working with animals read our article Top 6 Animal Care Careers.

Qualification - Certificate 3 in Animal Care - Online course in Australia

Course outcomes

Our graduates go on to a wide range of roles across the animal care industry. 

Job Outcomes

Students who have completed the Certificate II in Animal Studies go on to careers as a:

  • Welfare shelter supervisor
  • Pet sitting business owner
  • Kennel assistant manager/supervisor
  • Equine agistment / Stable supervisor
  • Dog grooming assistant
  • Pet shop supervisor
  • Veterinary receptionist or assistant

Skills Outcomes

Some of the skills you will be able to apply once qualified:

  • Assessing the nutritional requirements of animals and design suitable feeding plans
  • Implementing a range of animal care hygiene routines
  • Assessing and monitoring animal health and identify health problems in a chosen species
  • Identifying and interpreting species-specific normal and abnormal behaviours and their possible causes
  • Designing and implementing enrichment programs in line with species-specific behavioural needs
  • Safely and correctly handling and restraining animals
  • Administering animal care treatments

Course content

ACM30117 Certificate III in Animal Studies Online eLearning students must complete core and compulsory units:

  • ACMWHS301 Contribute to workplace health and safety processes
  • ACMGAS203 Complete animal care hygiene routines
  • ACMGAS202 Participate in workplace communications
  • ACMGEN203 Feed and Water animals
  • ACMGEN204 Assist in health care of animals
  • ACMINF301 Comply with infection control policies and procedures in animal work
  • ACMGAS301 Maintain and monitor animal health and wellbeing
  • ACMGAS303 Plan for and provide nutritional requirements for animals
  • ACMGAS302 Provide enrichment for animals
  • ACMSUS201 Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices
  • ACMGEN201 Work in the animal care industry

Students must also select one species-specific elective unit from this list below which will correspond with a species they are working with as part of their work placement. Students who elect to study the Horse Behaviour and Care elective are required to study an additional pre-requisite unit (additional fees apply).

  • ACMSPE302 Provide basic care of birds
  • ACMSPE303 Provide basic care of common native mammals
  • ACMSPE304 Provide basic care of domestic dogs
  • ACMSPE305 Provide basic care of domestic cats
  • ACMSPE311 Provide basic care of non-venomous reptiles
  • ACMSPE312 Provide basic care of rodents and rabbits
  • ACMEQU205 & ACMHBR203 Horse behaviour and Care

Why choose our Online eLearning course for Animal Studies?

  • Complete flexibility – you can start and study whenever you like to suit your lifestyle and commitments.
  • Professionally managed and delivered course – complete with online instructional videos and materials to help you understand and apply theory with ease.
  • Affordable, all inclusive monthly payment plan to help you manage your student fees.
  • This course will allow you to meet the prerequisite for Veterinary Nursing – you can gain your qualification in under 12 months and then apply for ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing to become a qualified veterinary nurse*.
  • This certificate increases your opportunities for employment in the animal care industry and gives recognition towards entry into further studies.

*Please note: Completion of this qualification meets the prerequisite for ACM40418 Cert IV in Veterinary Nursing. However, it does not guarantee you a place on one of our own courses. Due to high demand, our AVT selection criteria also apply. Please read full details on our Veterinary Nursing Course Entry page.

Nationally recognised animal care course in Australia NRT

What students are saying about this course

Fees & inclusions

Total course fees: $3,795*

Payable via our monthly payment plan. Initial payment of $330 plus 11 x $315 monthly payments and includes:-

  • Learning guides (Downloadable)
  • Textbooks (Downloadable)
  • Dedicated student support
  • One-on-one mentoring by AVT lecturers
  • Assessments and Certification
  • Practical training insurance**
  • Work Placement Kit: Uniform, name badge and workbook

*Fees, inclusions and payment plan amounts are subject to change. If you decide to withdraw from study for any reason, refunds are not issued. Please see our policies page for full details. Concession rates are not available for this course
 Students choosing the elective ACMHBR203 Provide daily care for horses, will need to complete the pre-requisite unit ACMEQU205 Apply Knowledge of horse behaviour. The pre-requisite unit is in addition to the included units of study and therefore an additional fee of $210 applies.
** Workplace Practical Insurance Cover only applies to students undertaking practical training whilst in Australia

Apply now

Course Status
Application Status
ACM30117 Certificate III in Animal Studies
Online eLearning Applications Open

Ready to enrol? It’s easy, just complete our online application form.  Once we have received and reviewed your submission you will receive an email outlining the next steps to get started. 


To receive a credit for a unit of competency that you have previously been awarded, you must be able to supply a verifiable Testamur (certificate) or Statement of Attainment obtained from the issuing provider.

A Testamur or Statement of Attainment must either contain the wording ‘The qualification is recognised within the Australian Qualifications Framework’ or the AQF logo authorised by the AQF Council.

A Record of Results or Statement of Academic Record by itself is not sufficient when applying for a credit transfer of a nationally recognised unit of competency.

If you do not have a copy of your Testamur or Statement of Attainment you are responsible for requesting a copy from the issuing provider, we are unable to do this on your behalf.

For more information about RPL see our frequently asked questions here.

Why choose AVT?

Dedicated Animal Care College

AVT has been training Animal Care and Vet Nursing students for over 20 years. It's safe to say there are no plumbing or hairdressing courses here!

Prerequisite course for veterinary nursing

Prerequisite for Vet Nursing

ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies is a prerequisite for ACM40418 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. Completing our Animal Studies course is the best pathway to becoming a Qualified Vet Nurse.

Prerequisite course for veterinary nursing

Safe and Supported Learning

Our qualified teaching team have many years of experience as well as extensive backgrounds in the veterinary and animal care industry. They are approachable and dedicated to helping students succeed.

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