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The Certificate II in Animal Studies is the introductory level course for those who are interested in the animal care industry and/or pursuing a career as a keeper. 

Students will develop the knowledge and skills to enable them to perform the essential duties of a keeper in the animal care industry, through a combination of weekly theory lessons and hands-on experience through practical experience both within the zoo and at an approved external animal care facility.  

Course Structure Study year/Intake Cost Applications open Applications close

Evening - 6 months part time

(subject to change - Course currently under review)

January 2016 $2390* - includes all course materials and compulsory uniform items

November 2015

Please email us with an expression of interest to and we will contact you to advise when applications are open


 November 2015


 *The course price is under review by the NSW Government and is subject to change.  Taronga is in the process of applying for Smart and Skilled funding for this course in 2016. Further information regarding Smart and Skilled funding can be found here.

Course Information

  • Duration: running for 6 months from January 2016 to July 2016. 
  • Course Location: Classroom sessions and the majority of practical placements are conducted at Taronga Zoo, Bradleys Head Road, Mosman.
  • Course Entry Requirements: 
    • Students must attend all practical days.
    • Students are expected to attend all classroom lessons.
    • Students must be a minimum of 16 years of age on commencement of the course.
    • Students must be an Australian Citizen, Permanent Resident or New Zealand Citizen residing in Australia for at least 6 months prior to commencment in the course.
    • Students should have a reasonable level of health and fitness in order to fully participate in the course
    • Students should demonstrate good English skills, both written and verbal, and basic numeracy skills.
    • Practical Requirements: Students are required to complete 11 practical days in total
  • 6 of these practical days will be arranged for students at Taronga Zoo. Students will be required to attend during regular keeper hours, starting as early as 6.30am and finishing by 5pm. Please note: The practical days will be available on set dates only. It will be essential for students to attend on the specified dates to meet the course requirements - please give this careful consideration before lodging your application.
  • Students will be required to organise 5 practical days at another animal care institution approved by Taronga Training Institute (40 hours in total at times suitable to the animal care institution).
  • Classroom Sessions: Classroom sessions will be conducted once a week from 4pm to 8pm (on a Wednesday or Thursday evening - successful applicants will be given the opportunity to nominate their preferred day of attendance - once allocated, students are expected to attend all classes and onsite practical dates on the specified day).

Units of Competency:

All applicants must:

  • Read the Course Information above and ensure you can meet the requirements of the course before lodging an application.
  • Complete ALL questions in the online application. Incomplete applications  will not be accepted and cannot progress any further

If your application is successful, you will be required to provide the following documents:

  • Copy of your birth certificate or passport as proof of Australian Citizenship or permanent residency
  • Copy of your photo I.D.
  • Your Unique Student Identifier (USI)

Application Process

  • How to Apply: Applications for the Certificate II in Animal Studies are to be lodged online only.



Visit our FAQ to see the answers to many common questions.