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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 Zoo keeper.

Keeper and Quokka Joey

Students will develop the knowledge and skills in the primary duties of a keeper in the animal care industry, through a combination of weekly theory lessons and activities held within the zoo.

Course Structure

Course Dates

Applications open

Applications close

Evening class one night a week

(Tuesday 5.30pm-9.30pm)

January 2019- July 2019

5pm 1st September 2018 

9am 2nd October 2018

Evening class one night a week (Day TBA)

June 2019 – December 2019



Course Information
  • Duration: This course runs for 6 months. There are two intakes each year with the course running from January to July and June to December annually.
  • Course Structure: This course includes a combination of weekly in-class evening study and 2 daytime classes at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
  • Classroom Sessions: Classroom sessions will be conducted once a week from 5.30pm to 9.30pm (Tuesday evening). Students are expected to attend all classes and including 1 day time sessions on the specified day.
  • Study Load: The Certificate II in Animal Studies course encompasses 12 units of competency. In addition to class requirements, you will be required to conduct independent study in your own time.
  • Course Location: Classroom sessions are conducted at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo.              
Course Entry Requirements
  • Students must be a minimum of 16 years of age on commencement of the course.
  • Students must be an Australian Citizen, Australian Permanent Resident or New Zealand Citizen.
  • Students are expected to attend all classroom lessons.
  • 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.
Core units

ACMWHS201 Participate in WHS processes

ACMGAS201 Work in the animal care industry

ACMGAS202 Participate in Workplace Communications

ACMGAS203 Complete animal care hygiene routines

ACMGAS204 Feed and water animals

ACMGAS205 Assist in the health care of animals

ACMGAS206 Provide basic first aid for animals

ACMSUS201 Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices

Elective units

ACMGAS210 Prepare for and conduct a tour or presentation

ACMGAS305 Rescue animals and apply basic first aid

ACMGAS207 Provide Reception Services for an Animal Care Facility

ACMGAS209 Provide information on companion animals, products and services

Note: All 12 units (core and elective) must be completed to gain the Certificate II in Animal Studies.

Course Dates

Course dates for January 2019 will be published by August 2018.


An orientation will be held on Tuesday 26th June 2018

Class Days: Class for all students begins the week after Orientation. Class is held from 5.30-9.30pm. Class is held weekly until the end of the course. The only exception is day time classes; dates and times are listed below. 

Presentations Day: Tuesday 4th December 2018 from 10.00am-3.00pm


Successful completion of ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies prepares you for jobs such as a dog clipper/groomer, kennel hand, pet shop attendant and animal attendant. In addition, further study options are available, including:

  • Certificate III in Captive Animals (Zoo keeping);
  • Certificate III in Animal Technology (Vet Nursing); and
  • Certificate III in Companion Animals (boarding, grooming, rescue & retail)

Please note TTI only offers the Certificate III Captive Animals. The other qualifications can be completed at other RTO’s:


Course fee includes all course materials and compulsory uniform items.

The Taronga Training Institute MAY have a limited number of Smart and Skilled funded positions available for this intake of the Certificate II in Animal Studies at Taronga Training Institute*. Please note:Irrespective of eligibility enrolled students may not be offered a Smart & Skilled funded position

This training is subsidised by the NSW government (Smart and Skilled^). Smart and Skilled funding MAY be available for eligible students - Click here to check your eligibility*

  • First Qualification* - $1,120.00
  • Second Qualification* - $1,340.00
  • Concession* - $160.00
  • Full Course Value (Without Smart & Skilled Subsidy) - $3,740.00

^Smart and Skilled pricing as from February 2018. Please note these figures may differ for incoming/future intakes

Application Process

Taronga is an equal opportunity organisation and encourages people from diverse backgrounds to apply to study with us. The application process is used to help determine your suitability to complete the course in conjuction with the support of TTI staff & trainers. 

All applicants must:

  • Read the Course Information above and ensure you can meet the requirements of the course before lodging an application.
  • Read the Taronga Training Institute Student Handbook prior to completing an application
  • Complete ALL questions in the online application. Incomplete applications will not be accepted and cannot progress any further.
  • Read the terms and conditions below before applying - proceed to apply only if you agree and can comply with the conditions.

During the online application process you will be required to upload the following documents/provide the following information:

  • If you have completed any of the Units of Competency that make up the Certificate II in Animal Studies, as offered by Taronga Training Institute, you may be eligible for Credit Transfer. Applicants are requested to provide electronic copies of Student Transcripts or Records of Results as evidence that Units have previously been completed. Electronic copies of this information should be gathered prior to commencing your online application as you are requested to submit the documentation during the application process.
  • Your Unique Student Identifier (USI) - This can be obtained during the enrolment process if you do not currently have a USI.

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

  • To apply for ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies applicants will need to complete the online application during the application opening period.
  • Applications NOW CLOSED
  • Please Note: On submission of your application you should receive a confirmation email to the email address you provided within your application. If you do not receive a confirmation email from Taronga Training Institute within 24 hours, please contact us at

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

  • Certified copy of your birth certificate or passport as proof of Australian Citizenship or permanent residency
  • Certified copy of your photo I.D.

We have captured the most common questions and answers here to make it quick and easy to get your questions answered.

View General FAQs View Course Specific FAQs