Qualification - Certificate in Wildlife Management

Course CodeVEN003
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)600 hours



This course provides with knowledge and practical skills to people working or wishing to work in wildlife care and management. Contains modules including Introduction to Ecology, Vertebrate Zoology, Wildlife Management, Ornithology, Marine Life I and Environmental Assessment. It is foundation entry level course to develop skills that would be valued for working in wildlife parks, zoos, refuges or wilderness management. This course incorporates key studies that are in demand in the wildlife field.  What do I need to do to get a job working with animals?

This is a commonly asked question with no set answer. There are myriad possibilities open for people wanting to work with wildlife. These range from working in veterinary practices, as wildlife carers, in a wildlife sanctuary or zoo as animal attendants and educators, or in research just to name a few.

Employers generally seek potential employees who already have substantial existing knowledge and skills - as it requires time and a large financial commitment to train new employees. If you already have these skills it will increase your competitive position in the job market.

This course provides with knowledge and practical skills to people working or wishing to work in wildlife care and management. Contains modules including Introduction to Ecology, Vertebrate Zoology, Wildlife Management, Ornithology, Marine Biology I and Environmental Assessment.  This is a foundation entry level course to develop skills that would be valued for working in wildlife parks, zoos, refuges or wilderness management. This course incorporates key studies that are in demand in the wildlife field.




Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Certificate in Wildlife Management.
 Introduction To Ecology BEN101
 Marine Biology I BEN103
 Ornithology BEN102
 Vertebrate Zoology BEN104
 Wildlife Management BEN205
 Environmental Assessment BEN301
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 3 of the following 4 modules.
 Animal Welfare BAG224
 Carnivore Zoology BEN219
 Forage Management BAG226
 Herpetology BEN209

Note that each module in the Qualification - Certificate in Wildlife Management is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

What is in Each of these Modules?

To obtain the certificate you must successfully complete all assignments and pass an examination in the following six (6) modules.


There are seven lessons in this course as follows:

  1. Ecosystems & Populations
    Components of an ecosystem, Biomes, Detrital & grazing webs, trophic levels, energy flows etc
  2. The Development of Life
    Lifespans, Natural selection, Genetics, Understanding arguments for and against theory of evolution, etc.
  3. Animals, Parasites & Endangered Species
    Comparative anatomy, how animals fit in ecosystems, animals in the human community, parasites, etc
  4. Fungi, Tundra, Rainforests & Marshlands
    Physiology, anatomy, classification and ecology of fungi; Location, the climate, the plant and animal life related to different systems including tundra, marshes and rainforests.
  5. Mountains, Rivers & Deserts
    Formation ecology and importance of mountains (including erosion, volcanoes etc), formation & types of rivers, catchments, dams, deserts and their ecology, etc.
  6. Shallow Waters
    Shore lines, coral reefs, intermediate reefs, estuaries, sandy shores, etc.
  7. Ecological Problems
    The Greenhouse Effect, The Ozone Layer, Poisons & Waste Materials


The course is divided into ten lessons as follows:

  1. Vertebrate Taxonomy and Diversity
  2. Fishes
  3. Ectotherms: Amphibians and Reptiles
  4. Birds
  5. Overview of Mammals
  6. Marsupials
  7. Mammalian Glires and Insectivora
  8. Carnivores
  9. Hooved Mammals: Ungulata
  10. Primates and other Archonta


The course is divided into nine lessons as follows:

  1. Introduction To Wildlife Management
  2. Wildlife Ecology
  3. Wildlife Habitats
  4. Population Dynamics
  5. Carrying Capacity
  6. Wildlife Censuses
  7. Wildlife Management Techniques
  8. Wildlife Management Law And Administration
  9. Wildlife Management Case Study Research Project


The course consists of nine lessons.

  1. Classification & Introduction to Birdwatching.
  2. The Biology of Birds: Anatomy, external & internal structure, breeding, eggs etc.
  3. Common and Widespread Land Birds: Pests, introduced birds, pigeons, crows & their relatives, etc.
  4. Giant Birds & Long Legged Birds: Emu, Ostrich, Herons, Storks & Relatives etc
  5. Seabirds & Waterbirds
  6. Hunters -Birds of Prey, Owls, Kingfishers
  7. Passeriformes
  8. Other Birds Parrots, Honeyeaters, Swifts & others
  9. Attracting, Feeding & Keeping Birds

Module 5 - MARINE LIFE I

This course has 9 lessons as follows:

  1. Marine Ecology Systems
  2. Shallow Waters & Reefs
  3. Shellfish & Crustaceans
  4. Squid, Octopus, and Other Primitive Animals
  5. Fish Part A
  6. Fish Part B
  7. Marine Mammals
  8. Turtles, Sea Snakes and Seabirds
  9. Human Impact on Marine Environments & Fishing


There are 8 lessons in this course as follows:

  1. Types of Employment for Environmental Scientists.
  2. Introduction to Environmental Assessment.
  3. International Environmental Law.
  4. Domestic Environmental Law
  5. Types of Environmental Assessments
  6. The Design and Process of Environmental Assessment.
  7. Writing Environmental Reports Research Project

Career Opportunities

Working in Wildlife can be dream career.

  • People who work with wildlife always seem to ‘love’ their job, even though parts of can be physically demanding and sometimes dirty work.
  • Opportunities can be varied -from cleaning manure out of pens, to being a well paid manager of a zoo or wildlife reserve.

Being in contact with wildlife and having the opportunity to educate others on the conservation importance of these animals is for some people a dream job. In order to work in the Wildlife Education and Interpretation sector you do not necessarily require a degree or qualification, although it does help. Many people decide they want a career change and start volunteering with Wildlife Parks or National Parks guiding tours or caring for wildlife. After gaining the skills and knowledge during volunteering they may obtain paid work. If one wishes to progress further once having obtained a job in this field studying for a Certificate, Diploma, or Degree may be necessary. For example, most people working in Wildlife Parks have some kind of qualification in animal husbandry or wildlife handling and care.

Job opportunities in wildlife education, and interpretation:

•Wildlife Education Officer
•Tour Guide
•Wildlife Keepers
•Show Presenters
•Veterinary Assistant
•Wildlife Carer
•Research Assistant

Where might you work?

•Zoos and Wildlife Parks and Sanctuaries
•Veterinary Surgery/Animal Hospital 
•National Parks and Wilderness Areas 
•Animal Welfare Leagues or Refuges
•Private, University or Government Research Centres

Remuneration and Advancement Opportunities
Remuneration as a Wildlife Education Officer or Wildlife Keeper/Interpretation Guide can vary but most full-time positions earn an average salary. Managers or specialised positions (i.e. Conservation Officers, Research Program Coordinator) within a wildlife team can earn a more comfortable salary but it may take some time and experience for advancement. NGOs and Wildlife Organizations may pay more or less, depending on funding capabilities. People who pursue these types of jobs are not in it to gain high salaried positions. Of course it would be a bonus but the main benefit is working with wildlife and ensuring their conservation and protection. Rates of pay can be below or at the minimum wage for people starting out (irrespective of whether they have a qualification or not), but those who have formal training and can demonstrate useful skills, are likely to advance faster than others.

 How to distinguish yourself from the competition

There is always strong competition within this industry. In recent years more Wildlife Parks and Reserves holding captive species have emerged out of the need to preserve the increasing number of endangered and threatened species. There are more opportunities but also more people wanting these jobs. A lot of the positions that do become available are filled internally or by people moving across parks (i.e. from London Zoo to Taronga Zoo). Hands-on experience goes a long way in gaining the role you seek and can put you ahead of other applicants. This may be from previous employment in a similar role, but most often volunteering and work experience. A lot of jobs tend to arise internally and if you are in contact with them or involved in volunteer work, you will find out about these roles first. Many people have started as Volunteers or Veterinary Nurses in a Zoo or Wildlife Park and have moved on to become Wildlife Keepers, then Supervisors, in the end leading Threatened Species Programs or Animal Hospitals. There is a lot of scope for people with specialist skills to branch out into specific divisions; for example, someone with a history of experience of handling birds of prey, whether it be from interaction as a young naturalist or from studies or work experience, will be able to work as a specialist with these species in aviaries or other captive facilities. They may even become involved with research. There are huge opportunities for advancement once you are in the industry.

Most of the jobs mentioned above do not require any qualifications. However, more technical roles such as veterinary nursing and research assistants do require qualifications. Select a course that will give you practical skills and experience as well as theoretical knowledge. If you have a goal in mind then try to find a course that caters to your needs and aspirations and consider volunteering while you study. Employers look for employees with initiative and skills specific to the job, not just qualifications.


Learning Facilities

ACS follows the old fashioned idea that “the student comes first”. Our staff are told to treat every student as an individual and respond promptly to their enquiries; and the facilities we have developed and continue to develop, are all focused on that goal. Facilities include:

  • Offices in two time zones (UK and Australia) –which means an international team of academics are responding to students 5 days a week and 16 hours a day.
  • An online student room with unique resources that are only available to students studying our courses, including online library.
  • Bookshop offering quality downloadable e books
  • A data base of 20 million words of unique information written by our staff over 3 decades that can be drawn upon if needed by academics for use in supporting our students.
  • Systems that ensure assignments are tracked, marked and returned to students, fast -commonly within a round 1 week & rarely more than 2 weeks (note: many other colleges take longer).
  • The school is active in social networking and encourages students to connect with us and each other.
  • No automated handling of student phone enquiries. When you call you get a real person; or leave a message and a real person will call you back within a day, but more commonly within an hour or two.
  • No additional charges for extra tutor support over the phone or email.
  • Free careers advice for graduates –It is our policy to provide support and advice to our students even after they graduate. If a graduate needs help with getting a CV together, or advice on setting up a business or looking for work; they only need ask.
  • The quality of academic staff is higher than many other colleges.


 How our Courses Differ

  • Courses are continually improved –we invite feedback from all graduates and change courses immediately the need is detected.
  • Courses are relevant to the whole world –we try hard to teach make the learning transferable to any region or country because the world is increasingly a global economy
  • Courses written by our staff, teach different skills to standard courses; giving a unique mix of skills and knowledge to provide a career advantage. Do you want an accredited certificate and the same skills as 100 other job applicants; or one of our courses with skills that no other applicants have?
  • Certificates and diplomas are longer. They teach you more, and our qualifications have built a reputation amongst academics and industry as being a very high standard for this reason.
  • We are focused on helping you learn in a way that improves your capacity to understand your discipline, apply knowledge, and continue learning and developing your capabilities beyond your course.

These things cannot be always said of other colleges.


Career Opportunities

Study alone can never guarantee career success; but a good education is an important starting point.

Success in a career depends upon many things. A course like this is an excellent starting point because it provides a foundation for continued learning, and the means of understanding and dealing with issues you encounter in the workplace.

When you have completed an ACS course, you will have not only learnt about the subject, but you will have been prompted to start networking with experts in the discipline and shown how to approach problems that confront you in this field.

This and every other industry in today’s world is developing in unforeseen ways; and while that is unsettling for anyone who wants to be guaranteed a particular job at the end of a particular course; for others, this rapidly changing career environment is offering new and exciting opportunities almost every month.

If you want to do the best that you can in this industry, you need to recognise that the opportunities that confront you at the end of a course, are probably different to anything that has even been thought of when you commence a course.




Visit our School bookshop at www.acsebook.com

  • Downloadable ebooks that can be read on ipads, PC’s, Laptops, or readers like a Kindle.
  • Titles are written by our principal and staff.
  • Anyone can purchase books –ACS students are offered a student discount
We hope that we have answered your questions, but if you would like further information, then please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or email us.
We look forward to hearing from you.

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