UCR - University Centre Reaseheath
University Centre Reaseheath

Cert HE Zoo Management

Would you love to start your exciting and rewarding career in the zoo industry, but without the commitment of a full degree?

This one-year full-time course benefits from a unique combination of academic study with industry focused training in the management of zoo animals, including extensive access to our wide range of exotic species including primates, small carnivores, reptiles, amphibians and birds of prey.

Lemur at Reaseheath Mini Zoo
Civet at Reaseheath Mini Zoo

Course Overview

As part of this course, you will develop a range of academic and professional skills, related to the zoo industry. Through practical husbandry sessions, in-class discussions and behavioural observations, you will gain an appreciation for the goals and challenges of managing animals in zoos. This knowledge can be applied to a diversity of careers in large or small-scale collections.  

Our lecturers have many years of experience working in zoos across the sector, in a wide variety of roles which zoos can offer. They use this experience combined with their passion and knowledge.

The Cert HE would allow you to progress to a range of more specific zoo modules, such as zoo training, animal health and disease and zoo enclosure design, through further study on the Foundation Degree in Zoo Management.

Course Features

  • Access to our on-campus zoo, which houses over 1,000 animals and 125 species including ring-tailed lemurs, porcupines, raccoon dogs, otters, tapir, capybaras, owls, hawks, bearded dragons, kingsnakes, dart frogs, marine fish and much more
  • Volunteer staff opportunities at our on-site zoo
  • Directly transferable skills such as exotic animal husbandry.

Career Options

  • Junior zookeeper
  • Rescue centre animal care
  • Conservation education or outreach officer
  • Progression to Foundation Degree in Zoo Management

Course Information

Find out more about the Cert HE Zoo Management course, including entry requirements, modules and assessment methods, using the drop downs below. 

  • A minimum of 64 tariff points from A and AS levels to include either Biology, Chemistry, Human Biology or Applied Science
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) – – a minimum of grade MPP in an Animal or Science related subject
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) a minimum of grade MM in an Animal or Science related subject
  • Scottish Higher – offers tend to be in the region of CCC to include Biology, Chemistry or Human Biology
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma – a minimum of 64 tariff points
  • International Baccalaureate – a minimum overall score of 24 including 4 in HL Biology
  • T Level – A minimum of grade Pass (D or E) in Science or Animal Care and Management
  • Mature students (aged 21+) will be considered on an individual basis on their prior knowledge and experience. This may be assessed by interview, completion of coursework/essay or other methods. There may be a requirement for a formal qualification to be completed first e.g. Access to Higher Education course

Students are expected to study and complete 120 credits which comprises six mandatory modules of study:

  • Introduction to Scientific Communication
  • Animal Husbandry and Handling
  • Zoos and Conservation
  • Animal Anatomy and Physiology
  • Evolution and Adaptation
  • Introduction to Animal Behaviour

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity, plus field trips. The following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each year of the course:

Year 1: 30% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

Teaching, Learning and Assessment:       360 hours

Independent Study:                                     840 hours

Class sizes average between 10 – 40 for modules exclusively delivered on the programme. For those modules offered across several programmes, class size could be as high as 80 individual learners.

We design a wide range of assessments that will help you to develop industry standard skills and knowledge. The assessments consist of a combination on timed online assessments, of multiple-choice questions and short essays, practical assessments and presentations and written coursework. This written coursework can be in the form of reports, essays or posters, depending on the module. For Husbandry and Handling, there are assessed practical sessions, reflections and talks. For Introduction to Scientific Communication, there are quizzes based on the application of statistical software.

Students will be able to access course timetables for the academic year in September.

Timetables are subject to change, but most students can expect to spend 3-3.5 days per week on campus.

Tuition Fees

As a student at UCR, you will have two main costs to meet; your tuition fees and living costs.

Our full-time tuition fees for UK and EU students, entering University, can be found on our student finance page. These fees are charged for each academic year of a course and are set by the college annually.

Tuition fees for international students can also be found on our student finance page.

Equipment costs

Boiler suit (£20-£30) OR

UCR Polo shirt (£12)/UCR Sweatshirt (£16) + work trousers (£15-£20)

Steel toe capped boots (from £30)

Lab coat (£13-£20)

USB drive (from £5)

Prices of equipment are subject to change depending on retailer.

Students may also wish to purchase their own personal copies of recommended set-texts to assist them with their studies. A full list of recommended texts is made available prior to enrolment. However, our campus library boasts sufficient stocks of all major texts to support student learning, frequently in e-book format, and the purchasing of texts is therefore not enforced.

Apply directly through UCAS

A minimum of 64 UCAS points

September 2024
September 2025

Full-time: 1 year

Useful Information

Here you will find useful information about the services and support available at University Centre Reaseheath. Click to expand each item:

University Centre Reaseheath is committed to providing additional financial support to those who need it. To find out about the bursary schemes available visit our additional financial support page.

For students to get the best out of their time at University Centre Reaseheath, we must both recognise that we owe obligations to each other. These obligations are set out in our UCR Student Contract. Before you accept an offer of a place at University Centre Reaseheath, it is important that you read these contract conditions. If you are going to be living in Halls of Residence, you will also need to read the Student Accommodation Licence Conditions. Both of these contracts can be found here.

Click here to view the University Centre Reaseheath Student Protection Plan.

All UCR students are given the opportunity to apply for residential accommodation. First year students are guaranteed accommodation and this offer is made to all applicants who live more than a reasonable daily travelling distance from Reaseheath (providing you have applied before the UCAS equal considerations deadline. For full details on our halls of residence visit our accommodation page.

We have a team of dedicated professionals on hand to offer you support. These include our Student Services Team, Inclusive Learning Team, Library and Learning Resources Team and the Reaseheath Careers Service. You can find more information on the support provided at Reaseheath on our support page.

University Centre Reaseheath is proud to welcome international students. For more information, please visit our international students page.