Skip to content

Certificate in Zoo-keeping

Passionate About Wildlife Conservation and Wild Animals?



£750 inc VAT
Or £62.50/mo. for 12 months...
Study method
Online, self-paced
100 hours
Access to content
Lifetime access
No formal qualification
Additional info
  • Tutor is available to students
  • Certificate of completion available and is included in the price

Add to basket or enquire


Take the First Step Towards Becoming a Zoo Keeper

Love wild animals? Want to kick-start your fulfilling career in animal conservation or zoology? The Certificate in Zookeeping has been specially designed by industry experts for individuals considering a University degree in Zoology or a career working in animal conservation. Complete this course first then tackle your University degree with more confidence and understanding!

Learn about the nature and scope of zoos, how to design and maintain enclosures, as well as the occupational health and safety of working with wild animals. You will also study different topics about captive husbandry including nutrition, health, reproduction, and animal behaviour.

This course also covers the proper handling of wild animals, how to interact with them correctly, and so much more.

The Certificate in Zookeeping is the perfect starting point if you want to work in zoos, wildlife reserves, national parks, wildlife management, animal rescue and rehabilitation and similar career pathways.

Course media


Do you want to work in a zoo or safari park?

Our popular course in Zoo Keeping provides you with an introduction to the major aspects of working in zoos, wildlife parks, safari parks etc.

You will learn about:
  • Animal Welfare
  • Animal Care
  • Diet and Nutrition
  • Forms of Enrichment to enhance wellbeing
  • Captive Breeding
  • Enclosure Design
  • Research, Education and Conservation in Zoos.

This course is a terrific introduction to working in zoos, safari parks, aquariums or fauna sanctuaries. You will cover many aspects of zoo work such as:

  • Animal Welfare
  • Animal Care
  • Diet and Nutritional requirements
  • Animal Enrichment
  • Captive Breeding
  • Enclosure Design
  • Research and Conservation
  • Educating the Public

There are 9 lessons in this course:

1. The Nature and Scope of Zoos

  • What is a Zoo?
  • The Evolution of Zoos
  • Change in Zoo Design
  • Modern Zoos, Fauna Sanctuaries and Safari Parks
  • Legislation and Codes of Practice
  • Animal Welfare
  • Record Keeping
  • Identification Tags
  • Animal Taxonomy
  • Phylums and Classes
  • The Function of Zoos - Conservation, Research and Education

2. Occupational Health and Safety in Zoos

  • Workplace Health & Safety
  • Legislation
  • Health and Safety Management in Zoos
  • Training
  • Workplace Health and Safety Practices
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Moving Animals within the Zoo
  • Restraining Animals
  • Carrying out Veterinary Procedures
  • Managing Visitor-Animal Contact

3. Captive Husbandry – Nutrition and Feeding

  • Nutrition - Natural Diet
  • Feeding Behaviour
  • The Effect of Poor Nutrition
  • Water Requirements of Animals
  • Essential Dietary Components - Carbohydrates, Protein, Fats and Lipids
  • Vitamins and Minerals - In food and Supplementing captive diets
  • Food Storage and Preparation
  • Presentation of Food
  • Monitoring Feeding
  • Feeding Enrichment
  • Primates and Feeding Enrichment

4. Captive Husbandry - Health

  • Monitoring Health - The Healthy Animal, Recognising Ill Health and Diagnosing Diseases
  • Maintaining Health and Hygiene
  • Diseases - Metabolic Diseases, Parasites, Diseases Common to Zoo Animals, Controlling the Spread of Diseases
  • Quarantine and Vaccinations
  • Record Keeping

5. Captive Husbandry - Reproduction

  • The Need for Captive Breeding
  • Goals of Captive Breeding
  • Captive Breeding Issues
  • Inbreeding in Captive Populations - the Genetic Effects and Results of Inbreeding
  • Captive Breeding Programs - Issues and Constraints
  • Monitoring Reproductive Status - External Signs and Indicators, Invasive Monitoring
  • Assisted Reproduction - Artificial Insemination and IVF
  • Stud Books
  • Birth Control in Zoo Animals

6. Captive Husbandry - Behaviour and Enrichment

  • Ethology
  • What Motivates Behaviour?
  • Kinds of Behaviour - Reactive, Active and Cognitive
  • Learned Behaviour - Classical Conditioning, Operant Conditioning, Imprinting and Habituation
  • The Flight or Fight Response
  • Abnormal Behaviours - eg. Stereotypes
  • Welfare Indicators
  • Physical and Social Influences on Behaviour
  • Behaviour Management
  • Environmental Enrichment - Food, Physical, Cognitive, Social and Sensory

7. Human-Animal Interactions

  • Human - Animal Interactions in Zoos
  • Keeper - Animal Interactions
  • Husbandry Routines - Daily, Weekly and Monthly
  • Dealing with Dangerous Animals
  • Handling Animals
  • Fear of Humans
  • Managing Visitor - Animal Interactions

8. Enclosure Design and Maintenance

  • Optimum Enclosure Design
  • Walk Through Enclosures - eg. Butterfly Houses and Aviaries
  • Natural Replication
  • Routine Maintenance
  • Providing Stimulating Environments - Physical, Feeding, Sensory and Social Enrichment

9. Problem-based Learning Project – Environmental Enrichment

  • Environmental Enrichment Research Project
  • Introduction and Definition of Problem-based Learning
  • Problem Definition
  • People Involved
  • Resources
  • Guidelines
  • Discussion
  • Final Report


  • Describe the nature and scope of zoos as a source of education and conservation.
  • Develop appropriate procedures for managing occupational health and safety in a zoo, with a view to minimising risk to staff, animals and visitors.
  • Describe the nutritional requirements and feeding preferences of animals within zoos.
  • Determine health management measures for different captive zoo animals.
  • Describe breeding management in zoos.
  • Determine appropriate ways to manage a range of different wild animals in zoos.
  • Explain procedures and techniques for human-animal interactions in zoos.
  • Identify and describe the qualities of good enclosure design.
  • Develop an environmental enrichment program for a captive animal.

Who is this course for?

The Certificate in Zookeeping is the perfect starting point if you want to work in zoos, wildlife reserves, national parks, wildlife management, animal rescue and rehabilitation and similar career pathways.

There are many courses out there to study animals. The reality is... to get a job working with animals you will need experience! Give yourself the best chance you can to fulfil your dream by combining our course with valuable work experience.


This course is 100% online and access to the internet is a must have.

Career path

Career Pathways


Wildlife Reserves

National Parks

Fauna Conservation

Wildlife Management

Animal Conservation

Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation

Questions and answers

No questions or answers found containing ''.

Julie asked:

Is there someone to help if you get stuck as this is online learning?


Absolutely. When you enrol, you are assigned a tutor who marks your work, gives feedback and assists with any queries.

This was helpful. Thank you for your feedback.


Currently there are no reviews for this course. Be the first to leave a review.


What does study method mean?

Study method describes the format in which the course will be delivered. At courses are delivered in a number of ways, including online courses, where the course content can be accessed online remotely, and classroom courses, where courses are delivered in person at a classroom venue.

What are CPD hours/points?

CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development. If you work in certain professions or for certain companies, your employer may require you to complete a number of CPD hours or points, per year. You can find a range of CPD courses on, many of which can be completed online.

What is a ‘regulated qualification’?

A regulated qualification is delivered by a learning institution which is regulated by a government body. In England, the government body which regulates courses is Ofqual. Ofqual regulated qualifications sit on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), which can help students understand how different qualifications in different fields compare to each other. The framework also helps students to understand what qualifications they need to progress towards a higher learning goal, such as a university degree or equivalent higher education award.

What is an ‘endorsed’ course?

An endorsed course is a skills based course which has been checked over and approved by an independent awarding body. Endorsed courses are not regulated so do not result in a qualification - however, the student can usually purchase a certificate showing the awarding body’s logo if they wish. Certain awarding bodies - such as Quality Licence Scheme and TQUK - have developed endorsement schemes as a way to help students select the best skills based courses for them.