Otago Polytechnic


Natural Sciences

People who care for plants and animals have the best jobs in the world! Have a dream career working outside as a horticulturalist or sports turf manager, or caring for animals as a veterinary nurse or working with livestock in the farming industry.






Veterinary Nursing and Animal Health


New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care (Level 3) (Companion Animals)

  • Online with 40 hours of compulsory work placement (min.)
  • 6 months full-time; 1 year part-time
  • Level 3
  • Starts Feb (full-time, part-time, distance) or July (full-time, distance)
  • Apply now

Want to have an exciting career working with animals but not sure where to start? Start here! This programme is your first step if you want to enter an animal-related profession and you will learn about the health, welfare, anatomy and physiology of companion animals such as cats and dogs. Successful completion of this qualification will enable you to enter the New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology (Level 5) (Veterinary Nursing Assistant).

New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology (Level 5) (Veterinary Nursing Assistant)

  • Dunedin or by distance with block courses
  • 1 year (full-time) or 2 years (part-time)
  • Level 5
  • Starts Feb (Full-time distance and on-campus, and part-time distance)
  • Apply now

Are you passionate about the care and welfare of animals? Do you want to prepare for a career as a Veterinary Nurse? This qualification will give you the skills required for a successful career in companion animal healthcare. It will enable you to become a Veterinary Nursing Assistant, the first step to becoming a Veterinary Nurse. In addition, it will also enable you to then enter the New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Level 6) where you will gain the skills to become a Registered Nurse.




High country farming programme (Level 3)

  • Central Otago
  • 1 year full-time
  • Level 3
  • Starts February and July
  • Apply until start date

Farming careers are fun and rewarding and there is strong demand nationally for passionate people who want to work with livestock in the farming industry. This Central Otago-based qualification is the only farming training programme in New Zealand with a high country flavour. Graduates of this programme will receive both the New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Farming Systems) (Level 3) and New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Vehicles, Machinery and Infrastructure) (Level 3).