Certificate III in Animal Studies

Start your Vet Nurse career today

Vet nurse holding two puppies

Our ACM30117 Certificate III in Animal Studies is designed to give you the practical skills and knowledge you need to start your career as a Veterinary Nurse. Veterinary Nurses are an important part of the veterinary team. They provide advice and support to clients, help veterinarians with procedures and treatment, and keep the clinic running smoothly.

If you’re not yet working in a veterinary clinic but are dedicated to becoming a veterinary nurse – this is the course you need. It covers the majority of the first year of the ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, so you’re actively working towards your dream of becoming a qualified veterinary nurse. You’ll graduate with some great skills and knowledge for helping animals and their owners. ACVN Nurses are well regarded in the industry, so you’ll be adding to your employability too.

Where other Certificate III in Animal Studies courses offer a general animal care course, ours is 100% veterinary nursing focused, so you can get a jump start on your veterinary nursing career. We have structured our course to ensure you are working towards your ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing with the flexibility necessary to fit around your existing commitments.

Please note: As part of the course you’ll be required to complete a minimum 30 days of practical work experience within a veterinary clinic. Whilst there are some conditions on when and where you can perform this, we are very flexible so you can fit it in around your schedule. We have a Placement Assistance Program in place to help you with finding placement.

Upon graduation, you’ll have completed close to half of the ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing.

This will reduce your Cert IV course cost and study time by almost 50%.

You’ll also be more employable, with your vet nurse focused Cert III.

Nationally Recognised Training

This certificate is delivered in conjunction with Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges (RTO31258)

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What will I study in the ACM30117

All the subjects marked with a * are in the Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing.

You’ll receive credit for these when you go on to enrol in your Cert IV.
You’ll go straight into second year Cert IV.
Animal Restraint and Transport*
Animal Handling Techniques

Animal Restraint & Transport is a whole subject devoted to the correct handling and restraint of the animals in our care. Although a large focus is on dogs and cats, rabbits, you’ll also learn about guinea pigs, birds and wildlife. Providing safe and low stress animal handling is a vital skill for any Veterinary Nurse.

Health and Safety at Work*
Health and Safety Icon

Health and safety are vital aspects of working in any animal care workplace. We’ll introduce you to Work Health and Safety legislation and how it applies to employees, the basics of risk management and controls, how to deal with sharps, allergies, noise, dangerous chemicals and drugs, fire safety and emergencies, biological hazards and zoonoses. Then we’ll finish off with a closer look at animal hazards and manual handling when it comes to animal care workplaces and how you can minimise risks.

Anatomy & Physiology*

Veterinary nurses care for a variety of animals with differences in anatomy that affect how we nurse our patients. In this subject you’ll learn all about the body systems and how they work. The focus is on placental mammals, and we explore the differences between different animals. You’ll also learn about other non-mammalian species such as reptiles.

Reception & Office Duties icon

Veterinary Nurses are required communicate with a range of people from colleagues to clients. You’ll learn how to adjust your communication techniques to match your audience, including switching between medical terminology and client friendly explanations. You’ll also learn about customer service skills and how to deal with difficult situations.

Nursing the Veterinary Patient*
stethoscope icon

Patients are often kept in hospital and knowing how to look after them from food to bedding, exercising, taking vital signs, recording observations and knowing when to alert the Vet are all skills that form the basis of good nursing. This subject goes into detail on how to really look after your patients well, providing nursing interventions where necessary, and looking at the patient as a whole – not just ticking off a box that a treatment has been given.

Infection Control in the Vet Clinic*
Practical Infection Control icon

Infection control is extremely important in any veterinary clinic and this subject is structured to help you with understanding both basic and advanced precautions that are necessary to keep you and your patients safe from transmissible diseases.

Environmentally Sustainable Work Practices
Sustainable Work Practices icon

This short subject looks at the resources we use each day and how to minimise the impact we have on the environment. Students undertake an ‘audit’ of an animal workplace to see what resources are used and how waste reducing measures could be implemented. This subject is included as part of government requirements and aims to increase awareness of sustainable work practices.

Nutrition & Feeding Plans*
animal nutrition icon

Correct nutrition is not only vital for the patients we nurse and animals we care for, but advising owners on correct nutrition for their pets is often a daily occurrence for Veterinary Nurses. This subject will ensure students understand what makes up nutrition, how to feed for particular life stages, how to read pet labels, diseases that are influenced by nutrition, and how to calculate energy requirements.

Work Placement in a Veterinary Clinic
work placement icon

As part of completing the practical aspects of this course, you will be required to undertake 30 days of work experience. This is delivered over three placements (10 days each). You can however, split this up to fit around your other commitments.

It’s important that you are proactive about finding your own placement – this is a quality potential employers are looking for! They want motivated individuals on their teams so we encourage students to contact clinics themselves. Put your best foot forwards as they say!

We do have a Placement Assistance Program in place if you are struggling to locate placement in your area. This includes professionally written cover letters and resumes, as well as utilising our network of Registered Training Clinics. We also offer incentives and thank you gifts to clinics on your behalf.

start your career

young woman with cat

start your studies with some savings!

Don’t miss out on this deal!

Pay in full and receive $500 off!




interest free payment plan

Enrol now with a first instalment of $495

Then simply pay 10 x $390/month

That’s an affordable $97/week.




Additional Information on the ACM30117


Direct entry available!

You do not need a ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies first.

To be eligible to enrol in this course, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years of age.
  • Have successfully completed Year 10, or equivalent (and not be currently at school).
  • Be able to undertake work experience placements within a veterinary clinic (30 days in total, split however it suits you).
  • Have access to computers and the internet as this is an online course.
The Enrolment Process

Enrolling is very simple!

  1. Click on the ‘Apply Now’ button below.
  2. Fill out the form and we’ll review your application.
  3. Check your email account for the acceptance email which will contain your enrolment package (it might go to spam so ensure you check there too).
  4. Fill out the enrolment and payment forms, and post or email it back in to us.

Once your enrolment and payment has been processed, you will receive an email from us with all the information you need to access the Learning Centre. Your learning material folders will arrive by overnight courier after you’ve completed your Student Induction module.

Course Price

Pay in Full and save $500! Pay only $3895!

Need a Payment Plan? Enrol now with a first instalment of $495. Then simply pay $390 per month for 10 months.

Please budget approximately $150 to $200 for additional textbooks.

Important notes on Payment Plans:

  1. Even if you have completed your studies, you’ll not receive your certificate until you’ve paid for your course in full.
  2. You are also responsible for paying the entire course cost, even if you decide to not complete the full course.
  3. Instalments will start from when your course commences. Payments are by direct debit from a credit card or Australian bank account only, and to make your life easier, you can elect to pay monthly if you prefer. Need a different payment plan? That’s ok too, just talk to us to discuss a suitable arrangement.
  4. If you fall behind in your instalments by more than 14 days without arranging an alternative payment date, you may be withdrawn from the course. So it’s important to contact us if you are struggling.
  5. International students are not eligible for instalments.


Government Funding

Is there government funding for this course?

Please contact our partner RTO Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges on 1800 888 710 for details on available funding.

If you are not eligible you can enrol with one of our easy interest free payment plans.

We do encourage you to contact your local job seeker service or apprenticeship centre for further suggestions.

Course Dates

We accept new students every day of the week!

  • No waiting for a semester to start. Enrol now to get your career moving.
  • You can secure your place by enrolling and sending us your first payment. You’ll receive your online access and printed learner’s guides in around a week!
  • You will be given 12 months to complete your course, and if you need more time, that’s ok! Arranging an enrolment extension is easy, however be aware that it attracts a fee.
Units of Competency

ACM30117 Certificate III in Animal Studies

For this qualification to be awarded, you must complete 12 units of competency. Seven of these are core units, and the remaining five are electives.

We have set the electives to suit veterinary nursing, and they cannot be changed as they are integrated into our subjects.

The core units you will cover within your subjects are:

  • ACMGAS202 Participate in workplace communications

  • ACMGAS203 Complete animal care hygiene routines

  • ACMGAS301 Maintain and monitor animal health and wellbeing

  • ACMGAS303 Plan for and provide nutritional requirements for animals

  • ACMINF301 Comply with infection control policies and procedures in animal care work

  • ACMSUS401 Implement and monitor environmentally sustainable work practices

  • ACMWHS301 Contribute to workplace health and safety processes

Your electives are:

  • ACMCAS304 Capture, handle and transport companion animals

  • ACMGAS307 Identify animal anatomy and physiology for animal care work

  • ACMGAS308 Communicate effectively with clients and team members

  • ACMGAS205 Assist in health care of animals

  • ACMSPE305 Provide basic care of domestic Cats


We’ve designed this course to be completed in 12 months.

We find most students need to dedicate at least 8-10 hours per week to study, undertaking the required reading and completing the assessment tasks.

Of course, you can complete the course more quickly if you wish. Additional fees apply if you want to extend your study time past 12 months.

The course is delivered entirely by distance education using our online ‘Learning Centre’.

This allows you the flexibility to study when it suits your schedule. You won’t need to attend any on-campus classes. We’ve designed the course to fit around your work and lifestyle.

Once the course starts, you’ll receive printed learner’s guides, which will guide you through your studies and prepare you for assessments. You’ll also have access to the extra study resources available via our ‘Learning Centre’ online. You will submit assignments through this website too.

Each subject contains various assessment tasks:

  • Expect to complete written assessments like assignments, case studies, and reports.
  • Multiple choice questions are incorporated into learning activities so you can monitor your progress through the course.
  • Workplace-based assessments for practical skills will be completed during your Work Experience Placements. These involve completing skill log books, and some video assessments. Don’t stress, we provide all the necessary instructions for producing the videos.
  • On average, expect to submit one short assessment task each week to stay on track.

Three two-week internships are an integral feature of this course. They build up your practical skills and are an essential part of your learning.

You must complete your internships at a veterinary clinic.

For those who need more flexibility, internships can be broken up into smaller, regular chunks as long as you complete a minimum of 30 full time days over the duration of the course (e.g. 1 day per week or 6 x 1 week blocks). During your internship, you are fully covered by the Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges’ insurance.


It’s important that you are proactive about finding your own placement – this is a quality potential employers are looking for! They want motivated individuals on their teams so we encourage students to contact clinics themselves. Put your best foot forwards as they say! We do have a Placement Assistance Program in place if you are struggling to locate placement in your area. This includes professionally written cover letters and resumes, as well as utilising our network of Registered Training Clinics. We also offer incentives and thank you gifts to clinics on your behalf.

This will depend on what version of the Certificate III in Animal Studies you have completed. We have had several versions over the years incorporating different units and subjects.

However expect around $2000-3000 off your course cost, and a whole year of study!


Best thing is, you are already studying towards your ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, so you just finish the ACM30117 Certificate III in Animal Studies as normal, then enrol in the remaining units for the ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing.


In some instances, you may have further credits you can use towards the ACM30117 Certificate III in Animal Studies.

We need to see a transcript first, then we can advise you about your best options and the price reduction you will receive.

Yes! We welcome international students!

As an international student, payments plans are not available. You will be required to pay the full course fee prior to starting. We also do not offer the pay in full discount to international students however we do not charge you extra for resources to be sent to you, or for bank fees.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you can legally perform the practical tasks required in your country. In some countries, like the UK, it is illegal for a non-qualified person to perform some of the practical skills necessary to complete the course. Check with your local veterinary surgeons board.

If you are completing placement, you will also need to arrange your own insurance and provide evidence of this to us.


You don’t need to be living in Australia to study with us. We welcome students from all over the world! You have the same student benefits as a local student, and we don’t charge you huge fees for being overseas. There are however, some considerations you need to factor in before enrolling with us. Please read the Overseas Student Information by clicking the button below.

Learn more
A group of pets: 3 cats, a rabbit and a great dane

Our students are raving about our courses!

Before the Australian College of Veterinary Nursing I was unable to live my dream of becoming a vet nurse with 3 children and work commitments to provide financial stability for my family. I now am able to be a mum, work in my desired field meeting my financial commitments and study IN MY TIME!!!

Not only have I discovered the course teaches the highest standard of veterinary nursing it is excelling me in the industry with a wide knowledge base of all nursing aspects. The course providers are friendly, caring and helpful. These course providers have helped me develop my skills as a vet nurse far outside the curriculum supplied and continue to offer support along my whole journey in this field.

This course is truly a revolutionary way of supplying long distance education without losing quality of what is taught. If you have a drive to offer the best patient care you possibly can this course is for you. This course has truly changed my life I hope you seize the opportunity to let it do the same for you

Melanie Gordon Brooks / ACVN Student