Otago Polytechnic

Website outage

Our website will be down for essential maintenance from 3.00pm Wed 27 March until the afternoon of Thurs 28 March (at the latest) – we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.


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 February (Full-time distance and on-campus, and part-time distance); July 22nd (Full-time distance)
  • Apply now

Are you passionate about the care and welfare of animals? Graduates of this qualification will be able to work as a Veterinary Nursing Assistant alongside Veterinarians and Veterinary Nurses in a clinical environment. It will also enable you to become a listed Veterinary Nursing Assistant (LVNA). This programme will prepare you for entry into the New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Level 6) where you will gain the skills to become a fully-qualified Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN).




High country farming programme (Level 3)

  • Central Otago
  • 1 year full-time
  • Level 3
  • Starts February, April 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).