Certificate in Applied
Complementary Animal Health
Offered by the Naturopathic College of New Zealand

Interest in complementary medical sciences for animals has grown considerably in the last decade. This course is New Zealand's first NZQA approved naturopathic course in Applied Complementary Animal Health, and has been developed by well known Animal Health Practitioner, Sarndra G Urwin. It is ideal for those people already working with animals who want to extend their knowledge and skill base into safe and effective complementary therapies.

The course is 45 weeks full time or 67.5 weeks part time course, with a total of 1200 hours. It provides an introduction to normal structure and function of animals, animal pathology, and minor acute and first aid treatments. Studies include foundational knowledge in homeopathy, herbal medicine, nutrition, flower essences, and animal welfare, alongside traditional animal nursing practice.

The programme is designed to provide the student with a working knowledge of complementary First Aid for animals and a foundational knowledge of the core complementary health modalities. A comprehensive set of notes and work sheets is provided. Text books are an additional cost and are not included in the course fees.

The certificate course is a prerequisite to the Diploma course, which qualifies graduates as professional Complementary Animal Health Practitioner ready for clinical practice. This diploma is currently under development.

Course Outline
This course provides students with a diverse range of knowledge and skills, which are necessary for them to understand the basic principles of complementary natural animal therapies, so that they may evaluate, treat, and monitor the health and wellbeing of animals in their own care.

The course curriculum includes 10 Modules, each focusing on a key body system. Within these the following subjects are taught:


  • Medical Science
  • Herbal Medicine
  • Homeopathy
  • Nutrition
  • Therapeutics
  • Flower Essences
  • Case studies
  • Canine / Feline Behaviour
  • Farm Studies
  • Law & Ethics
  • Maori Studies
  • Clinical Practice

Course Duration
This course is 12 months full time and 18 months part time study. For full time study, you should expect to study between 30 - 40 hours per week. For part time study, you should expect to study between 15 - 20 hours per week. The amount of time you spend studying will depend upon your previous study and work experience.

Compulsory Workshops
There are no compulsory workshops to complete this course

Portfolio of Evidence
There is a practical component required for completing the Certificate. Near the completion of the course students are required to produce evidence of 10 hours supervised practical work with an approved organisation, such as the SPCA. These hours are not included 30-40 hours per week of study (full time).

In addition, student are required to sit a Practical Clinical Nursing Examination at a local veterinary clinic.

Entry Criteria
Applicants must have completed Year 11 or equivalent secondary school education, must be at least aged 18 and be able to read, speak and comprehend English language (for international non-English speaking applicants: at level 6.5 IELTS).

The first intake date is May 1st 2010. A minimum of 10 full time students will be required for the course to begin at this time.

Course fees are $3950. Text book costs and administration fees are in addition to this. Practical examinations are undertaken under the supervision of a vet. Any fee charged by the vet in relation to preparation for and the undertaking of this exam are the responsibility of the student.

Career Pathways
This course provides skills in applied complementary animal therapies for those people in existing roles working with animals who wish to enhance their skill base. This includes farmers, vets, vet nurses, animal breeders and trainers, hobbyists, lifestyle block owners, and pet owners.

Please note: that this course does not provide the skills required for professional practice. It is a pre-requisite to further study at Diploma level, for those whose goal is to enter professional practice as a Complementary Animal Therapist.

For further information visit www.ncnz.co.nz or call toll free on 0800 759 0218.

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