Rural animal technician examining horse

Rural Animal Technician

New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology (Level 5) with strands in Rural Animal Technician


Course details


This programme is for those seeking a career in a veterinary-related field, with rural animals.

Students will learn the skillset to work with agricultural and farm animals, and horses, under the guidance of our tutors and through 280 hours of work placement in a rural or mixed veterinary clinic. Students will learn everything from tending to sick and injured animals to docking, foot care, pregnancy testing, disease preventions, and how to assist herd owners in achieving breeding and production goals. 

Students will attend lectures three days a week and undertake one day a week of practical work in the first semester. From the second half of the second semester, students will attend lectures two days a week, undertake practicals one day a week, and also have two days a week on work placement. There are blocks of days where there are no lectures so that students can complete work experience in the second semester.

Please note: It is a requirement of this programme that you have a form of transport and/or someone that can transport you around the Waikato/Waipa areas to complete your work placement hours each week. We cannot guarantee you will be able to complete hours within your area of residence.

​View programme modules

Schedule A: Common core modules


Module codeModule titleLevelCreditsPre-requisitesCo-requisites
ANML513Advanced Professional Practice

ANML512Rural Animal Disease Management and Prevention

ANML511Advanced Animal Health Procedures5

ANML510Rural Animal Health and Husbandry5

ANML509Introduction to Professional Practice5

ANML508Farming and Pasture Systems 5

ANML507Animal Health Procedures5

ANML511Advanced Animal Health Procedures5

ANML401Animal Anatomy and Physiology4


Career/further opportunities

Graduates will be able to assist veterinarians in both large animal and/or mixed animal practices, and in the field; or work independently as a rural animal technician.

Application Process

  • Apply online or download and complete an application to enrol
  • Complete the online self-disclosure form
  • If you’re not sure if you meet the entry criteria complete the online additional information form so we’re able to assess your likelihood of success.
  • If you have them, provide us with certified copies of your prior academic transcripts. Find out more about supporting material for enrolment here.
  • We may also need to verify your identity (your legal name and date of birth) as well as your residency status. If you’re a domestic student we may be able to do this through your National Student Number (NSN); if we can’t, we will need you to provide evidence of this by supplying verified copies of your birth certificate or passport.

Frequently asked questions

What opportunities will I get to work in industry while I study?

Over the year students will complete 280 hours of work placement in a rural or mixed veterinary clinic, practising what we teach under the guidance of a practising industry professional. 

Undergraduate, semester, pathway, module and cross-disciplinary - what do these words mean?

Undergraduate means any study up to the level of completing a bachelor degree. Our academic year is made up of two main semesters, one from February to June and the other from July to November. We also have a summer semester for some classes. A degree is made up of a mix of compulsory and elective modules, modules are worth between 15 and 60 credits. A year’s worth of full time study is 120 credits. 


Entry criteria

You can apply for this programme if you meet one of the below options.

Based on your school achievement (secondary school study)​

  • 60 credits at NCEA Level 2; including 12 literacy credits at NCEA level 2; and 12 numeracy credits at NCEA level 1; and 12 credits in a science subject at NCEA level 1;
  • Or a recognised equivalent.

Based on study completed after school (tertiary study)

  • Completed a relevant course at New Zealand qualification level 3; ​
  • Or a recognised equivalent. ​

Based on Discretionary Entrance

If you don’t meet any of the above options, and you think you have what it takes to complete this programme, you can apply for discretionary entrance. Your application may be accepted if you can demonstrate a good chance of success. Approval of discretionary entrance applications is decided by the relevant manager. If your application is approved, your acceptance into further programmes relies on you demonstrating success in this programme.

Selection criteria

a) Candidates may be required to participate in an interview and selection process. The following will be considered in the selection process:

i. Where applicable, the completion of a study skills assessment to demonstrate the level of academic skill necessary to successfully complete the programme;
ii. previous experience working with animals. Suitable experience may include three or more days observing in a veterinary clinic or equivalent;
iii. an aptitude for working with the public demonstrated through a reference from an employer where the candidate has worked with the public, or from a teacher attesting to social skills
iv. personal qualities such as responsibility, teamwork and practical orientation.

b) To meet legal and health requirements, candidates must be physically able to carry out the practical components of the programmes, including the ability to perform practical demonstrations and assessments. Candidates with disabilities are eligible to enrol in this programme and will be provided with the necessary resources to attain the learning outcomes where practicable, but at the time of enrolment must notify the Equity/Disability Co-ordinator of their needs.

c) Prior to commencing the programme all candidates will be required to undertake a Police check at a level sufficient for safe and effective practice within the field of animal care.

d) All candidates will be required to make a declaration they are physically able to safely handle and restrain rural animals and that they have no known health condition that could preclude their close proximity to the common range of rural animals (e.g. cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, deer, horses).

English language requirements

Candidates who have English as a second language are required to have an International English Language Test System (IELTS) score of 6.0 with no individual band score lower than 5.5; or equivalent.

Want to see full details of the entry criteria?
Don't meet the entry criteria?


Animal Care and Rural Technology pathway diagram

Please check the entry criteria for each programme to see which course is the best level for you to begin with. The entry criteria information can be found on each of the programme pages here online. You can also contact us directly to discuss the appropriate level for you at

Your first day

Are you ready for your first day of class? Check out your start date and where you need to be. You can also find useful information about studying at Wintec on our welcome page.

Students beginning February 2020

Date: Monday 10 February 2020 - Tuesday 11 February 2020
Time: 10am-3pm
Venue: N Block Reception, Rotokauri Campus

All students enrolled in the Animal Technology Programmes will be spending 2 days getting to know each other, the tutors and the Rotokauri Campus, as well as receiving your resources and spending time in the classroom.

All new students are required to attend both days (Monday 10 February 2020 and Tuesday 11 February 2020) from 10am to 3pm​.

Returning students are required to attend on Tuesday 11 February 2020 from 10am to 3pm.

What you will need

Resources will be provided on the day.

We will be contacting you closer to the time with further information.​

For any questions please either email the Administratoror phone 0800 2 WINTEC.

Timetable information

All Wintec timetables are available online here.

How to find your way around

Campus maps can be found here.

Parking and bus information

Both the Rotokauri and City campuses have parking available - permits are required. Learn more about parking and find out about discounted bus services here.

He reo pōwhiri  - Your official welcome to Wintec

You are warmly invited to attend the official welcome to Wintec for all new students, staff and whānau (family) at either our marae, Te Kōpū Mānia o Kirikiriroa or Rotokauri campus. Please gather at the campus hubs, and a staff member will guide you through our pōwhiri.

Click here to find out where and when the next Pōwhiri will be.

Paying for your study

Course related costs

Gumboots, Overalls and Embroidery ($150).  These will be arranged during the first week.​

Additional information


Purchasing textbooks

If your programme requires you to have access to textbooks, these can be purchased through a range of suppliers listed below:

Hamilton-based supplier

  • Bennetts (Bennetts has a store operating on campus at the University of Waikato, Hamilton)

New Zealand-based suppliers

General book suppliers

First aid certificate

Health status



Clinical placement

Prospectus (course guide)

The Wintec Prospectus (otherwise known as a course guide) outlines everything you need to know about Wintec. It contains information about the Wintec campuses, student life, and the programmes that are on offer.

Access your copy of the Wintec Prospectus

The Wintec Prospectus (course guide) is available by downloading the file - click on the document below to access the file. Alternatively, to request a copy via email or the post, please complete the form below.

Request an emailable or printed copy of the Prospectus

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