Animal Care

If you attend or would like to attend animal care and you need info on the course or of campus life, get in touch with us and leave a message to our tutors, they will reply as soon as possible 

NEW:  First Call for applications a.y. 2023/24:  applications available from 7 January to 7 March 2023

Second Call: opens if, after the first call, places will still be available

Welcome day 2021 Animal care 1st year students


The Bachelor targets students interested in the field of animal care, in national and international contexts, offering a unique educational pathway in Europe. 
The specific learning objectives meet the requirements of professionals who can be then employed in companies, private and public organizations in which the management, health, welfare and the preservation of animals is conducted in accordance to a modern and international approach. 
The main purpose of the international undergraduate degree course in Animal Care is the achievement of knowledge, skills and competences in order to develop qualified human resources, specialized in animal care and welfare, in different contexts but mainly in relation to an individual view of the animal.



Click here to download a PowerPoint presentation of the Bachelor’s course


  • If you have an international entry qualification, please follow the instructions available here
  • If you have an Italian entry qualification, please follow the instructions available here 

  Course details

  • Click here to find out about the learning objectives of the Animal Care courses
  • Click here to download the complete study plan of the Bachelor
  • All details about the Bachelor can be found here

Courses of the 3rd year are organized in study plans focused on the care of: 1) wild and zoo animals 2) animals in scientific research 3) aquatic animals. 

Attendance to teaching activities is mandatory: to take the final exam, the student must have attended at least 50% of the lecture hours and at least 75% of the laboratory hours

Please note that the student might deal with animals in poor welfare situations.

  Professional opportunities

Animal care graduates can expect to work in different contexts:

  • Zoo and wildlife parks, aquatic parks: zookeeper of animal, managing the care of the animals kept in captivity for conservation or displayed to the public. The activities range from preparing food and feeding animals, providing fresh bedding and water, cleaning out pens and cages, training animals for medical and/or management procedure, checking for signs of distress, disease or injury in animals, implementing enrichment project and ensuring animal welfare, helping to care for sick animals under the directions of a vet, answering visitors’ curiosity or questions.
  • Sanctuaries for animal rescue and rehabilitation: professionals in charge of the rescue, rehabilitation and release of wildlife and provide a permanent and individualized, species-specific care to those that cannot be re-introduced in nature.
  • Research centers, private and public research laboratories: a laboratory animal technician is a professional who monitors the animal behavior, supplies animal with proper food and water, manages the reproduction in the colony, connect and integrate the research projects promoted by other specialized professionals, ensuring the respect of the guidelines and standards of the National and European laws.

  Teaching staff

IVP First Term Academic Year 2021-2022

International Visiting Prof Course (or part of the)
Frances Gulland (USA)School of Veterinary Medicine Wildlife Health Center Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute UC Davis, CAWild animal care in clinical settings
Vanessa Hoard (USA)Pacific Marine Mammal Center, CAWild animal care in clinical settings
Hellebuyck Tom Marcel (Belgium)Department of Pathobiology, Pharmacology and Zoological Medicine - University of GhentWild animal care in clinical settings
Laska Matthias (Sweden)Linköping UniversityAnimal husbandry, ethology and welfare in scientific research
Walter Jens (Ireland)National University of IrelandComparative Pathology
Paul Flecknell (UK)Newcastle UniversityAnimal care in research clinical settings

Look here for the full list of external experts and researchers who teach or have taught in Animal Care courses

  Field experience

Multidisciplinary field experience, including visit to zoological parks, rehabilitation centres, research facilities, will be organized during the course of study to introduce students to the practical activity.

Furthermore, the second semester of the third year will be dedicated to a compulsory practical training. Students will work at affiliated structures under the direct supervision of an expert in animal care.

  Traineeship for Animal Care students

During the second semester of the third year students must take a traineeship in a professional context, in Italy or abroad. More information about the traineeship can be found here

There are more than 40 host organizations which have already confirmed their availability in accepting Animal Care's students for their traineeship. Among them there are natural parks, natural reserves, sanctuaries, rescue centres, zoos, labs and other organizations dealing with animals. Nearly half of them are located abroad, including USA (e.g. Florida), Canada, Central and South America (e.g. Brazil), Bahamas, Africa (e.g. South Africa) and Europe. The detailed list is available for Animal Care's students in Moodle at


  Final Exam

In order to graduate, students must take a final exam, which consists in the preparation, presentation and discussion of a report, developed under the supervision of a Reference Professor. More information about the final exam can be found here.

  Scholarships and other facilitations for students

The University of Padova offers different types of scholarships and fee-waivers to international students.

For detailed information:

  Our campus

Most lectures are held at the Agripolis campus, in Legnaro (PD). Click here for tour and presentation of Agripolis Campus.

The campus features a library accessible by all students. Click here for the library’s opening hours and contact information.

  Enrolled students

  • Newly enrolled students might be assigned additional learning requirements (OFA), which must be met by passing a specific test for the given subject. Click here for complete information about OFA
  • Access to the teaching laboratories and practical lectures is subject to receiving appropriate training about safety and successfully completing the related test. Click here to find out how more about the training, how to enroll for the course and take the test.
  • Do you come from abroad? Click here to see the Welcome presentation of our International Office.
  • Click here for information about the Bachelor’s coordinators, boards and student representatives, and their email addresses.
  • The School of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine provides a tutoring service to support enrolled students. Click here for information about the service
  • The third year’s study plan includes 12 elective credits, which must be spent in courses chosen by the student. Click here to find out more about elective credits.
  • If you wish to continue your studies after graduating in animal care, click here to find out example of suitable Master’s degrees in Italy or abroad.

  Recognition of previous studies

Related study experience can be recognized and credited to your degree as a form of recognition of prior learning.
For general information on how to apply for recognition of previous studies or education activities pleas visit

Click here for specific information on credits recognition in Animal Care 


In 2019 we launched WeSocial, a project to teach students how to communicate through social media. These students will be part of an editorial team, who publishes contents in the official social channels of the course. Click here to find out about the project.