ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Academy (15-17 year-olds)

ZSL Zoo Academy is a five-day course which allows students to gain experience and knowledge in working within Zoological Society of London.

An Amur tiger climbs a tree to get to enrichment

A packed timetable covers the different aspects of caring for exotic animals in captivity, including nutrition, training and breeding programmes while gaining more than 15 hour practical experience.

Our exciting animal-based course is designed for 15-17 year old’s who wish to become vets, vet nurses, zoo keepers or pursue other animal science related careers and studies.

Culminating in a graduation ceremony on the last day, this course provides an invaluable opportunity to work in the Zoo, meet ZSL staff, see behind-the scenes and understand more about exotic species, their care and conservation. 

Your course includes

  • Five days at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
  • Theory sessions and practical experience in the zoo
  • A digital ‘Zoo Academy’ portfolio and worksheets
  • A ‘Zoo Academy’ certificate of attendance
  • A digital reference on ZSL headed paper
  • A copy of all photos taken on the course
  • A unique ‘Zoo Academy’ hoody
  • Two complimentary tickets for family or friends on graduation day

Dates: availability throughout the year (either consecutive Saturdays or Monday-Friday. See side bar for details)
Course length: 5 days
Time: 10.15am-4pm for the course duration (entry to the Zoo from 10am)
Location: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
Cost: £475 (ZSL Gold members, Patrons and Fellows receive a 10% discount on this experience. This discount will be added automatically at checkout when you sign in using your registered email address. If you are having problems please call us on  0344 225 1826.)
Capacity: 12 places available per course
Age range: 15-17

2021 dates will go on sale on 1st November

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The Experience

The Zoo Academy course is designed to enable young people to gain practical experience in a zoological collection as well as learn more about exotic species, their care and conservation.

Supported by the education, keeping and veterinary staff, students will complete an evidence portfolio of their theory and practical work. Students will be able to keep their portfolios as evidence of their time at ZSL and hopefully use them at future university or college interviews to support their career with animals. On completion of the course to a satisfactory level, students will receive a certificate and reference statement.

 

White rhino at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

What we've done to keep you safe...

Our Zoo Academy course has been adapted to ensure that you don’t miss out on our usual activities whilst keeping both you and our animals safe. This includes new operating procedures for equipment, ZSL overalls for the duration of the course, social distancing indoor learning spaces, track and trace system and hand sanitiser throughout the course. There are some areas where masks must be worn, however, all PPE will be provided. Please let us know if you are exempt from wearing a mask by emailing us at zooacademywz@zsl.org.

Click here to find out how the rest of the Zoo has been adapted.

Terms and Conditions

Places are sold on a first-come, first-served basis and you will be provided with a parental consent form with your ticket which must be returned to ZSL to confirm your place.  Once payment has been taken, refunds cannot be given, and dates cannot be swapped (unless the student has been instructed to self-isolate and will miss the duration of the course)

More dates may be available throughout the year - please email zooacademywz@zsl.org to be put on the mailing list for updates.

Frequently asked questions

2021 Course Dates

We run courses on consecutive Saturdays in term time, and weekdays during summer holidays.

Saturday Courses:

  • 9th January 2021 - 6th February 2021
  • 27th Febraury 2021 - 27th March 2021
  • 24th April 2021 - 22nd May 2021
  • 12th June 2021 - 10th July 2021
  • 11th September 2021 - 9th October 2021
  • 16th October 2021 - 13th November 2021

Summer Courses: 

  • 19th July - 23rd July 2021
  • 26th July - 30th July 2021
  • 2nd August - 6th August 2021
  • 9th August - 13th August 2021
  • 16th August - 20th August 2021
  • 23rd August - 27th August 2021

 

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Cost

  • £475 per student.
  • ZSL Gold members, Patrons and Fellows receive a 10% discount on this experience. This discount will be added automatically at checkout when you sign in using your registered email address. If you are having problems please call us on  0344 225 1826.

This must be paid in full to secure your place on one of the courses. Once payment has been taken, refunds cannot be given and dates cannot be swapped.