ASC180 Animal Handling and Health Care (8)

In this subject you (the student) are introduced to the animal care and veterinary services industry and to key foundational knowledge and skills that will enable you to appropriately handle and restrain animals and provide for their behavioural and nutritional needs, especially when they are patients in a veterinary clinic or hospital. In addition, you will develop digital literacy skills, as well as the ability to analyse and evaluate information to complete a range of activities and solve a range of real life situations. This subject will assist you to develop self-reflection and self-assessment skills in order to develop a strategy for professional lifelong learning. Teaching activities include exploring the online learning environment through participating in chat rooms, blogs and forums, exploring different social media as learning platforms, discovering your learning styles, and developing time management strategies. There is a 4 day residential school for online/DE students (conducted on the GOTAFE campus at Wangaratta, Victoria) during which time you will begin to develop practical skills essential for a veterinary technologist.

This is the first of a suite of subjects (four in total) which are used for the basis of the awarding of a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. All students are required to complete four subjects (ASC180, ASC181, ASC182 and ASC183) and a total of 35 days of WPL in a veterinary clinic to gain the knowledge and practical skills and competencies required for the awarding of the Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. Of these 35 days of WPL, 5 days are completed as part of this subject. The remaining 30 days are completed as extramural studies, with the associated assessment undertaken in ASC181 Applied Veterinary Nursing (15 days) and ASC183 Foundations in Veterinary Surgical Nursing (15 days).


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Online *

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ASC180. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Restricted to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Veterinary Technology.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe the structure of the animal care and veterinary services industry and the different roles within the industry;
  • be able to identify animals from a range of different species and breeds, and to safely handle and restrain these animals;
  • be able to provide daily care of animals including cleaning of animal housing and grooming of animals and to describe and provide for an animal's husbandry, behavioural and nutritional needs, especially when it is a patient in a veterinary clinic or hospital;
  • be able to observe and monitor animal patients and to describe and identify 'normal' parameters and variations from normality in animals;
  • be able to gather information on medications and services for animals and relate these to individual animal requirements and audience needs;
  • be able to administer treatments under appropriate (veterinary) supervision and provide nursing to hospitalised (animal) patients;
  • be able to describe and provide high standards of hygiene and infection control and to demonstrate safe workplace practices;
  • be able to recognise, respond to and assist with animal emergencies;
  • be able to effectively communicate within the workplace with peers, clients and supervisors and understand and apply the appropriate terminology, cultural practices and working conditions of an animal care workplace in relation to individuals and others; and
  • be able to identify customer needs and deliver and monitor customer service.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • The structure of the animal care and veterinary services industry and career paths for veterinary technologists;
  • Introduction to veterinary legislation and to veterinary workplace policies and procedures;
  • The role of the veterinary technologist in the administration of treatments to animals;
  • Occupational health and safety in the animal care and veterinary services industry;
  • Animal species and breeds;
  • Introduction to animal health, behaviour, welfare, nutrition and general husbandry and identifying animal needs;
  • Physical examination of animals and animal handling;
  • Introduction to animal health and infection control;
  • Introduction to veterinary workplace communications and calculations, including patient medication requirements;
  • First aid for animals;
  • Productive working environments and sustainable work practices; and
  • Appropriate information sources.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of ASC180 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Written assessments x 3
Topic quizzes
Practical skills booklet
Practical exams

Workplace Learning

This subject contains a 5 days Compulsory Workplace Learning component.

The 5 days of workplace learning is to be undertaken in a veterinary clinic and involves the student gaining practical skills associated with the care and handling of animals.

Residential School

This subject contains a 4 day Compulsory Residential School.

The purpose of the residential school for online students is to ensure students have the competencies that veterinary technologists are expected to have (based on industry needs).  The program will include tutorials and practical classes associated with the following: appropriate handling and restraint of a range of different animal species, basic animal care routines and administration of medications.

Special Resources

Students will be required to undertake 5 days of workplace learning (in an approved veterinary clinic) for which they will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation. Travel and accommodation may also be required to attend a compulsory, 4 day, residential school (for online/distance education students) conducted on the GOTAFE campus at Wangaratta, Victoria.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.