Invertebrate Zoology Online Course

Full Fee $595.00 incl GST - Best Value!
Payment Plan $800.00 incl GST
Duration 100 hours (6 months)
Exam Optional
Qualification Certificate
Tutor Support Yes unlimited by email

What are invertebrates?

An invertebrate is simply an animal without a central spinal column (such as the human spine). Because of this they are generally small animals, however that’s not always the case as an example the Colossal squid is the largest invertebrate on the plant and its comparable to a whale in size.  Invertebrates are the most populous group of animals on the plant, and some would say, the most important.   Anyone with an interest in animals, agriculture, ecology and the environment need to have a strong understanding of the invertebrate family.

Invertebrate zoology course covers insects, arthropods, mollusks, echinoderms, worms (and worm like animals), a range of microscopic invertebrates and more.  The course should take approximately 100 hours of study over 12 months and is self-paced.  You will receive full tutor support from our friendly and experienced tutors.

Why Study Invertebrate Zoology?

Invertebrates form an essential part of not only general ecology food chains, but are absolutely vital to the production of our food.  For example bees are responsible for pollination of many of our crops, with bee populations dwindling world wide it is essential that we understand them in order to learn how to protect them and maintain their populations.  Ants play a very important role in seed distribution and so on.

Detailed Course Outline

This course is made up a number of lessons or units. Each having self assessment questions, set tasks (practical homework), and an assignment which you can upload online.  Click below to read about each of the lessons and what you will learn.

There are 9 lessons in this course:

Scope and Nature of Invertebrate Animals

  • Introduction
  • Significance to humans
  • Comparative studies – invertebrate animals
  • Important terminology
  • Overview of Invertebrate Phyla
  • Microscopic phyla -Tardigrada, Kinorhyncha, Loricifera, Placozoa
  • Worms – Acanthocephala, Annelida, Hemichordata, etc
  • Corals and relatives – Cnidaria, Ctenophora, Ectoprocta, Porifera
  • Echinoderms and Molluscs – Echinodermata, Mollusca, Brachiopoda
  • Complex Invertebrates – Arthropoda

Microscopic Animals

  • Protozoa or Animalia
  • Phylum Nematoda
  • Mites
  • Phylum Tardigrada
  • Adaptability and Survival
  • Anhydrobiosis
  • Cysts
  • Phylum Kinorhycha
  • Phylum Loricifera
  • Phylum Placozoa

Worms & Worm Like Animals

  • True worms vs Worm like organisms
  • Worm evolution
  • Bilateral symmetry
  • Cephalisation
  • Body organisation
  • Characteristics and systems showing complexity
  • Phylum Platyhelminthes (Flatworms)
  • Free living flatworms
  • Parasitic flatworms
  • Significance to Humans – Liver fluke, blood flukes, tapeworms
  • Beef tapeworm
  • Phylum Nematoda (Roundworms)
  • Phylum Annelida (Segmented Worms)
  • Other Worm Like Animals – Acorn worms, ribbon worms, Spiny headed worms, etc.
  • Coelomate Worms

Sponges, Corals, Anemones, Jellyfish

  • Introduction
  • Phylum Cnidaria
  • Hydrozoa
  • Scyphozoa
  • Cubozoa
  • Anthozoa
  • Cnidaria and Humans
  • Phylum Ctenophora
  • Phylum Porifera – Location, Internal & External Structures, Reproduction, Toxicity
  • Classes within Porifera
  • Finding food

Molluscs and Echinoderms

  • Phylum Echinodermata
  • Crinoidea – Sea Lilies and Feather Stars
  • Ophiuroidea -Brittle stars, Basket Stars
  • Asteroidea – Sea stars or Starfish
  • Case Study – Crown of Thorns Starfish
  • Echinoidea -Sea urchins, Heart urchins, Sea dollars
  • Chass Holothuroidea – Sea Cucumbers
  • Phylum Mollusca – general characteristics and types

Arthropods 1

  • Classification into Arachnida, Crustacea, Myriapoda and Insecta (insects)
  • Origin
  • Terminology
  • Characteristic body parts
  • Ecdysis
  • Digestion, Respiration, reproduction and other systems
  • Phylum Arthropoda
  • Chelicerata (Chelicerates)
  • Arachnida (Scorpions, Spiders, Mites and Ticks)
  • Scorpiones (Scorpions)
  • Araneae (Spiders)
  • Acari (Mites and Ticks)
  • Opiliones (Daddy Long-Legs)
  • Merostomata (Horseshoe crabs)
  • Pycnogonida (Sea spiders)

Arthropods 2

  • Terminology
  • Crustacea (Crustaceans)
  • Class Malacostraca -Crayfish, Crabs, Shrimp etc
  • Branchiopoda – Fairy shrimp, Water fleas
  • Cephalocardia
  • Remipedia
  • Maxilopoda
  • Sessile Crustaceans
  • Sub Phylum Uniramia – millipedes, centipedes and insects

Insects 1

  • Origin of insects – winged vs non winged
  • Class Entogantha -Collembola, Diplura, Protura
  • Class Insecta
  • Insect features
  • Mouthparts
  • Insect classification into 29 orders
  • Specialised organs
  • Reproduction
  • Lifecycle
  • Senses – vision, comminication
  • Odonata -Dragonflies and Damselflies
  • Mantodea – Mantises
  • Orthoptera – Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids

Insects 2

  • Significance to man
  • Clean air and water
  • Pollination by insects
  • Edible insects
  • Case Study – Grasshoppers save lives
  • Order Diptera – Mosquitos and Flies
  • Order Hymentoptera – Bees, wasps, ants, sawflies
  • Order Coleoptera – Beetles, weevils

When you have completed the lessons of your Certificate course, you will be given the option of taking the optional exam. It's okay if you don't want the exam, we still issue your Careerline Certificate. For Advanced Certificates however, the exam is compulsory (per module) and are included in the course fee.


Course Tutors

Dr Karen Catchpole  B.VSc. (Hons)

Karen brings to Careerline great experience and expertise in animal Science. Karen is a practicing veterinarian, now in her own small animal hospital, after working in varied roles over 17 years since graduation from Sydney University with first class honours.  Karen continues to maintain active involvement in education in both professional development and in tutoring both vocational and university students.  Karen's field of expertise is in internal animal medicine & surgery of cats & dogs.

Dr. Karin Dreyer-Haasbroek  B.V.S.   M.Sc.  (Parasitology)

Karin’s love and passion for animals stem from growing up on a farm in South Africa. After gaining her Veterinary Science degree she worked in mixed general practice while completing a master’s degree in Veterinary Parasitology. Living and working in South Africa exposed Karin to a vast range of experiences in the clinical veterinary field: treating patients ranging from marmoset monkeys to lions to the everyday cat, dog or horse. Two years as a Laboratory Vet resulted in helping farmers tackling livestock health problems in a variety of farm production systems. Since her move to Western Australia with her family, Karin has been working in a small animal practice.  During her 20 years as a vet, she has been involved in several research projects and the tutoring of students in various fields of animal science. She enjoys mentoring students and sharing her knowledge and she loves helping students flourish and realise their full potential.

How It Works

1. Learn Online

Get access to your course content anywhere, anytime and study at your own pace.

2. Get Help & Support

Connect with other like-minded students and get help from the teacher whenever you have a question.

3. Receive Certificate

Graduate from your course knowing that you have what it takes to reach your next step.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pay in installments?

Yes! We offer great payment plans, however full payment up front is the cheapest. You can choose the best payment plan for you from the course page, or call us on 07 55368782 to talk to one of our course consultants for a custom plan.

Can I study from anywhere in the world?

We have many international students. Careerline's range of courses are suitable for any one, anywhere in the world.

Do I get a discount if I enroll in a second course?

Yes. You may claim a 5% fee discount when you enroll in a second course, and a further 10% off a three-course package.


Do I have to sit an Exam?

No. If you are enrolled in a Certificate course (100hrs), the exam is optional. You will be issued with a certificate which proves that you are competent in all units, if you choose not to sit the exam.

Do you have set start dates?

There are no set start dates, you may start at any time. Our courses are all self-paced. As our home page says, ‘Courses for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime’. ‘Anytime’ includes the start time of your choice. However, we do encourage our students to submit assignments on a regular basis. Wherever possible, we suggest developing a study routine.