Herpetology Course Online

Full Fee $595.00 incl GST - Best Value!
Payment Plan $800.00 incl GST
Duration 100 hrs (12 months)
Exam Optional
Tutor Support Yes unlimited by email
Qualification Certificate

By studying this interesting online herpetology course, which includes chapters on both reptiles and amphibians, you will learn to care for animals while learning more about their biology, classification, keeping and ecology. This course is appropriate for enthusiasts, veterinary nurses, zoo keepers, pet shop workers, snake handlers, wildlife park employees and in fact anyone working or keeping as a hobby reptiles or amphibians.

Students learn about classification, biology, anatomy & physiology, conservation issues, ecology and husbandry. This online course from Careerline Courses range covers reptiles and amphibians.

Course Aims:

  • Discuss the nature and scope of reptiles.
  • Identify credible resources, and begin to develop networking with organisations and individuals involved with the study of reptiles around the world.
  • Describe a range of different reptile species, including distinguishing characteristics, their needs (eg. environmental, food, etc) and behaviour.
  • Identify and explain the anatomy and physiology of reptiles
  • Discuss the nature and scope of amphibians
  • Identify credible resources, and begin to develop networking with organisations and individuals involved with the study of amphibians around the world.
  • Discuss the nature and scope of amphibians
  • Identify credible resources, and begin to develop networking with organisations and individuals involved with the study of amphibians around the world.
  • Describe the ecological requirements, reproduction and lifecycles of amphibians
  • Describe the behaviour of a range of different amphibian species.
  • Explain conservation issues that are impacting upon populations of reptiles and amphibians.
  • Explain the management of reptiles and amphibians in captivity


“It was a really good course in the sense that I felt it provided a sufficient overview of herpetological concepts. I really enjoyed the content of the lessons themselves! I also appreciate the administrative support services. Thank you.” – L. Zambrano, Herpetology graduate

“Definitely enroll, I felt very confident in my studies.” – E. Hodgkinson, Herpetology graduate

“Go for it! It’s very challenging, but you will be so proud with your efforts I’m sure. Tutors and admin staff are also able to assist whenever you need them!” – D Kukeska,Herpetology graduate

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:

Introduction to Herpetology

  • Herpetology Defined
  • Introduction to Reptiles
  • Animal Taxonomy
  • Classification of Reptiles
  • Characteristics of Reptiles
  • Testudine Characteristics (Turtles)
  • Squamata Characteristics (Snakes and Lizards)
  • Rhynchocephalia Characteristics (Tuatara)
  • Classification of Amphibians
  • Amphibian Characteristics
  • Building Resources and Developing Networks
  • Terminology

Class Reptilia (Reptiles)

  • Reptile Classification
  • Water Conservation
  • Reproduction
  • Order Chelonia (Testudines); Turtles
  • Order Crocodilia; Crocodilians
  • Order Squamata
  • Scaled Reptiles; Lizards (Suborder Sauria) and Snakes (Suborder Serpentes)

Reptile Biology

  • Reptile Anatomy
  • Skeleton
  • Scales and Skutes
  • Ectothermal Regulation
  • Coloration
  • Respiration and Metabolism
  • Food and Digestion
  • Senses
  • Locomotion

Class Amphibia (Amphibians)

  • Order Anura (Frogs and Toads)
  • Order Apoda (Caecilians)
  • Order Urodela (Salamanders and Newts)

Amphibian Biology

  • Amphibian Skeleton
  • Skin
  • Ectothermal Regulation
  • Colouration
  • Respiration and Metabolism
  • Branchial
  • Buccopharyngeal
  • Cutaneous
  • Pulmonic
  • Food and Digestion
  • Senses
  • Locomotion
  • Reproduction

Ecology of Reptiles

  • Species Richness
  • Constriction
  • Injected Venom
  • Inertia Feeding
  • Biting and Grasping
  • Suction Feeding
  • Reproductive Strategies
  • Viviparity
  • Oviparity
  • Nest Building
  • Habitat Use: Aquatic and Terrestrial
  • Basking
  • Hibernation

Ecology of Amphibians

  • Use of Habitat
  • Temperature Relationships
  • Feeding
  • Vocal Communication: Advertisement calls, Territorial calls, Release calls, Distress calls
  • Social Behaviour
  • Dealing with Predators
  • Reproduction and Parental Care

Conservation Issues

  • Habitat Change
  • Edge Effects
  • Pollution; especially Water Pollution
  • Environmental Acidification (Acid Rain)
  • Pesticides
  • Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
  • Spread of Disease
  • Invasive Species
  • Climate Change
  • Spread of Disease
  • Disease in Wild Populations
  • Trade in Reptiles and Amphibians
  • Conservation
  • Conservation Genetics
  • Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals

Keeping Reptiles and Amphibians

  • Legal Issues
  • Special Conditions for Amphibians
  • Special Conditions for Reptiles
  • Preventing Spread of Disease from Reptiles to Humans
  • Housing
  • Reptile Captivity Problems
  • Reptile Feed and Feeding
  • Amphibians and Reptile Species that are in Captivity
  • Feeding Amphibians
  • General Care
  • Common Ailments in Reptiles and Amphibians
  • Parasitic Diseases
  • Fungal Diseases
  • Viral Diseases
  • Metabolic Bone Disease
  • Thiamine Deficiency

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.

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Daniel Marshall

I had a small knowledge on this subject but this definitely broadened my knowledge. I thoroughly enjoyed my study and the course was set out well and I will be looking into doing another course with Careerline. Definitely enroll, there is lots to learn and an easy go at your own pace learning.

Daniel Marshall Herpetology Graduate

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Alan Hodson

the course was valuable for expanding my interest an understanding of reptiles and amphibians and building an association with people of similar interests.

Herpetology Graduate

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.