Primatology Course



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Primatology Diploma 

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Primatology Course

Course Fees:  £699

Continued Professional Development

This course counts for 90 hours CPD

Primatology Diploma Level 3

Anyone 18 or over and studying our Primatology Diploma Course is eligible for ZSL (Zoological Society of London) Fellowship.

  • The Primatology course is for anyone wanting to work or volunteer with primates or in primate conservation. 
  • Nearly half of all primates are now endangered globally, including monkeys and apes, our closest primate relatives.
  • This comprehensive course explores primate origins, natural habitats, behaviour, ecological & conservation principles, primate rescue, rehabilitation, enrichment and welfare.
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Animal Jobs Direct makes a donation to the Zambia Primate Project (ZPP) for each enrolment on this course. 

The GRI - Zambia Primate Project, established by and with on-going support of the Born Free Foundation, is one of Africa’s most established and successful primate release programmes. Its mission is to rescue and rehabilitate injured, orphaned and illegally held ‘pet’ vervet monkeys and yellow baboons for release back to the wild.

The great majority of primates that ZPP rescues are victims of the growing bushmeat trade in Zambia. The mothers are slaughtered for their meat, and their babies sold into the illegal pet trade.  As the babies grow and develop sharp canine teeth they are held captive using short, tight ropes tied around their waists and tormented and harassed by people and village dogs. Others are found injured in poachers’ wire snares or stoned when they come into conflict with people in the villages. ZPP Primate survival rate, 6 months post release, currently averages 95%. 


Orphaned baboon Betty, who was released back into the wild by ZPP in 2014 (c)ZPP


Continued Professional Development

This course counts for 90 hours CPD

Module 1

Origins and natural habitat of primates  

This primatology course module explores the origins and natural habitats of primates and their global distribution including: Biogeography, countries, continents; commensal relationships: primates & trees; forest types-habitat types; primary & secondary rainforest; riverine habitats; territory defending and species differences. 

Learn about the scientific classifications of primates through their taxonomy, primate groups & families; apes, monkeys, prosimians; extant primates; suborders; new world monkeys (NWM) and old world monkeys (OWM).

Module 2

Primate Behaviour

Learn how to differentiate between types & forms of behaviour amongst primates as well as how to identify various behaviours according to species & primate groups.  

Learn how the studies of primate behaviour have developed since the early 20th Century and how primate behaviour is studied & understand the complications involved. 

Learn about the differences between wild & captive behavioural observations including: Innate & learned; experiential; individual differences; influences on environment (physical, emotional) and social behaviours.

Module 3

Ecological and Conservation Principles

Gain an understanding about Human-wildlife conflict & attitudes towards primates. Including: Bush meat & related issues; the benefits & disadvantages of ecotourism; conservation strategies through case studies & examples.

Learn about the importance of legislation in the protection of primates & describe the affect of the pet trade on wild primate populations.

Learn about abnormal behaviours in captive primates & the importance of environmental enrichment. 

Learn about the use of primates including: Range of usefulness: labour, laboratory, entertainment,  companionship; historic perspective; zoos, private captives, differences between countries: legal status, demands for keeping primates and the ethics of keeping primates.

Module 4

Community engagement methods

In this primatology course module, you will explore how community engagement is a essential for primate conservation in the wild. Learn about the processes of community consultation and how to incorporate this into conservation and primate welfare programmes.  

Learn about primate rescue and rehabilitation, including: Reintroduction as conservation tool; captive primates: relevance to conservation; care of captive primates in rehabilitation: physical & psychological trauma issues, social issues species-specific; reintroduction programmes: issues & faults; species reintroduced such as: Red Colobus monkey, Golden Lion Tamarin, Vervet monkey and Great Apes. 

Learn how to identify signs of ill health and common ailments and diseases. This section includes First Aid, vaccinations and zoonoses.

Learn about Rescue centres & sanctuaries, including: Range & type of, differences between; country-specific organisations; criteria that influence rescue; types of primate rescued, reasons for rescue and welfare of rescued primates.

Module 5

Rescue and Rehabilitation 

This module explores how to deal with physical and psychological trauma in the Primate. Learn how to administer immediate first aid and how to identify and respond to common diseases and illnesses that may affect the rescued primate. Specific individuals & organisations are discussed with examples from across the globe.

Module 6

Care of the Captive Primate 

Certain workers in the area of primate conservation have produced exemplary practices in the care of captive primates. They have designed captive accommodation to maximise the environment by providing enrichment and thus welfare. This module explores how to apply these concepts to assist primates in captivity.

Keith White (completed the Primatology  Diploma course)

"I have always been interested in primates and decided that now was the time for a career change. I therefore, needed to get qualified in order to follow my dream. The Primatology course provided by Animal Jobs Direct ticked all of the boxes for me. 

I found the course extremely interesting and stimulating.  The course notes were detailed enough to encourage further self-study and the feedback was of great benefit to me  I found my course tutor Louise Robson to be extremely helpful and supportive throughout the course and all in all I found it a real pleasure to undertake this subject. I have recently been offered a place on the MSc Primate Conservation course at Oxford Brookes and I know that it's Animal Jobs Direct that have helped me get the opportunity to further my aspirations and could not speak highly enough of the organisation".

Are you studying primates and want to gain hands-on experience assisting with primate care, rehabilitation and release? 

Primate Care Placement in Zambia

A volunteer assisting with post release

monitoring in Zambia © ZPP

Volunteers with the GRI - Zambia Primate Project will have the opportunity to play an active role in contributing to the successful running of the rehabilitation and release aspects of the project. Please note that this is a working conservation project so you will need to come prepared to roll up your sleeves and get involved with whatever activities the project is tasked with at the time of your visit. ZPP offers volunteer opportunities at both their primate transit home (rehabilitation centre) and out of their release camp deep in the bush.

To join the field team releasing and monitoring their rescued baboons and monkeys in Kafue National Park, or to assist with primate care and pre-release preparations at the primate transit home please contact ZPP's Senior Technical Advisor Dr Cheryl Mvula on [email protected] for further details and costs.

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