The Course

This course will provide you with a broad range of knowledge and understanding about a wide range of animals, whilst enabling your progression by developing your employability skills or preparing you for your year two programme in Animal Management, depending on your career goals.

This course is designed to serve the needs of all aspects of the animal sector, by providing the basis of academic, technical, and practical skills regarding the care of companion, farm, and exotic animals in various industries. 

You will have the exciting opportunity to work with a range of species in our highly prized and industry-relevant animal unit, including otters, wallabies, and lemurs; cuscus, chameleon, and cockroaches; tortoises, tarantula and tenrec; alongside our specialist nocturnal room, reptile room, and aquatics room. From meerkats and skunks to hamsters and goats, you will develop animal handling and husbandry skills for each species you work with in their specialist environments, building knowledge and learning to look critically at appropriate animal behaviour, habitat and welfare.

You will also have the opportunity to gain vital work experience with local animal businesses to develop industry-specific knowledge and skills and experience a true taste of the career you have set your sights on.

  • What You Study

    Year 1

    • Animal welfare and ethics
    • Practical animal husbandry
    • Animal behaviour
    • Animal health and diseases
    • Work experience (including set hours of external work placement each academic year)
    • Animal biology
    • Animal grooming.

    Year 2

    • Animal breeding and genetics
    • Investigative research project
    • Practical skills in animal science
    • Business Management
    • Exotic animal husbandry
    • Animal nursing
    • Animals in boarding establishments
    • Human and animal interactions.
  • Entry Requirements

    Five GCSEs at grade 4 or higher, including Science, English, and Maths, or a relevant BTEC Level 2 / First Diploma or equivalent*. A satisfactory academic reference is also needed.

    *If you have GCSEs at grade 4 that do not include Science you will be offered the Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care and will move to Level 3 following successful completion of Level 2.

    If you have GCSEs at grade 4, including Science, but Maths and/or English are achieved at grade 3 or below, we may offer you the Level 3 Animal Management with English and Maths.

  • Work Experience

    Students undertake one day per week or block week(s) for work experience, related trips and residential, practical sessions on the animal unit / kennels and farm. Students will complete a minimum of one week of kennel duties and one weekend of animal unit duties to develop employability skills. This equates to approximately 300 hours.

  • How You're Assessed

    Students are assessed through practical work, theory assignments, reports, posters, presentations and lab experiments.

  • Progression

    Almost all areas of the animal industry require experience and qualifications. Our Level 3 courses allow you to gain practical work experience in the industry, and also collect UCAS points to enable you to move on to a Foundation Degree or BSc Hons Degree, which in turn gives you the best start in the industry. This course will support progression into Animal science, management, training, behaviour or welfare-related degrees.

  • Careers

    The practical skills and knowledge that are consolidated throughout the course put you in good stead for joining the animal industry with a strong work ethic and reputation behind you. You will be equipped to seek out a career working in commercial kennels, animal rescue centres, laboratories, veterinary practices, zoos, and animal collections or self-employed as a dog walker, pet sitter, dog groomer or running animal parties.

  • Equipment Required

    Kennel coat, lab coat and steel toe-capped boots. We strongly suggest all students buy the BTEC Workbook and Revision Book and bring it to college every day.


  • How To Apply

    Application is through our online application form or by the Common Application Process (CAP).

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