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2 Years
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Animal Care

With 54 million pets in the UK, we’re a nation of animal lovers.

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Hannah Short | Level 3 Animal Management

I like the ARC facilities, it’s like a mini rescue centre. We learn to handle the animals properly which increases your confidence; I would never have touched a tarantula before but I would now. I’m looking forward to watching operations on the animals and hoping to get a job as an Animal welfare officer after college or go to Uni.

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Course Overview

This course is intended for anyone who would like to develop a career working with animals. Highly qualified and experienced veterinary, technical and teaching staff support students to acheive this qualification.

It is based around our Animal Recue Centre which has full veterinarian facilities and will allow you to learn what is needed to work with animals. The rescue centre looks after wildlife, exotic species and cats all of which need care to be released or rehomed. Your studies will not only benefit you but the animals within the centre and beyond.The Animal Rescue Centre is run in collaboration with the RSPCA, who bring wildlife and other cases for us to care for.

We have links with a range of Animal Care employers with whom we are able to arrange placements. 300 hours placement experience is included in this qualification. This can take place in a wide range of environments e.g. dog groomer, zoo, pet shop, kennels, stables, farms.

You will have the opportunity to take part in a variety of trips to zoos and other animal care settings. There are also opportunities to take part in activities such as reed bed planting and wildlife population sampling. We also have visiting speakers who talk to the learners about careers e.g. Police dog handlers, RPSCA inspectors.

This course usually takes place over 3 days per week for two years. You complete the 90-credit Diploma in the first year and the Extended Diploma in the second year. The two-year course is equivalent to 3 A-Levels and is worth up to 168 UCAS points (Triple Distinction*) or 144 UCAS points (Triple Distinction).

All of our learners will be given support with their English and Maths skills where relevant to their main course. Those students who have not yet achieved a Grade 4 (or C) at GCSE in these subjects will continue to work towards these important qualifications at a level suited to them. However, students will still have to achieve the stated Entry Requirements before they start the course.

Mandatory units are:
- Understand and Promote Animal Health
- Understand the Principles of Animal Biology
- Understand Animal Anatomy and Physiology
- Undertake Animal Handling and Safe Working
- Plan and Monitor Animal Feeding
- Manage Animal Accommodation
- Undertake an Investigative Project in the Land-based Sector
- Undertake and Review Work Related Experience in the Land-based Industries

There are also a range of other units which may vary from year to year, but are likely to include e.g. Understand the Principles of Animal Nutrition, Understand Animal Welfare and Breed Development, and Understand and Undertake Wildlife Management and Rehabilitation. There are a total of 20 units over the two-year programme.

The majority of assessment is achieved through assignments (including essays, practical reports, posters and oral presentations). Class tests may also occasionally be used. Learners should expect 3-5 assignments per unit. A significant part of the assessment is achieved through logging specific practical activities in the Animal Rescue Centre.

Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs Grade 4 (old grade C) or above with English and Maths.

NB: Enrolment on this course is dependent on meeting the Entry Requirements stated above.

After Your Course

This course is equivalent to 3 A-Levels, allowing learners to progress onto University courses such as Veterinary Nursing, Wildlife Conservation, Zoology or Animal Science. Learners may also progress into apprenticeships in Animal Management, or into careers such as Assistant Zookeeper or Animal Technician.



Course fees are per year for full-time & degree-level courses, and per course for part-time ones. The current full-time & degree-level fee information is related to the 2020/21 academic year and is subject to change before the start of the course. Fees for 2021/22 will be updated in the Spring Term 2021. There may also be additional costs associated with the course.

This course is funded by the government and may be free if you are:

  • Aged 16-18 on 31/08/20
  • Aged 19-23 on an Entry Level or Level 1 course with intent to progress to a Level 2 course
  • Aged 19-23 on your first full Level 2 or Level 3 course
  • Aged 19-23 on your first Level 4 course (if you haven’t already got a Level 3 qualification)
  • Aged 19+ on Functions Skills or GCSE English or Maths
  • Unemployed and in receipt of JSA/ESA(WRAG)/Universal Credit or another eligible state benefit on an Entry Level, Level 1 or Level 2 course
  • Member of a low income household & in financial hardship on an Entry Level, Level 1 or Level 2 course

Level 3-6 Courses for Adults

Advanced Learning Loans are available for students aged 19+ and studying an eligible Level 3/4/5 and 6 Course. If you are on an Access course, the loan will be written off if you complete a degree.

Please speak to Student Services for more information on course fees.