What you will learn 

This qualification has been designed to develop the knowledge and skills to prepare you for employment within an Animal Care setting. The programme covers a wide range of skills, including; principles of Health and Safety, undertake and review work-related experience in the industry, animal health and husbandry, animal feeding and nutrition, animal behaviour and communication, animal welfare, breeding and biological systems of Animals.

Ideal if
You wish to gain a qualification in Animal Care through vocational study and have an interest in moving into employment in one of the following sectors; kennels and catteries, breeding, training, preservation or retail of animals and related care products. The structure of this qualification provides learners with the flexibility to develop their knowledge, understanding and skills depending upon their designated career pathway.

What to expect
You will learn in our training centre within one of our fully equipped classrooms with access to many onsite animals including ferrets, hamsters, degus, geckos, stick insects, rabbits, chinchillas and many more. You will be observed and asked questions as you perform tasks to assess your practical animal handling skills. Your understanding of the theory will be carried out within the classroom and online tests

What next
In the second year we offer progression onto the Advanced Technical Diploma in Animal Care. You could move into employment as an Animal Care worker within a range of settings including Kennels and Catteries, Pet shops, Zoos, Veterinary practices, Welfare centres and Riding stables.

City & Guilds | Grading: Pass/Merit/Distinction/Distinction* UCAS points 16/32/48/56

Animal Care Field trips
Every year we go on a number of trips throughout your course, including visiting places such as Dartmoor Zoological Park, The National Marine Aquarium as well as a number of local farms. Wider curriculum activities visitors come from organisations such as the RSPCA, Animal Shelters and Birds of Prey Specialists. These visits will inspire you to explore the many different types of job roles in the sector as well as supporting your study.

Work Placement and Hours
Students are required to complete 150 hours of good quality work experience placement, to enhance their knowledge and skills across the variety of vocational roles such as Animal Care Assistants, Zoo Keeper Assistants, Pet Retail Assistants and to develop employability skills.

What it feels like to be a student
Class group sizes are between 10 to 20 students, with a dedicated tutor. Support staff are on site such as pastoral care, finance and careers advice.

“I just completed a Level 2 Animal Care course and can’t recommend everyone enough! Tutors are amazing, the facilities are brilliant and the support system in place is outstanding! I can’t wait to start Level 3 next

Students come from a variety of schools across Plymouth, they all help each other out and develop a really good bond over the year, encouraging each other to achieve. Most students never want to leave, and progress onto
higher-level courses.

Salary and Career expectations
There are many opportunities to progress and obtain employment within the sector or apply to train at higher levels. You may wish to progress onto further learning within HE. You could study a course such as an Animal Management
Foundation Degree at University. On completion with experience you could become a Supervisor, Manager or work self-employed. You could also use your experience to move into other animal care careers like Veterinary Nursing or find work in a zoo, wildlife park, welfare centre or kennels. Qualified Agricultural Inspectors earn on average a starting salary of £23,000 and can go up to £50,000, when you have gained experience within your specific sector professional careers can exceed salaries of £50,000. ATL is the only provider in the Plymouth area with the nearest centre approximately 20 miles away and an hour bus journey making access difficult for many, we are able to offer an easily accessible location for prospective learners.

16-18 year old – Attendance days Tuesday and Thursday  09:00 – 16:00

For anyone over 19 years old and over the course is delivered every Monday. The course is planned to run from September 2023 until July 2024

Term time only. The term starts in September and finishes in July.


You will need to have achieved a Level 2 related course or have GCSE’s grade 5/6 in English, Maths and a Science.

Level 3​ courses fully funded if you are a school leaver. ​

19 + L3  Student Loans can be applied for Advanced Learner Loan

Loan eligibility does not depend on your income and there are no credit checks. Check if you are eligible before you apply for an Advanced Learner Loan.

Ask your college or training provider about grants before you apply for a loan as you may be entitled.

All applications will need to meet the eligibility criteria.

If you want to check you are able to access this course for free call for a chat 01752 202266.

Apply here 16-18

19+ enquiry

If you have any issues with applying online and need additional support including reasonable adjustments with the application process please contact the Admissions team on 01752 202269.