What you will learn
This course will help you to develop practical skills, promotes sound working practices, and will provide you with essential industry knowledge to help you to progress into higher levels of learning or into sustainable employment in the land-based sector. Learners will complete this qualification with a concrete understanding of the following; How to promote and maintain the health and well-being of animals, including identification of abnormal signs, monitoring, maintaining accurate records and planning diets for 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 our many onsite animals, including ferrets, hamsters, degus, geckos, stick insects and many more. For each unit your assessor observes and asks questions as you perform tasks to assess your practical animal handling skills. Your understanding of theory will be carried out within the classroom.

What next
On completion of this qualification, you can progress onto a Level 3 Advanced Technical Certificate in Animal Management. 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. Certificate in Practical Animal Care Skills Level 3 Including short courses in Animal Health, Husbandry, Handling and Animal Nutrition

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 at a good quality work experience placement, to enhance your knowledge and skills and to develop employability skills. This can be across a variety of different types of organisation such as an Animal Care Assistant in a Kennels or Cattery, a Pet Retail Assistant or in a Vet Surgery.

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 month”.

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

  • Trainee animal technicians earn salaries of £15,000 to £19,000.
  • Salaries for trained technicians, typically with at least two years’ experience range from £19,000 to £23,000.
  • In a more senior role, such as animal technologist or senior animal technologist, your salary is likely to be between £23,000 and £31,000.
  • Chief technologists, facility managers or specialists with high levels of responsibility can earn between £31,000 and £45,000+.

Income data from the Institute of Animal Technology (IAT). Figures are intended as a guide only.

Students have opportunities to progress into employment or to move onto the advanced level qualifications, such as the Diploma in Work Based Animal Care Level 3 or the Level 3 Certificate in Practical Skills in Animal Care. This course will prepare you for university studies.

Attendance days 09:00 – 16:00 Tuesday and Thursday Term time only

The term starts in September and finishes in July

Achieved a level 2 in Animal Care or have 5 GCSE’s grade 4 or above.

Level 3​ courses fully funded if you are: ​

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

Make an enquiry 19+

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.