Course Information

Where is the course delivered?

  • Cannington Campus

Who is the course for?

This course is ideal for anyone wishing to pursue a career in the animal industry, from kennel hand to zookeeper through modules that cover the entire industry in a science-based, hands-on and stimulating programme.

The Level 3 Extended Diploma also provides a solid basis to progress on to University to study subject areas such as animal science, conservation, zoology, animal nursing and other related subjects, as well as equivalent or higher level apprenticeships. 

What does the course involve?

This course will give learners the opportunity to study a wide range of animal management topics. Learners will complete 19 modules on the Diploma, some compulsory modules are:

  • Animal Welfare and Breeding
  • Biological Systems of Animals
  • Exotic Animal Health and Husbandry
  • Animal Behaviour and Communication
  • Animal Health and Husbandry
  • Work Experience in the Animal Sector
  • Investigative Research Project
  • Animal Feeding and Nutrition
  • Undertake Estate Skills 

There will also be four additional modules which will be confirmed at a later date.

What makes this course special?

Each centre has access to an extensive animal collection, which learners will work with to develop your animal husbandry skills. During the year learners will visit relevant trade shows, such as Crufts and visit a range of animal parks and zoo establishments.

Learners will also attend talks by a range of industry experts, such as the RSPCA, police dog handlers and conservation experts. Learners work together in tutor groups to organise fundraising, visits and study tours, gaining experience all over the world.

Placements/Work Placements

  • Learners are required to complete 150 hours of work experience per year whilst on the course, so 300 hours in total over the two years.  This will take the form of a work placement, practical husbandry sessions and the possible opportunity to carry out practical work at a local animal organisation.
  • The work experience component of the course will enable the learner to develop important key employment skills and it could help the learner secure a part-time job.
  • The learner will produce a portfolio detailing their work experience. 
  • Work placements held by previous students include the RSPCA, pet shops, animal parks, local zoos, catteries and kennels, livery yards and farms.
  • Learners are responsible for contacting and organising their own placements but will be supported through this process by their personal tutor.

Entry Requirements

At least five GCSEs A* – C or within the 9 – 4 range, which must include Maths, English and Science or an appropriate Level 2 qualification, with an appropriate grade profile (including English and Maths), which will be discussed at interview.

Learners will be invited to attend an interview at the Land-based Centre of their choice.

What are the assessment methods?

Assessment will be varied forms of external and internal assessments. These will take the form of:-

  • Theory Exams – combining knowledge from several units
  • Synoptic Assessments – a written piece of work that combines knowledge from across several units
  • Work Experience Portfolio including completion of work experience hours
  • Written coursework
  • Presentations
  • In-class tests
  • Creation of posters and leaflets
  • Work placement assessment
  • Practical work

How long is the course?

The Level 3 Extended Diploma is full time over two years. 

What are the College attendance requirements?

  • 90% minimum course attendance
  • Learners are in College for four days per week. This does not include the time required to complete their work experience hours.

Are there any additional costs for the course?

  • There may be additional fees which will be discussed at interview.
  • Students have the option to attend residential trips within the course visiting UK animal collections.
  • Overalls and steel toe-capped boots or steel toe-capped wellington boots are mandatory for completion of practical work whilst on the course, which can be obtained through the College. Learners may also want to think about wet weather gear for the winter months.

What are the progression options?

Learners could progress to a Foundation Degree in Applied Animal Management or Animal Conservation delivered at our Cannington Centre. On successful completion of the Foundation Degree you could progress onto our BSc Honours top up programme.

Many students progress to HE courses in Animal Management, Animal Behaviour, Marine Biology, Veterinary Nursing, Ecology and Conservation or Zoology. Most will gain employment at a supervisory level in animal sanctuaries, breeding and boarding facilities, specialist pet stores, veterinary practices, zoos or wildlife parks. Increasing numbers of students are interested in setting up their own businesses, such as dog walking, or grooming businesses. 

There are many bursaries available for help with course, travel, trip and equipment fees. For more information visit our fees page.

Course Details

Further Information