If you are looking for a career working with animals, then this extended diploma course is perfect for you.
You will have three days in college, with a mix of theory and practical work in specialist animal units, for example reptile, aquarium and mammal. You will also have one day at a work placement per week.
The course involves industrial visits to zoos, sanctuaries and animal centres.
You will study 11 mandatory units:
• Animal breeding and genetics
You will explore the skills and knowledge you need to be able to manage the successful breeding of captive animals, including the assessment of animals before mating, care of breeding stock and the female following conception, and care of the young, particularly in the first 48 hours of life.
• Animal biology
You will study animal anatomy and physiology at the systemic and cellular level, along with the science of animal classifications.
• Animal welfare and ethics
In this unit, you will develop an appreciation of the concepts and constructs relating to issues of animal welfare and ethics in the animal industry. You will learn about the laws and regulations that govern the animal industry, which aim to ensure the safety and welfare of animals and the people who come into contact with them.
• Practical animal husbandry
In this broadly practical unit you will explore different handling techniques for a variety of species, learning which techniques are appropriate in different situations. You will explore accommodation design and maintenance, and learn how to assess and maintain the accommodation and surrounding environment for different animals that supports their optimum health and welfare.
• Animal behaviour
In this unit, you will study the theories on how animals learn a range of different behaviour patterns and the ways in which animals communicate. You will develop skills to interpret animal behaviour and understand factors which influence animal behaviours.
• Animal health and diseases
You will study common indicators of animal health, diseases and disorders as well as treatments and prevention methods in order to detect and protect animals from illness.
• Work experience in the animal sector
You will study roles available in the animal sector and the progression routes required to attain them, and develop communication and employability skills through study and work experience.
• Investigative research project
You will study the methods used in effective research, identify a project, conduct the research and present your findings. You will critically examine the process and reflect upon it to improve your analytical and presentation skills.
• Practical skills in animal science
In this unit, you will learn how to apply scientific theory in order to safely plan and carry out experiments, and report on investigations in bacterial growth, chemical kinetics and essential analytical chemistry. You will develop the skills needed to safely investigate chemical and microbiological processes and be able to report on your experiments using the same methods as professional scientists.
• Animal metabolism
In this unit, you will study the structure of and interactions between atoms and molecules, factors affecting the rate of biochemical reactions and the use of biological molecules to meet the energy demands of animals.
• Advanced animal nutrition
You will study the biological molecules essential for animals to survive, and how animal nutrition can be practically managed for optimum health, welfare and performance.
You will also study 4 of 13 optional units, including:
• Business management in the animal sector
• Animals in barding establishments
• Animal grooming
• Farm livestock husbandry
• Human and animal interaction
• Practical estate planning, construction and maintenance
• Wildlife ecology and conservation management
You will be assessed with assignments, projects, and practical sessions.
A minimum of 5 GCSEs with the following grades:
• English at 4 or above and maths at 3 or above, and
• 3 other GCSEs at 4 or above
Opportunities for employment including work in vets, laboratories, animal welfare establishments, wildlife centres or commercial organisations.
Successful students have progressed to employment in veterinary nursing and dog grooming.