Level 1

This is a varied and interesting course designed to provide you with a broad educaition in the main aspects of animal care. 

You will work with a variety of animals including mammals, exotics, reptiles, fish, birds and amphibians as a basis for further education courses at college and for moving into relevant employment. 

This course will help you develop you practical skills to a professional and competent level as well as increasing your knowledge and understanding of the natural world. 

Completion of the Level 1 Animal Care Diploma will allow you to progress on to other courses or gain employment in the animal care industry. 


Entry Requirements:

School Students

  • Applicants must be 14 years of age or older by 31st August of the year of applying.
  • A service level agreement must be agreed and signed between the College and participating School before learners can be enrolled.
  • The school must be in agreement with the application and agree to pay the fees.

Electively Home Educated 

  • Students must have been out of education and home schooled for at least 6 months prior to enrolling.
  • Applicants must be 14 years of age or older by 31st August of the year of applying.
Dates & Location:

September 2022


1 year - Certificate

2 years - Diploma

One day per week

Kane Ross

Level 1 Land-based studies: animal care

I chose this course as I am able to practise my literacy and numeracy skills whilst learning about caring for animals and about different environments.  I enjoy practical tasks and this course gives me lots of hands-on learning.

The best part of this course is caring for the animals and the practical handling sessions especially the guinea pigs. 

In the future I would like to enrol on the Rural Pathways course at Plumpton College with a view to working in agriculture.

Luc Green

14 - 16 alumni

Luc progressed from the 14 - 16 level 1 course to take the level 2 and then 3 in Animal Care, achieving 'Top Student' on the 14-16 course. 

Future Opportunities

  • Students usually come into college at age 14 and are on a two year programme. On successful completion of this they are then in a position to apply for a place on the 16+ full time study programmes.  Towards the end of the second year this is discussed with students as part of the progression tutorials.
  • On applying for a 16+ course students will be required to attend an interview for the course and will be processed as a new applicant.
  • Once students are a 16+ programme they are also in a position to apply for bursaries to support learning, travel etc. 


Indicative Programme Content

  • Animals in the wild and society
  • Animal health and well-being
  • Feeding and watering animals
  • Safe and effective working practices
  • Wildlife and conservation
  • Maintaining health and well-being of animals
  • Movement handling and accommodation of animals
  • Personal progress

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