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Course Mode
Start Date
Start / End Time
6:00pm - 9:00pm
15 Weeks
End Date

Animal Care

With 54 million pets in the UK, we’re a nation of animal lovers.

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Course Overview

The course delivery is based around our Animal Rescue Centre (ARC), which has on-site veterinary facilities, and will give you the opportunity to gain necessary knowledge and practical skills required to work with a variety of small animal species. The ARC provides care for a selection of resident exotic animals and small mammals, but also provides assessment and care for a wide range of presenting native wildlife casualties e.g. hedgehogs, seals, otters, birds of prey and garden bird species, co-ordinating the rehabilitation and intended release of these animals as appropriate.
Your participation and studies will not only benefit you, but the animals within the centre and beyond. Established links with the RSPCA, conservation organisations and local veterinary practices provide a very real experience and a network for you to explore future career opportunities.

If you are interested in studying an introduction to working practically with small animals, then this is the course for you. You will learn about the principles of small animal care, alongside practical topics such as the movement and handling of animals, animal accommodation and handling and restraint of animals.

This course takes place over fifteen weeks on a Tuesday evening.

Assessment is achieved through assignments, practical assessments and observations. Logging specific practical activities in the Animal Rescue Centre is vitally important in providing necessary evidence towards your qualification.

Our Animal Care staff hail from a range of backgrounds, all specialising in their respective disciplines including marine biology, veterinary, zoology, primatology and conservation.

Dr Lisbeth Tuckey is our resident veterinary surgeon with many years of clinical veterinary experience. She is particularly passionate about UK wildlife and is fundamental in allowing the College to run our wildlife rehabilitation centre. Lisbeth works closely with students, sharing her expertise and allowing them to get involved in practical procedures.

Sarah Neill is a marine biologist and expeditioner, with a love for anything that swims! She is also Cumbria Coordinator and Marine Mammal Medic for British Divers for Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) where she rescues marine mammals in need of help. Sarah has so much knowledge to share and inspires the learners daily with her exciting stories of missions to save animals.

James Mulvany is a zoologist with many years of experience in the zoo industry. He is particularly interested in birds, and regularly involves learners in bird watching around the campus. As an industry expert, James is an invaluable member of the lecturing team.

Rebecca Sweet is a primatologist and conservationist with experience working with primates all over the world. She links in her research knowledge with lessons to inspire learners to think 'outside of the box' from conventional conservation methods.

Collectively, our tutors provide a wealth of knowledge to inspire, teach, and prepare our learners for their next steps in life as academics or animal professionals. The College has connections with many conservation and animal related organisations including RSPCA, BDMLR, Mountain Marmosets Conservation Program, Animals Asia, Frog Life and many more!

Entry Requirements

An interest into small animals and a desire to learn.

After Your Course

You will gain work-related skills in the area of animal care, develop generic employability skills, gain an insight into practical small animals and prepare for further training within this occupational area.



The fee displayed is the course fee. Course fees are per year for full-time & degree-level courses, and per course for part-time courses.

There may be other costs associated with this course e.g. kit, equipment, books, trips etc. Financial support may be available to support you with these. See the Student Money pages for more information.

Courses Fees

The current full-time & degree-level fee information is related to the 2021/22 academic year and is subject to change before the start of the course. Fees for 2022/23 will be updated in the Spring Term 2022. There may also be additional costs associated with the course.

Entry Level, Level 1 & Level 2 Courses

You may qualify for financial support to cover the cost of a government-funded qualification if any of the below apply to you:

  • Receive an eligible means-tested benefit e.g. JSA, ESA or Universal Credit
  • Have an annual salary of less than £17,374.50
  • Were aged 16-18 on 31/08/21 and are not studying at another school/college
  • Were aged 19 or over on 31/08/21 and do not already have a Level 1 or 2 qualification
  • Have a household income under £25,000 and are in financial hardship

See the Student Money pages for more information.

Student Finance (Degree-Level Courses)

Whether you qualify for student finance depends on specific criteria. The main student finance package for full-time students includes a tuition fee loan and maintenance loan for living costs. Part-time students can access a tuition fee loan to pay for your course. Generally, you will only get student finance if you’re doing your first degree-level qualification. This is true even if your previous course was self-funded. For further information please see

The Access to Learning Fund is a non-repayable discretionary fund that gives students facing hardship extra financial support to access and remain in higher education. This can is accessed via the college. Please speak to Student Services for more information.

Join us at our next

Open Evening

9 December 2021 16:30 – 19:30