Animal Care

Level 1 Diploma

Course code
Type of study
Examination board

Apply now


You will learn about many aspects of small animal and horse care. This includes grooming, feeding and general husbandry. You will work in our own Animal Care Unit and at local stable yards.

You will be taught how to work safely on your own and within a team and you will have the opportunity to develop a range of skills in animal care. There will be an emphasis on personal responsibility and growing your awareness of environmental issues.

Students on this programme will also be able to complete their Functional Skills in English and maths.

Applicants with E grade GCSEs or an entry qualification are invited to apply.

South Downs College offers several maths and English courses at various levels for potential students.

On this course you will study:

  • Small animal care
  • Exotics
  • Horse care
  • Interview skills
  • Working in a team
  • Health and safety
  • Self-management skills (work experience)
  • Practical

This diploma is a combination of practical and classroom-based teaching with an emphasis on developing your hands-on skills, alongside literacy and numeracy.

The Animal Management laboratories are large, bright rooms designed and built especially for teaching Animal Care and animal management courses.

The purpose built spaces are bright with natural sunlight and enhanced air handling and ventilation systems, with facilities for washing and animal food preparation. The rooms have been designed to be easy to use for the care of animals as well as a practical teaching environment.

There is animal housing and large glass vivarium built into the walls that house snakes and lizards. Outside, a large yard has benching, aviaries and a stable as well as large grassed areas. Outside the yard is a clearing in the surrounding woodland that contains runs for ferrets, rabbits and chickens. There are block paved areas and a pond.

Assessment will all be through assignment work. The assignments will be varied, including some written work, discussions and practical tasks.

You will need to produce some work independently and some as part of a group.

Some visits will need to be paid for by the students.

Apply now

Contact us

South Downs College is a bright and happy place, everyone is kind and friendly to each other.

Megan Hall, A Level student

I overcame a couple of barriers by working really hard to get the top grades. My experience was really good, with the course and the lecturers, the residentials and activities, together it was all really good. I had really great teaching support, I could always go to the lecturers and speak to them if I needed to.

David Stenning, Public Services student

The teaching has been really good, I’ve loved all of my teachers, they’ve all been really nice and supportive.

Jodie Hook


Students who successfully achieve a pass can progress to the BTEC Level 2 Diploma Animal Care at South Downs College, or apply to other Level 2 courses subject to references and interviews or an apprenticeship.

What to do next

Apply now Contact us