BTEC Level 3 Diploma
- Course code
- Type of study
- Examination board
If you would love to work with animals and learn more about their fascinating lives, this is the course for you. It could lead to a job within the pet industry, wildlife rehabilitation, veterinary nursing and animal welfare roles, or further study.
The course is unit-based with a particular focus on biology in the first year. You’ll cover animal health and biology, anatomy and physiology, animal handling and safe working, understanding and interpreting animal behaviour and communication, exotic animal health and husbandry, kennel and cattery management, animal nursing, welfare and breed development, animal feeding, accommodation, breeding and genetics.
You will have extensive hands-on experience with four categories of animals over the two years: large animals, companions, rodents and exotic animals. You’ll work with animals on and off site and undertake a minimum of four weeks work experience each year.
You should be in possession of:
A minimum of five GCSEs at grade C/4, including English or Mathematics at grade 4 or above or
a BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care (with and overall Distinction/Distinction* grade) or exceptionally, other qualifications and/or experience may be accepted in lieu of the above.
Entry to the course is subject to a successful interview.
In this course you will study:
- Understand and promote animal health
- The principles of animal biology
- Animal anatomy and physiology
- Animal handling and safe working
- Animal behaviour and communication
- Exotic animal health and husbandry
- Kennel and cattery management
- Animal nursing
- Animal welfare and breed development
- Animal feeding
- Animal accommodation
- Animal breeding and genetics
There is also the opportunity to re-take GCSE Maths and/or English if required.
You will have hands-on experience with four categories of animals over the two years:
- Large animals: horses, cattle, sheep, pigs
- Companion: cat, dog, rabbit
- Rodent: guinea pig, hamster, rat, gerbil
- Exotic: chinchilla, chipmunk, reptiles, insects, fish, birds
You will work with animals on and off site and undertake four weeks work experience each year. In total you are required to complete a minimum of 300 practical hours in order to pass the course.
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.
The Animal Care classrooms have electronic whiteboards and an IT teaching room with workstations connected to the College teaching network.
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.
You will be assessed via assignment work, which will include tasks such as presentations, discussions, role play, essays, reports, fact sheets, science experiments and practical duties.
In the second year of the course you will also be required to take part in a mock job interview.
My experience at South Downs has been really good, it’s been really rewarding, all the lecturers were so lovely and supportive there’s no way I could have done it without them - the teaching has been outstanding.Lucie Brooks, A Level student
South Downs College is a bright and happy place, everyone is kind and friendly to each other.Megan Hall, A Level student
I got into both of the Universities I wanted to. It happens so fast and it’s an amazing feeling when you think that all of the work you’ve done has paid off in the best way possible.Anton Sukhorukov, A Level student
Progression to undergraduate courses, such as our HND in Animal Management or FdSc/BSc degrees at alternative institutions, is available if you perform well on this course. Alternatively, you will be in the position to apply for a range of positions within the animal care industry.
Zoo keeping, wildlife rehabilitation, veterinary nursing, rescue centres, pet shops, animal technician work