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About the course

The Level 2 Technical Certificate in Animal Care is for you if you are looking to start a career within animal care industries. Working with animals is extremely rewarding, but it can require long hours with dedication and enthusiasm to be successful. Whilst studying this Level 2 you will gain an understanding of the skills and knowledge that are important when you are working with animals, or progressing to further learning and training in this subject area.


The course is a mix of both practical and based theory learning, in addition to the further development of both English and Maths. You will have the opportunity to develop the necessary skills to assist with the care and health and well-being of a wide range of animals safely and with confidence, including domestic mammals, livestock and exotic mammals, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and fish. The course will also include trips to businesses associated with the animal industry, as well as input from visiting speakers and current employers. 

Entry requirements

Students wishing to study the Level 2 Certificate in Animal Care require a minimum of four GCSE's at Grade 3 or above (grade D+ on the old GCSE scale), including English, Maths and Science. Due to the nature of the qualification, these entry requirements are fixed.


Learners that have undertaken the Level 1 Diploma in Land-Studies (Animal Care) may also be considered if they obtain a merit grade for their course, improve on their English and Maths grade and collated between 30 - 50 hours of work experience in an external placement (please see Level 1 course information page for progression criteria). 


0172-21 City & Guilds Level 2 Technical Certificate in Animal Care 603/0833/3

What you'll learn (core modules)

Level 2 Technical Certificate in Animal Care is a full-time vocational course studied over one year, three days a week.


Topics studied will include;

  • 201 Maintain animal health and welfare
  • 202 Animal feeding and accommodation
  • 203 Animal behaviour and handling
  • 207 The principles of animal biology
  • 208 British wildlife species, habitats and rehabilitation
  • 209 Caring for exotic animals
  • 229 Working in the animal care industry (work experience placement required)
  • 230 Health and safety for land-based industries


150 hours of work related experience in an external work experience placement within the Animal Care Sector must be completed to successfully achieve this qualification. 'Routine Duties' are timetabled within the colleges Animal Centre for students to undertake the daily husbandry tasks necessary to provide high standards of animal welfare. These hours can be counted towards the 150 total (a maximum of 50 hours can be claimed) along with trips and guest speaker visits. Areas within the animal care industry that could be approached for work experience could include; veterinary clinics, rescue facilities, kennels/catteries, pet shops, farm parks, zoos, grooming parlours, dog crèches etc.    


Students that do not hold a grade 4 or above (GCSE grade C+) in GCSE Maths or English will be required to undertake these subjects alongside their Level 2 Technical Certificate in Animal Care until those grades are obtained.  Students will be asked to complete an initial assessment for English and Maths for the college to ascertain what level will be best for you to learn.

Benefits, skills and character strengths

You will develop your character strengths and overall workplace effectiveness whilst undertaking 'Routine Duties' in the Animal Centre. You will work with other Animal Studies team members to manage our animal collection, providing the highest standard of animal welfare to a range of species and receive regular feedback to develop your technical skill and to meet our Professional Standards (please see below for further information). You will also engage in work experience within an external placement of your choice one day a week which will provide additional employability skills to those that you will learn within the Animal Centre. This course will develop your confidence working with a range of species, working with others, communication skills and time management skills ultimately supporting your with further progression into further study or into the Animal Sector.  


Professional Standards within Animal Studies includes; 

    Attendance must be above 95% in all areas of the Study Programme, including English and Maths. 

    Demonstrate commitment to the Animal Sector by challenging yourself to excel. 

    All interactions with staff (both within the college and externally within your work placement) and peers must be respectful.

     Demonstrate accountability for the quality of your own work.

    Support other students on your course and within the Animal Studies department.

    Display model behaviours in both theory and practical areas that demonstrate our values in action.

    Ensure optimal animal care and welfare alongside compliance with legislation.

    Demonstrate behaviours that support equality, diversity and inclusion.

How will I be assessed?

To gain the Level 2 Technical Certificate in Animal Care, students must successfully achieve the following assessments:

  • One Multiple Choice Exam covering the four mandatory modules: 201, 202, 203, 229 (40% of the final grade)
  • One Synoptic Assessment covering the four mandatory modules: 201, 202, 203, 229 (60% of the final grade)
  • One Multiple Choice Exam covering 229 Health and Safety (Pass or Fail only)
  • Ten written optional unit assignments (covering a range of assessment styles including posters, booklets and presentations)
  • Two optional unit practical assessments


Study at home and the appropriate use of 'Directed Study' sessions is essential in order to successfully meet assessment deadlines, however all students will be supported across all aspects of their learning.


To support students in completing the above assessments, regular formative assessments will take place throughout year covering a variety of different formats including tests, oral presentations, posters, leaflets, reports etc. 

Where is the course delivered? (facilities/classrooms)

This course is delivered at the colleges main campus in Bury St Edmunds. 


For a tour of the Animal Centre please visit our Animal Studies Facebook Page.

Where will the course take me?

Completion of the Level 2 Technical Certificate in Animal Care qualification demonstrates to an employer that you have the necessary technical skills and knowledge they are looking for when recruiting for a trainee: 

  • Animal care assistant
  • Animal care worker
  • Pet shop assistant
  • Kennel or cattery  worker etc.   


Alternatively, students may progress onto the Level 3 Advanced Technical Diploma or Extended Diploma in Animal Management or an apprenticeship. Students wishing to progress to the Level 3 will be asked to meet the following entry criteria;

  • Demonstrate Animal Studies Professional Standards throughout the Level 2 course (including no poor behaviour comments)
  • Have good attendance above 85%
  • Produce high level assignment work/demonstrated advanced practical skills throughout the Level 2 programme 
  • Achieve a high Merit/Distinction in the Multiple Choice Exam
  • Achieve a Merit overall for the Level 2 qualification 

Will I need any materials or equipment?

Whilst working with animals it is of upmost importance that you wear Personal Protective Equipment to protect yourself and the animals.

To work safely within our Animal Centre and with our animals we ask that you wear;

  • Navy veterinary style tunic embroided with the West Suffolk College logo (approx. £25.22)
  • Steel toe capped boots


You are welcome to purchase your steel toe capped boots from any shop you wish (Screwfix, Amazon, eBay, Sports Direct etc.). These must not be worn to and from college, they must be an additional piece of footwear that you only wear whilst in the Animal Centre. You will need to bring a padlock to keep your PPE safely within one of the on-site lockers. 

To order your tunic (and optional Animal Studies Hoodie) you will need to use the information below;

  1. Visit www.mycollegeuniform.com
  2. Login with your college login details (these will be sent to you along with your summer work requirements)
  3. Create your own personal My College Uniform account
  4. Select your uniform (You will be guided through selecting your â€

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