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Choosing what to study can be challenging. Speak to one of our advisors to find out what your options are.

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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+), including English, Maths and Science. Due to the nature of the qualification, these entry requirements are fixed.


Learners that have undertaken the Level 1 Introductory Diploma in Vocational 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. 


City & Guilds Level 2 Technical Certificate in Animal Care

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;

  • Maintain animal health and welfare
  • Animal feeding and accommodation
  • Animal behaviour and handling
  • The principles of animal biology
  • British wildlife species, habitats and rehabilitation
  • Caring for exotic animals
  •  Working in the animal care industry (work experience placement required)
  • 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.

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Benefits, skills and character strengths

You will develop your character strengths and overall workplace effectiveness. You will work with other animal care 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 working performance. You will also engage in work experience in a chosen external animal related establishment one day a week allowing you to develop further employability skills.

How will I be assessed?

Students are assessed through a variety of methods, including external assessment (multiple choice theory exam), synoptic assignment (tasks undertaken within exam conditions) and both practical and written/verbal 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.

Where is the course delivered? (facilities/classrooms)

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

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.   


Once you have successfully completed this qualification, you could progress on to a Level 3 Animal Management qualification if you achieve a Merit or higher and improve GCSE Maths and English grades. The students behaviour and attendance will also be taken into consideration.

Will I need any materials or equipment?

To work safely within our Animal Centre and with our animals we ask that you wear the following during your practical sessions;

  • Navy veterinary style tunic (approx. £25)
  • 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.) but your tunic and over trousers will need to be purchased from Salon Wear Direct. Further information regarding how to order the tunic and over trousers will be issued to you during the colleges induction week. You will be given the opportunity to purchase an 'Animal Studies' hoodie but this is not compulsory (approx. £26)


We recommend that anyone working with animals ensures that their 'Tetanus Injection' is up to date, please speak to your Doctor if you are unsure.


Students are expected to provide their own stationary in order to engage and achieve fully in their lessons, we suggest purchasing the following items:

  • A4 lever arch file
  • Dividers
  • Plastic 'poly pockets'
  • A4 lined paper – refill pad
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Highlighter pens
  • Ruler
  • Colouring pens/pencils

How much will it cost?

The Personal Protective Equipment required for the course costs approximately £50


We will be running trips to businesses within the animal sector throughout the year, the cost of these will be explained to you via a letter once the trip has been finalised. 

I'm interested. What should I do now?

You are welcome to apply online where you will be invited for an interview at with a member of the Animal Studies course team. However, if you would like the opportunity the see the campus sooner and discuss your options please visit us on one of the colleges open events. 

Days & times

Starting September 2020

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