Do you want to learn more about the animals that inhabit our natural world and form a lifelong career? Careers within the Animal Sector are not only very rewarding, they're also very varied so no two days are the same! For this reason, we offer a variety of courses to help you to start your journey onto the job of your dreams, in whichever area of the industry that might be!
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Based on the main campus in Bury St Edmunds, we have an onsite Animal Centre boasting over 200 animals across four areas. A passionate team of industry professionals will teach you a variety of modules both practical and theory based, preparing you for employment in industry.
You will also be given the opportunity to attend trips within the sector and undertake numerous hands on experiences, gaining opportunities to develop transferable skills for employment and further study. Part of our role whilst you're working with us is to install Professional Standards which will support to make you more employable within our competitive industry.
Our department is developing future Veterinary Surgeons, Veterinary Nurses, Animal Nursing Assistants, Zookeepers, Herpetologists, Ecologists, Wildlife Conservationists, Welfare Inspectors and many more! With approximately 250 students engaged in the Animal Studies, we pride ourselves on giving our students the best possible start to their future career.
We look forward to supporting you to achieve your dream job within the Animal Sector!
Sarah Eaton â€“ Head of Animal Studies
Where could it take me?
Work experience is an integral part of all of our courses within Animal Studies and is especially important if you are hoping to go onto university. Due to the competitive nature of the Animal Sector, we encourage our students to undertake as many different placements as they can, whilst ensuring they undertake the mandatory hours required by each programme (150 hours for all Level 3 and Technical courses).
We have built excellent links with local businesses within the Animal Sector, with over 150 across East Anglia currently offering work experience placements to our students. We're proud to report that a majority of our students are offered employment (or further training) by their work experience providers, so it is an excellent way to gain entry to the industry.
If you are hard working and love animals there are plenty of different careers available within the Animal Sector.
- Jobs involving the direct care and treatment of animals within the Veterinary Industry include; Animal Nursing Assistant, Veterinary Nurse (Equine/Small Animal/Exotic/Large Animal), Veterinary Physiotherapist, Veterinary Receptionist, Veterinary Surgeon (Equine/Small Animal/Exotic/Large Animal), Veterinary Behaviourist, Canine Hydrotherapist etc.
- Jobs working with exotic animals include; Zookeeper, Zoologist, Herpetologist, Ichthyologist, Entomologist, Marine Biologist, Ornithologist, Aquarist, Primatologist, Animal Trainer, Falconer etc.
- Jobs working with wildlife and the conservation of animals include; Wildlife Ranger, Wildlife Educator, Wildlife Rehabilitator, Ecologist, Conservationist, Researcher, Field Biologist etc.
- Jobs working directly to improve the welfare of animals include; Animal Rescuer, Canine Carer, Animal Trainer, Animal Welfare Officer, Rehoming Coordinator, Animal Centre Manager, Environmental Health Officer, Animal Technician, Kennel/Cattery Assistant etc.
- Jobs working within the pet sector include; Dog Groomer, Dog Walker, Pet Sitter, Pet Shop Assistant, Canine Creche Carers etc.
If any of the above interest you, you've come to the right place!
- Diploma in Land-Based Studies (Animal Care) - The aim of the qualification is to provide a starting point or an introduction for people wishing to gain a sound knowledge and skills base within the animal care sector, which will allow progression to further learning or qualifications, or into employment opportunities. If you are looking for an animal-based course but have little experience, or perhaps you didn't gain the qualification grades you were hoping for, this could be the perfect course for you! This course is a practical based study programme which includes some classroom-based theory learning, in addition to the further development of both English and Maths.
- Technical Certificate in Animal Care - This qualification 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.
- Certificate for Animal Nursing Assistants - This qualification has been developed for learners seeking a specialised qualification in animal nursing, with the overall aim being to prepare learners for a career in animal care or veterinary nursing, based within a Veterinary Practice. The Level 2 Certificate for Animal Nursing Assistants is held in high regard in veterinary practices, providing an alternative route to GCSE's (though Maths and English will be worked on alongside the programme) and enhanced opportunities to progress to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (usually within a training practice).
- Certificate in Practical Animal Care Skills (Zoos and Wildlife Establishments) - This qualification aims to develop practical skills that will support those currently working in the animal care industry, or those wishing to work within a practical based animal sector job. It provides knowledge and understanding that could support further study within the land-based sector. and helps to promote and encourage good working practices in relation to safety and animal care, vital skills for the industry. With a focus on the Zoo and Wildlife Sector, this course will help prepare students with the practical skills needed to make them employable, whilst also supporting their growth and development of our Professional Standards.
- Advanced Technical Diploma in Animal Management - This is a full-time vocational course studied over one year, three days a week and is equivalent to studying A-Levels. It provides you with a range of specialist, technical practical skills and knowledge which will equip you to seek employment or further learning within the animal care and management industries. There will be an opportunity for students to top up their qualification to the full Extended Diploma (1080) in Animal Management if certain criteria are met.
- Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Animal Management - The Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma (1080) in Animal Management is a full-time vocational course studied over two years, three days a week and is equivalent to studying A-Levels. It is designed to provide you with a very wide range of technical practical skills and detailed knowledge and understanding which will equip you to seek a diverse range of employment opportunities, or to further learning and training within the animal care and management industries. This course provides UCAS points for university entry. In the second year of the programme, students are able to choose either the Animal Management Route or the Zoo Route.
- Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Animal Management (Pre-Veterinary Science) - The Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma (1080) in Animal Management is a full-time vocational course studied over two years, three days a week and is equivalent to studying A-Levels. It is designed to provide you with a very wide range of technical practical skills and detailed knowledge and understanding which will equip you to seek a diverse range of employment opportunities, or to further learning and training within the animal care and management industries. This course provides UCAS points for university entry. This 'Pre-Veterinary Science' route has been specifically designed to provide learners with the subject knowledge required for further study in Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Science or Biological Sciences.
What can I do next?
Once you have completed your course with us there are many exciting next steps you can take! One option is to progress to the next level course with us (if you are undertaking Level 1 or Level 2) to continue to improve your skills and knowledge, making you more employable within the Animal Sector (progression to the next course requires students to achieve a Merit overall for their current programme, and to improve on their Maths and English grades).
Another option is an apprenticeship within the industry, allowing animal businesses to develop your knowledge and skills within their organisation! Level 2 Animal Care and Welfare Assistant apprenticeships are popular, and some veterinary practices offer a Level 3 Veterinary Nursing apprenticeship which is a fantastic way to become qualified! Upon completion of the Level 3 Extended Diploma, students can go on to a number of pathways including University or entering the industry by working within one of the many different sectors. Students on the Level 3 Extended Diploma can achieve between 48 and 168 UCAS tariff points depending on their end grade.
Veterinary Surgeons - The workforce is projected to grow by 8.7% over the period to 2027, creating 2,300 jobs. In the same period, 53.7% of the workforce is projected to retire, creating 13,900 job openings. Average salary £34,320
Veterinary Nurses - The workforce is projected to grow by 11.6% over the period to 2027, creating 1,900 jobs. In the same period, 57% of the workforce is projected to retire, creating 9,200 job openings. Average salary £18,200
Conservation Professionals â€“ The workforce is projected to grow by 5.1% over the period to 2027, creating 800 jobs. In the same period, 39.9% of the workforce is projected to retire, creating 6,100 job openings. Average salary £33,800
Animal care services occupations N.E.C. - The workforce is projected to grow by 11.6% over the period to 2027, creating 8,700 jobs. In the same period, 57% of the workforce is projected to retire, creating 42,900 job openings. Average salary between £12,000 and £14,000
Days & times
Starting September 2022