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

Advice & Help Centre

This study programme is designed for 16-18 year olds only (age 19-24 for students with an Education, Health and Care Plan).

Please visit our Adult Education, Degrees and Employer section for alternative courses.

About the course

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. 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, Biological Sciences or Veterinary Nursing. 


This mainly theory based study programme, includes some practical based learning in addition to the further development of both English and Maths (if applicable). 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 courses will also include trips to businesses associated with the animal industry, as well as input from visiting speakers and current employers.

Entry requirements

Learners wishing to study the Pre-Veterinary Science Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma require a minimum of five GCSE's at Grade 5 or above (GCSE C+) including Maths, English and Science. Due to the nature of the qualification these entry requirements are fixed and are therefor strict. Applicants should hold a keen interest in animal management and welfare and must be motivated and be able to manage their own time effectively.


Learners with a BTEC or City & Guilds Level 2 Technical Certificate in Animal Care at Distinction level will also be considered but they must also achieved Grade 5 in English and Maths, and have positive references from their current teaching team. For more information on the criteria required for progression, please visit the Level 2 Technical course information page. 


Level 3 qualifications are set at A-level equivalent status, the Level 3 Animal Management qualifications are equivalent in size to 3 A-Levels.  They cover more complex work and will help you develop your supervisory skills. It shows you have the ability to gain or apply a range of knowledge, skills and understanding at a detailed level appropriate if you plan to go to university, work independently or (in some cases) supervise and train others in their field of work. 


City & Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma (1080) in Animal Management


Successful achievement of the full, two year Advanced Technical Extended Diploma carries 48 - 168 UCAS tariff points depending on your grade (equivalent to 3 A levels grade A*-E).

What you'll learn (core modules)

Year One Modules:

  • 301 Principles of Health and Safety
  • 302 Undertake and Review Work Related Experience in the Land-based Industries
  • 303 Animal Health and Husbandry
  • 304 Animal Feeding and Nutrition
  • 305 Animal Behaviour and Communication
  • 306 Biological Systems of Animals
  • 307 Animal Welfare and Breeding
  • 310 Exotic Animal Health and Husbandry
  • 318 Fundamentals of Science
  • 324 Science Investigation and Report Writing 

Year Two Modules: 

  • 312 Animal Training
  • 314 Avian Health and Husbandry
  • 315 Animal Nursing
  • 320 Chemistry for Biological Technicians
  • 321 Cell Biology and Genetics
  • 322 Biochemistry and Microbiology
  • 326 Small Animal Rehabilitation
  • 364 Business Management in the Land-Based Sector
  • 367 Undertake Investigative Project in the Land-based Sector


150 hours of work related experience in an external work placement within the Animal 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 (if all sessions are attended) along with trips and guest speaker visits. 

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?

Year 1:

  • One Theory Exam covering the four mandatory units: 303, 304, 305, 307 (40% of the final grade)
  • One Synoptic Assessment covering the four mandatory units: 303, 304, 305, 307 (60% of the final grade)
  • One Multiple Choice Exam covering 301 Health and Safety (Pass or Fail only)
  • Work Experience Portfolio (including log of 150 hours in an external work placement)
  • One Theory Exam covering unit 306 Biological Systems
  • Six written optional unit assignments (covering a range of assessment styles including reports, booklets and presentations)
  • Four optional unit practical assessments


Year 2:

  • One Theory Exam covering the seven mandatory units: 315, 320, 321, 322, 364 (40% of the final grade)
  • One Synoptic Assessment covering the four mandatory units: 315, 320, 321, 322, 364 (60% of the final grade)
  • Eleven written optional unit assignments (covering a range of assessment styles including reports, booklets and presentations)


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.


These courses offer a blend of theory, task-based learning, tutorials and practical sessions combined with field visits and mandatory work experience in the animal sector (150 hours).

Where is the course delivered? (facilities/classrooms)

This course is being delivered at the main campus in Bury St Edmunds within our new Animal Centre. 


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

Where will the course take me?

This two-year qualification exposes you to the whole industry, and the opportunities within it. On completion, it is likely that you will enter the industry by working within an animal welfare organisation, a veterinary practice. As you will have gained a breadth and depth of skills and knowledge over a wide range of units, you could progress within work to become a:

  • Research assistant (desk based)
  • Trainee animal husbandry technician
  • Lab technician
  • Veterinary practice lab assistant
  • You may also wish to become self-employed, and undertake roles such as a freelance animal trainer.


You may wish to progress onto further learning within a Higher Education Institution (university) studying courses such as;  

  • Animal Science
  • Natural Sciences
  • Zoology
  • Herpetology
  • Biology
  • Veterinary Science 
  • Veterinary Nursing
  • Bioveterinary Medicine


The Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Animal Management (1080) is equivalent to between 48 and 168 UCAS points depending on your end result. These are calculated as follows; PPP 48 Points, MPP 64 Points, MMP 80 Points, MMM 96 Points, DMM 112 Points, DDM 128 Points, DDD 144 Points, D*DD 152 Points, D*D*D 160 Points, D*D*D* 168 Points.  We suggest students look into the university courses of their choice early on so they are aware of the entry requirements involved. Support will be given to students who wish to apply for university via UCAS from the course team as well as the Careers Team housed in the front of the Gateway.  

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 provided within the Summer Workbook sent to you by the Admissions Team. 


We recommend that anyone working with animals ensures that their 'Tetanus Injection' is up to date, please speak to your Doctor before starting the course. 


Students are expected to provide their own stationary in order to engage and achieve fully in their lessons, we suggest the following items:
  • A4 lever arch file
  • Dividers
  • Plastic 'poly pockets' for submitting assignments
  • A4 lined paper
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Highlighter pens
  • Ruler
  • Colouring pens/pencils
  • USB stick or removable device which is compatible with personal devices and standard USB Port

How much will it cost?

The Personal Protective Equipment required for the course costs approximately £40.

Students are unable to undertake their practical sessions without the appropriate PPE so this must be purchased as soon as possible.

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. 


Summer Work
You will be asked to undertake work over the summer holidays to ensure that you are ready to start your course with us in September. Your summer work also allows us to ensure that you are the right candidate for the course.


You will be asked to undertake the following before starting with us;

  1. Sign up to idea.org.uk using the code provided to you and achieve silver medal. 
    The idea.org.uk website is an international programme that helps you develop digital, enterprise and employability skills. Through a series of online challenges, you can win career-enhancing badges, unlock new opportunities and, ultimately, gain industry-recognised Awards that help you stand out from the crowd. This is very important as careers within the Animal Sector are highly competitive so your CV needs to stand out to make you more employable! The qualification you are embarking on contains a variety of assessment methods that require a good level of digital skills which this will assist you with. 

  2. Research and arrange your own work experience placement within the Animal Sector. 
    By researching and arranging your own placement you'll have a better chance of working in an industry or profession you're actually interested in. You will need to contact potential placements in a formal manner, either in person or via the telephone/email. A brief email explaining why you want to do work experience at the business, along with your CV, demonstrates your initiative and self-motivation, two qualities employers value greatly.

  3. Complete all activities within the Animal Centre Induction Handbook.
    This will include important information on animal welfare and human safety. We must make sure that all users of the Animal Centre understand the health and safety risks involved when working with the animals housed at college. This ensures that there is a lower risk of accidents and a lower risk to the animals welfare. We will be reviewing the work you produce within the booklet during induction week. There will be a multiple choice test for the health and safety element of this handbook within the first 6 weeks of your course. 

Days & times

Starting September 2021
Tuesday 09:15 - 16:45
Wednesday 09:15 - 16:45
Friday 09:15 - 16:45

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