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Animal Care BTEC Level 2 Diploma at South Downs College

Course description

This course is designed to improve your employment prospects by providing you with opportunities to develop your personal and vocational skills.

The course will prepare you for employment in pet shops, with animal collections, animal rescue and possibly veterinary surgeries.

If you are already working in these areas you are invited to apply so that you may develop your knowledge and skills.

You must have a genuine interest in working with animals and have a caring personality. You must be highly motivated and be able to show a commitment to animal welfare.

Course content

Work Related Experience in Animal Care – you will develop important knowledge and skills relating to employment in the animal care industry. This will cover employment in professions including animal nursing and grooming, pet shops and retailing, zoos, kennels or in the service sector of the industry.

Animal Accommodation – You will learn how to clean out and care for the animals and how to maintain their housing.

Animal Feeding – You will learn how to recognise, prepare and select the feeding equipment and foodstuffs needed to keep an animal healthy. You will also learn about the different life stages and how to feed animals during these stages.

Animal Health and Welfare – You will explore the importance of responsible pet ownership including health and welfare considerations for domestic animals. This unit also introduces the aims and principles of first aid and commonly occurring injuries.

Introduction to Animal and Plant Biology – You will learn the basic concepts of biology. Biology is the science of life and living organisms, showing us how animals breathe, grow, live and reproduce. You will study how cells, tissues, systems and structures provide the key to many different aspects of animal care and gain an understanding of how animal bodies work.

Animal Behaviour and Handling – You will learn the importance of understanding normal and abnormal behaviour in animals. You will identify these behaviours and learn how to observe, interpret and record the behaviour, and investigate how evolution and external and internal factors can influence an animal’s behaviour.

Care of Exotic Animals – You will learn how to care for a range of commonly found exotic animals. This unit will help you to develop safe working practices, essential for providing successful animal welfare and employment in the industries.

Entry requirements

A minimum of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English Language and usually Mathematics.


There are no formal examinations. Assignments are graded Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Financial information

Additional Costs – There will be several visits to animal collections and shows. Costs will be kept to a minimum but are likely to be approximately £10.00 per term.

There will be optional and compulsory visits. Example of trips & visits: Marwell Zoo, Birdworld, Chessington Zoo, pet shops & pet shows.

Future opportunities

You may wish to go on to the BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Animal Management or go straight in to employment. You may find employment at your work experience placements.

You may also undertake further training whilst employed as a veterinary nurse, a dog groomer, in kennel management or in pet shop management.

Further information

You should allow at least 10 hours per week for home study.

All students require an up to date tetanus vaccination before starting the course.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact South Downs College directly.

Last updated date: 05 May 2016

Key information