Accessibility links

Duchy College Extended Zoo Diploma Level 3 at Duchy College

Course description

This exciting new Level 3 course, based at Dartmoor Zoo, will allow you to find out more about zoo animal husbandry and develop your scientific knowledge to progress to Higher Education.


Ideal if: you have a keen interest in a variety of animal species and the aspiration to find future employment in a zoo-based setting.


You'll need: five GCSEs at grade C or above, including English, mathematics and science, or equivalent qualification.


You'll need: a commitment to working with animals and a high level of motivation for this exciting course.


You'll learn: about a whole variety of aspects of animal management; including animal nutrition, animal handling and safe working, health and welfare and husbandry of exotic species. You'll expand your scientific knowledge by studying animal biology, anatomy and physiology, behaviour, breeding, genetics and wildlife ecology.


Expect: to attend lessons at Dartmoor Zoological Park two days per week and undertake work experience for a day per week at the zoo, working with the keepers and the education team.


You'll love: visiting other zoos and animal organisations in the UK and maybe even in Europe, making new friends and feeling part of a team.



You'll go onto: employment within the animal industry or progression to university study such as our Foundation Degrees in Animal Health and Management, Veterinary Nursing, or Zoological Conservation.

Course content

This course is based at Dartmoor Zoo and consists of two days of lessons throughout the year (Monday and Tuesday in the first year) and a further day of work experience.  You will learn about a wide variety of animal species with a focus on exotic species.  Units covered may include:

Animal Health; Animal Accommodation, Feeding and Nutrition; Animal Handling; Animal Biology, Anatomy and Physiology; Animal Behaviour and Communication; Exotic Pet and Zoo Animal Husbandry;  Wildlife Management and Rehabilitation; Wildlife Ecology; Business Improvement; Avian Health and Management

You will be assessed throughout the course via a series of assignments, in-class tests, presentations and practical skills assessments.  There are no examinations but the assignment load is challenging so you will need to be highly motivated to achieve.

Work experience is an essential and very important part of your programme of study, enabling you to develop good skills for future employment.  Subject to interview, this is available at Dartmoor Zoo and you would have the opportunity to work alongside the Keepers and the Education Team during your two years of study.

Entry requirements

You must have 5 GCSEs at Grade C or above in English, Science and Maths, an excellent attendance record at school and demonstrate a sound commitment to working with animals and developing skills for employment.  You will also be required to provide a reference from your school tutor or from your work place.  You may also progress onto this course with a  Level 2 Diploma in Animal Management (at Merit and Distinction level) and GCSEs (or Functional Skills Level 2) in English and Maths .  For students aged 19+, your prior experience with animals and academic qualifications will be taken into consideration at interview.

Future opportunities

The Extended Diploma is equivalent to three A Levels and if you have gained suitable grades you may wish to progress to Higher Education.  There are a number of Foundation Degrees offered at Duchy College and Cornwall College which you could consider, including Animal Health and Management, Veterinary Nursing and Zoological Conservation.

Alternatively, you may be considering going into employment within the animal industry, where there are opportunities in a wide range of careers.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 12 June 2015
Provider logo

Key information