Higher Education

Start Date: Duration: Level: Study mode: Course location: Course Type:
September 2 Years Level 5 Full-Time Kirkley Hall Campus University Level Qualification Apply Enquire

What’s it all about?

Our FdSc Animal Welfare and Management is a University of Cumbria-accredited qualification, designed for students with a strong interest in ethical animal management practices, welfare and training. You will develop and apply ethical training programmes with modern, evidence-based techniques with your species of choice.

Throughout the course, you will discuss and debate modern ethical issues and develop knowledge of welfare assessment, whilst debating the ethical issues surrounding zoo collections. As part of this, you will explore the role of the modern zoo for in-situ conservation and use of captive breeding programmes.

With strong industry and academic links mean you can develop and apply your research skills both on and off site, including working within our on campus zoo.

You'll have the opportunity to participate in both in-situ conservation experiences (Internation trips and internships) and ex-situ conservation within the zoo.

Northubmerland College Zoo is a BIAZA member and has over 100 species to support learning and research.

The course is timetabled over two days a week, to reduce travel costs and make studying accessible for mature learners and the self-employed.

Course fees are extremely competitively priced, less than £2000 than other similar offers within the North East (and you may be eligible for an undergraduate student loan.

48 UCAS tariff points, plus GCSEs in English, Mathematics and a Science subject at grade 4/C or above (or equivalent qualifications).

Suitable animal husbandry experience and a passion for animal management and welfare, and commitment to an intellectual challenge and a satisfactory reference are required.

Mature students (aged 21 years+) who do not meet the traditional entry requirements but have sufficient animal experience are welcome to apply. Applications will be assessed on their individual merits.

International applicants:
If English is not your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum score of 6 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.

Accreditation of prior learning:
If you have achieved a qualification such as a HNC, or have gained credit at another higher education provider, you may be able to enter the course at Level 5.

Study level Cost Additional fees
19+ please enquire Fees for September - £6165 (please note, fees are subject to change) It is not possible to confirm fees for future academic years but the maximum increase each year will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The following course-related costs are included in the fees: - Annual £10 printing allowance - Loan of technical and field equipment required for modules and laboratory coat The following course-related costs are not included in the fees: - PPE (e.g. overalls and working boots to work on the zoo – specific requirements will be communicated before enrolment) - Day trips (e.g. to museums, zoos) may incur a small entry fee which will be communicated in good time. - Laptop/computer - all submitted work must be word processe - Stationary for note taking Financial support: For more information on Student Finance please go to our HE Finance page.

Students are assessed in a variety of ways to develop graduate level skills. Assessment methods include scientific reports, essays, reflective reports, written examinations, practical examinations, portfolios and individual and group presentations.

GCSE 4/C or above or equivalent

150 hours of work experience in a vocationally relevant placement(s) of the student’s choosing.

The course incorporates 150 hours of work placement over the two-year period. In addition to direct contact hours a further 10-15 hours of independent study is expected on a weekly basis.

Attendance on campus is required 2-3 days a week (Monday-Friday, timetable TBC), with self-directed study and/or work experience comprising the remainder of the working week.

Timetables are normally available at enrolment. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.

With a strong emphasis on both animal welfare and work-based learning, the course aims to develop new and enhance existing practical skills (such as animal handling, husbandry and training), alongside providing graduates with the scientific knowledge base that underpins effective and ethical professional animal management practice (this will involve learning about concepts in animal anatomy and physiology, taxonomy, health and disease, nutrition and behaviour).

The course aims to prepare graduates for immediate entry into employment (for instance working with animal charities/NGOs, sanctuaries, zoos, pet shops, kennels, wildlife parks or self-employment) or progression onto ‘Top Up’ degree study, whether that be BSc (Hons) Animal Management at Northumberland College or a related subject elsewhere. It is also suitable for students wishing to pursue a career in the wider animal sector (for instance in sales or laboratories) or progress onto working in education.

Year one is deliberately designed to develop the essential knowledge, academic and practical skills needed to study and pursue work across the animal management and wildlife conservation sectors. As such, modules that form the first year of the Animal Welfare and Management course are also those that form the first year of the Foundation Degree in Wildlife Conservation. This has the advantage of permitting a switch of programmes after successful completion of year one, should students develop a strong interest in the wildlife conservation sector during this time and wish to pursue modules more suited to their change in interests.

As the FdSc Animal Welfare and Management programme specialises more in year two, students will learn the fundamentals of animal learning theory, and how to apply this knowledge to modify animal behaviour, both effectively and ethically. Here, students will undertake a practical animal training project to put their knowledge and skills into practice. Students will also consider the ethics and acceptability of animal use across different human societies and cultures, and in so doing foster a professional skillset of restraint, tolerance and resilience, to ultimately improve their ability to work with diverse kinds of people.

Ultimately, the course is geared towards developing the knowledge and essential practical and transferable skills that we know employers in our sector value. Academic skills development modules run over both years to develop research, academic communication, information technology, project management and critical evaluation skills. Laboratory skills are also developed. Equally, students are introduced to entrepreneurship: a business skills module run in the second year provides practical experience of event management and commercial enterprise, to give graduates a competitive edge and broader career horizons should they wish to pursue self-employed work. Career prospects are enhanced further through a mandatory 150 hours’ work experience component, to be completed at a placement(s) of the student’s choosing and at times to suit the individual and placement provider.


Year 1 -

- Introduction to Academic skills
- Pre-Industry Skills
- Mammalian Anatomy, Physiology and Nutrition
- Animal Health Management
- Principles of Biodiversity
- Evolution and Genetics

Year 2 -
- Industrial Experience
- Event Management
- Research Methods
- Ethics and Animal Welfare
- Animal Behaviour and Training
- Zoo Conservation

University of Cumbria

What’s next?

You could go on to work with animal charities/NGOs, sanctuaries, zoos, pet shops, kennels, wildlife parks or self-employment, sales or laboratories.

Alternative, you can progress to BSc Top Up courses to a BSc (Hons) degree in a related subject.

Average salaries vary widely depending on the kind of career you are interested in: for an idea of what this might be for you, please refer to the Prospects website:
– https://www.prospects.ac.uk/jobs-and-work-experience/job-sectors/environment-and-agriculture/jobs-working-with-animals

Our recent graduates have progressed to a wide variety of roles, such as in education, ecotourism and to Honours and postgraduate study.

Validated by the University of Cumbria

This is a Higher Education course with Sunderland College and is validated by the University of Cumbria.

Visit the University of Cumbria website here.

Read more about the course information:

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