School leaver

Start Date: Duration: Level: Study mode: Course location: Course Type:
September 1 Year Level 2 Full-Time Kirkley Hall Campus Full-time Vocational Apply Enquire

What’s it all about?

If you are passionate about animals and would like an introduction to the career opportunities available within the animal care industry, you have come to the right place.

Northumberland college offers the opportunity to get up close and personal to a range of species and teaches you how to care for them to a high standard.

You will need 4 GCSE's at grade 3-9 including English and Science. Or a relevant Level 1 qualification.

Study level Cost Additional fees
19+ please enquire You will need to provide your own stationery and you will be given the opportunity to take part in trips and visits.

Your progress will be assessed periodically through assignments, verbal and practical assessments, and summarized at the end of the course through examinations and a synoptic assignment. Assessments are varied to allow all of your skills to be utilised.

English and Maths are important life skills that will help you to achieve your best in your studies and progress to your dream career. If you have not already achieved grade 9-4 in GCSE Maths and/ or English at school, we will support you to improve your skills.

You will have the opportunity to take part in 150 hours of placement in the animal care industry as part of the course.

Students may complete 120 hours of industrial experience in the college zoo. This will be embedded into the timetable.

The remaining 30 hours must be completed in an external placement. Health and safety checks will be completed via the college and support from the skills coaches will be available.

We have a number of links to industry, including partnerships with Pets Corner in Jesmond Dene. This ensures you gain an outstanding learning experience with us and are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to progress to a career in the animal care industry.

Learners will complete 12 hours of learning per week. There will also be opportunities within the timetable to complete industrial experience, masterclasses and employer led projects.

The course runs for three to four days per week over one academic year and is classed as full-time education. Some of these days will account for industrial experience hours which will include working on the animal unit as a member of the zoological team and assisting in the day to day practice.

The aim of the course is to develop skills and knowledge in animal care to allow you to progress to further learning and/or training, or a career in the animal care industry.

This qualification allows learners to develop underpinning knowledge whilst practicing skills that could be used within employment in the animal care industry.

You will study exciting units including animal husbandry, animal health and welfare, zoo animals, wildlife, animal training and work experience along with other modules and additional side qualifications. Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens offers the opportunity to gain practical experience with a wide variety of animals including all five taxa groups such as birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals.

Learners will also complete masterclasses, such as animal first aid.

What’s next?

You could progress to our Level 3 in Animal Care with us, or choose to undertake other related qualifications.

Alternatively, you could progress straight into the industry and gain a job in the animal care sector.

Open Events

Find out everything you need to know about Northumberland College and our exciting range of courses!

Pre-register for our next open event

Take a tour around our campuses

Investing in your future with outstanding new facilities.


Why choose Northumberland College?

We are the largest further education provider in Northumberland with campuses throughout the county.

Our student transport scheme is available for eligible students to make getting to and from college as easy as possible.

Our extensive re-development programme will create outstanding new facilities.