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Schools 14-16 - BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Animal CareApply Now »

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Level: 2

Location: Broomfield Hall

Years: 2

Weeks: 38

Hours: 6.00

Start: 13/09/2021

Days / Times: Friday 09:30 to 15:30


Course Summary

This course is for school students, where the school has agreed to fund the placement.

The BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Animal Care (601/4530/4)* has been developed to provide an engaging introduction to the animal care sector, a vital sub-sector within the land-based industry and the UK economy.

Students will have the opportunity to learn the technical knowledge and skills needed in the industry, developing their skills in our purpose-built animal care unit which houses small mammals, wallabies, meerkats, alpacas, exotics and much more.

This course is delivered over two years, starting in Year 10, and students will study at Broomfield Hall one day a week.

*qualification featured on the DfE KS4 Performance Tables

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements, you just need a strong interest in working with animals.

You will be assessed during the first term at College to ensure this is the most suitable course for you, with fall-back options available.

Course Content

You will need to complete two mandatory units:

  • Animal Health – develop your understanding of animal health, disease and parasite prevention to provide the best possible care for animals

Weighting: 25% of the course

Assessment: External examination

  • Animal Handling – learn how to work confidently, safely and effectively with a variety of animals through practical assignments linked to health and safety, animal welfare legislation and industry guidelines

Weighting: 25% of the course

Assessment: Internal

You will also need to complete two optional units from the following:

  • Animal Welfare – learn how to advise, promote and encourage responsible animal ownership

Weighting: 25% of the course

Assessment: Internal

  • Animal Housing and Accommodation – explore how to select and prepare animal accommodation in line with the animals' needs, including how to select appropriate housing and bedding

Weighting: 25% of the course

Assessment: Internal

  • Principles of Animal Behaviour – learn about animal behaviour through observation, explore the signs of abnormal animal behaviour and learn how to provide enrichment in the environment to act as stimuli

Weighting: 25% of the course

Assessment: Internal

How will I be assessed?

Students will be assessed through a mixture of internal assignments and an external examination.

All four units must be successfully completed to gain this qualification.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

Students must wear steel toe-cap boots or wellies and a labcoat (purchased through Derby College Group) for practical sessions. During the winter months, a warm coat for outdoor practical sessions is also advised. You will be required to supply your own writing materials.

What can I do after this course?

Further Study

Upon completion of the qualification, and depending on the grades achieved and other qualifications achieved, students may wish to progress to:

  • The Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care
  • The Level 3 Diploma in Animal Management
  • An apprenticeship programme at Level 2 or 3
  • A-levels

You will be able to access advice and guidance while studying at the College to learn more about the post-16 opportunities available for you.


Further study can lead to a variety of careers, including:

  • Dog groomer
  • Zoo keeper
  • Animal unit technician
  • Farm worker
  • Conservationist

For more information, email the 14-16 team at 14-16@derby-college.ac.uk

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This course is run at the Broomfield Hall Campus

broomfiled hall campus

About Broomfield Hall »

Annie Dowell

Annie Dowell

Kennel owner Annie loved every minute of Animal Care course

For former Derby College student Annie Dowell getting a job working with animals was inevitable.And, thanks in part to the practical work experience and the qualifications she gained on her Animal Care level 3 course; she now runs a boarding kennels.Annie first got to know Coppice Kennels and Cattery in Melbourne while at Derby College and later took a Saturday job there as a dog walker.After leaving College with a triple distinction she went on to take a dog grooming course at Broomfield and then worked at dog re-homing centres in Wales and Spain.In 2012 she took over the running of Coppice Kennels and is now responsible, with fiancé Matt for looking after 40 dogs, 15 cats as well as up to five foster dogs.Annie loved her time at College – especially the caring for wildlife part and gaining work experience at Twycross Zoo.

She said: "I loved absolutely every minute of my course and wish I could do it all again. I'm always recommending Broomfield to our dog walkers, who are young and keen to get into animal care."


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