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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

Please do not apply for this course if you will be 16 or older in September 2022. This course is part of our Pre-16 Provision and is only accessible if your school has agreed to fund the placement during Years 10 and 11.

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 gained, 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 »

Lauren Cooper

Lauren Cooper

One of Lauren’s best ever decisions

Going to Derby College to study animal management is, says higher education student Lauren Cooper, one of the best decisions she has ever made. Lauren, who took her level three qualifications with the College, is now on a higher education animal management course. She hopes to work in a zoo or in canine rehabilitation in the future. Although she has always loved animals, Lauren hadn't realised such learning opportunities were available to her when she first left school with GCSEs. That all changed though after she went along to an open day at Broomfield Hall with her sister Natasha – a Derby College floristry student. As a then 24 year old with a young child, Lauren discovered that she qualified for free tuition on the level 3 animal care course, bursary help with her travel expenses and a free on-site nursery place for son Zander. Lauren, who has two lurchers and a lizard named Scott at home, particularly relishes the hands-on elements of her HNC course – especially handling more unusual species such as porcupines and skunks. Supportive tutors and family fun days which 'tractor mad' Zander loves, are also among other great aspects of studying at Broomfield Hall.

She said: "Taking the decision to come to Broomfield Hall was a no brainer.
"I loved everything about the level 3 course and I'm really enjoying the higher education course I'm on now. I hope my experience will be an inspiration to other people who have a passion for learning how to look after animals."


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