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12-week Pre-Apprenticeship Programme: Animal Care and Welfare (Taster)

This programme is aimed at students who are looking at progressing to an apprenticeship programme in Animal Care and Welfare.

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Course Summary

Subject Area: Animal Care
School Leaver - Vocational/Technical
Location: Broomfield Hall
Full Time or Part Time: PT
Level: 2
Number Of Years: 1
Interview Required?: Y
Weeks: 12
Hours: 18.00
Start: Flexible
Broomfield Hall

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Course Information for Students

This programme is aimed at students who are looking at progressing to an apprenticeship programme and would like to gain knowledge and practical skills in preparation for the workplace. The course is delivered over 12 weeks and covers a wide variety of topics within the animal care industry. 

The programme will include one day per week attending a classroom/practical workshop at Derby College Animal Care Unit, and at least two days per week out on work placement gaining experience in the industry. To support their main programme of study, students will also develop employability skills.

  • Some experience volunteering with animals
  • A good work ethic
  • A commitment to a career in the animal care industry
  • Three GCSEs at grade D/3 or above
  • An interest in learning about different animals and how to care for them

You will undertake mandatory work experience days within your chosen work placements. 

Maths, English and employability skills will be embedded throughout the course. 

The basics of animal care that you will cover are: 

  • Maintaining and cleaning accommodation
  • Feeding and basic nutrition
  • Handling, restraint techniques and exercising animals
  • Basic anatomy
  • Animal behaviours

The programme is delivered over 12 weeks. You will spend one day per week on site at Broomfield Hall taking part in both theory and practical sessions on the Animal Unit. You will also spend a minimum of two days per week at your chosen work placement. This could be at one or two different work placements where you will learn and develop new skills. 

We require steel toe-cap boots and long-sleeved tops and trousers to be worn during practical sessions. You may borrow a lab coat from the College during this period. You also need stationery including folders, paper, pens and a memory stick for any work done on a computer. 

In-class assessments will be ongoing throughout the course as various tasks are covered. Work experience will be evidenced through completing diary sheets and employer witness statements.  No final exam is necessary. 

You could progress to a Level 2 Animal Care and Welfare Assistant apprenticeship. 

Derby College Group also offers a range of one-day, weekend and evening courses relating to Animal Care and a wide range of other land-based topics – please see the Derby College Group Part-time Prospectus for a full list and details.

For more information, contact Derby College Group on 0800 0280289 or

Course Information for Employers

If you are an employer and would like to know more about the apprenticeships and professional training we deliver or how you can get involved in co-creating and co-delivering the curriculum, please contact us via email on, call us on 01332 387 421 or visit our employer pages here.

Career Information

This course could lead to one of these careers...

Animal Care Services Occupations


Animal Care Services Occupations

Veterinary Nurses


Veterinary Nurses

More Careers Information at:
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Course Information Last Updated On: March 31, 2023 8:37 am