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Advanced Technical Diploma in Animal Management – Level 3.

If you’re passionate about pursuing a career working with animals – from house pets to farm livestock, zoo animals to wildlife – you’ve come to the right place. DCG delivers the in-depth knowledge, skills training and practical experience that will help you into a wide range of animal-related jobs.

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Course Summary

Subject Area: Animal Care
School Leaver - Vocational/Technical
Location: Broomfield Hall
Full Time or Part Time: FT
Level: 3
Number Of Years: 2
Interview Required?: Y
Broomfield Hall

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Course Information for Students

This course provides in-depth knowledge, skills and work experience to help you gain employment within the animal management industry or to progress to higher education or apprenticeship programmes.

You will be taught in both a practical and theoretical environment relating to the industry of animal management. This course is ideal for someone looking to improve upon their basic animal skills and knowledge and to open up employment opportunities within the animal management sector. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to participate in a range of enrichment activities.

The level 3 Advanced Technical Diploma is the equivalent of 3 A levels, and by the end of the course, students will have gained UCAS points to enable them to progress to higher education if they so wish.

You need to be highly motivated and to demonstrate a keen interest in the animal management industry. A place on the course is subject to interview and you will have to evidence:

  • A minimum of four GCSEs at grades C/4 or above, including English, Maths and Science


  • A minimum of a Merit in a Level 2 Diploma or Technical Certificate in animal care.

Please take into consideration that this course requires an element of physical activity: you will work hands-on with a range of animal species (small and large) and you will need to complete work experience as part of your course.

To progress to Year 2 of this course, you will be required to obtain a Pass grade or above during the first year.  At the end of Year 1 you will choose a specialist pathway of study for your second year. This will be in discussion with your personal tutor, taking into consideration your career goals and aspirations.

In Year 1 the course will cover:

  • Animal feeding and nutrition
  • Animal biology
  • Animal training
  • Work-related experience
  • Animal behaviour and communications
  • Pet allied services
  • Animal welfare and breeding
  • Pet store management
  • Health and safety
  • Animal health and husbandry

You will also be expected to continue with English and Maths qualifications if you have progressed from a subject-relevant Level 2 course but are yet to achieve a GCSE grade 4 in both subjects. (If you are 19+, this is not applicable).

In Year 2 of the programme, we offer 2 pathways: Animal and Zoo. Students will make a choice at the end of the 1st year, and this will be subject to performance on the course and tutor approval.

Delivery will be on site with a mixture of theory and practical sessions. 

You will also be expected to undertake a work placement as part of your course, and this will be integrated into your college academic year.

You will be required to supply your own:

  • Steel toe-capped boots or wellingtons
  • Derby College bottle green laboratory coat for practicals (which will be available to purchase at enrolment)
  • Derby College polo and/or sweatshirt (information will be provided at enrolment on where to buy these from)
  • Writing materials, to include a lever arch file, dividers and a memory stick
  • Entrance fees to various establishments: as part of the course, you will visit several animal collections over the year, so allow around £50 for entrance fees.

Long hair is to be tied back and no nail varnish, false nails, false eyelashes or jewellery should be worn when undertaking your practical lessons. 

It is desirable that a student has access to a laptop or IT device as most assignment work and course work can be accessed through Microsoft Teams. 

This course is continually assessed throughout the year. The various assessment methods include written assignments, practical assessments and written exams.

Assessments in year 1:

Synoptic exam (March)

Synoptic assignment (March-April)

Standalone unit assignments (throughout the year)


Assessments in year 1:

Synoptic exam (March)

Synoptic assignment (March-April)

Standalone unit assignments (throughout the year)

If you have not achieved a grade 4 in GCSE English and/or Maths, you will be required to work towards this and do the GCSE exams in May-June.


This course can put you on the path to career roles such as veterinary nurse or zoo keeper, as well as supervisory roles in rescue centres, pet stores, kennels, catteries and dog grooming salons.

Progression on to Higher education from this course is very good and students can progress on to higher education at Broomfield Hall (please look at higher education courses in animal care for this).

Students also progress to other Higher education institutions to study courses like veterinary nursing, animal biology, zoology, wildlife and conservation, zoo management and marine biology.

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...


Nursing Auxiliaries and Assistants


Nursing Auxiliaries and Assistants

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Course Information Last Updated On: June 26, 2024 1:25 pm