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Schools 14-16 – BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Animal Care

Applications for the Pre-16 Provision open in February 2022. 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 Year 10 and 11.

Course Summary

Subject Area: Animal Care
Services to Schools
Location: Broomfield Hall
Full Time or Part Time: PT
Level: 2
Number Of Years: 2
Interview Required?:
Weeks: 38
Hours: 6.00
Start: 13/09/2022
Broomfield Hall

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Course Information for Students

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.

Animal Care are also able to offer the City and Guilds Entry 3 Award in Skills for Working Life (601/3711/3) for students who are not working at GCSE level.

*qualification featured on the DfE KS4 Performance Tables

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

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

You will learn on-site

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.

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.

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

For more information contact Derby College on 0800 0280289 or

Course Information for Employers

Career Information

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

Animal Care Services Occupations n.e.c.


Animal Care Services Occupations n.e.c.

Veterinary Nurses


Veterinary Nurses

More Careers Information at:
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Course Information Last Updated On: October 18, 2021 1:45 pm