Animal Care Level 2

Start Date
Course Course
Animal Care
Hillsborough Campus

About this Course

This study programme is for students who want to start a career in animal care and want to progress directly to employment in animal care, or to an animal care Apprenticeship. This qualification has been developed in consultation with employers in the animal care sector to make sure students develop the skills and behaviours that will give them the best chance when applying for work. Students will cover topics such as animal welfare, feeding and handling, a well as undertaking a mandatory work placement.

Key Units

All of the units listed below are mandatory units which students must complete in order to pass the qualification:

Practical Animal Health
Students will develop skills in practical animal health, disease/parasite prevention, cleaning and care, and essential animal grooming techniques for a range of animal species.

Introduction to Animal Biology and Health
Students will gain the knowledge and understanding of animal biology needed for practical animal health and disease management. This unit is externally assessed through a 75 minute on-screen exam.

Animal Care Work Placement
Students will develop the practical skills and behaviours required for successful working in the animal care sector. This unit requires learners to spend 75 hours in a real working environment. Learners must have a work placement to facilitate this assessment.

Animal Welfare
Students will study the approaches to animal welfare, including the five animal needs, health and safety, and animal law. This unit is externally assessed through a 2.5 hour written exam.

Animal Behaviour Assessment and Safe Handling
Students will  develop skills in recognising normal and abnormal behaviours in a range of animal species and apply safe handling and restraint techniques that minimise stress in animals. 

Feeding, Accommodating and Moving Animals
Students will study a range of practical skills concerned with the day-to-day care of animals, including feeding, handling and providing appropriate accommodation.

Entry Requirements

4 GCSEs grade D/3 or above, including English Language and Science.


Assessment for this course takes the form of:

  • Assignments
  • Practical demonstrations
  • Online exams/tests

Where does this Lead

When studied as part of a full-time study programme, this qualification also gives learners a sound basis to progress further within the animal sector to a Level 3 qualification such as a Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Animal Management.

Future Opportunities

Achieving this qualification will give students an advantage when applying for a job in animal care. The types of jobs they will be ready for are:

  • Animal care worker
  • Animal care assistant in an animal business, charity or wildlife trust
  • Kennel or cattery worker

Tell Me More

About the animal care sector

The animal care sector is developing rapidly into a service industry meeting the broad demands of the animal-owning and interested public. Animal care is worth £1 billion to the UK economy. This sector has 20,000 businesses, 78,000 employees and many volunteers. There are many different career paths and opportunities for those wishing to work in animal care, which range from working with small to large animals, and domesticated to exotic animals, in sub-sector areas such animal welfare, business, science and wildlife conservation.

Extra Costs

You may be required to provide your own overalls (available to purchase through the college for approximately £15) and a pair of wellington/steel toe-capped boots. Students may also purchase a Sheffield College animal care polo-shirt, however this is not a required/mandatory uniform. Students are also advised to provide a USB memory stick so that they can store their work/assignments. 

Please be aware that students will be required to organise their own travel arrangements to and from their placement.

Students who are in financial hardship may be eligible to apply for a Student Support Fund to help them with course related expenses. 

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