Animal Care

This qualification is a Technical Award equivalent in size to one GCSE. It is designed for students who want to study animal care within their broader Key Stage 4 curriculum.

It provides an introduction to some of the key themes within the industry, enabling students to develop their knowledge and practical technical skills. This course could provide a stepping-stone into employment in this area or provide a suitable qualification to progress to a course of further education on leaving school.

The qualification consists of a compulsory core of two units making up 50% of the qualification, and a choice of two (from three) optional units. The core provides the key, underpinning applied knowledge and skills, while the optional units enable students to undertake a range of internally assessed practical activities.

Units of study

Unit 1: Animal Health reflects vital aspects of working with animals in any field of the animal industry. It covers the fundamental knowledge and understanding required for undertaking health assessments alongside the identification of common diseases and disorders and their prevention. The unit also examines common parasites, from transmission to prevention. It is externally assessed.

Unit 2: Animal Handling requires students to approach, handle and restrain animals safely, whilst also becoming familiar with the hazards and risks associated with handling animals. The unit also requires students to learn about industry guidelines, health and safety legislation and animal welfare legislation. It is internally assessed.

Unit 3: Animal Housing and Accommodation require students to use what they have learnt in Unit 1 to set up, maintain and ensure accommodation meets the animal welfare of two animal species. Students will be in a practical setting such as a farm where they will clean and carry out safety inspections of the animal accommodation to ensure it meets the animal’s welfare needs.

Animal Care involves a range of practical sessions to ensure students fully understand the concepts and techniques involved in meeting the welfare needs of the animals. Students have the opportunity to work with animals in our animal area as well as to work with livestock at local farms, local pet stores, veterinary practices and zoo visits to seek advice on animal welfare. Animal Care brings together knowledge and understanding with practical and technical skills. Students develop through a combination of theory and hands-on practical work combined with links to outside agencies such as the RSPCA, Susan’s Farm and Pets at Home as well as caring for our animals that live in school. Animal Care provides opportunity to develop empathy, understanding and reflection.

Students learn how animals are used within society, including for scientific procedures and those kept in captivity for both pleasure and conservation projects. They understand that cultural and spiritual beliefs affect the way people think and act and debate topics whilst respecting others viewpoints.

Students appreciate how regulatory bodies govern animal welfare and enforce legislation. This is approached from an empathetic viewpoint and educates the students on the welfare needs of animals and why these must be met.

Aside from the specific education regarding animal laws, animal care enhances students in a wider context in terms of developing them to become kind, caring and law-abiding citizens.

After the Animal Care Level 2 programme you will be well equipped to work in the animal care industry in a retail role or in the RSPCA, catteries and kennels. You can improve your prospects of gaining higher-level work by progressing to the Animal Management Level 3 qualification or joining an apprenticeship programme within a veterinary institution. This is a good start to the journey of becoming a vet and gives you good set of knowledge before starting Level 3 qualifications such as A Level Biology and Chemistry. Leading towards a degree is Veterinary Medicine.

Animal Care


United Learning comprises: United Learning Ltd (Registered in England No: 00018582. Charity No. 313999) UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee. Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB.

Financial Accountability and Freedom of Information
Website Terms, Cookies and Privacy

United Learning