If you’re a real animal lover and have an interest in learning about domestic, exotic and farm animals through a mixture of classroom and practical work, then one of our animal care study programmes is for you.
We have strong links with Whirlow Hall Farm, wildlife parks and other national animal establishments - such as the RSPCA and the Royal Veterinary College - to give you plenty of opportunities to visit and work directly with a variety of animals. You will have the chance to undertake industry placements with different employers in the industry so you can get all the experience you’ll need in a variety of roles.
Teigan Skidmore, Animal Care student
Picking the right course is the first step in your animal care career! Whether you choose a full-time study programme and pick your own specialism, join one of our Employers Skills Academies or head straight into an Apprenticeship, we're sure to have something that suits you and your learning style.
Our programmes have 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. All the content of the programmes relates directly to the skills, knowledge and behaviours expected by employers in the animal care sector. The areas learners may cover include:
At The Sheffield College, we go further to ensure that you get the best learning and cultural experiences possible to enhance your time with us. Whether that's through visits to local zoos, guest speakers coming in to demonstrate their knowledge and skills, or visiting major industry leaders so you can see how they go further in the real world.
Thanks to our strong links with Whirlow Hall Farm, zoos and other animal establishments - such as the RSPCA and the Royal Veterinary College - you’ll have had plenty of opportunities to visit and work directly with a variety of animals.
As a student at The Sheffield College, you will be encouraged to spend time with an employer in a real-life working environment as part of your study programme. This could be experience of work or an industry placement, depending on what kind of course you are studying.
The courses are taught through theory and practical sessions and you will be required to complete 3 weeks of industry placement experience throughout the year - this is arranged as a 3 week block. Whilst you are on industry placement you will be required to attend the placement Monday to Friday for the hours the placements state. Some placements (e.g. farms) may want you to start at 8am. Industry placement is not optional - it is a compulsory part of the course as laid down by the awarding body. If you do not complete your placements you will not be able to complete the qualification.
We know that having the right facilities can make all the difference to your learning, so we’ve invested lots of money in the best facilities to make sure that we can help you go further.
Our animal care facilities at Hillsborough Campus really make us stand out in the region as one of the top providers. We’ve got dog grooming salons, veterinary suites, kennels, and our links with employers mean you get to learn and work in real facilities giving you a competitive edge in a competitive industry.
*Please note animal care facilities have moved to Hillsborough Campus*
Throughout your study programme, there’ll be the option to do short work placements with employers so you can really get stuck in and get all the experience you’ll need to work in the industry. An average day could include anything from dog grooming and handling birds of prey, to dealing with exotic snakes. We promise a day in animal care is never boring!
There are so many career paths available within the animal care sector, with a wide variety of roles coming up across the region:
The majority of our students go onto careers working at zoos, kennels or onto veterinary courses at university.
This qualification is a two year, full-time course that specialises in the animal management sector. It is designed for students who wish to focus their studies on this sector, with a firm intention of progressing to employment in one of the wide variety of roles available.
As well as direct entry to employment, this qualification will prepare students for higher study of a specialist degree or HND. This route gives students the opportunity to enter the sector at a higher level, or in a more specialist role.
Check out the quick facts below or watch the video to find out more about the course.
Choosing a career path when you've only just left school can seem like a daunting prospect, but our Careers Advice Team are on hand to offer you the best impartial careers guidance going.
They can help you to figure out the kind of jobs that you might enjoy based on your interests, skills and hobbies; or if you already have a pretty good idea of what you'd like to do in the future they can give you some pointers on how to go further and land your dream job. You can talk to them whether you're still deciding on a course or even if you're about to make the jump from education into full-time work.
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