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Animal Care

Welcome to Animal Care

If you’re an 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 perfect 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.

Animal Care

“We have been so blessed with the animal care staff, they're all so amazing, kind and caring! They truly deserve all the recognition."

Teigan Skidmore, Animal Care student

Which programme is right for me?

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 or head straight into an Apprenticeship, we're sure to have something that suits you and your learning style. 

What kind of work will I do on an Animal Care Study Programme? 

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:

  • practical animal health
  • animal biology and health
  • animal care work placement
  • animal welfare
  • animal behaviour assessment and safe handling
  • feeding, accommodation and moving animals

Trips, Visits and Competitions

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.

Work-related Activity and Industry Placements

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.




What can I do once I finish my studies?

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:

  • There are forecast to be 1500 jobs in the veterinary sector by 2023 in the Sheffield City Region
  • The average wage for someone working in this sector is £21,000 per year

The majority of our students go onto careers working at zoos, kennels or onto veterinary courses at university.

Spotlight on...

Animal Management Level 3

This qualification is a two year, full-time programme 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 into the animal management sector, this qualification will prepare students for higher study of a specialist degree or HNC/D. 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 to find out more about the study programme:

  • Location: Hillsborough Campus
  • Mode of study: Full Time
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Qualification: Extended Diploma
  • Start date: September 2022

HND in Animal Management

The Pearson Level 5 HND in Animal Management provides further specialist knowledge and opportunities for students who have already achieved the Level 4 HNC. We offer a range of unique and specialist units taught by experts within their field.

Alongside your class-based learning, you will also take part in enrichment opportunities. There will also be opportunities for trips and visits, for instance day trips to Yorkshire Wildlife Park or Heeley City Farm to further enhance the quality of your learning experience.

Students who successfully complete this study programme may progress into Top-up Degree programs, moving on to University to continue Undergraduate studies in Animal Sciences, Animal Biology or Zoology.

Careers advice to help you go further

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. 

Example careers

Ever wondered how much an accountant is South Yorkshire earns? Or what skills you need to become a developer?


Starting Salary

Average Salary

High-end Salary

Veterinary Nurse

Starting Salary

Average Salary

High-end Salary

RSPCA Inspector

Starting Salary

Average Salary

High-end Salary

What Courses are available

Animal Care icon

Animal Care

Hillsborough Campus
Level 2

More info