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Animal Care

Level 2 Technical Certificate - Pre T Level

student holding a chicken

Availability & Details

Animal Care - BTEC Level 2 Technical Certificate (City & Guilds) SF-ANCA2D-D(0000)000

South Downs Campus

Type of study
Full Time, Vocational

Academic Year 2023-24 (1 years)

Examination board
City & Guilds

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This course is aimed at learners that are looking to start a career in the animal care industry, including pet shops, with animal collections, animal rescue and possibly veterinary surgeries. You could progress into employment, Apprenticeships, or continue studies within the area on one of our Level 3 qualifications including T Level in Animal Care and Management. It’s not all about cuddling bunnies and playing with animals on any of our animal care courses – you must be prepared to learn and develop the skills required to care and support the welfare of a wide variety of animals.


Four GCSEs at 4 or above. You can retake either mathematics or English if required. Previous employment or voluntary experience with animals will help your application. You must also have evidence of a recent tetanus vaccination.

On this course at HSDC South Downs, you will study:

  • Maintaining animal health and welfare
  • Animal feeding and accommodation
  • Animal behaviour and handling
  • Working in the animal care industry
  • Health and safety for the land-based industries
  • The principles of animal biology
  • Care of exotic animals
  • Caring for horses

  • You will also be required to undertake 150 hours of work experience which will offer valuable insight to the animal care and the land-based sector.
  • Route-based project. To support the application and development of knowledge, and prepare for further study in areas such as our T Level in Animal Care and Management, students will complete a small project relevant to the animal care sector. The project will focus on planning, research, and presentation skills.
  • Study Skills. The development of key study skills within the course will also provide a platform for progress to our T Level in Animal Care and Management or other higher-level courses at college.

There is also the possibility to re-take English or Mathematics.


The Animal Management laboratories are large, bright rooms designed and built especially for teaching Animal Care and Animal Management courses. The purposebuilt spaces are bright with natural sunlight and enhanced air handling and  ventilation systems, with facilities for washing and animal food preparation. The rooms have been designed to be easy to use for the care of animals, as well as a practical teaching environment.


You will be assessed by exams in 2 units, as well as coursework and synoptic assessment (synoptic assessment means you will be asked to demonstrate your knowledge from different units and combine them in practical and written assessment) for the remainder of the units. This will include tasks such as fact sheets, posters, reports and practical animal husbandry tasks. Coursework includes producing written assignments and projects. You will also undertake practical work in the College Animal Unit and offsite at an equine establishment.

There are no additional costs, apart from any costs for educational trips and appropriate clothing for working with animals.

You may wish to go on to the T Level in Animal care & Management, Level 3 Advanced Technical Diploma in Animal Management, or seek employment within the industry. You may find employment at your work experience placements. You must achieve a Distinction overall on this Level 2 course to move onto one of our Level 3 options.

The animal care team has a variety of links with animal-related businesses, having developed relationships with many employers through work experience arrangements. There are 150 hours of work experience on this course which includes two weeks offsite at a placement. Your work experience may take place at veterinary practices, riding and livery yards, Sea Life Centre, catteries, kennels, grooming parlours, RSPCA, wildlife sanctuaries, rescue centres or pet shops.

"I am delighted with my results and am really looking forward to studying Law at Oxford University. I really enjoyed my time at HSDC Alton and I really appreciate all the help and support from my fantastic teachers, without whom I wouldn't have got my place at Oxford."

Catherine Goldie, HSDC Alton A Level Student

I’m very, very happy, I didn’t expect to do so well. The College has been helpful and supportive. I loved my courses, and the teachers were really good – every single one of them. The facilities are great, but it’s the staff that really make this place.

Matthew Randell, A Level student

College is definitely worth all the effort you put in, you get to meet lots of different people and it’s amazing.

Ebony Puttock, A Level student