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Animal Science

Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma

student holding a rabbit

Availability & Details

Animal Science - Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma SF-ANMA3E-D(0000)000

South Downs Campus

Type of study
Full Time, Vocational

Academic Year 2023-24 (2 years)

Examination board
City & Guilds

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If you have a particular interest in science and animals and would like to learn more about their fascinating lives, either directly hands-on or within the wider industry, as well as learning about the fundamentals of science, then this is the course for you.

It is designed to provide you with a very wide range of specialist technical practical skills and detailed knowledge and understanding, which will equip you to seek a diverse range of employment opportunities, such as working in the pet industry, veterinary nursing, wildlife or working with dogs.

You will gain extensive hands-on experience with a range of animals over the two years of the qualification, such as large animals, companions, rodents, and exotic animals. You will work with animals on and offsite and undertake 150 hours of work experience over the two years of the course.

Year 1 is a 'common' pathway with all students covering the same units. In Year 2 however, you will have the chance to specialise in your chosen pathway. The first pathway gives you the option to focus on Animal Management and Wildlife. The second pathway focuses more on Animal Management and Science. Your course tutors will support you in making a decision on which pathway is most appropriate and in line with your career interests.    

Five GCSEs at grade 5 or above including English Language, Mathematics and Science. Alternatively, a Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care with Distinction/Distinction* grades, including a distinction grade in the Biology and Health units, plus English and Mathematics. Other qualifications or experience may also be accepted. Entry to the course is subject to a successful interview. You must also have evidence of recent tetanus vaccination.

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

  • Animal health and husbandry
  • Animal feeding and nutrition
  • Animal behaviour and communication
  • Biological systems of animals
  • Animal welfare and breeding
  • Fundamentals of science
  • Principles of health and safety
  • Science investigative report writing
  • Exotic animal health and husbandry
  • Undertake and review work-related experience in the land-based industries
  • Chemistry for biological technicians
  • Cell biology and genetics
  • Biochemistry and microbiology
  • Business management in the land-based sector
  • Animal nursing
  • Wildlife and ecology conservation
  • Undertake an investigative project in the land-based sector
  • Zoological collections
  • Small animal rehabilitation

The animal management laboratories are large, bright rooms designed and built especially for teaching animal care and animal management courses. The purpose-built 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. There is animal housing and large glass vivarium built into the walls that house snakes and lizards.

The animal care classrooms have electronic whiteboards and an IT teaching room with Chromebooks connected to the College teaching network. Outside, a large yard has benching, aviaries and a stable, as well as large grassed areas. Outside the yard is a clearing in the surrounding woodland that contains runs for ferrets, rabbits and chickens. There are block paved areas and a pond.

There is a particular emphasis on developing your practical handling skills, communication, IT and study skills. Performance in laboratory skills and the ability to work safely are also assessed. You will be assessed using discussions, presentations, roleplay, essays and scientific reports. There is a mixture of exams and assignment-based work and the assignments are graded at Pass, Merit or Distinction. You will receive a grade for each unit and an overall grade at the end of the course.

There may be additional costs for the course, such as trips and visits. Lab coats are provided but you may need specialist boots when working with animals.

If you complete this course you can progress to undergraduate courses, such as Veterinary Nursing and Medicine, alongside a wide selection of other HND or FdSc/BSc degrees at university. Alternatively, you can either go onto an Apprenticeship or choose to apply for a range of positions within the animal industry.

My experience at the college has been really good, it’s been really rewarding, all the lecturers were so lovely and supportive there’s no way I could have done it without them - the teaching has been outstanding.

Lucie Brooks, A Level student

“I owe the staff a lot and I wouldn't be where I am today without them.”

Tom Andrews, A Level Student

My experience at the college was enjoyable and productive, with thoroughly helpful people surrounding you, an excellent experience. I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was, with the work shop time and experience I had, it was a great two years preparing me for the next stage.

Edward Smith, BTEC student