Access to HE: Animal Management Level 3 Diploma

Are you an adult learner (19+) who would like to work within the animal field? This is course will allow to explore this exciting environment at degree level!

An Access course is for mature students (19+) who have been out of full-time education for one or more years and would like to go on to higher education but do not have the formal qualifications needed.

This course has been specifically designed to help adult learners prepare to progress onto our programme of degrees here at Merrist Wood; and other Universities and Colleges. The course will assume no prior knowledge or experience in the animal industry as many adult learners are changing careers. The course will help to develop a range of academic and study skills for those returning to education, as well as practical skills working with a range of species.

The course gives a strong introduction to the animal field for those changing careers; and also covers a range of study skills for those re-entering education. Our new £4.5 million Animal Management centre includes an exciting range of animal species; state of the art classrooms and IT suite. The Merrist Wood campus provides a stunning backdrop to your studies with a rural setting, acres of woodlands and an inclusive atmosphere.

19+ Advanced Learner Loan: If you are aged 19 or over, and you want to study an Access to Higher Education programme, you may be eligible to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover your tuition fees.

Student Finance England will write off any outstanding Advanced Learner Loan balances you owe for an Access to HE programme, if you go on to complete a higher education/university level course. This means you do not have to repay it. If you don’t go on to study a higher education/university level course, you won’t need to start paying back the loan until you earn over £25,725 per year. Contact us for more details.

Level 3 Entitlement fee remission: If you are aged 19–23 and this will be your first eligible, full Level 3 course, then you may be able to do this course for free.

This qualification is awarded by LASER.

The course will include the following topics:

  • Animal Behaviour
  • Animal Management
  • Animal Health
  • Animal Science
  • Principles of Biology
  • Animal Nutrition
  • Inheritance and Evolution
  • Breeding
  • Conservation
  • Research Project
  • Academic Study Skills
  • Essay Skills
  • Personal Organisation
  • Time Management
  • Presentation and Communication Skills

Lessons will be primarily theory and will include lectures, seminars, group work, discussion and research activities. You will also complete practical activities on our well-equipped animal management unit and within the college laboratories.

This course is designed with progression to degree courses in mind. Tutors will support you in tutorials to complete your UCAS application and you can apply to a range of HNDs, foundation degrees and Batchelor’s degrees in animal related subjects. You could progress to one of the six exciting foundation degrees offered here at Merrist Wood, or to courses at many other Universities and Colleges. If however you decide not to progress to Higher Education you will have also gained a range of skills that will be a foundation for you to work upon to support progression to employment in the animal industry once you have gained further experience.

To be eligible for a place on this programme, you must have a GCSE at grade 4 (C) or above in English and maths, or a Functional Skills Level 2 qualification.
Please note: If you wish to go on to study a medicine degree, most universities require five GCSEs, including English, maths, and science at grades 7–9 (A–A* equivalent).

Applicants are advised to contact their university of choice to confirm the criteria. Some degrees require that you have some relevant paid or voluntary work experience, and this will also be checked at interview. Applicants must be aged over 19 and have been out of full-time education for a year.

You will have a numeracy and literacy assessment to check your suitability to study at Level 3 and may have the opportunity to re-take either a maths or English GCSE alongside this course.

If you don’t meet the entry criteria, don’t worry! We have a range of one-year, Pre-Access courses available to help you get started.

There is also a wide range of support available at the college for students, including financial support.


Dawn Rigby

Tutor Dawn Rigby I believe that young children need a special environment in which to grow and deserve practitioners who are inspiring, dynamic, reflective and passionate about their learning.
Read Dawn's full story here

Why Merrist Wood College?

  • Clear routes of progression with qualifications ranging from foundation level to degree level!
  • Industry experienced teaching staff give you the responsibility and independence you need to take charge of your own future.
  • 100+

    different courses

  • 50+

    years of experience in teaching land-based subjects

  • 400

    -acre campus specialising in the land-based industries

About us