Animal Care Level 2 Diploma

An introduction to the skills and knowledge required for a variety of careers working with animals.

The course includes study of the management of a wide range of species, their health and welfare, accommodation and maintenance of housing, practical feeding, behaviour and welfare, animal biology and more.

Course content:

  • Work related experience in the land based industries
  • Maintaining animal accommodation
  • Practical animal feeding
  • Maintaining animal health and welfare
  • Introduction to the principles and practices of animal behaviour and handling
  • Understanding the basics of animal biology
  • Understanding the principles and practices of animal establishment

Additional qualifications: All students will also be expected to gain an additional qualification in Functional Skills English at an appropriate and challenging level.

All 16-19 year olds on full-time programmes will be required to retake GCSE English and Maths or to undertake Functional Skills, if they have not already attained the equivalent of a GCSE grade C in these subjects, every year of their course, until they complete their studies.

This one year full time course is suitable for anyone wishing to work in the animal industry.

Merrist Wood is highly regarded in the animal industry as the leading animal education establishment in Surrey. Well-equipped animal management resources including collections of domestic, companion and exotic animals as well as a grooming parlour and supporting facilities for canine care. The College has wide links with industry and tuition is by highly qualified and experienced tutors who will ensure you gain the best possible grounding in your chosen career.

On this course you will:

  • Complete 150 hours of industry placement (work experience) – 2 weeks internal during the holidays and 2 weeks external during the holidays.
  • Get the opportunity to go on a variety of trips.
  • Learn a wide range of skills, including how to clean and feed a range of animals, conduct health checks, and handle animals correctly.
  • Learn about animal anatomy and the digestive system.
  • Investigate zoos, kennels, catteries, grooming parlours and more.

Elements of theory and practical based learning Homework: To be confirmed once you have started the course.

Upon successful completion of this course, you could progress to an Animal Management Level 3 National Foundation Diploma, an Apprenticeship, or employment in the industry.

Jobs and careers could include:

  • Animal Care Worker
  • Veterinary Nurse
  • Wildlife Rescuer
  • Reserve Warden
  • Animal Behaviourist
  • Zoo Keeper
  • …and much more!

You need to have 4 GCSEs at grade 2 or above including maths, English and a science subject, or a Level 1 qualification at merit or above

You must wear sturdy footwear and a Merrist Wood College sweatshirt and poloshirt.


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