Animal Management Level 3 National Extended Diploma

The programme provides a practical and theoretical environment to develop the skills required in a wide variety of animal management occupations.

This programme is suitable for anyone wishing to work in the animal industry.

Merrist Wood College is highly regarded in the animal industry as the leading animal education establishment in Surrey. We have well-equipped animal management resources including collections of domestic, companion and exotic animals as well as supporting facilities for canine care. The centre has an arid biome, tropical biome and nocturnal room, allowing you to study and care for a wide range of animals in a near-natural environment.

Our course tutors are passionate and knowledgeable, with industry-related experience and have great connections with local and global organisations such as the RSPCA, Battersea Dogs’ and Cats’ Home, Chessington Zoo, Tilgate Nature Centre and more.

We’ll help you gain the best possible start to your future career. The Animal Management course includes a ten-week placement, giving you the opportunity for practical skills development and specialisation. Our coveted work experience programmes have included contributing to conservation work and local community projects, working with chimpanzees in West Africa, dolphins in the Bahamas; Compassion in World Farming, orangutans in Borneo, wild otters in Cornwall, dog trainers and many others.

Core units:

  •  Animal Biology (externally assessed via exam)
  •  Animal Welfare & Ethics  (externally assessed via exam)
  •  Breeding & Genetics (externally assessed via exam)
  •  Work Experience
  •  Human & Animal Interactions
  •  Practical Animal Husbandry
  •  Animal Health & Disease
  •  Animal Behaviour
  •  Investigative Research Project

Optional units:

  • Zoological Animal Health & Husbandry
  • Wildlife Ecology & Conservation Management
  • Farm Livestock Husbandry
  • Exotic Animal Husbandry
  • Animals in Boarding Establishments
  • Principles of Animal Nursing
  • Practical Skills in Animal Science
  • Advanced Animal Nutrition
  • Animal Metabolism

Elements of theory and practical based learning.

You could go onto to study a degree level programme at the College or gain employment in the animal 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 4 and above including English, maths and science, or a relevant Level 2 technical qualification, ideally at a merit. If you have dropped to a grade 3 in maths only or have a pass in a Level 2 qualification please include this on your application and faculty will be able to consider this.

All students studying Animal Management must wear study footwear (e.g. walking boots or shoes), cargo trousers and college polo shirt / sweatshirt.


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