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Animal Care

Animal Care Practical Skills Level 3 Part-time

In Brief

Start Date /

This is a one year course starting in September 2024 and will run on THURSDAYS 9.30am - 4.30pm

Entry requirements

  • Five GCSEs at grade 4/3 (desirable). Your grades will be discussed at interview.
  • Aged over 19 years

You will achieve

Level 3 Animal Care Certificate in Practical Animal Care Skills. Please note this qualification does not carry any UCAS points.

Course overview

There’s a common saying that you should never work with animals. Try telling that to a Penguinologist…

Whether you’ve got a passion for your penguins, you’re crazy about your cats or you have an almost unhealthy love of llamas, working with animals could be the perfect career move for you. Key skills include being confident handling animals, patience, and a willingness to get your hands dirty. Being good at belly rubs and the ability to scratch behind ears are also desirable. Barnsley College has it’s very own farm! Set in the Worsbrough Country Park area of Barnsley, Wigfield Farm has three main functions:

· A working farm producing livestock

· A base for Barnsley college land based courses

· An open farm and visitors centre accessible to the local and wider community

Although farm staff are employed, the day to day work of the farm is undertaken by students following one of our many programmes of study. We have a wide range of animals including chickens, cows, donkeys, goats, guinea pigs, llamas, meerkats, pigs, rabbits, sheep, as well as a rodent room. Our students take a walk on the wild side in our exotics room where they care for and study a variety of reptiles. This course is ideal if you are interested in a career working with animals, introducing the main principles and practices of animal care and welfare.

Course content

Based at our Wigfield Farm campus, this one year study programme gives you the opportunity to study a range of specialist technical practical skills and knowledge that build upon the core skills required to include how to work safely around animals, be responsible for the planning and carrying out animal health and husbandry, and feeding and nutrition.

Course Content

The areas of study are:

  • Principles of health and safety
  • Undertake and review work related experience
  • Animal health and husbandry
  • Animal Feeding and nutrition
  • Animal behaviour and communication
  • Animal welfare and breeding
  • Undertake Estate skills

  • One externally set assignment
  • Two theory exams
  • One internally set assignment
  • A portfolio of evidence

All students on land-based programmes are required to wear standard uniform and also PPE for practical work in the form of steel toe capped boots and overalls.

Wigfield Farm
Haverlands Lane
S70 5NQ

Beyond College, there are many opportunities such as RSPCA, veterinary nurse (requiring further study onto the Extended diploma) dog handler, equine or stable work, animal behaviourist, zoo keeper or wildlife officer.

See what careers are available in the Animal Management sector. Use our online careers tool, Career Coach, to find out what your next steps could be.

How much does the course cost?

This course costs £2170. This course is eligible for the Free Courses for Jobs funding which means you can study this for free if you meet the eligibility criteria. Please see the drop-down option below for more details. If you are not eligible for funding then you can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the cost of this course.

19+ Students

Aged 19 or over and thinking about further education?

You may be eligible for free or reduced course fees . Please refer to our page ‘paying for your course.’

Extra information

This course may be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan. Contact our friendly Information Team on +44 (0)1226 216 123 or email info@barnsley.ac.uk. about eligibility and how to apply. You can also visit the Advanced Learner Loan page.



If you are aged 19 or over, you may not have to pay for this course if:

  • You do not already have a level 3 qualification OR
  • You already have a level 3 qualification or higher but earn below £21,255 annually
  • You already have a level 3 qualification or higher but are unemployed and in receipt of a means-tested benefit.

This course is funded by South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) and/or West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA). You must be living in the South or West Yorkshire regions to qualify for funding.

For further information please contact our friendly Information Team on +44 (0)1226 216 123 or email info@barnsley.ac.uk

Barnsley College has a range of sports opportunities for all students to take part in, gain professional training and compete nationally and internationally. We also have a state-of-the-art fitness village, Honeywell Sports Village where students can make use of our fitness suite, spinning studio and classes for competitive rates. You don’t have to be studying sport to get involved in the Sports Academy.

Our Additional Learning Support team can provide you with the support you need. Please contact them on +44 (0)1226 216 769.

Please note we reserve the right to change details without notice. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Animal Care Practical Skills Level 3 Part-time

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