Professional Training

Animal Care Level 2 Diploma (Merrist Wood College)

Activate Learning, In Guildford
1 year
Next course start
See website for dates See details
Course delivery
1 year
Next course start
See website for dates See details
Course delivery
Visit this course's homepage on the provider's site to learn more or book!

Course description

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.

Upcoming start dates

1 start date available

See website for dates

  • Classroom
  • Guildford

Suitability - Who should attend?

At least four GCSEs at grades 2–3 (grade D–E) or above, including maths, English and a science subject, or a Level 1 qualification at Merit or above.

You will need to be comfortable working with a range of animals and will need to pass the reference and interview process.

Outcome / Qualification etc.

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

Activate Learning
Oxford City Centre Campus
Oxpens Road
OX1 1SA Oxford Oxfordshire

Activate Learning

Activate Learning is a forward-thinking education group that aims for far-reaching, progressive change and impact through learning. We work with learners as individuals, helping them make the choice of course and career pathway that’s right for them. Our mission is to provide work-ready talent for business, and...

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