Diploma & Programme of Study Qualifications
We are proud to be a City & Guilds approved training centre with an excellent reputation within City & Guilds and future employers - for the high quality of the training we deliver to our students, and the calibre of the achievers that leave us to go out into the world of animal care!
We can offer you a unique, hands-on route to gaining a fully accredited and nationally recognised qualification, whilst working with all species of British wildlife.
We offer practical training courses, in all aspects of animal husbandry. As a working wildlife hospital, and a practical training centre, our students spend 90% of their time working and learning hands-on: cleaning, feeding, mucking out and moving some of the thousand plus wild animals that we have in our hospital at any one time.
Most of what we teach is practically taught, with our students actually handling the hedgehogs, birds of prey, rabbits and swans. They get involved in all aspects of care from taking in deliveries of bags of feed, cleaning and hosing down pens, cages and aviaries to working in the wards and outside enclosures in all weathers. You get to see the full lifecycle of the hospital and work directly with all the sick, injured and orphaned species that come through our doors every day. Seeing those animals that come in, go through their treatment, get well and go back out into the wild is the whole point of what we are doing here at Tiggywinkles.
We do some classroom based learning to reinforce the practical training and experience, plus students will get assignments too – but classroom time is kept to a minimum as we know from experience (and employer feedback too) that our students learn best when they actually have a go!
These courses are ideal for anyone wishing to learn the basics or build their experience of animal husbandry, whilst working hands-on with wildlife, in a very busy Hospital environment.
“I like that the course is hands on. Baby season is fun and it is interesting to see
We offer three courses:
We also offer two levels of Diploma qualification - Level 1 and 2. The Diploma courses can run either full or part time (minimum of 3 days per week) and leads to a fully accredited City & Guilds Diploma in Work-based Animal Care, plus valuable work experience – which are essential for gaining employment in the very competitive field of animal care.
In addition to the working hours in the Hospital, all students will be required to complete homework, which might be research and assignments, in your own time. City & Guilds qualifications require the creation of a portfolio of work covering the hands-on and background learning of all aspects of Animal Care. We make sure every student has a mentor, to help them put together their portfolios and we spend some one-on-one time with each of our students to ensure they fulfil their potential. We want you to succeed!
As an incentive, we offer ‘nurse’s days’ for students to work towards, where they can spend the day with the nursing team, assisting with rounds, triage and observing operations. Many of our students like to work towards these every month as a fun extra to their course.
“I enjoy being able to interact with the animals. I love working in the wards with the sick animals” - Ryan
Life after Tiggys?
We have a fantastic success rate of getting our students into jobs or higher education! And it isn’t just me saying that, our statistics speak for themselves.
In the past three years over 90% of our graduates are in employment or further education within four months of completing their course.
Students from Tiggywinkles have gone on to work in kennels, catteries, pet shops & reptile specialists, animal rehoming centres, wildlife centres, zoos, stud farm, dog au-pair and training facilities, to name but a few. Around a third of our Diploma students go on to do Veterinary Nurse training, which is fantastic. A quarter go to college or university to study animal management, conservation or other degree courses. Training alongside real working animal care staff helps to shape our students ambitions and career ideas – as many come in saying “I want to do something with animals”!
“I am enjoying the experience of working with all the different species of animals. I want to go on to do Veterinary Nursing when I finish.” - Christina
“I want to be a zookeeper and I will go to college after I leave here. I like working in the bird room the best.” – Josh
“My favourite animals are the birds – which I wasn’t expecting when I started!” - Vicky
“I love working outside, in the aviaries, the fox & badger pens and the deer paddocks.” - Beth
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