Level 1 - Land-based Studies (Animal Care)

Starts: September

Course Length: 11 Months – 3 days a week (plus any Maths/English classes needed)

Location: Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital, Haddenham (near Aylesbury & Thame)

English/Maths: 16-18 year old students will also be required to take English and Maths classes at the Buckinghamshire College Group (Aylesbury, Amersham or Wycombe campus), if they do not have 9-4 / A*-C grade GCSEs.

About the course

This course is ideal if you're just starting out and want to gain the basic knowledge and skills you need to move on to further study or get an entry-level job in animal care. Learn the basics of safe and effective working within a busy wildlife Hospital, along with health and safety, maintaining animal health and welfare and handling skills. On this course you will be assessed with a multiple-choice test, practical demonstrations and assignments, and you'll also put together a portfolio of evidence to showcase the skills you've learned.


As part of the Level 1 Land-based Studies course you will be given support in moving into the industry. You may wish to progress onto the Level 2 Animal Care course, subject to meeting the minimum entry requirements, and having demonstrated commitment to learning.


Two weekdays, plus one day at the weekend, every week. 16-18 year olds requiring English or Maths classes will additionally need to attend lessons at the Buckinghamshire College Group.

Note: Courses run from September to end of July – with two weeks off at Christmas and two weeks at Easter. We do NOT break for half-terms or bank holidays.

Entry Requirements

Students should have a minimum of Entry 3 Maths and English or GCSE grades at 1-2/E-G. All students need to be enthusiastic, complete a successful interview, plus attend every day of a hands-on trial week.

Mandatory Units

Students must complete all mandatory units:

  • Unit 201 Safe and effective working practices in land-based industries
  • Unit 202 Preparing to work in the land-based industries
  • Unit 218 Assist with the movement, handling and accommodation of animals
  • Unit 226 Assist with feeding and watering animals
  • Unit 227 Assist with the preparation and maintenance of animal accommodation

Optional Units

Students must also complete two of the following units:

  • Unit 224 Animals in the wild and their main features
  • Unit 225 Uses and domestication of animals
  • Unit 229 Assist with the exercise of animals

Plus students will also cover CV writing, job applications, interview techniques, team working, dealing with the public and employability skills.

2021/22 - Fees & Funding Support

On enrolment, ALL students will need to purchase uniform tops. This is not covered by your course fees.

16-18 year-old students are exempt from tuition and registration fees.

19+ course fees - £950 for the course. Payment in instalments may be possible but needs to be agreed in advance.

19-24 year-olds may qualify for full or partial course fees funding, depending on eligibility criteria. Contact Bucks College Group for details of funding exemptions.

What careers could this lead to?

Achieving this qualification can help you get a job in roles such as: farm worker with livestock; animal centre/shelter worker; kennel or cattery worker; pet shop assistant.

Courses Available

Click here to see an overview of all of our available courses.

You may also be interested in:

Level 2 Animal Care

Level 3 Animal Management

Apply Today

Download an application form here: Student Application form

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