Level 2 – Diploma in Animal Care

Applications for September 2024 are now open.

Starts: September

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

Location: Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital, Haddenham (near Aylesbury)

English/Maths: 16-18 year old students will 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. This is part of the Animal Care programme of study, and does not require any additional application for these classes.

About the course

Focusing upon the major principles and practices of animal care and welfare, you will be able to start or build on a career in the Animal Care Industry. Level 2 is ideal if you are new to animal care or have some knowledge and basic skills. You want to develop your skills, perhaps to start work in a pet shop, animal shelter or kennel or prepare for further training. Build on your animal experience, working hands-on with wildlife in a busy Hospital. This nationally recognised, accredited qualification builds on your knowledge of animal care. Students will be expected to complete assignments at home to improve their overall background knowledge.


As part of the Level 2 Animal Care qualification, you will be given support in moving into the industry.

On achieving your Level 2 Diploma, some students may wish to progress to the Level 2/3 Practical Skills qualification to enhance their practical animal care skills.

Students with grade 4+ in Maths & English, who are considering may alternatively wish to progress onto Level 3 Animal Management, subject to achieving an overall Merit grade with a Distinction in the Biology unit, plus having demonstrated commitment to learning.


Two week days, 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

3 GCSEs at grade 3 / D-E or above, including English, Maths and Science/Biology.

Mandatory Units

Students must complete all mandatory units:

  • Unit 201: Maintain Animal Health and Welfare
  • Unit 202: Undertake Practical Animal Feeding
  • Unit 203: Maintain Animal Accommodation
  • Unit 204: Undertake Work Related Experience in the Land-based Industries
  • Unit 206: Introduction to the Principles and Practices of Animal Behaviour and Handling

Optional Units

Additionally, students must also complete two of the following units:

  • Unit 205: Understand the Basic Principles of Animal Biology
  • Unit 207: Contribute to the Nursing of Animals
  • Unit 208: Understand the Principles and Practices of Animal Establishments
  • Unit 216: Understand British Wildlife Species, Habitats and Rehabilitation
  • Unit 219: Participate in Providing Estate Maintenance

Students will have extensive practical work experience throughout this year and will also cover CV writing, job applications, interview techniques, team working, dealing with the public and employability skills.

2024/25 - Fees & Funding Support

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

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

19+ course fees - £1,175 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.

What careers could this lead to?

Achieving this qualification can help you work in roles such as kennels, catteries, pet shops, zoo keeping, animal welfare, trainee veterinary nurse, veterinary assistant.

It also offers access to further education, such as Level 3 course or A Levels.

Courses Available

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

You may also be interested in:

Level 3 Animal Management

Apply Today

Download an application form here: Student Application form

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