Ideal for those looking to begin a career in the countryside and environment industry, this online course will give learners an introduction to the principles behind environmental management and conservation. This programme is also suitable for those already working in the industry who would like to expand on existing skills by gaining a formal qualification. If you have a passion for the outdoors and are interested in learning about how to improve the habitats of British wildlife, this course is a great opportunity to gain valuable industry experience, whilst working towards a recognised qualification that complements your practical skills!
This programme is run as a distance learning course, meaning that all course materials will be provided via our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), which you can access in your own time; at work, at home or even on the move!
Completion of this qualification should give you the background knowledge and skills needed to boost your career prospects, as well as solid practical experience accumulated through employment or work experience, which you can use to do your job more effectively.
- Attendance: All course materials will be supplied via our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE); therefore you will not be required to attend college. You will be allocated a distance learning tutor who will support you through the course.
- Duration: 12 months
- Start Date: You can start this programme at any time.
- Location: This online course can be studied anywhere in the UK or overseas.
The course blends practical experience with theoretical knowledge in order to meet the demands of a fast-paced industry. Over the course of the qualification, you will cover the following units:
- Introduction to Countryside Access and Recreation
- Undertaking Ecological Surveys
- Conservation and Improvement of British Habitats
- Introduction to Urban Habitat Ecology
- Undertake Work Related Experience in the Land-based Industries
- Environmental and Land-based Business
The units can be completed in your own time, at your own pace (within 12 months), meaning that the online course provides a flexible programme of study for those needing to balance learning with work and other commitments.
In order to gain the necessary practical experience in countryside and environmental techniques, the programme also requires you to complete a minimum of 150 hours of work experience over the duration of the course.
You will need to arrange your own work experience placement; however our administration team will be happy to advise you if there are any issues with this.
If you are already working in the environmental industry, your current workplace may be able to meet the work experience requirements. If your current job does not meet all of the work experience requirements, you may need to arrange for additional work experience at a relevant organisation.
The College of Animal Welfare manages a local woodland site on behalf of The Woodland Trust in Cambridgeshire and there may be the opportunity to attend ad hoc work days and events at this site.
You will undertake written and practical assessments and an online examination.
There are no formal academic entry requirements. However you should have a sound level of numeracy, literacy and ICT skills, have a passion for the countryside and environment, and be prepared to work outside in all weather conditions throughout the year.
You should be either employed, volunteering or have a start date agreed at a relevant placement (min. 3 hours per week). You will need to complete an additional 150 hours in order to achieve your qualification. You must have a suitable witness agreed in principle (min. 2 years in industry) who will be assessing your practical assignments.
Experience of work within a relevant industry prior to the start of the course will be useful but not essential. However your tetanus vaccination must be up-to-date.
As this is a physically demanding course, it is important that any concerns regarding your ability to complete the required practical work are discussed with your medical advisor prior to enrolling on the programme.
If you are studying this programme overseas, please be aware that the programme is delivered in English and therefore you must be competent in reading and writing English language.
Please note that course fees listed below apply to courses starting before the 1 May 2017. Fees for courses starting on, or after, 1 May 2017 will be published in due course.
We offer two different payment options; our ‘Annual Fee Scheme’ or our ‘Pay as You Learn’ monthly payment scheme. Details on both of these payment options can be found here. Sources of financial help can be found on our student finance page.
Before making any financial decision it is recommended that you seek advice from an independent source, for example the Money Advice Service.
|Age at start of course||Annual Fee Scheme (?)||Pay as You Learn Scheme (?)||Awarding Body Fees**|
|16+||£956||£79 per month||£124.20|
|Overseas||£1,246||£99 per month||£124.20|
** Awarding Body Fees are recharged at cost and may be subject to change.
These are current figures and may be subject to change.
The differences in course fees reflect the level of funding that is available as a result of government policies and priorities. These may be the result of age, employment status, previous education achievements or location for example, and are outside the control of The College of Animal Welfare.
Successful achievement of this course should give you the underpinning knowledge needed to succeed in environmental management, as well as concrete practical experience in the industry –which will allow you to put your newfound knowledge into practice. Professionally this puts you in an excellent position, as it means you are better prepared for a variety of roles within the sector, such as a countryside ranger, conservation officer or park ranger. As such you may wish to pursue employment in organisations, for instance wildlife parks, country parks, nature reserves or local authorities. If you’re looking for your next opportunity, but are unsure of where to start, environmental jobs can be found on www.countryside-jobs.com and can sometimes be found advertised on our job board.
Alternatively, you could look to expand your skills through further work experience in organisations such as The Wildlife Trust, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the National Trust, The Woodland Trust, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Group, Froglife and Tiggywinkles. You could also consider pursing further training, perhaps by undertaking a Level 3 qualification and later progressing to degree level study, meaning that more opportunities in teaching, consulting or even academic research may become available to you.
“I’ve really enjoyed the Countryside and Environment course. It was really nice to find a course that was both affordable, relevant and totally online. The lecturer support is amazing and the content is easy to access. The course combines great online resources and practical opportunities to volunteer with local organisations. This is a great introductory course to the environment and conservation sector and is easy to do alongside volunteering in the field. I really think it will improve my career prospects.”
Vicky Ashby, Level 2 Diploma in Countryside and Environment
“I really enjoyed the course and found it well structured, planned out and easy to follow. The tutors were very helpful and explained anything I didn’t understand, working with me to achieve my goals. I found the course to have a good balance of theory and practical elements and the online learning easy to navigate and work with; I particularly liked the practical work, especially learning formal surveying.I now plan to use my qualification to gain employment in the industry and progress to the next level of study – if you are looking to start a career in countryside management I would very much recommend this course.”
Dom Kiddell, City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Countryside and Management