Choose your course

The Learner Journey

We strive to provide you with the correct information, advice and guidance at every stage of your learning journey to help you to make informed decisions that are right for you and enable you to make the most out of your time with us.

On the diagram below, we have picked out the key stages that you may go through in your time as a student with us, and have identified the various sources of support available to you at every step of the way. Where are you in the learner journey?

Click on the relevant stage to read more…


Initial Enquiries


Joining the College


On Your Programme


What's Next?


The Learner Journey

We strive to provide you with the correct information, advice and guidance at every stage of your learning journey to help you to make informed decisions that are right for you and enable you to make the most out of your time with us.

On the diagram below, we have picked out the key stages that you may go through in your time as a student with us, and have identified the various sources of support available to you at every step of the way. Where are you in the learner journey?

Click on the relevant stage to read more…

Initial Enquiries

Deciding where and what to study is an important decision. We want to help you make sure that your decision is the right one for you, based on your own circumstances, interests, talents and future career plans.

Joining the College

Once you have decided to join us and which course you are interested in applying for, you will be ready to make your application….

On Your Programme

What’s Next?

As you approach the end of your course, you will receive advice during your tutorials on what you can do next. This will be different for every student; some will be looking for employment, others will be looking at taking a higher level programme. There are some key areas of advice covered below:

Choosing the Right Course

Before applying for a course we can provide you with information, advice and guidance on a number of key points related to your potential future study, such as:

  • the work load involved
  • if the course is the best one for you (or is there is a better alternative) based on your future plans
  • study support and academic help
  • transport
  • study options i.e. what it is like to study online

More information: 01480 422060 / Email the admissions team


It is important to ensure that you are able to finance your studies before applying for a course. We can talk you through the different options available for paying for your course. In addition to the actual course fees, you must ensure you can pay for the related costs of studying. There are many sources of financial help available from grants, bursaries and loans through to help with transport and childcare.

More information:

Fees and Finance

01480 422060 / Email the funding team

Visit one of our open days


Some courses consist of a considerable amount of travel, not only to college but to work placements. You must ensure you have the means to attend these prior to applying for a course.

More information:

Fees and Finance

01480 422060 / Email the funding team

Visit one of our open days

Entry Requirements

Before applying for a course, you will need to make sure that you meet the entry requirements. If you do not currently have the academic requirements to enrol onto your chosen course we can advise you on alternative courses or the means of raising your qualifications in order to be able to apply for your chosen course.

More information: 01480 422060 / Email the admissions team

Work Experience

Experiencing life in the workplace is an essential part of various study programmes here at the college, and each year we work with employers who provide meaningful opportunities for students to get a real insight into working within their chosen sector.

Due to the work-based nature of many of our courses, work experience is a requirement for a successful application. Work experience is an incredibly valuable opportunity to take a close up look at the career and ensure you are making the right career choice. Along with the additional benefits of networking within the industry and gaining those ever valuable practical skills required to succeed in your course.

Pastoral Care

Here are the college, we provide a personal care for your social development and interest in your individuality to draw out your passions and interests and to ensure your time with us is rewarding. Over the years, we have developed a strong sense of community and placed the upmost importance on your well-being and safety.

Not only do you gain access to well-being and mental fitness toolkits, you are also offered personal support through our counselling services and the opportunity to join our Buddy Scheme or become a member of our ‘Be the Change’ equality and diversity student focus group. The college takes a strategic and operational approach to nurture our CAW Values and foster an atmosphere that is conducive for learning and promotes tolerance, resilience, fairness and equal opportunities for all.

Open Days

If you are thinking about studying with us, you may wish to visit one of our open days. Scheduled throughout the year, open days allow you to meet personal tutors, have a tour of our facilities and ask any questions you may have. If you are unable to make these but would still like to come and have a look around a centre please contact us to arrange this.

Book a place on an open day.

Careers With Animals Day

Each year we hold two Careers With Animals Days; one in March (Huntingdon) and one in October (Leeds). If you are thinking of working with animals these events are not to be missed! You will get the opportunity to speak to exhibitors from organisations across the animal care and veterinary sectors and listen to free careers talks.

View forthcoming Careers With Animals Day events.

Course Start Dates

Our course start dates will be available on our website under the course information. For those joining us on courses with rolling start dates, these will be discussed as part of the application process and included in your pre-course information.

Equipment and Software for Course

We aim to provide you with software and tools to enable you to study, communicate and collaborate with lecturers and fellow students. Students are given access to Microsoft Office 365 and other software and programmes relevant to your course. Financial support is available for students who face hardship and need assistance in buying equipment via The College of Animal Welfare Hardship Fund, you can find out more at:


Application & Enrolment

When you have decided on the course you wish to undertake you can apply online via our online application system. If you have trouble applying online please contact a member of the CAT team who will be able to look at alternative options for you. Once your initial application is complete, you will be sent a link to our online enrolment system (where applicable); here you can upload relevant documents to support your application such as your personal statement and work experience reference.

The Application Process

  • Apply for a course
  • Find your course on our website and click “Apply now” to start the process.
  • Course application
  • Create an account on our application system and start completing the application form. You can leave the form at any time, just log back in to continue.
  • Enrolment and interview
  • Submit your proof of identity and other documentation.
  • You may be asked to attend an interview at the college.
  • Once payment is made you will have a confirmed place on your course.

Start Learning

Your induction process starts before you get to college with our online induction courses, maximising your time in learning.

More information:

01480 422060 / Email the admissions team

Course Interview

Providing your application has been successful you will be invited for an interview (where relevant); this will either be in person or via the telephone. During your interview we will discuss the course at length with you to make sure that you are aware of the commitment required and that it is the most appropriate course for you; looking at why you have applied for the course and what your plans for the future are.

You may also be asked to undertake a basic skills test or a piece of academic writing. This allows us to assess your existing levels; the results won’t affect whether you are accepted onto the programme or not but allows us to identify any additional help or support that you may need to achieve your qualification. During your interview you will also have the opportunity to discuss any other aspects of study such as work placements, assignments, exams and study support.

Payment & Funding


In order to get a confirmed place on a course you will be required to have either paid your course fees in full or have signed up to our ‘Pay as You Learn’ monthly direct debit scheme. You will have been asked to complete a funding eligibility sheet as part of the application process; this will be reviewed and the amount you are required to pay calculated on an individual basis.

The Fees and Finance section of the website contains a wealth of information on additional sources of financial help.


The College of Animal Welfare offers a variety of ways to pay for course fees, details can be found on each course page, along with additional information here.

More Information

01480 422060 / Email the funding team

Preparing to Study

Once you have a confirmed place on a course you will receive a pre-course information booklet about your course including information on term dates, study support, dress code, catering facilities and recommended reading. The information included in this booklet will help you get ready for the start of your course.


Induction will either be carried out online, at interview or on the day of your programme. You will receive information on the College’s facilities, your course, how to get support and the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) which contains a whole wealth of student information as well as course materials, course handbook and study resources.

For courses with a classroom element you will have a tour of the building. Each class appoints a student rep – this person will be responsible for representing the views of the students in the group via direct communication with the programme team and regular course reviews. You will also look at College policies and procedures and important information such as equality, diversity, inclusion, health and safety, reporting absences, disciplinary procedures and first aid.

Financial Support

There are occasions when students find themselves in times of financial hardship. There may be sources of support that can help you to continue studying, including The College of Animal Welfare Student Hardship Fund.

More information:

Financial support

01480 422060 / Email the funding team

Personal Support

If you encounter a situation which you need advice or help with, please speak to your tutor or a member of the CAT team in the first instance. They will be able to direct you to sources of help and support. Details of support organisations can also be found on student notice boards at all centres and on the support section our website.

All CAW students are able to access confidential counselling services supplied by Jill Dighton MBACP in Huntingdon and Mark Walsh BACP in Leeds.

Appointments are available face-to-face with Jill Dighton at Headland House or in her clinic in Grafham, and with Mark Walsh at the Leeds centre or at the Satori Complementary Therapy Centre in Wakefield. Sessions are also available to ALL CAW students by video conference, phone, FaceTime or similar.

All appointments must be made directly with Jill and Mark; students can access this service at no cost. Please note the all appointments are confidential between you and the counsellors.

Jill Dighton
Tel: 07925 852 985
Email: jill@jdighton.co.uk

Mark Walsh
Tel: 07905 611 591
Email: mwalsh4@sky.com


Fika is a remotely accessible mental fitness platform, empowering individuals with guided mental skills development courses with proven benefits on mental wellbeing and performance.

All our students and staff have free access to Fika. Built from a robust evidence-base by an expert team. Fika draws on methods and theories of positive psychology as well as acceptance and commitment therapy, solution-focused therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness to build Mental Fitness. Find out more at the Fika website here.


All our staff and students can now access free online mental health and wellbeing support through Together All (formerly Big White Wall) This service can be used at any time of the day or night, all year round.

Whether you’re suffering from stress, problems with sleep, feeling low or unable to cope, or simply need someone to talk to, Together All can help you get support, take control and feel better. Most members report feeling better and more able to cope as a result of using the service. What’s more – nearly 90% use Together All outside of 9-5pm.

More information: 01480 422060 / Email us / Confidential Concerns

Tutorials and Learner Reviews

All students will receive regular tutorials and reviews with their personal tutor. These will provide you with the opportunity to evaluate and review your progress on your course and talk through any difficulties or additional support you may need either inside or outside of college.

For apprentices or students whose training is being supported by their employer, a copy of each learning support plan completed at the review will be sent to the employer/allocated employer representative.

Study Support

During your course you will have access to a tutor in person, by phone or via email. You can contact them for help, advice or guidance on any issues you may be experiencing.

You will receive reviews with your tutor at least every 12 weeks; during these reviews you will have the opportunity to discuss your progress on the course, your employment/work placement, any issues or concerns you wish to raise, as well as looking as setting targets for the forthcoming review period. In addition, you will receive termly course reports which include results for assignments, tests and exams, attendance levels and punctuality; copies are sent to students, employers and parents where applicable.

On the VLE you will find various sources of support relevant to your course, such as course handbooks, revision help, study plan templates, help with referencing, basic skills, schemes of work and exam dates. If we have any cause for concern over how you are coping with your studies, we will arrange for an academic progress review. This is an opportunity for us to work with you to develop a plan for you to achieve in the expected timescales.

Student Liaison

We actively seek feedback from students about all aspects of the College through a variety of means such as evaluations, surveys and group interviews.

Course evaluations are your chance to give feedback on your experiences of your course. These will take place at regular intervals – initially following induction, then at the end of each term and then the end of your course. Lecturer evaluations also take place on a termly basis. Following analysis of this data an action plan is drawn up to ensure the College addresses any points raised.

If you have any suggestions, questions or concerns you can send them to us via our website.


We are committed to providing our students with the best possible service. We aim to treat everyone fairly, courteously and efficiently. If you believe any aspect of our service is not what you expected, please tell us. We take all complaints seriously, investigate them thoroughly and do our best to put the matter right. We will promptly inform you of the action we have taken.

You should contact your personal tutor in the first instance, otherwise the Quality Assurance Manager or the College Principal.

To express a concern or make a complaint:

Express your concerns or complaints@caw.ac.uk

Quality Assurance Manager: 01480 422060

Learning Support Materials

Each of our centres has a well-stocked library. In addition to this we have an online eLibrary where students can read books online or download them for a period of time.

Libraries are open from Monday to Friday, 8.30am-4.30pm, except during bank holidays. Access may be arranged out of hours. Please speak to the centre receptionist.

The eLibrary can be accessed from the College’s VLE 24 hours a day.

Netbooks are available for use at College and for longer term loan on request.

More information: 01480 422060 / Email the admissions team

Careers Advice

Here at the College of Animal Welfare, we are passionate about supporting you in achieving their aspirations. You will be offered the opportunity to gain careers advice throughout your time with us.

We also offer a range of online resources for students to consider and to help you in planning your next steps.

What Next / Careers

You will also find a wide range of resources in the ‘Student Information’ area of our VLE (virtual learning environment) to further assist in seeking out the perfect career for you!

Placement Support

Our Placement Liaison Team are here to support you at each step of the way. With over 10 years of combined experience in sourcing placements for students, they can help find out the right student for your practice.

The team get to know all the students very well; being involved in the rigorous interviewing process before course places are offered, and staying in regular contact throughout their programme. This contact ensures they can provide a dedicated and informed point of contact for both students and practices alike.

To speak to a member of the placement team please call 01480 422060 or visit https://www.caw.ac.uk/vn-placement/team/

English and Maths Support

English and Maths are supported through the learner’s journey from an initial assessment, where strengths and weaknesses are identified. Learners are then supported to improve through the use of online resources, both skill specific and related to their chosen specialism, and are reassessed at 6 monthly intervals to ascertain progress.

Please contact our English and Maths Specialist support team for further details at lforrest@caw.ac.uk

SEND Support

We are committed to equality of access to all. You can view our Neurodiversity Statement here. If you have an additional need, you may have some questions before starting College, such as:

  • Will there be any support in the class to help me learn?
  • Will I be able to hear what people are saying?
  • Will I be able to access the facilities?
  • Who can I contact if I need more support?

Our dedicated ‘Learning Support Assistants’ can help you adjust to College life and can provide support for exam prep, study skills, anxiety, stress management and for other issues that you may be concerned about.

We want you enjoy learning with us and offer appropriate support, where required, to enable you to do this.


“We understand the many challenges faced by our neurodivergent learners and we are committed to making The College of Animal Welfare a safe, empathetic and fully-inclusive learning environment”

To further support our pledge to neurodivergent learners a collection of ‘Neurodiversity Factsheets’ have been developed to help us better support our learners with additional needs. They include information about common symptoms of various neurodivergent conditions and practical solutions to help in the classroom, online and in your everyday life.

ADD and ADHD Factsheet

Anxiety Factsheet

Autism and ASC Factsheet

Dyscalculia Factsheet

Dyslexia Factsheet

Dyspraxia Factsheet

Irlen Syndrome Factsheet

If you have any questions that you would like to discuss before you start College, please contact us. We will be happy to talk through your options and try to address any concerns you may have.

Employability Skills

The college understands the importance of enabling you to gain those vital lifelong employability skills. There is a dedicated area on our VLE to help you gain a greater understanding of what employers will expect from you as you move into the workplace. The area include access to resources ranging from behavioural tools and professional conduct assessments, designed to record and track your progress to copies of your learner reviews to help you to keep your focus on key areas of development. In addition to Employment Skills training and guidance on preparing for interviews.

Click on the image to view the PDF

Course Feedback/Reviews

Course Review and Evaluation The College is committed to a programme of continual monitoring and review of its provision and service. During the programme, students will be asked to participate in the evaluation of all aspects of our programmes by completing the following evaluations at certain points throughout your course.

Responses are collated and used by the College for reviewing and improving course provision, staff development, resourcing and self-assessment as part of our self-assessment report (SAR). We value your opinion, and encourage students to have a say in how the college develops and improves its service so please make your comments and feedback in as constructive a manner as possible. A suggestion box is also provided at each campus for this purpose. You can also submit online suggestions via the VLE in the Expressing Your Views section or via the website, Make a Suggestion. Employers are also encouraged to participate in the review process.

Wider Curriculum

The College of Animal Welfare are committed to enabling you to make the most of your time with us, enjoying your experience, along with gaining valuable skills and qualifications to ensure a bright and prosperous future.

In addition to this, we also want to give you the foundations to reach your ambitions as a future-proof individual. You can find out more about our commitment to how we encourage and engrain this approach here. Responses are be collated and used by the College for: (i) Reviewing and improving course provision (ii) Staff development (iii) Resourcing (iv) Self-Assessment as part of our self-assessment report (SAR) We value your opinion, and encourage students to have a say in how the college develops and improves its service so please make your comments and feedback in as constructive a manner as possible. A suggestion box is also provided at each campus for this purpose. You can also submit online suggestions via the VLE in the Expressing Your Views section or via the website, Make a Suggestion. Employers are encouraged to participate in the review process by completing an annual employer survey. The ‘You said, we did’ area on the VLE provides course specific examples where changes have been made in response to student and employer feedback.


Once all the required elements of your course are complete, we will send off a request to the relevant awarding body who will issue your qualification certificate. Once we receive this certificate we will send it to your address.

Once all the required elements of your course are complete and on completion of an exit interview we will send off a request to the relevant awarding body who will issue your qualification certificate. Once we receive this certificate we will send it to your address.

For certification enquiries please contact: 01480 422060 / Email student services

Professional Registration

Veterinary nursing students

In order to work as a registered veterinary nurse (RVN), veterinary nursing students who have completed their qualification (Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing or BSc/FdSc Veterinary Nursing) will need to join the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ (RCVS) Register of Veterinary Nurses.

Students will will need to submit their registration documentation for processing.

For registration enquiries please contact:

01480 422060 / Email student services

AAT accountancy students

On completion of the AAT Level 4 Diploma in Accounting, you can apply to the Association of Accounting technicians (AAT) for full AAT membership. As a full member you will be entitled to use the letters MAAT after your name; this demonstrates your commitment to your career and professional development.

You can apply online here.

ILM leadership and management students

Once you have completed your leadership and management qualification you can join the ILM as a member. There are three levels of membership; which level you can join will depend on your qualification and work experience.

Read about professional membership here.

Finding Employment

Job search

Create a free CV profile to help employers find you: Register today.

Find local jobs advertised on our job board: CAW Jobs.

Veterinary nursing and animal care students

You may wish to look for employment in the animal care or veterinary sector once you have finished your course. There are a number of online jobs sites that can help you in your search. We can also help with CV writing, college references and interview techniques.
What Next? / 01480 422060 / Email us

AAT accountancy students

As an accountancy student, it is likely that you are already employed in the industry. However, if you are looking for a job in accountancy or looking for a different type of role to progress your career further, there are a couple of websites that can help in your search:

AAT Jobs

Accountancy Age JobsWhat Next? / 01480 422060 / Email us

CV Writing and Interview Techniques

Whether you are looking for your first job, or are looking to prepare for future interviews, it is essential that you keep your CV up-to-date and know how to give yourself the best chance of securing, and succeeding at, an interview.

Take a look at CV writing and interview techniques.

Further Study

We hope that studying with us has increased your appetite for learning.

Every profession is always changing and, as such, it is important to keep your knowledge and skills up-to-date with Continuing Professional Development (CPD). We offer a wide range of courses in a variety of subjects.

CAW Connect

After you complete your studies with The College of Animal Welfare, you will be invited to join our alumni association, CAW Connect. CAW Connect is a social networking website and education hub which gives you the opportunity to connect with other members, enjoy industry discounts, make use of exclusive content, find new career opportunities and keep up-to-date with the latest industry news. To login to your CAW Connect account, simply use the personal login details provided to you in your course completion letter.
Find out more about our alumni association

More information: What Next? / 01480 422060 / Email us