Course Overview

A Level 2 Animal Care Apprenticeship is also available

This City & Guilds programme is ideal for those who are working with animals, looking for a qualification that reflects their practical skills and knowledge.

This course is studied on a work based learning basis. Whilst the majority of students choose to undertake the Animal Care and Welfare pathway of this qualification, there are other pathways available such as Animal Training and Pet Care and Retail; allowing you to tailor the course to your interests, job requirements and career objectives.

Your course materials will be provided via our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), meaning you can work towards your qualification in your own time, at work or at home, or even on the move!

The knowledge you will gain from undertaking this qualification, alongside the practical experience you will be accumulating through employment or work experience, will enable you to do your job more effectively and boost your career prospects.

Key Facts

  • Attendance: You will not be required to come into college but there will be an element of online learning.
  • Duration: 12-14 months.
  • Start date: The work-based learning programme can be started at any time.
  • Location: As this qualification is work-based no college attendance is required. Your tuition will be provided online, and you will be supported by a personal tutor who will assess your work and provide feedback. Regular contact and support will be carried out by your tutor via email, telephone and Microsoft Teams.
Course Content

A Level 2 Animal Care Apprenticeship is also available

Over the course of the qualification you will undertake the following mandatory units:

  • Maintain and develop personal performance
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with others
  • Promote and maintain the health and well-being of animals
  • Select and prepare accommodation for animals
  • Maintain animal accommodation
  • Control and restrain animals
  • Moving animals between locations
  • Make sure your own actions reduce risks to health and safety
  • Maintain the cleanliness and bio security of the animal care working environment
  • Prepare feed for animals
  • Provide feed and water to animals

You will then choose from a range of optional units such as:

  • Provide controlled exercise opportunities for animals
  • Provide opportunities for animals to have freedom to exercise
  • Welcome, receive and care for visitors to sites
  • Prepare and groom animals
  • Dry dogs prepare their coats for styling
  • Load and unload animals for transportation

As some of the units that make up the qualification are optional, you will have the opportunity to discuss the units that you will be undertaking at induction to make sure they fit with your interests and job role.


You will complete a portfolio and  pass work-based practical assessments.

Entry Requirements

A Level 2 Animal Care Apprenticeship is also available

There are no formal academic entry requirements; however you should be employed in a suitable animal care environment (such as a boarding kennels, cattery, animal charity or zoo). You must have a mentor in your workplace who is willing to support you through your qualification.

Course Fees

Course fees can either be paid in full before the beginning of the course, on an annual basis, or via our ‘Pay As You Learn’ monthly payment scheme. A CAW Loans2Learn scheme is also available, details can be found below.

If you have not achieved your qualification by the planned end date detailed in your individual learning plan, you will be able to continue to receive support and access to your course by paying monthly direct debit payments until certification of your award.

Course Fees

Full Fee Annual Pay As You Learn
£2,195 £1,098 per year £122 per month

Awarding Body Fees*

Awarding Body Fees: £214.10

* Awarding Body Fees are payable by all students or employers and recharged at cost and may be subject to change.

Funding Available to Residents of Peterborough and Cambridgeshire (Subject to Eligibility)
Check if you are eligible to undertake this course for free.

A Level 2 Animal Care Apprenticeship is also available – view fees

The CAW Loans2Learn scheme is a personal loan that can help you to spread the cost of your course into manageable payments. The loan can be used to fully or partially cover your course fees (but does not cover any awarding body fees, such as enrolment and examination fees). More information can be found here.


Other 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.

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 as a result of age, employment status, previous education achievements, or location for example, and are outside the control of The College of Animal Welfare.

What Next?

Completion of this qualification will demonstrate to employers your practical skills and abilities, standing you in good stead when applying for future job roles in the industry. Depending on your personal skills and career aims, you could pursue employment in, for example, a cattery, kennels or rescue centre. If you’re looking for your next opportunity, our jobs board advertises current animal care jobs from time-to-time.

This course will also lay the foundations for further animal care study. As such you may wish to look at undertaking the Level 3 Diploma in Work-based Animal Care. To do this, you will need to be working in a supervisory role. If you have any concerns about whether your job role will allow you to do this, please speak to your work based assessor or a member of our Customer Advice Team on 01480 422060.