Animal Care

Exam Board: Pearson

This course provides an engaging introduction to the animal care sector. Animal care is a vital sub-sector within the land-based industry and is important to the UK economy, with an increasing demand. Alongside the knowledge-based learning of animal health; learners will also develop their safe animal handling skills, which is vital in order to effectively care for animals.

The core units within this qualification include:

Unit 1: Animal Health – In this unit, you will learn how to assess the health of dogs, cats, rabbits, goats, chickens and bearded dragons as well as disease and parasite prevention.

Unit 2: Animal Handling – This unit will help you become competent in handling and restraining small animals, large animals, exotic animals and reptiles.

The optional specialist units within this qualification include:

Unit 4: Animal Housing – In this unit, you will explore how to select and prepare animal accommodation in line with different animals’ needs.

Unit 5: Principles of Animal Behaviour – In this unit, you will also learn about animal behaviour by visually monitoring animals and recording the behaviours you observe.

The specialist units give learners the opportunity to develop work-related skills and enhance practical application of the core skills.


The qualification is divided into one externally assessed core unit and the remaining units are internally assessed:

Unit 1 Animal Health: Core unit (1 hour externally assessed exam – 25% of the overall qualification)

Unit 2 Animal Handling: Core unit (internally assessed – 25% of the overall qualification)

Unit 4 Animal Housing: Optional unit (internally assessed – 25% of the overall qualification)

Unit 5 Principles of Animal Behaviour: Optional unit (internally assessed – 25% 25% of the overall qualification)

Evidence for internally assessed units can be generated through a range of activities, including role play, practical performance and verbal presentations.

Where can it lead?

A level 2 BTEC First Award in animal care can allow learners to progress to:

Level 3 vocational qualifications, such as the BTEC Level 3 Nationals in Animal Management

This can lead to job roles such as a dog groomer, animal welfare officer, zoo keeper.

Level 3 Veterinary Nurse Apprenticeship

Degree level study: Animal Science BSc (Hons), Animal Biology BSc (Hons), Zoo Biology BSc (Hons), Animal Behaviour BSc (Hons), Zoology BSc (Hons), Animal Management and Science BSc (Hons)

A job in the Animal Care industry could take you to work in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, America or the rest of the world.