This is a full-time, modular course requiring two days attendance per week for two years at either Abingdon & Witney College or Solihull College with additional time spent developing practical skills at either Common Leys Farm or Solihull’s Animal Care Centre and in a work placement. There are eight compulsory modules per year and the course has been designed to provide logical progression through the two years of study. A more part-time mode of study over 3 years is available at Solihull College.
In Year 1 you will be introduced to areas such as critical thinking and academic writing, and will develop a portfolio to support your professional development alongside a work placement. You will also progress practical handling and husbandry skills. You are introduced to the principles of animal behaviour alongside current welfare and ethical issues.
This will lead to an exploration of welfare issues in a diverse range of contextualised scenarios in Year 2. You will undertake applied behaviour studies to improve welfare in husbandry management practices. In the second year you also get the opportunity to start developing research skills as you carry out an individually chosen research project. This will have a specific focus on monitoring and improving animal behaviour and welfare within the industry.
The foundation degree will enable you to develop interpersonal skills and to be a critically informed and resourceful individual, aware of the wider impact of land-based activities on the environment, society and organisational stakeholders. Trips and guest speakers, in addition to a work placement and individual industry project, help strengthen your links to the workplace and develop your skills for employment.
All modules in both years are compulsory. As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules may vary from those shown here.
- Professional and Academic Skills
- Animal Biology
- Practical Animal Husbandry
- Animal Ethics
- Enterprise Skills
- Animal Welfare
- Animal Anatomy and Physiology
- Principles of Animal Behaviour
- Industry-based Project (Double module)
- Applied Animal Behaviour
- Animal Nutrition
- Animal Health and Disease
- Exotic Animal Trade and Collections
- Animal Breeding and Genetics
- International Zoo Practices and Conservation
A key feature of all foundation degrees is that the theoretical knowledge acquired in the formally taught part of the course is applied to real-life situations in the workplace. During your first year, these skills will be developed, in particular, through the module on Practical Animal Husbandry and on an industrial placement, which is connected to the Professional and Academic Skills Module.
We expect students to complete a minimum of 30 days on the industrial work placement or to be in paid employment within the animal care sector, to fulfil the practical requirements of this course.
In Year 2 you will design and complete a project relevant to the workplace based on the skills you have developed throughout the course. You will need to have links with an employer to complete the project and will be given help in finding a suitable employer if necessary.
You go on a number of educational visits to animal farms and zoos. For example, students studying at Abingdon & Witney College visit the Cotswold Wildlife Park, Whipsnade Zoo and Crufts, enabling you to see how the industry works and preparing you for future employment.
- Students will be required to purchase practical uniform and steel-toe capped boots for use if they work in the Animal Care Centre / Animal Unit.
- Attendance on a variety of day trips and at a number of guest lectures may be a compulsory part of the course and students will be required to pay the associated fees.
- There will also be additional costs for learning resources such as books, stationary and for the production of coursework.