NC Animal Care

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The NC Animal Care course helps you to develop the knowledge and understanding of the biology of animals. It helps you gain the practical skills needed to carry out duties in the care of animals. In addition, you will develop your core skills (which are transferable into any work situation), such as communications, numeracy, problem solving, study techniques, listening and investigating skills.


Successful completion of either the Pathways to Animal Biology and Science or NQ Applied Science level 5 programmes along with a positive team progression reference. 


  • Minimum of three national 4 qualifications (preferably in English, and Maths) plus one National 5 (preferably in a science) at grade C or above.
  • A minimum of 10 days work experience within an animal care related setting.
  • Applicants for this course must be 18 years of age by the end of October 2024 due to the Health and Safety requirements of the work placement.
  • Completion of a detailed Personal Statement is a requirement of progression to interview.



On the course you will study subjects such as:

  • Animal Anatomy and Physiology
  • Parasitology
  • Accommodation and Animal Handling
  • Small Animal Feeding
  • Healthcare
  • Avian Care
  • Ornamental Fish Care
  • Reptile and Amphibian Care
  • Farm Livestock
  • Safe Working Practices
  • Animal Survival Behaviour

In addition, you will obtain work experience in a local setting such as a vet practice, kennel, cattery or animal sanctuary.

This course does involve placements through the week. You will be expected to attend SRUC’s Barony Campus for a total of 4 weeks during the year (1 week at a time). This may take the form of residential stays for up to one week at a time in Dumfries or it will be full day placement with travel included. Accommodation and two meals will be included for overnight stays. Travel to Dumfries will be paid for. The Barony experience is a mandatory element of the course. Every student is also required to participate in an animal care work placement during the year from November to March.

This course will be delivered over 3 days each week between August and June. Placement will take an additional day per week.

Where can I go from here?

Graduates of this course will be able to go directly into the following courses: