Animal Care

Whether you dream of working with pets, wildlife or exotic creatures, you can start your journey to a great career in Animal Care right here at The Manchester College – the No.1 College in Greater Manchester for achievement*.

The demand for animal care professionals is increasing every year. If you’d like to become a zookeeper, animal behaviorist or even travel the world caring for desert, jungle or ocean wildlife, you’ve come to the right place.

*NARTs 18/19

  • Through our Centre of Excellence for Animal Care we’ll prepare you for a wide range of roles working with animals.

    You don’t need any previous experience to enrol as we offer courses for all levels and abilities from Level 1 Land Based Studies with Animal Care qualification through to Level 2 Animal Care and Level 3 Animal Management.

    As you progress through your journey with The Manchester College, you’ll learn advanced animal husbandry skills and cover complex topics such as genetics.

    Whichever course you’re studying, you’ll gain a greater understanding of lots of different species, as well as learn all the practical skills you’ll need to care for them properly.

    As well as hands-on activities, we want to make sure you have everything you need for a successful career. So, you’ll be gaining crucial work experience through our Centre of Excellence for Animal Care. You could end up with a placement at a vets, riding stables, kennels or pet shop.

  • Our welcoming and supportive tutors and technicians are passionate about animals, wildlife and the environment. Each member of the department has a wealth of knowledge and experience in both animal care and teaching.

    From working as a Marine Biologist in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to working in British conservation and ecology, you’ll learn from their experiences and benefit from their links to the industry.

    Learn more about some of our tutors and technicians:

    Jayne Shakeshaft - Department Team Leader

    Jayne took over as Department Team Leader in August 2018.

    She has 21 years of teaching experience – including 17 years spent teaching Science, Biology and Chemistry at both GCSE and A level and four years working in Animal Care education.

    Jayne has a lifelong interest in animals and has owned a horse, rats, cats and dogs. She also has an interest in all aspects of natural history and environmental biology.

    Jack Stevens - Animal Technician

    Jack has worked within the animal industry for 10 years, since beginning work experience in secondary school at a dog training center.

    He has worked with various species in animal collections including Eurasian wild boar, wallabies and skunks - which is why he finds this industry to be hugely rewarding. Jack has a love of some domestic animals too, he even has a pet rabbit called Theo and English Bull terrier called Thomas.

    Deborah Stevens -Tutor

    Deborah is one of our Animal Care tutors and has a BSC Degree in Marine Biology & Zoology.

    Her varied experience includes Working in Australia as a Marine Biologist, teaching guests about the ecosystem of the reef and all it’s inhabitants, whilst helping survey for damage and conducting Coral health assessments. Deborah is one of our specialist in animal health and welfare as well sustainability.

  • Our Northenden campus in South Manchester is home to our Animal Care department and more than 100 mammals, birds, reptiles and insects.

    You’ll be working with everything from rabbits, guinea pigs and chickens, right through to love birds, leopard geckos and a royal python. We’ve even got a racoon.

    If you love animals, you’re in for a real treat.

  • Find out even more about our Animal Care department in our subject area guide:


  • Whether you're having second thoughts about where you're currently studying or you've not yet decided what to do next, there are still places available at the No.1 College in Greater Manchester.

    Enrol on campus and start today, no appointment necessary.

    Enrol Now

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Available Courses

Animal Management

Level 3

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Land Based Studies with Animal Care

Level 1

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Animal Care

Level 2

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Top Careers Opportunities


Average salary: £30k

Animal care worker

Average salary: £16k


Average salary: £19k

Veterinary nurse

Average salary: £21k

This course was a great way to ease back in to studies after a long break. I feel more confident and will keep building up my skills.

Aurore Doineau • Level 2 Adult Animal Nursing Assistants

It was great to spend time with a variety of animals and have the chance to hold them. I’ve made some great new friends.

Kathryne Jose • Level 2 Adult Animal Nursing Assistants

In one of The Manchester College’s 19 Centres of Excellence you’ll develop the skills and gain the qualifications that you need to take the next steps towards your dream career.

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