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*.

Why study animal care in Manchester?

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.

Our Animal Care courses will be offered at brand new facilities at our Wythenshawe Campus. Find out more about our new facilities

*NARTs 18/19

Can you reach your potential in Animal Care? You can with us!

Make it possible today, view our range of Animal Care courses and enrol to study at the No.1 College in Greater Manchester.

Aged 16-18? Apply now

Aged 19+? Apply now

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 Entry Level/Level 1 Small Animal Care Skills through to Level 2 Animal Care and then at Level 3 with Practical Animal Care Skills (if you've previously studied at Level 2) and Animal Management.

  • Small Animal Care Course 
  • Animal Care Course 
  • Animal Management Course 

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 work placement at a vets, riding stables, kennels or pet shop.

Browse our courses

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:

Liz Peters - Head of Department

Liz possesses 30 years’ experience in the service industries and worked as a manager in a variety of colleges including Bury College, Calderdale College and West Lancashire College.

Liz became Head of Department for Animal Care in 2021 after spending a number of years as Assistant Principal for Service and Retail Industries.

She is passionate about improving the lives and the employability skills of learners in Greater Manchester.

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.

From September 2022 our Animal Care department and its huge variety of animals will move from its current home at our Northenden campus to a new home and brand new facilities at our Wythenshawe campus.

At Wythenshawe you’ll working with everything from rabbits, guinea pigs and chickens, right through to lovebirds, leopard gecko 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 or on our YouTube playlist:

Download our subject area guide

Watch our YouTube playlist

Photo gallery

Top Careers Opportunities

Animal Care at The Manchester College is really enjoyable. You get to learn lots of theory on topics such as biology, which supports all the practical work we do caring for the animals. There were other courses closer to where I live, but I chose this one because of its study modules. I originally wanted to work with dogs in particular, but there is such a large mix of animals. I’m loving working with the racoons.”

Abigail Murray • Level 3 Animal Management

The course and the facilities for Animal Management are outstanding. My time here has opened my eyes to how many different job opportunities there are in animal management, and this has really pushed me to achieve my dream career.

Harry Rayer • Level 3 Animal Management

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.

Learn more