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Animal Management Access to Higher Education Advanced (Level 3)

This is a one-year Level 3 intensive course aimed at mature students (19+) without the standard qualifications to enter higher education. The course enables you to develop your knowledge of a range of animal related subjects for progression to higher education degree-level courses. The Zoological Education Centre at Shuttleworth houses a wide range of species from around the world.  There will be opportunities to gain practical experience working with these animals to enhance your experience on the course.


Before starting this Access course at Shuttleworth College I had been out of education for 10 years. I worked in retail after leaving school and more recently had a cleaning job. Whilst this offered plenty of flexibility while my daughter was young, I wasn’t happy and deep down knew I wanted to get back into education.

I love animals and have always had a dream of opening a cat sanctuary. I looked into Animal Care courses after a colleague recommended Shuttleworth College to me. When I spoke to staff they suggested I’d be a good candidate for the Access course, so here I am!

I took out the Advanced Learner Loan to cover the cost of the course and the College have been fantastic helping with childcare fees and a travel bursary. 

My plan is to go on to an Animal Science degree here next year, which I would never have believed when I started looking at courses. I’m not very academic so the Access course has been a challenge, particularly the assignments and essays. However, the tutors have been fantastic at keeping us on the right track – and they really bring the love of animals alive!  I’ve come to realise that I am more than capable; I’ve just got to keep that self-confidence going inside. 

Shuttleworth College is such an inspirational place and the Animal Unit is fantastic. We get to work with so many different species and you can’t help but take pride in caring for them. 

Jenna - Access to Animal Management 

Entry requirements

You must be aged 19 or over to apply and will need to have English Language and maths GCSE at grade 4 (GCSE Grade C) or above or equivalent Level 2 qualifications. Applicants may be accepted on the Access Diploma with one of these, subject to a successful interview and entry test to show you are working at level 2. You will have to gain the other level 2 during the same year to progress to university. If your first language is not English will need an IELTS score of 5.5 or higher.

You will also need to have good IT skills as all of your assignments will be carried out using either Word, Excel or PowerPoint. You can undertake IT Skills classes at our Learning Centres.

It is very important to research the entry criteria of the universities you would like to apply to. You will need a minimum of GCSE English and maths, in addition to your Access qualification, for entry onto degree-level courses. We currently offer GCSE and Functional Skills part-time courses, which you may be able to enrol on alongside your Access course to gain these qualifications. Many university courses can be very competitive and it’s important to understand and fulfil the entry requirements prior to applying.

Course content

On this course you will study a variety of units including:

Science units will cover a range of topics including:

  • The structure and function of biological systems in animals
  • The role of cells and cell division
  • Nutritional values and properties of food

Animal Management units include opportunities to study animals at the centre through topics such as:

  • Animal behaviour
  • Promote animal health

During the course you will study the following units:

  • Animal Science
  • Principles of Biology
  • Evolution and Ecology
  • Inheritance, Evolution and Breeding
  • Conservation
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Animal Management
  • Promote Health
  • Animal Nutrition

Core Units

  • Study skills
  • Maths
  • English
  • Research Project

NB Units are subject to change

You will develop self confidence in your ability to learn and develop the necessary academic skills such as essay writing and research skills to prepare you for university.

Assessment methods

Assessment will be continuous throughout the course and will involve a variety of methods such as essays, presentations, projects and examinations. To enable you to be successful on the course you will need to be able to use IT to produce essays, reports, presentations and statistical data.


Access to HE Diploma Animal Management

Further study and career options

On completion of this course you could progress on to an Animal Management Foundation Degree at Shuttleworth College with a top up year to BSc available through the University of Bedfordshire.

Additional information

You will be required to attend College for two days a week on a Wednesday, and Friday and you will also be expected to study for approximately 15 hours a week outside of college some of which will be online learning. There may be opportunities to attend trips to local animal establishments and these will be discussed during the course.

Please declare if you have English and maths GCSEs and/or Functional Skills qualifications – this information is required (note: you will need to provide evidence prior to enrolment). Once we’ve processed your application you will be contacted by email.

Pay by instalments

The College offers an instalment plan for Further Education and Higher Education courses to students where the total amount payable at the point of enrolment is £200 or more. Within the scheme there is an ability to pay up to 6 instalments, depending on the length of the courses and the final payment must be paid at least a month before the end of the course.

Funding information

If you are aged 19 or over, you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help you pay the tuition fees for this course. Alternatively, you can pay by instalments to help make the cost more affordable. Find out more about your payment options at

If you complete one of our Access to Higher Education courses and use an Advanced Learner Loan to pay for your tuition fee, the Student Loans Company will write off the balance on the Advanced Learner Loan if you then go on to complete an undergraduate course.

18 year olds may apply and will need to have English Language and Maths GCSE at grade C (4) or above or equivalent level 2 qualifications before the start of the course and be subject to a successful interview. Successful applicants will be in college for 2 days per week and will also be required to undertake additional studies up to 50 hours (which will support in providing valuable experience to include in UCAS applications aiding progression to Higher Education). If you are successful you may qualify for a free place. Alternatively we offer Level 2 and Level 3 courses that may be funded for 16-18 year olds.

Course Information & How to Apply

To apply online, select the 'Apply' button below. You will need to register an account and then you can follow the instructions on screen.

LengthStart DateFeesLocationCourse Code
1 year 13/09/2021 Launch our fee calculatorLaunch our fee calculator Shuttleworth College SOB1336

Apply Online

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Our upcoming 2021-22 part-time courses will be out in May. Get alerted when they're released by selecting your campus of choice below and filling out the relevant form:

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Additional Learning Support
If you have a specific learning difficulty or disability, are deaf or hearing impaired, our Additional Learning Support team are on hand to give you assistance whenever you need it.  Find out more.

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Support
At Bedford College, we are committed to developing the provision for students on the autistic spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome.  Find out more.

We have access arrangements in place to help students with disabilities or any other particular needs. Call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

Additional formats
Course information sheets are also available in large print and audio formats. Call us on
01234 291000 to order your copy.

Don't let money be a worry! Low-interest loans - study now, pay later

Advanced Learner Loans
If you’re aged 19 or over on the start date of your chosen course, you can apply for a loan to cover the tuition fees for some Level 3+ qualifications. There’s also nothing to pay back until you’ve completed your course and you’re earning over £25,000 per year!

» Visit the Advanced Learner Loans page for more information