The world is your oyster with Animal Management at Shuttleworth College

The Pet Show hits the north of England this weekend (19th – 20th August). There’ll be all sorts of pets, great and small, but if you’re serious about a career in animal welfare, science or management it’s vital you learn to care for not just the cute, but the weird and wonderful too!

That’s where the Blue Cross award-winning Animal Centre at Shuttleworth College comes in. It’s divided into specialist zones housing both domestic animals and specialist zoo species from around the globe – around 400 species in total! Our animals are housed in a Defra approved facility where experienced staff provide care to the highest modern welfare standards enabling you to observe and develop current industry relevant skills.

Full-time student Jordan says: “With so many species it can be quite daunting to get to grips with all the requirements, but you learn something new every day and the weekly practical sessions ensure you gain experience in every area.”

Jordan would eventually like to work abroad in conservation, perhaps with elephants or sea turtles to help preserve these magnificent species. And why not? Studying at Shuttleworth is no ordinary experience and many of our students leave with equally high aspirations.

Where else can you help save a species from extinction? Last year, our students saved a species of tropical iguana when a rare Fiji Banded Iguana passed away at the Centre. Staff found three unhatched eggs in her terrarium and, along with the students, raised the trio of iguanas who were later micro-chipped and put on an international register as breeding stock for future conservation projects.

Students have travelled to Holland to the internationally renowned Royal Burgers’ Zoo, Bergen Safari Park and Ouwehands Dierenpark, while our undergraduate students have had the chance to go to Hungary for ten days to meet with fish farm experts and representatives from across the EU, as part of their ecology unit.

One of the units all of our students cover is Zoological Management where they learn to design and construct enclosures for a wide range of species. Fortunately, we have two of the biggest zoos in the country on our doorstep - Woburn and Whipsnade.  We have strong links with them and understand the importance of training students to their requirements. Many of our students have begun their careers at Woburn and Whipsnade as a result.

They also have plenty of involvement with the zoos throughout their study programmes. Students have spent a weekend at Woburn raising money for the International Elephant Foundation and work experience placements at Whipsnade Zoo include theory sessions in the mornings and assisting the keepers in the afternoons.

You can study a full-time study programme straight from school and then move on to our Foundation Degree before topping up to a full BSc in Animal Science here at Shuttleworth College, in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire. From here, you could go on to become a nutritionist, conservation officer, RSPCA worker or research scientist. As they say, the world is your oyster.

Find out more about Animal Management courses