Level 1.5 Animal Studies
“I’m really enjoying the course, it’s a dream come true. We have a really good balance of theory and practical, so that we’re putting what we learn into use straight away. Each week we do ‘duties’ on the farm, which usually includes doing basic health checks and giving food and water to the animals. At the moment it’s lambing season, so we’re helping out with that. The facilities here are amazing, and we get great experience working with all sorts of different animals. The teachers are approachable and they’re all really knowledgeable.”
Level 3 Animal Studies - Year 1
“I’ve always been interested in animals, but I’d never really thought about it as an option for my career. I found Nescot’s prospectus when I was at school, and I couldn’t believe that I could study animals full-time. I came to an open event with my mum, and we were both really impressed with the college.
“When I came to an open event to see Nescot for the first time, I couldn’t believe it. There’s so much space here, and the college is pristine. We have access to so many different types of animals on the Animal Care Unit. I’ve been here two years now, and I still can’t believe that this is the college experience we get to have – that we can learn directly from all these different animals in this beautiful environment, rather than just sitting in a classroom reading from a textbook.
“I’ve learnt so much already at Nescot. For example, how to handle animals, how to care for them, how to check them and to identify and treat diseases, and the right care for different types of animals. The course can be hard at times, but it’s so much more rewarding than being at school. The teaching is great, especially because the tutors have worked in the industry themselves. We also do tutorials, where we learn about things like taking care of your mental health, and managing your money.
“In the future I’m hoping to do a degree in Animal Studies, and then maybe to work in a zoo. I think working in the animal care industry can be really hard work physically and mentally, but really rewarding. Eventually I want to be the next David Attenborough, and specialise in conservation.”
Level 3 Animal Studies - Year 1
“The facilities at Nescot are amazing. I’ve always loved animals, and now I’m literally working on a farm. It’s like work experience every day, and I’m getting so much out of the course. We do study in classrooms too, but then you get to put that knowledge into practice straight away."
“I started with Level 2, and now I’m doing my Level 3. The course is hard at times – there’s a lot to know, and we cover everything from handling animals to health and safety. The teachers are always testing your knowledge in different ways, but that’s a good thing because it means you really get to understand things rather than just skimming over them. It can be physically hard to work on the farm too, like lifting heavy bags of animal feed, but again that’s good experience because you can see what the industry will really be like. I learn much better when I’m actually doing it myself rather than just reading from a book."
“Studying at Nescot has really developed my confidence. We do lots of group work and presentations, and answering questions in front of the class. At first I was really nervous about that, but getting to talk to different people is actually really good. The teachers make you feel comfortable, and it doesn’t matter if you get a question wrong. Everyone on the course is there because they’ve chosen to be there, and that makes a really big difference."
“As well as working on the farm we do trips and visits to different places so that we can learn more about different animals and different environments. My favourite trip was to Colchester Zoo, which was amazing. Because we’d already got the experience on the farm we got more out of the trip. For example, we were used to handling sheep and taking their temperature, so that means we learnt more from watching the keepers handling the bigger animals because you have your own experience as a baseline."
“The range of animals we have access to is amazing – a waterdragon, geckos, iguanas, guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, chinchillas, coatis, an owl, goats, sheep, pigs, donkeys, cats, dogs and chickens, and that’s not everything."
“In the future I want to be working in rehabilitating animals. I’d love to work with monkeys in their natural environment. Travelling around the world working with animals would be my dream.”
“My favourite animal is an arctic fox. They’re clever animals – they engineer their burrows deliberately, angling them so that they catch the first rays of sunrise and it warms them.”
Level 3 Animal Management
Kian is passionate about animals and chose to study at Nescot, where he could combine learning biology with practical skills in animal care, behaviour and management.
“Time on the farm here is valuable, but you can’t miss classroom or coursework – the tutors make sure we know what we have to achieve to progress to higher education and a career in the sector,” he says.
Kian’s most memorable part of the course was hearing from a visiting lecturer from a big cat sanctuary. “That session inspired my next steps,” he explains, “I’m going to do my degree in wildlife conservation at Writtle and plan to work with big cats in the future.”
Level 3 Animal Management
Abigail completed the two-year Level 3 Animal Management course in 2021 and now intends to study Zoology at Roehampton. Planning a career in the animal industry from a young age, the college has suited her ambitions perfectly.
“I chose the course at Nescot because it involves animal theory, science and hands-on experience with animals. What we learn in class we get to apply in practical sessions. I’ve learn so much – the terminology of the sector, animal husbandry, administering injections. This all comes from lecturers who share their expert knowledge and passion for working with animals.”
Abigail’s major project in the last year of her course was studying the impact of Covid on animals. “I’ve collected data from a wide variety of sources including my placement at Deen City Farm. Covid and its effect on society have had a major impact on animal behaviour, in ways you would not expect. Getting involved in this research has really developed my confidence ahead of university.”
Animal Care level 2 and 3, Foundation Degree and BSc in Animal Management
"I’d always had a passion for animals so this kind of course appealed to me. I progressed from a very small school and the teachers at Nescot really helped me settle in at college. The support was fantastic from the word go, and they helped me overcome various challenges I faced, including needing a wheelchair for some of my time as a student.
There was a real variety, every week would include time in the classroom as well as on the farm. Students are given nominated responsibilities for caring for the animals, and these change every few weeks so you get lots of experience of looking after different types of animal and understanding how the roles all fit together.
The best thing for me about being an animal care student at Nescot was that it is a really supportive team environment.
My experience on the Foundation Degree and BSc top-up in Animal Management was amazing. The staff at Nescot could not do enough to support me and help me achieve my First class with honours. I really enjoyed the animal behaviour element and the dissertation. The animal behaviour lessons inspired my next step. I have just started my MSc in Clinical Animal Behaviour, and in the future I’m hoping to set up my own business as a clinical animal behaviourist. I wouldn't be where I am today without the support from the staff at Nescot college."
I chose the course at Nescot because it involves animal theory, science and hands-on experience with animals. What we learn in class we get to apply in practical sessions. I’ve learnt so much – the terminology of the sector, animal husbandry, administering injections. This all comes from lecturers who share their expert knowledge and passion for working with animals
Time on the farm here is valuable, but you can’t miss classroom or coursework – the tutors make sure we know what we have to achieve to progress to higher education and a career in the sector. I’m going to do my degree in wildlife conservation at Writtle and plan to work with big cats in the future.