Course Details


Barnsley College offers you the opportunity to prepare for a range of challenging and exciting careers working with animals. We have our own working farm, Wigfield Farm in Worsbrough, which has over 60 species of animals on site.

Studying at the farm will give you hands-on experience of working with animals such as sheep, cattle, pigs, meerkats, rabbits, alpacas and reptiles.

How long is the course?

This two year full-time course commences in September.

What will I study?

Year 1

Biological Principles

This module will develop your understanding of cell and tissue structure. It will also introduce some basic chemistry that relates to biological concepts and will give you the opportunity to increase your confidence in carrying out basic laboratory skills.

Small Business Enterprise

This module will provide you with an understanding of the basic principles to help set up your own business.

Animal Husbandry

In this module you will have the opportunity to apply your practical skills in direct handling and management of animals and to understand the relationship between husbandry and disease prevention.

Research Skills and Techniques

This module aims to develop your skills of independent enquiry, understand data and apply statistical tests. You will plan your own research project that you will implement in second year.

Anatomy and Physiology

You will learn about physical support and movement in animals, body transport systems, the acquisition of materials and removal of waste and animal reproduction.

Principles of Ecology

This module will develop your understanding of ecological concepts by giving you opportunities to practice ecological skills and techniques.

Year 2

Aquatic Ecology

You will learn to identify a range of aquatic organisms and carry out a freshwater survey. You will develop understanding of feeding and reproductive strategies in fish and will evaluate the impact of exploiting aquatic species.

Animal Behaviour

In this module you will investigate communication, feeding and reproductive behaviours. You will also investigate learning and its applications.

Research Project

You will have the opportunity to carry out your own research project and develop a range of transferrable skills, such as independence, initiative, time management and organisational skills.


You will gain a fundamental understanding of the principles behind genetics and the application of a range of genetic manipulation techniques.

Animal Health and Welfare

This module aims to develop understanding of factors that influence animal health and agents that cause ill health.

Optional Modules

  • Horse husbandry
  • Farm livestock

 Educational visits and trips

  • Educational visit to Chester Zoo with talk on conservation.
  • Educational visit to Yorkshire Wildlife Park to view a different type of animal collection.
  • Educational visit to The Deep
  • Optional educational visit to London Natural History Museum.

Where will I study?

Study is based mainly at Wigfield Farm, Haverlands Lane, Worsbrough, Barnsley S70 5NQ

What equipment will I need?

All learners on Land Based programmes are required to wear standard uniform and also PPE for practical work in the form of steel toe capped boots and overalls.  

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is by assignments, presentations, reports and tests. There is no formal end examination.

What can I do next?

There are several opportunities available, one of which is to carry on studying for a top-up degree (Level 6) in an animal related subject.

Beyond College, there are many opportunities such as groomer, RSPCA, veterinary nurse, army dog handler, customs dog handler, equine or stable work, animal behaviourist, zoo keeper and animal technician.

How do I apply?

Apply directly via UCAS.

How much does the course cost?

Course fees: £5,995 per year 

Student Finance

As a Higher Education student living in England you may be eligible for the non-means tested Tuition Fee Loan from the Government. See the Fees and Finance page for further information.

Disability and Dyslexia Service

Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can provide you with the support you need.

Further information

For further information please contact our friendly Information Team on +44 (0)1226 216 123 or email

Any changes to the information on this page can be found on the Updates to Information page

Is an award of the University of Hull