Houghall animal care student holding rat, with East Durham College Houghall campus logo

Animal Care

The College offers a fantastic range of Animal Care courses at its Houghall Campus, on the outskirts of Durham City Centre.

Choose your Course

One of the most popular courses we offer at East Durham College, our range of animal care/animal husbandry and animal management courses are designed to prepare you for an exciting selection of careers in the animal care industry. All of our courses have a clear progression route, enabling you to gain further qualifications after completing your course, and helping to improve your career opportunities.

Animal care courses at East Durham College include plenty of hands-on work experience of interacting with a wide variety of animals and work-related activities and work experience placements play a vital role in your education too.

The animal care industry is worth £1 billion to the UK’s economy. It has 13,000 businesses, 78,000 employees and lots of volunteers. When talking about the animal care industry, we are generally referring to boarding kennels, catteries, pet breeders, training, grooming, animal welfare charities, zoos, wildlife parks, public services and performing animals in film and television.

Have a Look Around!

Want to take a look at our amazing animal care facilities for yourself? Of course you do! Use our 360 degree tour to take a look around the centre (and the rest of our Houghall campus if you wish!).

Animals & Facilities

Set on a stunning 476-acre estate, minutes from Durham City Centre, the Houghall Campus is a fantastic place to study animal care.

In September 2016 a new, purpose-built small animal care centre was opened. Inside you'll find a snake house, lizard house, tortoise house, aquatics, small mammals house and an aviary. There is also a commercial dog grooming studio, new, 22-bay dog kennel unit and a new dog agility and walking area.

We have invested over £3 million into the new animal care centre, ensuring you get the very best facilities during your time with East Durham College.

Inside our small animal care centre you'll find many different species of animals including snakes, tortoises, hamsters, rabbits, chinchillas, frogs, lizards and many others. You'll gain valuable experience of interacting with all these different animals, learning how to look after them and their unique needs, preparing you for your future career in this exciting sector.

Possible Careers

Students achieving a full level 3 programme have the opportunity to apply for university entrance to study on higher education courses such as animal science, animal behaviour, veterinary nursing, zoology and a range of conservation courses.

Our students progress on to employment in a range of areas such as animal care charities, supervisory roles in kennels and catteries, grooming parlours, veterinary practices and pet shops. Opportunities in the UK and indeed overseas also include zoos, sea-life centres and conversation sanctuaries.

As a highly respected institution within land based industries, courses at the Houghall Campus really will help your career grow!

Equine Courses

The College also offer a range of courses specific to Horse Care and Equine Studies. Click here for the Equine courses section of the website.

Dog Grooming

If you are looking for details on our highly popular dog grooming courses. Click here for the Dog Grooming courses section of the website.

Veterinary Nursing

The College also run Level 2 and 3 veterinary nursing courses. Click here for the Veterinary Nursing courses section of the website.

Animal Care Careers

Studying an animal care course at East Durham College could lead you into all kinds of careers, from working in a pet shop to looking after the exotic animals in a zoo.

Find out much more about careers in the animal care sector by using our careers tool below!


For full time or part time Animal Care course enquires, please call Student Services on 0191 375 4710.

To see full details on each of our Animal Care courses, run at the Houghall Campus in Durham, please click on any of the courses listed below.

Available part time course(s) for 2020/2021 are listed below:

The course(s) listed below are available to apply for to be studied during the 2020/2021 academic year. For the course start date, please check within the individual course page itself.

Available full time and/or part time course(s) for 2021/2022 are listed below:

The full time and/or part time course(s) listed below are available to apply for to be studied during the 2021/2022 academic year. All full time courses will start September 2021. For any part time courses, please check in the individual course page for their start date during 2021/22.

Employment Stats & Facts In This Sector

Infographic detailing key employment stats in animal care services, these details can be found in the career coach section of our website