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FdSc Zoo Animal Management with Conservation (L4 and L5)

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Group of students on safari in Africa standing in front of a safari jeep
Courses Code
QFHAN
Study method
Full Time
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  • Is this course for you?

    If you are passionate about the animal kingdom and would love to work in the zoo industry and conservation sector then this the course is for you. Specifically designed with industry experts and mapped against industry standards, this course has been tailored to provide you with a full and extensive range of knowledge, skills and experience to prepare you for a career in the Zoo and conservation industry. The Foundation Degree in Zoo Animal Management with Conservation is a two year, full-time programme of study validated by Staffordshire University and delivered at Rodbaston College by a highly qualified and experienced staff that are deeply passionate about the industry and the training of future professionals.

    In year 1 (Level 4), you will be given a full and sound foundation in all aspects of the Zoo Animal and Conservation Industry. The modules to be studied will be:

    • Animal Husbandry, Behaviour and Welfare (40 Credits)
    • Academic and Industry Skills development (20 Credits)
    • Animal Evolution and Diversity (20 Credits)
    • Animals Inside and Out (20 Credits)
    • Wildlife Conservation and Environment (20 Credits)

    In year 2 (level 5) you will delve deeper into a range of aspects of Zoo Management and Conservation, building on and developing the skills already taken from Level 4. The modules to be studied will be:

    • Zoological Management (40 Credits)
    • Professional Skills Development (20 Credits)
    • Scientific methods and Independent Project (20 Credits)
    • Zoo Animal Welfare and Conservation (20 Credits)
    • Environmental Interpretation and Enclosure Design (20 Credits)
  • Required qualifications

    For admission to the FdSc degree programme, candidates should have obtained GCSE pass grades, grade 4/C or above in a minimum of five subjects including English Language, mathematics and science. In addition, candidates should have obtained A2 passes in a minimum of one subject (2 subjects are preferred), including a biological science, or MM in a relevant subsidiary diploma, or MPP grades in a relevant extended diploma.

    This works out as 64 UCAS Tariff points or an IELTS Score of 6.

    Students who can evidence a satisfactory work experience portfolio would be favourably considered. If you do not have these qualifications but are over 21 years and have relevant work experience, then each applicant will be considered individually based on their qualifications, experience and suitable supporting statement. Students very interested in this course that do not have the relevant experience or qualifications may consider our Access to HE programme.

  • What skills will I develop?

    The FdSc Zoo Animal Management with Conservation was developed to meet the demands of employers and students for a vocational, industry led award to prepare students to enter the zoo and conservation sectors with a full understanding of the expectations of the industries along with their importance to each other, society and ultimately the future of the wider ecosystem. Successful graduates will be able to demonstrate:

    • Knowledge and critical understanding of the established principles in zoo animal management and conservation, and understanding of the limits of their knowledge
    • Knowledge of the main methods of enquiry in zoo animal management and conservation and the ability to use established techniques to undertake critical analysis of information
    • The ability to evaluate critically the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems within the zoo animal management and conservation sector and to apply these in a work context
    • The ability to apply their knowledge and skills to new situations
    • Effective communication skills in a variety of forms and for a range of audiences appropriate to the industry
    • Improved and nurtured professional and transferable skills with a view to equipping them in their future careers
    • Integrate work-based learning, academic study and practical experience and fully embed a vocational ethos to the programme of study
    • The confidence, skills, knowledge and power to become lifelong learners

    These aims are developed from and linked directly to the expectations of a Foundation Degree graduate outlined in the QAA Characteristics Statement for Foundation Degrees – https://www.qaa.ac.uk/docs/qaa/quality-code/foundation-degree-characteristics-statement-2020.pdf

  • Careers

    The FdSc in Zoo Animal Management with Conservation has been developed specifically to maximise the attractiveness of its candidates to employers within the sector. This course offers an excellent foundation for further study in the zoo animal and conservation industry and will allow you to progress into a third year should you wish to top-up your foundation degree to a full Bachelor’s degree. However, if you wish to seek employment following your two years, the experience and knowledge gained on the degree will make you very attractive to potential employers.

    The course has been designed to offer you a range of experiences and challenges and to allow you to gain transferable skills to enable you to be a highly employable individual upon completion. Students that successfully complete this course will be suitable for employment in a large range of careers within the animal industry. The ability to interpret and investigate animal behaviour and demonstrate a range of professionally recognised skills and qualities will allow candidates to look for career areas such as zoo keeping, research and academia, behavioural consultancy, zoo education, exotic animal education, conservation officer, ecological consultancy, exotic animal breeding, conservation based non-government organisations (NGOs), charity and public sector roles and the private exotic animal keeping sector including breeding and retail.

    Students that choose to go on to top up their foundation degree to a Bachelor’s degree may then wish to go into academic research or teaching via higher degrees such as a PGCE, Master’s degree or a Doctorate.

  • Work experience

    Work based learning forms an integral and essential part of this course and as such you will have the opportunity to take on up to 370 hours of Industry based experience throughout your time on this programme. At level 4 (Year 1) you will have to complete at least 50 hours of work experience, with an expectation that you would achieve up to 150 hours. At level 5 (Year 2) there is a mandatory 75 hours required, with an expectation of up to 220 hours being logged. You will also have the opportunity to undertake practical work on the college Animal Zone – an established animal collection and small commercial zoo. It is usual for students to take one day a week throughout term time to complete their placement, though additional work during holidays is encouraged and sometimes required.

    During your course, your placement(s) will be specifically need to be hands on with animals. We have an extensive network of placement providers and we will work with you to find one that suits your needs and benefits your development. Existing students are currently in placements such as zoos and farm parks, stable yards and farms, wildlife rehabilitation and nature reserves centres.

    As you progress from level 4 to level 5 it is expected that the placement allows you access to higher roles and responsibilities within the placement and you should have opportunity to perform and evidence a range of vocational and managerial learning activities during the placement including investigating the roles of teamwork, communication and motivation in the work place. The planning, executing and reflecting on these learning activities will form the basis of your assessment for the professional development module and provide important employability skills and development. These skills are aligned with the European Professional Zookeeper Qualification Framework.

  • English and maths

    As a higher education course, it is expected that you have good English and maths skills in order to gain access to the course. Whilst on the course however, you will continue to develop and enhance these skills throughout each module with both English and maths embedded in all delivery. Your use of English to help to communicate your knowledge and understanding of the subject and the science behind it will be a focus of all feedback and instruction. We will also work with you to improve your scientific writing, sentence structure and grammar and presentations to build your professional communication skills in specific study skills sessions. Maths is embedded into every module due to its universal application and your ability to process and analyse data will form fundamental elements of most modules.

    It is recognised however, that all students have differing abilities and challenges to face with their English and maths skills and all students will be able to take advantage of an extensive network of support and assistance in this area from both the college learning support team and the materials and staff at the university.

  • Other important information

    With a student focused approach and a friendly and supportive environment, Rodbaston college offers an excellent, established and popular learning environment. The course has been developed in partnership with Staffordshire University and, although all of the teaching takes place at the Rodbaston College, you will also be a full member of the Staffordshire University student body and have access to all the facilities at their Stoke Campus should you choose to visit. As a HE student at Rodbaston College, you are a highly valued and respected member of the college studentship. As such you will have your own dedicated area within the renovated AgriStem building and will have access to everything the college has to offer. It is expected that you will take advantage of every opportunity available to you in order to grow and develop into a skilled, independent and ambitious graduate. On site at Rodbaston College we have a large variety of excellent resources to assist in our deliver of this established and popular course. These include:

    • A Zoo with over 150 species of animals including domestic, agricultural and exotic species
    • Commercial equine yard
    • Commercial Fisheries Unit
    • Extensive grounds with multiple habitats including new and ancient woodlands, ponds and lakes and wildlife sensitive areas

    To take part in the practical sessions you will need to obtain a set of overalls and a pair of reinforced toe boots. These must be worn at all times on the Animal unit.

    Students will be encouraged to attend optional study tours, which will be UK based (Scotland for British wildlife; zoo tour of the south west) and abroad (Zoo tour of Holland; Megafauna conservation in South Africa) with well-established links and experienced staff running such events. These trips will incur additional charges and will run on a demand basis.

  • Is this course for you?

    If you are passionate about the animal kingdom and would love to work in the zoo industry and conservation sector then this the course is for you. Specifically designed with industry experts and mapped against industry standards, this course has been tailored to provide you with a full and extensive range of knowledge, skills and experience to prepare you for a career in the Zoo and conservation industry. The Foundation Degree in Zoo Animal Management with Conservation is a two year, full-time programme of study validated by Staffordshire University and delivered at Rodbaston College by a highly qualified and experienced staff that are deeply passionate about the industry and the training of future professionals.

    In year 1 (Level 4), you will be given a full and sound foundation in all aspects of the Zoo Animal and Conservation Industry. The modules to be studied will be:

    • Animal Husbandry, Behaviour and Welfare (40 Credits)
    • Academic and Industry Skills development (20 Credits)
    • Animal Evolution and Diversity (20 Credits)
    • Animals Inside and Out (20 Credits)
    • Wildlife Conservation and Environment (20 Credits)

    In year 2 (level 5) you will delve deeper into a range of aspects of Zoo Management and Conservation, building on and developing the skills already taken from Level 4. The modules to be studied will be:

    • Zoological Management (40 Credits)
    • Professional Skills Development (20 Credits)
    • Scientific methods and Independent Project (20 Credits)
    • Zoo Animal Welfare and Conservation (20 Credits)
    • Environmental Interpretation and Enclosure Design (20 Credits)
  • Required qualifications

    For admission to the FdSc degree programme, candidates should have obtained GCSE pass grades, grade 4/C or above in a minimum of five subjects including English Language, mathematics and science. In addition, candidates should have obtained A2 passes in a minimum of one subject (2 subjects are preferred), including a biological science, or MM in a relevant subsidiary diploma, or MPP grades in a relevant extended diploma.

    This works out as 64 UCAS Tariff points or an IELTS Score of 6.

    Students who can evidence a satisfactory work experience portfolio would be favourably considered. If you do not have these qualifications but are over 21 years and have relevant work experience, then each applicant will be considered individually based on their qualifications, experience and suitable supporting statement. Students very interested in this course that do not have the relevant experience or qualifications may consider our Access to HE programme.

  • What skills will I develop?

    The FdSc Zoo Animal Management with Conservation was developed to meet the demands of employers and students for a vocational, industry led award to prepare students to enter the zoo and conservation sectors with a full understanding of the expectations of the industries along with their importance to each other, society and ultimately the future of the wider ecosystem. Successful graduates will be able to demonstrate:

    • Knowledge and critical understanding of the established principles in zoo animal management and conservation, and understanding of the limits of their knowledge
    • Knowledge of the main methods of enquiry in zoo animal management and conservation and the ability to use established techniques to undertake critical analysis of information
    • The ability to evaluate critically the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems within the zoo animal management and conservation sector and to apply these in a work context
    • The ability to apply their knowledge and skills to new situations
    • Effective communication skills in a variety of forms and for a range of audiences appropriate to the industry
    • Improved and nurtured professional and transferable skills with a view to equipping them in their future careers
    • Integrate work-based learning, academic study and practical experience and fully embed a vocational ethos to the programme of study
    • The confidence, skills, knowledge and power to become lifelong learners

    These aims are developed from and linked directly to the expectations of a Foundation Degree graduate outlined in the QAA Characteristics Statement for Foundation Degrees – https://www.qaa.ac.uk/docs/qaa/quality-code/foundation-degree-characteristics-statement-2020.pdf

  • Careers

    The FdSc in Zoo Animal Management with Conservation has been developed specifically to maximise the attractiveness of its candidates to employers within the sector. This course offers an excellent foundation for further study in the zoo animal and conservation industry and will allow you to progress into a third year should you wish to top-up your foundation degree to a full Bachelor’s degree. However, if you wish to seek employment following your two years, the experience and knowledge gained on the degree will make you very attractive to potential employers.

    The course has been designed to offer you a range of experiences and challenges and to allow you to gain transferable skills to enable you to be a highly employable individual upon completion. Students that successfully complete this course will be suitable for employment in a large range of careers within the animal industry. The ability to interpret and investigate animal behaviour and demonstrate a range of professionally recognised skills and qualities will allow candidates to look for career areas such as zoo keeping, research and academia, behavioural consultancy, zoo education, exotic animal education, conservation officer, ecological consultancy, exotic animal breeding, conservation based non-government organisations (NGOs), charity and public sector roles and the private exotic animal keeping sector including breeding and retail.

    Students that choose to go on to top up their foundation degree to a Bachelor’s degree may then wish to go into academic research or teaching via higher degrees such as a PGCE, Master’s degree or a Doctorate.

  • Work experience

    Work based learning forms an integral and essential part of this course and as such you will have the opportunity to take on up to 370 hours of Industry based experience throughout your time on this programme. At level 4 (Year 1) you will have to complete at least 50 hours of work experience, with an expectation that you would achieve up to 150 hours. At level 5 (Year 2) there is a mandatory 75 hours required, with an expectation of up to 220 hours being logged. You will also have the opportunity to undertake practical work on the college Animal Zone – an established animal collection and small commercial zoo. It is usual for students to take one day a week throughout term time to complete their placement, though additional work during holidays is encouraged and sometimes required.

    During your course, your placement(s) will be specifically need to be hands on with animals. We have an extensive network of placement providers and we will work with you to find one that suits your needs and benefits your development. Existing students are currently in placements such as zoos and farm parks, stable yards and farms, wildlife rehabilitation and nature reserves centres.

    As you progress from level 4 to level 5 it is expected that the placement allows you access to higher roles and responsibilities within the placement and you should have opportunity to perform and evidence a range of vocational and managerial learning activities during the placement including investigating the roles of teamwork, communication and motivation in the work place. The planning, executing and reflecting on these learning activities will form the basis of your assessment for the professional development module and provide important employability skills and development. These skills are aligned with the European Professional Zookeeper Qualification Framework.

  • English and maths

    As a higher education course, it is expected that you have good English and maths skills in order to gain access to the course. Whilst on the course however, you will continue to develop and enhance these skills throughout each module with both English and maths embedded in all delivery. Your use of English to help to communicate your knowledge and understanding of the subject and the science behind it will be a focus of all feedback and instruction. We will also work with you to improve your scientific writing, sentence structure and grammar and presentations to build your professional communication skills in specific study skills sessions. Maths is embedded into every module due to its universal application and your ability to process and analyse data will form fundamental elements of most modules.

    It is recognised however, that all students have differing abilities and challenges to face with their English and maths skills and all students will be able to take advantage of an extensive network of support and assistance in this area from both the college learning support team and the materials and staff at the university.

  • Other important information

    With a student focused approach and a friendly and supportive environment, Rodbaston college offers an excellent, established and popular learning environment. The course has been developed in partnership with Staffordshire University and, although all of the teaching takes place at the Rodbaston College, you will also be a full member of the Staffordshire University student body and have access to all the facilities at their Stoke Campus should you choose to visit. As a HE student at Rodbaston College, you are a highly valued and respected member of the college studentship. As such you will have your own dedicated area within the renovated AgriStem building and will have access to everything the college has to offer. It is expected that you will take advantage of every opportunity available to you in order to grow and develop into a skilled, independent and ambitious graduate. On site at Rodbaston College we have a large variety of excellent resources to assist in our deliver of this established and popular course. These include:

    • A Zoo with over 150 species of animals including domestic, agricultural and exotic species
    • Commercial equine yard
    • Commercial Fisheries Unit
    • Extensive grounds with multiple habitats including new and ancient woodlands, ponds and lakes and wildlife sensitive areas

    To take part in the practical sessions you will need to obtain a set of overalls and a pair of reinforced toe boots. These must be worn at all times on the Animal unit.

    Students will be encouraged to attend optional study tours, which will be UK based (Scotland for British wildlife; zoo tour of the south west) and abroad (Zoo tour of Holland; Megafauna conservation in South Africa) with well-established links and experienced staff running such events. These trips will incur additional charges and will run on a demand basis.