• Code: HA
  • Certification: QQI Level 5 Award in Applied Science – Animal Care(5M2768)
  • Duration: One Year


This one-year course is designed for those who wish to pursue a career working with animals. The course covers a range of subjects which will encourage the learner to develop the knowledge and skills to competently handle a range of animals in a work environment. Work experience is an integral part of this course providing practical, hands on experience which will lead to a range of training and career prospects.

Programme of Study
  • Animal Anatomy & Physiology
  • Animal Grooming
  • Animal Welfare
  • Work Experience
  • Communications
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Veterinary Assisting Skills
  • Biology

     Components subject to change

Entry Requirements
  • Leaving Certificate (minimum of five 06/H7’s or combination of five 06/ H7’s) or its equivalent. Extenuating circumstances may be considered.

  • Leaving Certificate Applied with a distinction profile to include QQI Level 4 in Biology
  • QQI Level 4 with a distinction profile to include Biology
  • Mature learners – experience will be considered in lieu of formal qualifications

Places are offered following successful interview. Learners are required to source their own work experience.

Career Opportunities
  • Veterinary Clinics
  • Cattery/Dog Kennels
  • Animal Sanctuaries
  • Self-Employment
  • Dog Grooming
  • Education
  • Pet shops
Higher Education Progression*

Dundalk IT:

  • Veterinary Nursing (DK784)

Letterkenny IT:

  • Veterinary Nursing (LY847) Also


  • Animal Science - FETAC Level 6 (6M5153)


Check Careers Portal at the following link for further information:


*Places are not guaranteed in these institutes and are subject to students meeting certain criteria. Please consult the individual college websites for more information on application. Information available also at www.cao.ie

Course Co-Ordinator

Evelyn Dixon

Where are they now?

Meet BIFE students who have graduated from this course...

BIFE was an unexpected but fantastic experience that happened just at the right time for me.

I hadn’t got the points I wanted in my Leaving Certificate and I felt as if I was at a dead end until I found BIFE. After completing the Level 5 Animal Care course with all distinctions I got offered my first choice on my CAO application, Level 8 Animal Science Honours Degree in UCD.

Throughout the course itself I got a taste of every aspect in relation to animal care, such as animal anatomy and physiology, animal welfare, animal behaviour and dog grooming. These modules are taught in a variety of through continuous assessment to suit everyone’s style of learning eg field trips, work experience and practical classes. I also got the opportunity to complete a Canine First Responder course which was so beneficial and a great addition to the course itself. All of this together made it easy for me to make my decision in wanting to go to UCD and become an Animal Nutritionist.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the dog grooming module and only a couple of months after completing the course I set up my own dog grooming business called “Dirty Beasts Dog Grooming”.

I recommend BIFE to anyone, young or old, feeling lost in life or looking to start a new career. BIFE inspired me to become the best person I can be and enabled meto achieve unimaginable things at only 19 years old. I can guarantee it will do the same for you!” - Zoe Nelson

Share with your Friends