• 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

One of the following:

  • Leaving Certificate or its equivalent. Extenuating circumstances may be considered
  • Leaving Certificate Applied with a merit profile
  • QQI Level 4 with a merit profile
  • Mature learners – experience will be considered in lieu of formal qualifications

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*


  • Animal Science - QQI Level 6 (6M5153)

Dundalk IT:

  • Veterinary Nursing (DK784)

ATU - Atlantic Technological University (Letterkenny Campus):

  • Veterinary Nursing (LY847)

Course Co-Ordinator

Evelyn Dixon

Where are they now?

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

1 aislin burke"In 2017 I decided to apply to BIFE to study Animal Care and I never looked back. I finally knew what I wanted to do with my life and the teachers gave me the confidence to achieve my goal of being a veterinary nurse. During the course I got to do work experience in a veterinary clinic for five months, I visited Glenroe farm, Dublin Zoo, a reptile zoo came to BIFE and I completed a Canine First Responder course. This course has a lot of practical work which is the perfect way to learn and helped me immensely. Animal care gave me the belief I could do veterinary nursing and with the encouragement of my tutors I applied to the CAO. I got my first choice and I am now studying veterinary nursing in Dundalk Institute of technology where I still use my BIFE notes from Animal Anatomy and Physiology and Biology. I cannot speak highly enough about BIFE and I would recommend the Animal Care Course to anyone. The college is such a lovely place to study, everyone is very helpful, you meet incredible people and the teachers are very helpful and will support you in whatever career you chose to do after. BIFE has some incredible plansin the future that I can’t wait to see." - Aisling Burke

"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 me to achieve unimaginable things at only 19 years old. I can guarantee it will do the same for you!” - Zoe Nelson

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