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Is that on the SCQF...? Zoo Animal Behaviour and Welfare

Three otters behind a fence

Is that on the SCQF...? is a series of blogs, where we look at some of the more unusual programmes that are on the SCQF. Read on to find out more about the Zoo Animal Behaviour and Welfare programme by Alex Heron, Digital Content Assistant at Dundee and Angus College.

Are you looking to work on the wild side? Dundee and Angus College is offering a one of a kind Zoo Animal Behaviour and Welfare course at SCQF Level 6 which teaches young people the basics of zoo animal care as well as providing them with a core set of transferable skills that are valuable throughout the animal care sector and beyond.

The course - which is the first of its kind in the country - was brought about last year as the college’s Animal Care team noticed that there was a substantial gap in courses at SCQF level 6. They also found that a large number of applicants were interested in working with zoos or with exotic animals. Realising that they could design a course which met the needs of these potential students within the SCQF framework, they reached out to the Camperdown Wildlife Centre (the area’s local zoo) and worked in collaboration with them to develop the course we see today.

The course is centred around a piece of project based learning where students must design an enrichment activity for a zoo animal of their choice whilst documenting the design process and the impact the activity has on the animal’s welfare in the form of a short documentary.

Speaking about the course, Animal Care course leader, Chris Ditchburn, highlights how essential the SCQF framework is to the course’s success: “For us it was very important to have the award validated and aligned with the SCQF because it gives credibility to the course, gives learners a recognised qualification which can be compared to those offered elsewhere and provides a clear progression route through the qualifications we offer. We include the NPA in Zoo Animal Behaviour and Welfare as part of a course offering with the same name which includes other SCQF Level 6 units in Academic Skills, Problem Solving and Digital Media; these flag the transferable skills our learners will develop along the way to achieving their qualification.”

The qualification is perfect for anyone who: has completed an NC but isn’t ready to progress to HNC, is looking to get a foot in the door with a zoo career, wants to understand the role of zoos in society and of course anyone who has a keen interest in Animal Welfare and Animal Behaviour.

Visit the Dundee and Angus College website for more information on the course and how to apply


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