Practical Animal Courses 

Whilst most Animal Jobs Direct courses are studied online, we also offer several practical animal courses. This is a great way to gain hands-on experience with animals. Please scroll down the page for more information about the Practical Animal Courses offered by Animal Jobs Direct



New Practical Placement!

Elephant Sanctuary Practical Placement

This is a 2 week practical placement with an Elephant Sanctuary in Sri Lanka that works to improve the lives of captive elephants.

This is the only sanctuary of it's kind in Sri Lanka where elephants are free to roam and exhibit natural behaviours. Volunteers assist with the daily care of these elephants including feeding, cleaning and bathing.

Placement Fees: £780 for 2 weeks


New Practical Placement!

Marine Research Station Practical Placement

This is a 3 week practical placement where volunteers work in a marine research station that involves the local village boatmen in conducting daily surveys to better understand the problem and empower them to protect their own islands. This placement includes a PADI Open Water Course. 

Placement Fees: £1,025 for 3 weeks



Turtle Conservation Practical Placement

This is a 2 week practical placement where volunteers can get involved in a meaningful turtle conservation project in a paradise beach location in the Perhentian Islands, Malaysia.

Snorkel these beautiful waters to take photos of turtles for research and conservation management. Assist with hatchling beach patrols and education for locals & tourists.

Placement Fees: £350 for 2 weeks


Rainforest Conservation Practical Placement

This is a 2 week practical placement where volunteers can get involved in the protection of forest wildlife and also support the development of the Batek tribe in Merapoh, Malaysia.

Experience and learn first hand about rainforests and at the same time get involve with assisting to preserve its animals, plants and people.

Placement Fees: £720 for 2 weeks


Wildlife Conservation Practical Placement

This is a 2 week practical placement with the Wildlife and Orangutan volunteer project in Java, Indonesia.

This practical placement involves helping orphaned and injured animals back to health and then re-released to the wild – this is one of the most satisfying things you can do.

Placement Fees: £990 for 2 weeks


Certificate in Hydrotherapy for Small Animals

ABC Awards

Certificate in Hydrotherapy for Small Animals

ABC Awards

Certificate in Hydrotherapy for Small Animals
Level 3

The ABC Awards Level 3 Certificate in Hydrotherapy for Small Animals is a regulated qualification that has been developed with the overall aim being to prepare learners for a career working as an Animal Hydrotherapist.

This is regulated qualification recognised by Ofqual within the RQF and students gain credits upon course completion. 

Course Price:  £1,950


ABC Awards

Diploma in Hydrotherapy for Small Animals

ABC Awards

New Course!

Diploma in Hydrotherapy for Small Animals

Level 3

The ABC Awards Level 3 Diploma in Hydrotherapy for Small Animals is a regulated qualification for working as an Animal Hydrotherapist. 

This is regulated qualification recognised by Ofqual within the RQF and students gain credits upon course completion. 

Course Price: £2,950


ABC Awards

Level 3  Hydrotherapy Treadmill Therapy for Small Animals

ABC Awards

Small Animal and Canine Hydrotherapy Treadmill Therapy

This ABC Awards Level 3 Course is a regulated qualification Unit [T/504/6475] that consists of a theory and practical element where the learner will learn how to conduct a hydrotherapy treadmill therapy session involving pre-treatment, during treatment and post treatment treadmill procedures.

This is regulated qualification recognised by Ofqual within the RQF and students gain credits upon course completion. 

Course Price: £350


ABC Awards 

Advanced Hydrotherapy Treadmill Therapy

ABC Awards

Advanced Hydrotherapy Treadmill Therapy 

ABC Awards Advanced Hydrotherapy Treadmill Therapy for Small Animals Level 3 is a regulated qualification consisting of Unit (T/505/3149) and Unit (K/505/3147)

The course includes a theory and practical module where the learner will learn how to conduct an advanced hydrotherapy treadmill therapy session involving appropriate use of equipment to improve the hydrotherapy programme for the patient.

This is regulated qualification recognised by Ofqual within the RQF and students gain credits upon course completion. 

Course Price: £550


AIM Awards

Level 2 Award in Skills for Emergency Care of Dogs

Canine First Aid Course

The AIM Awards Level 2 Award in Skills for Emergency Care for Dogs (RQF) is regulated qualification providing Theory AND Practical Training aimed at learners who wish to or who are working in the canine industry.

This is regulated qualification recognised by Ofqual within the RQF and students gain credits upon course completion. 

Course Price: £265


Please scroll down the page for more information on the many practical courses that we offer


Practical Animal Care Course

The Practical Animal Care Course is an Ofqual Regulated Qualification set at Level 2. This 5 Unit course includes a placement at an Animal Shelter in Gloucestershire. Students are assessed on completing several practical animal care tasks including cleaning, grooming, feeding, watering, promoting health & wellbeing and exercising animals.

Not sure which course to choose? Let our careers and training advisers assist you.

Tel: 0208 6269646 or email

Zoo Animal Care, Behaviour and Welfare Diploma course

(Theory and Practical Training)

The Zoo Animal Care, Behaviour and Welfare Diploma course is an example of a course that is studied online and includes a practical. This course consists of 6 theory modules all about caring for Zoo animals and it has optional practical training at an award winning zoo as part of the course. This course is a great option for anyone wanting to gain knowledge and hands-on experience with large zoo animals!

We offer a variety of different practical animal courses and care courses to suit everyone. Some of our courses are studied entirely online, others have practical training included with several theory modules, and several courses are purely practical hands-on courses. 

Dog Grooming Diploma course 

(Theory and 2 Weeks Practical Training)

Our Dog Grooming Diploma course consists of both theory and practical. The idea is that students first complete 6 modules all about the theory of dog grooming and after this, they attend a 2 week practical placement. This is the ideal way of getting experience grooming different dogs, different coats as well as dealing with customers and seeing first hand how a dog grooming salon is run. 

As well as the many accredited courses that we run, we are also delighted to be able to offer bespoke canine training courses.

We offer low cost, bespoke quality training solutions to various companies, charities and local authorities

 Please get in touch if you would like more information or to arrange bespoke training.

Wildlife First Aid and Rehabilitation Diploma course

(Theory & Practical Training)

We offer a Wildlife First Aid and Rehabilitation Diploma course designed for anyone interested in working with the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife. This practical animal courses is a Level 3 Diploma course that consists of 6 modules all about the rescue, care, rehabilitation and release of injured wildlife. The course includes practical training at a Wildlife Rescue Hospital where students gain hands-on experience assisting with a variety of animals that may include foxes, hedgehogs, badgers, birds and other wildlife.

We are committed to helping students find the right practical animal courses for your requirements and we offer free careers and training advice in all animal care subjects, please get in touch for assistance, our team are always happy to help.

Marine Mammal Medic Practical Training Day

The 1 Day Intensive Marine Mammal Medic Training Practical run by the British Divers Marine Life Charity, can be added to our Marine Animal Rescue Course. This practical training day includes 4 lectures and practical training at the water's edge with 3 modules dealing with seal rescue, dolphin rescue and whale rescue.

Marine Animal Rescue Diploma course

Please scroll down for more practical training options. Contact us on 0208 6269646 for careers and training advice.

Our Practical Placements provide excellent opportunities to work hands-on with experts and gain valuable practical animal handling experience

Please contact us for free careers and training advice. Our expert careers advisers are happy to assist, phone 0208 6269646

Dog Walking and Pet Sitting

1 Day Practical Course

We offer 3 courses that deal with the popular subject of Dog Walking and Pet Sitting; 2 of these courses include theory as part of the course and 1 course, the Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Practical course is entirely hands-on. Students spend an intensive day with a Professional Dog Walker learning all about setting up and running a dog walking and pet sitting business. 

Please scroll down for more information about the various practical courses that we offer

Level 2 Animal Nursing Certificate for Animal Nursing Assistants

The Level 2 Animal Nursing Certificate for Animal Nursing Assistants is a regulated qualification and it is designed as a Pre-Veterinary Nursing course for those who want to progress onto the RCVS Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing. We are able to include 2 weeks practical placement as part of this course. This enables students to work towards the 4 course units that require practical placement.

Please contact us for free careers and training advice

Stable Management Certificate Course 2 Day Practical

The 2 Day Stable Management Certificate Course provides a great way for students to gain hands-on training working with horses and ponies. Students get involved with cleaning, feeding, exercising and handling horses and see first hand how a well run stables is managed. The course includes 1 night's accommodation.

Not sure which course to choose? Please get in touch by email or phone and our team will be happy to assist you. 

Junior Animal Care Practical Course 

The Junior Animal Care Practical Course is a 4 module course, specifically for younger people who have a practical placement and would like to combine this with theory and an accredited Certificate. The course includes information on various aspects of animal care including; animal handling, feeding, cleaning and exercise. 

Keep scrolling down the page for more practical courses with animals!

Dog Behaviour and Training Practical Course (4 Days)

Dog Behaviour and Training Practical Course is a 4 Day intensive course on a 1 to 1 practical training basis. Learn about working with rescue dogs, dog training, dog behaviourist work, practical dog handling, canine body language, dealing with dog aggression and work with a variety of different dogs. This is a very good way to gain experience with dogs and is the ideal course for anyone wanting to work in the canine behaviour and training sector.

Practical Dog Behaviour Course (2 Days)

The 2 Day Practical dog behaviour training course has been developed to enable those seeking a career with dogs to gain intensive hands on training and behaviour experience with a variety of dogs.

You will spend two intensive days with a practicing Dog Behaviourist and Trainer who also has a special interest in working with Rescue dogs. This course is run on a one to one training basis with real behavioural consultations, providing the very best way to gain dog behavioural knowledge and hands-on training and experience with dogs.

And there are more practicals.... please keep scrolling down the page!

The Reptile Course Practical (1 - 2 Weeks)

This 1 - 2 week practical can be added on to our Reptile Care, Welfare and Ethics Diploma course, the Herpetology Diploma course and the Reptile Care and Welfare Certificate course. Gain valuable hands-on experience with a variety of reptiles including snakes, lizards, tortoises etc.

Please contact us for free careers and training advice. We are here to help!

Marine Course Practicals

The 2 Week Marine Course Practical Placements are available with our Marine Zoology, Marine Biology, Marine Conservation and our Zoology Diploma courses. Gain hands-on experience with a variety of marine animals and marine environments.

2 Week Practical Placement (Optional) at the Merlin Animal Welfare and Development Department in Weymouth OR the Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire

Merlin Animal Welfare and Development department in Weymouth

The Merlin Animal Welfare and Development department supports SEA LIFE public aquaria throughout the Merlin estate and is responsible for setting standards, the development of new displays and rolling out new concepts to SEA LIFE sites. The department is located on the same site as Weymouth SEA LIFE Park but is run separately. The Department offers site support for all sites globally, and undertakes research into all aspects of exhibitory. Their main concerns and areas of expertise are animal health and welfare and they advise all sites on these matters. 

This placement gives students the opportunity to work alongside experienced aquarists and marine biologists in the day to day running of the Concept Development Unit where animals are quarantined and their husbandry requirements developed ready for innovative displays. Students attending this placement will gain hands-on experience working with a variety of marine animals.

This is a fantastic opportunity to gain highly sought after hands-on experience. This placement includes gaining skills and knowledge in:

  • Aquatic animal husbandry
  • Species identification
  • Veterinary care
  • Animal behaviour
  • Life support systems
  • Water quality

The animals at the Merlin Animal Welfare and Development department will vary but will predominantly include marine fish and invertebrates.


The Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire

Offers the placement working with a wide range of species. Their zoological collection is split into three subsections:

  • Freshwater
  • Marine
  • Herpetological (the section also contains Asian short clawed otters)

The main objectives of this programme are to learn about the working world of a public aquarium and the aquarium industry as a whole. As one of the largest commercial aquariums in the country the zoological department is proactive in conducting their own husbandry work, undertaking the volunteer programme you will benefit from learning about and or having an influence on:

  • Exhibit development
  • The different biomes Blue Planet Aquarium creates
  • The role of SCUBA diving in the aquarium
  • Health and safety practices within a zoological/aquarium setting
  • The role of a public aquarium in modern day society
  • Animal husbandry
  • Zoological collection management

Having a placement is NOT a compulsory element of this course and we recognise that some students may not be able to commit to either placement. Accommodation and travel costs are not included.

Please note that students can enrol on this course without the Practical Placement. Students must be at least 18 years old to take part in either placement.

Primate Care Placement in Zambia

Are you studying primates and want to gain hands-on experience assisting with primate care, rehabilitation and release? 

A volunteer assisting with post release

monitoring in Zambia © ZPP

Volunteers with the GRI - Zambia Primate Project will have the opportunity to play an active role in contributing to the successful running of the rehabilitation and release aspects of the project. Please note that this is a working conservation project so you will need to come prepared to roll up your sleeves and get involved with whatever activities the project is tasked with at the time of your visit. ZPP offers volunteer opportunities at both their primate transit home (rehabilitation centre) and out of their release camp deep in the bush.

To join the field team releasing and monitoring their rescued baboons and monkeys in Kafue National Park, or to assist with primate care and pre-release preparations at the primate transit home please contact ZPP's Senior Technical Advisor Dr Cheryl Mvula on cdmvula@aol.com for further details and costs.

And below are several more practical animal courses offered by Animal Jobs Direct, please contact us for free advice or further information.


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