Apply Now


Delivered by our in-house team of zoologists and expert tutors, these immersive courses are perfect for young people that really want to develop a career working with animals. Offering an exciting mix of hands-on experience with our wide range of animals, including our wallabies, meerkats and alpacas, these incredible courses provide 30 hours of highly sought-after practical experience - perfect foundations for a career in working with animals.

Animal Academy students will learn all about the unique lives of our animals - we have over 700 here, including ponies, rheas and reptiles to name but a few so this promises to be an amazing experience. If you are destined to work with animals then this is the course for you! Places are limited and so please be sure to register your/your young person’s interest as soon as possible.

Start date: MONDAY 25TH October.


  • Icebreaker activity so you can all get to know each other and discuss the plan for the week.
  • Help to muck-out our sheep, ponies, pigs and goats.
  • Groom the ponies and goats, learn some handling skills and take them for a walk through our spooky woods.
  • Carve pumpkin enrichment for the pigs and give them a messy mud bath!
  • Feed the ponies, sheep, goats and pigs their evening meal.


Research day!

  • Presentation about research, what it is and why we do it.
  • Watch Hallowe’en animal behaviours in our aquarium (frogs, cockroaches and toads) and learn how to describe them
  • Make your own ethogram.
  • Set-up camera traps in tropics to see what the mysterious armadillo and potoroo get up to at Hallowe’en.
  • Play the “training game”.
  • Meet trained flying birds, including wizarding owls.
  • Help to train the goats and pigs - target training for health checks, and foot care.


Small mammal day:

  • Meet some of our small animals (long-eared hedgehogs, armadillo, potoroos and tenrecs). You'll learn to handle them safely and look at camera trap footage from overnight.
  • Weigh out feeds for the small mammal room, and feed the animals.
  • Meet and feed some seasonal treats to our group of bats and the giant jumping rats.
  • Help to clean and re-do rabbit pens for enrichment - make tunnels, etc.
  • Tidy up the Meerkat enclosure, enrich the space, enrich the space and slimy bugs + pumpkin feed!


Nutrition and vet day

  • Weigh back in all of the rodent feeds from yesterday, and write down how much has been eaten.
  • Prepare fruit and vegetables and then walk in the woods to collect seasonal wild plants and tree branches which are safe for animals to eat.
  • Browse feed the goats.
  • Collect some poo samples, and learn to check for parasites by floatation. Cellotape sample animals fur and use microscopes.
  • Learn how to do CPR on a dog using the dummy.
  • Learn how to use stethoscopes, take temperatures and heart rates.
  • One on one teaching on how to give a microchip/ injection.


  • Feed and clean around wallabies and flamingos.
  • Q & A session about the courses at Hopwood Hall College and getting into animal jobs.

Big enrichment day:

  • Competition to research, design and build enrichment items - and give to the animals.
  • Presentation session: Your parents will be invited to attend. This celebratory session will highlight your achievements and how many hours of work experience you will have gained.
  • Presentation of certificates and photographs from the highlights of the week.

link to eventbrite booking page