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Level 4+5 Diploma in Animal Studies


  • 2 Years
  • 2 students have purchased
  • Express
Oxford Learning College
6/22 Watergardens, GX11 1AA See in Google maps
Oxford Learning is one of the leading distance education providers in the United Kingdom and internationally, and along with our partners in education, promotes quality home study education world wide. Our online distance learning programmes encompass A-Level and Diploma level courses. As part of your course you will have access to the tutor department who are able to support and mentor you throughout the learning process. Our students come from varied backgrounds, differing levels of education, and every continent in the world. Our courses give you the confidence to achieve your academic goals, and give you new and further knowledge or, as with many of our past students, a new career path. We invite you to take a look at the reviews past students have left, and look forward to welcoming you as an Oxford Learning student soon. Your qualification from Oxford Learning will show your respected and exceptional level of education.


  • Full tutor support included
  • Make your own study schedule and take advantage of online tutoring hours
  • Obtain a certified diploma once you finish the course.


The course is designed to give you a well rounded knowledge of the subject and to give you the ability to carry on your studies at a higher level. At Level 3 you are not required to have any previous knowledge of the subject, as the materials will take you from no previous knowledge up to Level 3. For Level 5/HND subjects you will be required to have studied at Level 3 or above before enrolment.
Suitable for: SUITABLE FOR: This course is suitable for all students over the age of 17. Students can study on this course no matter where you are in the World. The course is made up of various units and each build up your knowledge base of the subject. Courses are all delivered in English.

BTEC (HND) in Animal Studies

Subject code: L5AS

Syllabus and Unit Specification:

BTEC Higher National Diploma in: Animal Studies

Credit value: 240, contributing to the Higher Education (HE) Diploma outlined below


The purpose of this subject syllabus is to provide such part time and full time learners with an opportunity to study the principles and applications of Animal Studies at an advanced higher educational level (HND), with sufficient focus and detail to achieve transferrable skills, knowledge, understanding and application, necessary for progression towards related programmes at Level 6.

The subject is unitised in order to provide flexibility of operation and study. Satisfactory completion of all 16 units within this syllabus results in the award of 240 credits at HND.

Each unit may be undertaken separately, and each will be assessed independently, however, it is a key requirement of the subject that all 16 units attached to the syllabus be completed at a satisfactory level in order to achieve the Diploma.

Target group

HE diplomas should be targeted at those learners who have the ability to benefit from the course and progress to Level 6. They should also have success at level 3. This is a prerequisite to undertaking the course, as is sufficient skills in English, Maths and ICT.

Intended progression

  • Bachelor of Science
  • Animal related professions
  • Veterinary science
  • Humanities
  • Vocational applications

The HND subject

This HND subject is made up of a set of 16 units, which may be delivered and assessed independently. All units are assessed by coursework activities, and the compilation of an e-portfolio. The HND subject requires successful completion of all 16 units. Learners are able to complete units at a pace appropriate to their resources, commitments and study plans.

It is expected that a full set of subject units will be completed within 2 academic years of initial enrolment.

Credit is awarded for successful completion of each unit. Any units which are not successfully completed may be repeated but this is subject to the college's discretion and criteria. All the learning outcomes attached to each unit must be met in order for credit to be awarded. Each unit attracts a total of 15 credits. Coursework is subject to marking criteria which will be outlined within each unit.

Moderation and Assessment Responsibilities

This course is delivered entirely via the distance learning route and therefore there is no face to face element or requirement for centre based assessment.

Aims of the course

  1. To provide students with opportunities to develop academic skills in Animal Studies appropriate for a range of progression options.
  2. To enable students to develop an advanced knowledge and understanding of the subject area
  3. To encourage the learner to apply theoretical understanding and evaluation to complex content
  4. To encourage students to apply terms and concepts appropriately
  5. To enable students to apply a range of transferrable skills to subject related topics, issues and situations.
  6. To facilitate and foster the development of a range of presentation skills relevant and appropriate to the discipline and level of study.

Course Objectives

  1. To encourage direct and indirect independent learning and the development of key skills in an effective and academic context for the purposes of personal development and progression.
  2. To develop an appreciation of the value and problems of interpretation of core concepts in Animal Studies, together with related and relevant practices, methodologies and theories.
  3. To build an understanding of the core concepts within Animal Studies in different situations and contexts
  4. To encourage students to apply their experience, knowledge and understanding, and skills to a range of course-related topics.
  5. To encourage students to develop study autonomy and be able to demonstrate planning, judgement and organisational skills.
  6. To advance the development of presentation skills appropriate to the discipline, level of study and delivery method.
  7. To encourage development of transferrable evaluative and analytical skills relevant to Animal Studies

What the student needs to know

In order to undertake this course the student will require:

  • Prior knowledge and understanding commensurate with enrolment criteria
  • Access to computer system with internet access and capabilities to download and upload files
  • Word processing ability and access to word processing package compatible with college requirements
  • Good organisational skills in order to plan studies, manage workload and study time

The course;

Unit 1: Using ICT in animal studies

Information, communication and technology (ICT) comprises core skills for learning. In this distance learning course utilisation of methods, tools and strategies of ICT is important in order to establish and maintain a sound working relationship with tutors and the college. Students will need to develop ICT skills in order to communicate effectively and maximise their study progression.

The first unit explains how to set up an ePortfolio which students will use during the lifetime of the course for storage of all their files including coursework, self-assessment activities, independent research notes and reflective journals. The ePortfolio may be requested from time to time by tutors and moderators. Students will be asked at various points in the course to upload files for this purpose. The ePortfolio will not only provide students with a structured system of unique information but once completed can be used as a resource for continuing professional development (CPD), and a body of revision for future studies.

Independent research is fundamental to level 5 study and also equips students with confidence to source and evaluate information relevant to the core course topics. In this first unit students are presented with tools and strategies with which to begin to undertake independent research and integrate this into coursework activities, for example suggesting ways to read research articles and assimilate types of information from these.

The development of knowledge and understanding through writing skills is important for communicating ideas and arguments to tutors and other readers of written work. Therefore this unit reviews writing skills, and incorporates reflective writing into both the course and coursework activities. Reflective writing is a way that individuals can review their own approaches to learning and communication; and it also promotes pro-active implementation of skills enhancement through tutor feedback and self-assessment

Unit 2: Taxonomy and classification of the animal kingdom

All species are categorised or classified according to their similarities. Scientific classification is used by biologists to group both extinct and living species of organisms . The system used was developed in the 18 th century, and involves comparison the anatomy of different species in order to group them together.

Over time, these classifications are being changed to show groups of organisms that are linked not by their physical appearance, but in terms of their descent from a common ancestor. Recently, many revisions have been made as more information is acquired about genetics, and scientific tests have been developed which can tell how related two species are. The branch of science that covers scientific classification is called taxonomy. In this unit students will explore the original and historical timeline of classification and taxonomy and relate this to different species.

Each classification is divided into domains. Unit content will explain how these domains are categorised and identified using physical and genetic characteristics

Differentiation between mammals and reptiles begins with classification. This unit introduces content on a cellular level in order to facilitate understanding of differentiation

To complete discussion on classification the unit content presents discussion and information about the nitrogen, water and oxygen cycles. This discussion is linked to domains and animal characteristics, bringing into discussion environmental factors and habitat.

Unit 3: The biology of mammals

This section of unit 3 develops discussion from unit 2 and explores cellular biology. Effective and correct cellular function is essential to the maintenance of life. In this section cell structure, function and physiology is looked at in detail

The mammal's internal body environment is rigidly controlled and this state needs to remain as constant as possible within certain ranges. The process of homeostasis is controlled by sophisticated mechanisms which are sensitive to changes that affect the body's internal environment, and they respond accordingly. Different feedback systems operate to ensure homeostasis continues effectively. This section of the unit will look at these processes.

There are two forms of reproduction, sexual and asexual. Mammals reproduce using sexual reproduction, and asexual reproduction is used by various organisms such as bacteria, plants, and also some animals. Some animals are able to use both sexual and asexual reproduction. This section of unit 3 looks in detail at cell division and the different types of replication

Replication means that the DNA, with all its genes, must be copied every time a cell divides.

Expression means that the genes on DNA must control characteristics. A gene was traditionally defined as a factor that controls a particular characteristic (such as flower colour), but a much more precise definition is that a gene is a section of DNA that codes for a particular protein. Expression can be split into two parts :transcription (making RNA) and translation (making proteins). This is called the central dogma of genetics.

These crucial processes are described and explained within this section of unit 3 and prepare students for unit 4 and studying basic genetic processes.

Unit 4: Basic genetic principles of mammals

The physical and chemical appearance of any organisms is known as its phenotype

.The phenotype is the result of the genotype or genetic information, the environment in which the organisms lives and the individual or unique genetic make -up which is due to the random shuffling or mixing of genes during meiosis. This unit looks at the processes of inheritance and genetic traits and builds upon knowledge and understanding from unit 3

Genetic traits are represented in pedigree diagrams which traces how the disease passes through family members and indicates their gender and whether they have the disease. This method is an easy one for seeing and understanding disease inheritance and traits.

Cells are the building blocks from which living organisms are constructed. In order for bodily systems to work, cells cannot be isolated from their external environment, and substances must enter and leave through the membranes of them. This process is crucial to both ell division, growth repair and for processes of inheritance to take place. This unit looks at the integration of these key cellular processes

In order for an organism to be defined as 'alive' they need to possess the characteristics given below, which all animals have in common. The unit culminates in a reiteration of these characteristics which encapsulate the sum total of all cellular processes covered in units 1 to 4: m ovement, nutrition, respiration, excretion. Sensitivity, growth and reproduction

Unit 5: Equine anatomy and physiology

The skeleton of the horse provides structure to the body, and together with the muscles, allows the horse to move. It also protects the vital organs inside the body.

In addition to these functions, the skeleton also has other functions, for example some of the bones are also involved in the production of red and white blood cells, which are vital components of the immune and circulatory systems. The bones also provide a place for storage of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. This unit will look in detail at the equine skeleton and compare it to that of the human one. It will also present discussion about how the horse's movement is related to its skeletal developments

This unit will briefly explore all the other anatomical structures and their functions in the horse and identify any key differences that are present in the horse compared with humans and other animals

The reproductive systems in horses are important in terms of understanding their anatomy and physiology, particularly in terms of selective breeding programmes and breeding cycles. This unit will present detailed coverage of both mare and stallion reproductive systems and make comparisons to those of humans and other animals

Gestation in mares and foaling processes are discussed in detail within this unit. The material also looks at complications of pregnancy in horses and particular problems that can occur during and after foaling.

Unit 6: Equine inheritance processes

This unit reviews the basic principles of genetic inheritance already covered and then goes on to explore these in relation to the horse. Different pedigree charts are presented and correlating types of horse characteristics explained

Selective breeding in horses can result in complex breeding processes and genetic mutations becoming problematic. This unit identifies some of these issues and links the mutations back to genetic processes and commonly seen genetic disorders in horses.

Although it may seem that all genetic mutations are harmful and cause disorders, without the mutations that occur in individual genes, then evolution would not have occurred. It is known from the study of fossil evidence that species change (evolve) over time. When an individual inherits a characteristic that offers it some advantage in some way, then it will be more likely to survive and go on to reproduce, which means that those advantageous genes are more likely to be passed on. Therefore in this section the theoretical concepts of natural selection and selective breeding programmes will be explored

The total amount of genes within a population is known as the gene pool, and as we already know, there can be considerable variation in the genes within a particular population. As well as mutations giving rise to changes in a gene pool, changes may arise due to individuals moving from one area to another, and breeding occurring between two different populations which are genetically different to each other, causing new combinations to arise. This genetic drift process will be explored and discussed.

Unit 7: Equine health, disease and nutrition

When we think of the requirement for energy for horses, we may think of the work that we want the horse to do. However energy is required for all life processes, including the pumping of the heart, repair and growth of muscles, and the maintenance of blood pressure and the transmission of impulses through the nervous system. The requirements for energy can be classed as the energy for maintenance (staying alive) and the energy for production (work). Some horses will have additional requirements, for example those used for breeding. This unit examines nutritional requirements for horses and then goes on to relate diet to health

In order to work out how much to feed, it is necessary to work out the weight of the horse, the type of work it is doing, and whether or not it has any additional requirements. Feeding for maintenance is feeding enough to allow the horse to carry out its normal bodily functions such as growth, digestion, tissue repair and respiration. Feeding for production also takes into account work the horse is doing, or pregnancy, lactation, or improving condition of the horse. This section of the unit describes how to make these calculations and relates diet to health and disease.


Thanks to this offer, valid exclusively for one person, you will obtain a Level 4+5 Diploma in Animal Studies.

How to register

By buying the course in Emagister Express, you will obtain an access coupon. We will send you the codes and keys to the coupon. Send the coupon code and the key to contact@oxfordcollege.ac. The training provider will then give you access to the course.

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