Animal Care Assistant (Animal Care)


QQI Level 5 Certificate in Animal Care – 5M2768.

Work with your love of animals and start a new career in the animal care industry.

Become an expert in grooming companion animals – studying in our designated animal grooming facility. Study to support vets and veterinary nurses in a veterinary practice with components in veterinary assisting skills, animal welfare, safety and health at work, and customer service.

Deepen your understanding of companion animals with components in biology and animal anatomy and physiology. Develop your expertise in our animal science lab.

Use your qualification to progress on to veterinary nursing and science degrees.

Award QQI Level 5 Certificate in Animal Care – 5M2768.
Format Full-time. September 2023 to May 2024.
Location Onsite at Mallow Campus 
Timetable Hours between Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 15:30.
Requirements No CAO required (Leaving Cert./LCA/equivalent for under 23s). Application review discussion.
Starting Classes start the week of Monday the 11th of September 2023.
Fees €300 (SUSI/BTEA €300, Medical Card €250, VTOS €0).

Applications Applications open. Places available. No deposit required to start your application.

Contact us at for help and more information.

Career Prospects

  • Animal grooming. +
  • Boarding kennels. +
  • Pet shop. +
  • Veterinary industry. +

Course Contents

  • Animal Anatomy and Physiology (5N0750) Level 5 QQI.
    • Develop an understanding of the structures and functions of the animal body and therefore provide optimum care for a variety of species.
  • Animal Grooming (5N0752) Level 5 QQI.
  • Animal Welfare (5N0753) Level 5 QQI.
    • Develop an understanding of the process of domestication of animals and the provisions needed to promote physical and mental wellbeing in domestic and captive animals.
  • Biology (5N2746) Level 5 QQI.
    • Independently apply concepts and principles of biology in a laboratory and in the field in a managed environment.
  • Customer Service (5N0972) Level 5 QQI.
    • Create, implement and organise databases with confidence using a database application.
  • Safety and Health at Work (5N1794) Level 5 QQI.
    • In any work environment, knowledge of health and safety procedures and legislation is vital. The skills and knowledge learners gain from this component are essential on a CV to many employers.
  • Veterinary Assisting Skills (5N1363) Level 5 QQI.
    • Care and manage a variety of animals under supervision in a veterinary care environment, understanding the use of preventative medical care and management in a variety of domestic and commercial animal care contexts.
  • Communications (5N0690) Level 5 QQI.
    • Communicate verbally and non-verbally in standard everyday tasks and in work-related tasks, operating independently while under general direction.
  • Work Experience (5N1356) Level 5 QQI.
    • Participate in the workplace for a limited time, carrying out work-related tasks independently while under general direction. Prepare yourself for industry, prepare your CV (and online LinkedIn profile), practice interview skills, and gain invaluable experience on your own work placement.
  • Optional: Mathematics (5N1833) Level 5 QQI.
    • Apply a broad range of mathematical skills and tools to a wide variety of contexts, with some theoretical understanding.

Courses are continually developed – content and specific award components are subject to change. See disclaimer.


One year. Full-time. Class timetables to follow in September, and subject to change. See calendar for term holidays.


50 full-time day students will travel, fully-funded, with Erasmus+ to another European country for 2 weeks. Find out more and apply.

Entry Requirements

  • CAO points not required.
  • All applicants will be required to attend an application review discussion. An offer of a place on this course is contingent on the applicant meeting the minimum entry requirements set out here, and satisfactory presentation at interview.
  • Leaving Certificate or equivalent. For mature applicants appropriate experience will be considered in lieu of formal qualifications.


Work Experience

Work experience in a veterinary practice is an integral part of this course. The dates and duration will be specified by the College in September.


Advance to Mallow Campus’s Advanced Certificate in Animal Science and on a competitive basis to degrees in Veterinary Nursing in Dundalk, Athlone, Dublin and Letterkenny. Graduates can also progress to Wildlife Biology and Veterinary Biosciences at IT Tralee and Science degrees in Institutes of Technology across Ireland. See for further information.

A full QQI award achieves a maximum of 390 points for CAO.


  • Full Fees (EU/EEA Citizens): €300
  • Medical Card Holders: €250
  • Student Grant Recipients (SUSI): €300
  • Back to Education Allowance (BTEA): €300
  • Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS): €0
    • €50 Deposit (refundable) per year.
    • Retain Social Welfare benefits. Additional weekly allowances for meals, travel and childcare are also available.

Contact Us

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