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Animal Management

The animal management industry across the UK employs 78,000 people and contributes £1 billion to the British economy. Our courses provide a comprehensive introduction to all aspects of animal care, with students benefiting from a mix of theory combined with a large degree of practical work at our custom-built animal management unit.

You will learn about the structure and function of the animal body, animal welfare, animal health and nursing. Throughout the courses, you will be required to complete work experience to develop your practical skills, both on the animal unit and externally.

Undertaking practical duties as part of their course, students benefit from a wide range of experiences and opportunities to work with both exotic and domestic animal species. Students are involved in all aspects of husbandry and management from planning animal collections, designing and maintaining enclosures to day-to-day animal care within an animal collection set up as a commercial enterprise. Students benefit from using the most up-to-date equipment in the aquaria, pet trade and zoological fields.

Pathways Available

The College offers full-time Level 1 to Level 3 further education courses in Animal Management, apprenticeships in Animal Welfare and Veterinary Nursing and degree programmes in Animal Conservation, Animal Behaviour and Zoo Husbandry.

Partnerships for Area

The Pet Charity, Pet Industry Federation and Centre of Applied Pet Ethology.


  • Animal Boarding Assistant
  • Pet Shop Assistant
  • Animal Trainer
  • Animal Behaviourist
  • Animal Management Instructor
  • Animal Welfare Inspector
  • RSPCA Inspector
  • Veterinary Nurse
  • Animal Conservationist
  • Animal Keeper


Suzie Simpson


Suzie has an FdSc in Zoological Conservation and BSc (Hons) in Wildlife Conservation. Since 1998, she has worked in multiple areas of the animal sector, including kennels, catteries, zoos, veterinary practices, research field work and conservation. Following completion of her degree, Suzie was selected for a Durrell Initiative position as a Reptile Translocation Research Assistant in Mauritius in late 2007. Suzie spent 8 months working on the islands researching a newly translocated population of Telfair skink on Ile Aux Aigrettes. Whilst here, she worked with many other species, including Pink pigeons, Mauritian Fodies, Olive White-eyes and more. 

Suzie followed this by becoming a research assistant on a PhD project in Ontario, Canada in early 2008. The study focused on conservation genetics of freshwater turtles. This work led to 4 years of spring/summer research collecting data on different ‘Species at Risk’ turtles. Suzie assisted in the hatch and release programs that were initiated in a few of the Provincial Parks. 

In 2011, Suzie joined Hadlow College as a Technical Instructor working on the Animal Management Unit before becoming a Lecturer. Her main focus is zoology and exotics both in-situ and ex-situ. She is a keen herpetologist, a council member of the British Herpetological Society (BHS) as well as the editor for their newsletter (The Natterjack) and a journal peer reviewer.  She is an active member of the Kent Reptile and Amphibian Group (KRAG) as an adder field monitor at a local field site. 

Subject Specialisms

  • Exotic collection management
  • Enclosure design (building and design)
  • Field research and conservation
  • Behavioural training and cognition
  • Environmental interpretation and nutrition
  • Currently Editor for The Natterjack newsletter for the British Herpetological Society
  • Peer reviewer for the Herpetological Bulletin for the British Herpetological Society

Book Reviews:

  • Simpson, S. (2018) A Field Guide to the Amphibians & Reptiles of Trinidad & Tobago by John C. Murphy et al. Herpetological Bulletin.
  • Simpson, S. (2018) Snakes of Europe, North Africa & the Middle East by P. Geniez. Natterjack, August edition.
  • Simpson, S. (2018) The Book of Snakes: A Life-Size Guide To Six Hundred Species From Around The World by Mark O’Shea. Herpetological Bulletin.
  • Simpson, S. (2018) Status and Conservation of Amphibians: Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands edited by H. Heatwole and J.J.L. Rowley. Natterjack, October edition.

Journal papers:

  • Oddie, M. , Coombes,S. , Davy, C. (2015) Understanding the cues involved in predator detection of freshly laid Snapping Turtle nests. Con. Bio.
  • Davy, C., Coombes, S. , Whitear, A. and Mackenzie, A. (2010) Visible Implant Elastomer: A Simple, Non-harmful Method for Marking Hatchling Turtles. Herpetological Review. 41(4):442-445
  • Coombes,S. and Davy, C. (2010). Chelydra serpentina. Deformity. Herpetelogical Review. 41(2):213
  • Davy, C., Shim, K. and Coombes,S. (2009) Leech (Annelida: Hirudinea) infestations on Canadian turtles, including the first Canadian record of Helobdella modesta from freshwater turtles. Canadian Field-Naturalist 123(1): 000-000
Hadlow College

National Centre for Reptile Welfare


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David Courtneidge

"My favourite aspect [of the course] was the practical wildlife surveys "

FdSc Animal Conservation and BSc Animal Conservation (Top up)
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Eleanor Denniss

"There is no better group of lecturers to have behind you to succeed than those at Hadlow.” 

Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management, BSc(Hons) in Animal Conservation & Biodiversity
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Amy Shirley

A highlight of my career so far has been being nominated for Lecturer of the year for three years running.

Extended Diploma in Animal Management and BSc Animal Conservation and Biodiversity
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Clare Beadle holding a dog

Clare Beadle

“There are many different exotics we get in – we’ve seen flamingos, snow leopards. We do get a varied amount of animals that come through.”

Animal Management
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Chloe Brooker smiling at the camera holding a goat

Chloe Brooker

A great memory was meeting a great group of people, not just students but lecturers and being able to extend my knowledge in the animal sector.

BSc Animal Management
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Matt Town

The emphasis on practical skills and industry experience creates many opportunities to build networks and equips students with the essential skills employers seek.

BSc (Hons) Animal Conservation & Biodiversity
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Georgia Child

I would highly recommend studying for a degree at Hadlow. I know it sounds like a cliché, but choosing to study at Hadlow was honestly the best decision I have ...

BSc (Hons) Applied Animal Behavioural Science and Welfare
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Matt O'Leary

Hadlow offered me the opportunity to gain practical experience with companion, exotic and farm animals. It taught me the fundamentals of animal care and the confidence to excel.

Animal Management
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