“I don’t think I’ve gone into a single class and not thought “I’m enjoying myself”. I love the variety of coursework on the HND, for instance, this year we studied wildlife conservation which I never considered as a career before but I’m considering it as a career now that I have experienced it, I really loved it. We also learnt about anthrozoology, which is the study of how humans and animals interreact, and advanced patient care, which is about communicating with your clients who bring their animals in to get treatment. The focus on communication in advanced patient care was nice for me as someone with autism, as we learn about understanding different types of body language and what they mean, which helped me help myself with my own communication too. We must do a placement as part of the course too, which I’m doing at The Barn Animal Rescue Newtownards.
“We have a research project as part of the course too, which is great fun. Our topic for the project is ‘the impact of social media on animal ownership’, and I’ve chosen my project to revolve around dog training, as I’ve noticed on social media it’s a big thing right now. It’s nice to be able to go off and do your project in your own time while also having the more structured classes for more guided learning.
"After I complete this course, I wouldn’t say going back to uni is off the table – it's great to have the option, because I can go on to study animal behaviour and other animal related courses at uni. I’ve also got a place available at an online Dog Training College – it gives you all the training you need to become a trainer. I could go straight into a career afterwards, with the option of working towards a non-clinical behaviour role to help dogs with more advanced cases. To help learn how to set up my own business as a trainer, I’m also doing the Level 2 Award in Innovation and Enterprise in Practice at SERC; it’s completely free which is really good.
“I’d one hundred percent recommend SERC. The staff are incredible, and my tutors have really helped me whenever I needed it. The classes are small which means tutors have more time for you and the questions you have, which is different to my experience at uni, which had larger classes and felt more stressful. Don't look at university as the only path. You can come to SERC, get your qualifications, and end up somewhere amazing.”
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