Access to Higher Education (Land-based Studies)




1 year(s) Full Time

Start Date:


Summary & Entry Requirements

Course Includes

Our land based access course includes classroom teaching and assessment as well as practical work and projects to prepare you for the world of Higher Education. The course allows you to specialise by taking a number of optional units (subject to overall numbers). Pathways include: Animal Science and Welfare Ecology and Conservation Equine Studies Sustainability.

Principal Qualification

Access to HE Diploma.

Entry Requirements

Preferably GCSE Maths or English – please contact us to discuss further if you do not have these qualifications.

Facilities & Location

Course Facilities

Amphibian, Crustacean and Invertebrate Centre

This specialist facility houses a wide range of animals including scorpions, millipedes, frogs, tarantulas, newts, stick insects and mantids.

Students can, however, work with a wider variety of animals than this due to the college’s relationship with other collections, which also ensures our in-house range is growing all the time.

By working with these species, students develop an understanding of the techniques of amphibian husbandry and conservation, an ever-more important role due to the infectious Chytid fungus that is prevalent in the wild and has led to over 3,000 species being classed as at risk.

Animal Welfare Centre

Our Animal welfare centre houses over 100 species of common and exotic mammals such as sugar gliders, birds, cold water and tropical fish, invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles.

The animal accommodation includes specialist housing such as a cattery, aviaries, reptile room and paddocks that contain the large mammals such as Kune Kune pigs, a llama, alpaca, Bennett’s wallaby and rhea.

The college is currently a member of the Pet Care Trust, holds a Pet Shop licence and is in the process of applying for a Dangerous Wild Animal licence so that the range of species kept can be increased. Best practice in all aspects of animal husbandry is promoted at all times at the centre, which is run to commercial standards so that students develop a deeper understanding of the industry they wish to enter.

Aquatic Centre

The centre contains a variety of modern, industry-standard tanks, ranging from bank systems found in aquatic retail premises and domestic tanks to large mixed community tanks and huge exhibitory tanks.

Due to the variety of tank systems, students develop their knowledge and gain a deeper understanding of key tasks such as monitoring water quality, testing procedures and setting appropriate conditions.

This is a vital component of learning as water filtration is the life support system of the fish housed at the centre, which include tropical, freshwater and coldwater species, as well as the critically endangered Asian yellow pond turtles.


Our aviaries are host to a wide range of birds such as cockatiels, lovebirds, canaries, budgies and parrots, all housed within indoor and outdoor flight facilities.

Students learn techniques of bird husbandry, how to behave around different species, about flight and flight patterns and how dangerous stress can be to many of them (which is why many of the birds are not handled).

The centre also houses a range of poultry and waterfowl.

Beef Unit

Located at Lodge Farm, the Heifer and Beef Unit is an enterprise within the college’s farm.

All calves are removed form their dams at birth, penned separately and then transferred to the young stock unit at Archingworth in order to reach a weaning weight at eight weeks. They are then transferred to the replacement heifer group.

Cross-breed continental heifers are retained and turned out to grass for summer before being housed and intensively finished out of yards on a concentrate and straw ration. The heifers are then sold dead weight to a number of abattoirs.

The college is accredited under the Farm Assured British Beef and Lamb Scheme.


All classrooms at the college are fitted out with modern and specialist equipment related to the area of study. They are also regularly upgraded to ensure they remain state of the art and provide inspirational places to learn and grow your knowledge.

Dog Grooming

The animal welfare centre has an extensive commercial grooming parlour with a fully equipped studio containing the latest equipment, which means we can ensure clients’ animals will leave looking good enough for Crufts!

Electric tables ensure dogs of every size can be groomed safely, full-size baths and a drying cabinet are available, while our experienced and qualified groomers also offer nail clipping, anal gland and ear cleaning too.

A modern kenneling block completes the facility and ensures animals awaiting treatment or collection are housed in total comfort.

IT Facilities

Significant investment has been made in I.T. facilities over recent years, teaching is enhanced with IT in the majority of classrooms and a number of I.T. Suites operate throughout the different campuses utilising a mixture of PC’s, Laptops and Netbooks.  A cutting edge Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) system means that Students at all sites receive a consistent IT experience. 

Fast WiFi networks cover the majority of the campus, and students are enabled to bring their own devices for use during informal study periods. 

We run Microsoft Windows and Office 2010 with a range of specialist software to support each curriculum area.  Each student is provided with a College email address and a home area to store their files alongside this 24/7 access from home is available to the College’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) where lesson notes, interactive study aids, and videos support and reinforce teaching from both the classroom and practical sessions.

Learning Resource Centres

The college has learning resource centres at the main Moulton site, and the East Northants vocational skills academy. The Moulton LRC provides access for 240 people, including a designated IT area for our higher education students.

Each learning resource centre offers a range of services such as libraries, careers advice, learning support and study spaces, as well as access to resources including books, journals, newspapers, trade literature, online resources and DVDs.

Each centre also has a computer suite that provides access to network drives, the internet and Moodle, as well as hardware such as printers, copiers and scanners. Specialist software includes AutoCAD and packages for horse management, farm management, garden design, accounting, statistics and mind mapping.

For anyone requiring additional support, the learning resource centres at Moulton and at the vocational skills academies offer learning support, where needs can be discussed and arrangements put in place.

Outdoor Unit

The expanding outdoor unit holds goats, wallabies, alpacas, llama, Kune Kune pigs and rhea. The Kune Kune pigs are a rare breed from New Zealand and provide handling and student interaction, as they love the company of people. The llama, at over 6ft tall encourages students to respect large animals and overcome their fear of those which are more intimidating. The South American rhea, related to the ostrich, reaches 5ft tall and along with the Bennetts wallabies provide further exotic species for students to work with. We have a number of different goat breeds which helps to illustrate the difference between those used for fibre, milk and food production.

Reptile Centre

Home to a wide variety of species, including tortoises, snakes from small up to large boa constrictors, lizards (including some only found in zoological collections) and others on recognised and monitored global breeding programmes, our reptile centre is where students can handle them and learn all about their care.

Within these surroundings students learn the theory about natural habitats and then put this into practice through recreating the conditions in a captive environment.

Sheep Unit

Based at Lodge Farm, our Sheep Unit is a complementary enterprise within the college’s farm.

The flock consists of 1,000 North Country Mule ewes and ten pedigree Suffolk, one Charollais and 12 Texel and rams, as well as two Beltex rams. The flock lambs in March, with ewes moved 18 days before tupping to a flushing pasture.

The March-lambed ewes are mothered with their lambs for 36 hours before being turned out to grass and the lambs are sold off grass between June and early August. Any unsold lambs are ‘stored’ at grass and then moved in early autumn to be finished and sold dead weight to a number of abattoirs.

Both ewes and lambs are grazed on the Moulton and Boughton Hall estates, extending to a total grazing area of around 100 hectares, and the flock is a member of the Farm Assured British Beef and Lamb Scheme.

Small Mammal Centre

Based at the animal welfare centre, our small mammal unit is home to a number of exotic species such as common marmosets, goeldis monkeys and a large breeding group of slender-tailed meerkats. Domestic animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs and various rodents are also kept at the unit, as well as chipmunks, ferrets, degus and chinchillas.

This varied collection provides students with an invaluable opportunity to conduct behaviour observations, while handling exotic species that are often difficult to control is an ideal way to develop and improve vital hands-on skills.

Twilight Room

This specialist facility is home to the college’s collection of nocturnal species such as sugar gliders (an unusual Australian marsupial), Eastern flying squirrels and rats.

Containing walk-through enclosures, it has a reversed lighting system that reflect the change in natural light conditions, providing a moonlight view throughout the day for students to observe these timid creatures’ natural behaviour.

Course Location

Moulton Campus
Moulton Campus

Moulton College is one of the longest established Colleges in the country. This history of providing education and training gives the campus a unique feel, combining tradition with the latest and most up to date resources.

Moulton now provides a wide range of courses specialising in the natural, built and recreational environment, which is not only spacious and attractive, but provides an ideal location in which to study.

The College is proud of its record since beoming an independent Further Education Corporation in 1992. The number of students has increased significantly, and the courses on offer now range from pre-entry through to degree and post-graduate level. Staffing breadth and expertise have increased, and the buildings and specialist resources are now amongst the best in Great Britain.

Moulton is situated close to major motorway networks and main railway lines, provising easy access from all parts of the country.

Study Progression & Careers


After successful completion of the course students can expect to pursue one of the following career opportunities:

  • Do you want to work in the animal, countryside or agriculture industries?
  • Do you need a degree to take that next step?
  • Do you want to be taken more seriously by your colleagues?
  • Our Access to Higher Education (land based) validated by CAVA can open those doors for you.

Progression Opportunities

Our Access course fulfils the entry requirements for many courses and is accepted by UK universities. Passing our land based Access course allows you to study on many of our HE programmes here at Moulton including:

This Course

Access to Higher Education (Land-based Studies)

Courses at a Lower Entry level Other Courses at This Level Courses at a Higher Entry Level
Certificate Level 2 Dog Grooming (2 Week Intensive Course) Diploma Level 3 Animal Management MSc Animal Welfare (Distance Learning) (Part Time)
Diploma Level 2 Animal Care Extended Diploma Level 3 Animal Management BSc(Hons) Applied Animal Studies
Level 2 Diploma Veterinary Care Assistants BSc(Hons) Applied Animal Studies (Part Time)
Level 2 Work Ready (Animal Care) BSc(Hons) Applied Animal Studies (Top Up)
Access to FE: Outdoor Education and Animal Care BSc(Hons) Applied Animal Studies (Top Up) (Part Time)
Diploma Level 1 Animal Care BSc(Hons) Applied Zoology
BSc(Hons) Applied Zoology (Part Time)
FdSc Applied Animal Studies
FdSc Applied Animal Studies (Part Time)
FdSc Canine and Feline Industries

Further Information

Course Overview

This is a full time one year course, it is designed to give you a genuine HE experience while getting you ready to enter the world of higher education. The course covers all necessary areas from science to business and has 4 different pathways for you to choose between: Animal Science and Welfare, Ecology and Conservation, Equine Studies or Sustainability. Taught in our dedicated Higher Education Centre by expert staff and using excellent facilities like a purpose built Animal Welfare Centre, over 660 hectares of land with the opportunity to get involved in research, lambing, horses and more. We have a beef unit, an equine hydrotherapy pool and water treadmill. This Diploma is a great way to achieve a nationally recognised qualification - accepted at all UK universities, and provides the perfect stepping stone to prepare you for your degree.

Learning & Assessment Methods

We use a full range of assessments including written work, practical assessment, presentations and internal exams.