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Animal Care

Zoology Diploma

This Quality Assured at QLS Level 3 Diploma course is aimed at providing a thorough introduction to the subject of Zoology.

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Level 3 / Quality Licence Scheme / ODL99

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over 12 months and £ deposit

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12 months expert tutor support

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Course introduction

Course Description

It will particularly appeal to those who are currently working in the subject and would like to enhance their knowledge or interested in the animal world but would like more scientific depth that that provided in popular media. It will particularly appeal to those wishing to study Zoology or other sciences at a higher level in the future. 

The course is divided up into ten exciting modules, and concludes with an online examination.
Course content:

Module 1 - Introduction to Zoology

The first module introduces Zoology as a subject. It begins by defining the properties of life. Students then discuss how inorganic chemicals made the leap to organic molecules and the origin of life on Earth. The first organisms, the prokaryote blue green algae (cyan bacteria) progress the story into a discussion on the basic building blocks of life, the cell. This include a brief history of the discovery of the cell as the basic unit of life, its structure and functions and the process of cellular reproduction, mitosis. The module concludes with a brief look at cellular metabolism, and the importance of enzymes in a biological system.

Module 2 - Animal Development, evolution to individual

This module examines how animals perform two of the basic characteristics of life, that of development and reproduction. It begins with an overview of genetic theory, from a historical perspective, followed by a closer examination of genetics at the cellular and whole animal level. The module then moves logically onto evolutionary theory, setting it in a historical context before discussing its implications, for animal species. The large range of strategies used by animals to ensure reproductive success is summarised, followed by a brief review of the process of development from fertilized zygote, through gastrulation to the embryo and adult individual.

Module 3 - Animal Diversity: Part 1, Simple Animals

This module introduces the subject of animal diversity, beginning with a review of the various architectural patterns which occur in animal bodies. The taxonomic system currently used to classify animals is then discussed together with possible evolutionary pathways. The second part of the module seeks to describe the simple animals, from unicellular protozoans through to the development of multicellular animals such as sponges and jellyfish. Various aspects of these animals such as movement, nutrition and reproduction are briefly described.

Module 4 - Animal Diversity: Part 2, Complex invertebrates

This module concentrates on the more complex invertebrates, molluscs (including gastropods, and cephalopods), segmented worms ( annelids e.g. ragworms, earthworms, leeches), arthropods (from horseshoe crabs to crustaceans, spiders and insects) , the echinoderms ( starfish, sea urchins) and hemichordates (marine worms). Aspects of these groups which make them unique in the evolutionary history of the animal kingdom are discussed.

Module 5 - Animal Diversity; Part 3, The first vertebrates

This module examines how the first vertebrate animals arose, and follows the history of animal life from the first emergence of backbone like animals, the proliferation of the fishes, through to the first walking vertebrates, the early tetra pods and the modern amphibians. Various aspects of their life cycles, and uniqueness within the animal kingdom will be discussed.

Module 6 - Animal Diversity; Part 4, Complex vertebrates

In order for animals to be free of the need to have water in which to reproduce, the evolution of non-porous eggs was necessary. This module deals with the origins of non-porous eggs, and the corresponding proliferation of reptile groups, some of which became known as 'dinosaurs'. The connections between birds and reptiles are discussed as well important features of the avian group.

Module 7 - Animal Diversity; Part 5, Mammals

Mammals in all their forms are the focus of this module. Their evolution and origin is discussed and well as the myriad of structural and functional adaptations (such as fur, and movement) the group has evolved to take advantage of the huge number of ecological niches which exist. The classification of living mammalian orders is discussed, along with specific examples of individual species. Human evolution is presented as a specific topic.

Module 8 - Animal activity; Part 1, Body, senses and movement

This is the first module in the part of the course dealing with the activities of animal life. It discusses the various strategies animals have developed to support their body structures, e.g. internal/external skeletal systems. It the move on to discuss how animal propel themselves through their environments, from whole animal movements to the cellular changes which enable muscle to contract. The module concludes with a discussion of the huge array of sensory systems animals have developed to be aware of their environments, and a review of how those signal are processed in the nervous system.

Module 9 - Animal activity; Part 2, Maintaining the internal environment

Cellular activities need to occur in a constant stable environment, this module examines how animals maintain this constant internal environment through various homeostatic processes. These processes involve several systems such as osmotic regulation ( water balance) temperature regulation, circulation, respiration, digestion and nutrition and finally defence against micro-organisms, i.e. immunity.

Module 10 - Animals and their environment

This module examines how animals deal with their external environment, their behaviour within their own species e.g. social behaviour and communication. The module continues with a discussion of animals at a global level, including the biosphere and animal distribution. This final topic in the diploma is animal ecology, defined as the relation of the animal to its organic and inorganic environment, and include an examination of predator/prey relationships and biomass pyramids.

Required knowledge

No previous knowledge or experience is essential to study this course.

Assessment

Final online multiple choice examination counts for 100% of the final grade. Throughout the course there are ten SAPs (coursework) and a thesis. The course clearly states that this is not mandatory to complete as it has no bearing on the final grade. We do suggest that students complete these as this will not only assist them in examination preparation but also will give the student the skill set should they wish to continue their studies (continuous professional development) at a higher level.

Certification

At the end of this course successful learners will receive a Certificate of Achievement from Quality Licence Scheme and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the components the learner has completed as part of the course). 

The course has been endorsed under the Quality Licence Scheme. This means that the provider has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet defined quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to a regulated qualification* but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills gained. The Learner Unit Summary may be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this subject. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at QLS Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner. 

The Quality Licence Scheme is part of the Skills and Education Group, a charitable organisation that unites education and skills-orientated organisations that share similar values and objectives. With more than 100 years of collective experience, the Skills and Education Group’s strategic partnerships create opportunities to inform, influence and represent the wider education and skills sector. 

The Skills and Education Group’s knowledge and experience of working within the awarding sector enables them to work with training providers, through the Quality Licence Scheme, to help them develop high-quality courses and/or training programmes for the non-regulated market. 

*Regulated qualification refers to those qualifications that are regulated by Ofqual / CCEA / Qualification Wales 

Course modules

  • Module 1: Introduction to Zoology

  • Module 2: Animal Development, evolution to individual

  • Module 3: Animal Diversity: Part 1, Simple Animals

  • Module 4: Animal Diversity: Part 2, Complex invertebrates

  • Module 5: Animal Diversity; Part 3, The first vertebrates

  • Module 6: Animal Diversity; Part 4, Complex vertebrates

  • Module 7: Animal Diversity; Part 5, Mammals

  • Module 8: Animal activity; Part 1, Body, senses and movement

  • Module 9: Animal activity; Part 2, Maintaining the internal environment

  • Module 10: Animals and their environment

Learner support

12 months tutor support. Tutors are available to answer student questions relating to course materials and to comment on the assignments that are sent in to state how well students have understood the unit content.

FAQs

What is distance learning?

Distance learning is the most flexible and convenient approach to studying. There is no need for you to attend college and, therefore, you can study anytime, any place, anywhere that fits in with your lifestyle. Distance learning programmes are ideal for people who may have a full-time job, or other commitments, that won’t allow them time off to study.

What do I need to do to get started on a course?

You'll need to be able to commit the required time to your studies. We recommend that you choose a course you think will interest you, and help you to achieve your ambitions. If you would like some advice, or further information, please call our helpline free on 0333 3445 690.

To purchase a course, simply click on the ‘Buy now’ button against your chosen course and follow the on screen instructions. Alternatively if you would prefer to purchase the course over the phone, call 0333 3445 690 and speak to one of our expert course advisors.

How does the distance learning/home study method work?

The course operates through a study pack and access to your own personal tutor. Once you have chosen your course we will send you your study pack, which you will be required to work through before completing the course.

Depending on the course you have chosen, you will either be required to complete assignments and submit these for marking as the course progresses and/or be required to sit an end exam. The end exam could be in the form of multiple choice questions, or be an invigilated exam at a registered test centre.

Your completed assignments will need to be sent to your tutor for marking/assessment, you will then receive written feedback and guidance. It may be possible to submit your assignments by email, however you will need to check this with your tutor. Please be aware that your assignments will be maintained by NCCHL for moderation and audit purposes.

These requirements will always be listed on the course description page, so please refer to this for details of what is required for each individual course.

How long should it take to complete a course?

Depending on the course you have chosen, and the amount of time you can commit, it could take from 6 weeks to 12 months to complete your course.

The duration of the course is largely down to you though. The beauty of home learning is that it allows you complete flexibility to fit your studies around your lifestyle and other commitments. You can dedicate as much, or as little, time as you want to your studies - no one will be chasing you for your work or asking why you haven’t submitted an assignment.

We do strongly recommend, though, that before you purchase a course you assess your ability to commit the necessary time to completing the course in a timeframe that will not leave you losing your motivation.

How quickly will I receive my course material?

We guarantee that you will receive your course materials within 5 days of purchase, but for many courses we would anticipate that you will have to wait no more than 48 hours.

The course materials are always sent to you via a tracked courier service, to ensure that you receive your study pack within our stated period.

How much will it cost?

The cost is largely dependent on the type of the course. The longer the course is the higher the cost will be, due to the size of the study pack and the nature of the qualification.

All prices are clearly stated on the course description page and will always be displayed prior to you committing to purchase a course.

Please note that there may be additional fees required should your course have an external assessment, such as A Levels, ICB qualifications etc. To clarify, please speak to a course advisor.

What support will I receive?

You will be allocated your own personal tutor who can be contacted via e-mail, telephone, fax or post for help and advice on any aspect of the course.

Many courses require that you submit work to your tutor during the period of study and your tutor will assess your work and pass comments back to you. Your tutor is available to you as much as you need them.

Please be aware that officially the tutor support provided with the course is for a period of 12 months, although if you need longer let us know and we’ll endeavour to extend that.

Will I have to sit an examination?

All of our courses are accredited, so you need to show that you have acquired the knowledge to pass the course – this may involve sitting an examination, but it depends on the course you have chosen.

Some courses require you to be continually assessed throughout the course, while others may require an end of course exam or assignment (which may be completed at home) to be submitted to your tutor.

Certain types of qualifications, A-levels and GCSEs for example, do require you to sit an invigilated exams at a registered test centre. You will need to organise and pay for the examinations yourself, however full details of what you need to do will be available from the centre who are delivering the qualification.

If in doubt, please email ‘support@nccresources.co.uk’, NCC can then discuss or put you in touch directly with the course provider.

Can I study from outside the UK?

Yes, there are no geographical limits to where you can study.

You just need to be aware that all tutors are based in the UK and work may need to be submitted to them via post, although in most cases e-mail can be used.

Where the course requires that you sit an invigilated exam at a test centre, there are many exam centres outside of the UK. However, we would advise that you check with us before purchasing one of these courses if you want to study from abroad.

Will I receive a qualification when I complete the course?

All of our courses are accredited and you will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the course.

For more information about this please see the section of the website that details how awarding bodies work and what the different types of qualifications are.

Can I take more than one course at a time?

Yes, you can take as many courses as your time allows. But we would recommend that you clearly evaluate how much time you can commit to your courses of study.

The good news is though that if your circumstances change you can always take a break and come back to your studies.

Additionally, discounts are available if you buy more than one course at the same time.

How long will it take for my work to be marked by my tutor?

Your work will be marked and feedback returned to you within 12 working days after submission. This is because our tutors are required to provide detailed, considered feedback to our learners that may take a while to formulate. We find that by working this way, our learners actually complete their course in less time, as they rarely need to submit an assignment more than twice.

Whilst it is possible to submit multiple assignments at the same time, we advise that our learners submit only one at a time. We want our learners to develop as they progress through their course, and find this is best achieved when a student embarks on a new module having taken into account tutor feedback from the previous submission.

Do I need any additional books or equipment to do my course?

No, we provide everything you need to pass your course.

How do I enrol?

Once you have chosen your course, you can either purchase the course online which will enrol you, or you can call our helpline on 0333 3445 690 who will sign you up for the course and arrange to have all your learning materials sent to you.

What if I’ve chosen the wrong course?

If, after receiving the course, you decide it isn’t the right course for you, you can simply return the goods within 14 days and we will send your money back in full for the majority of courses (excluding postage and packaging) or you can choose another course that you feel would suit your needs and ambitions better.

What is the difference between the online and paper versions of courses?

Our online courses are completed through our online learning system after receiving login and access instructions. You will not receive any course materials through the post. The paper based version is posted out in a binder to your home or place of work and requires completion of a portfolio of work that is submitted to your tutor for marking.

Where can I find your Equality and Diversity Policy?

All NCC policies and procedures can be provided on request from NCC directly by emailing enquiries@ncchomelearning.co.uk or calling 0333 3445 690.

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