WoRk ExPerIENce



Please note that due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we will not be accepting work experience applications for the foreseeable future.





Choosing a work placement position at the HCC can be an incredibly rewarding role and you will be part of an amazing team!



We can only accept students that are enrolled on a higher education level zoology / veterinary/ animal science course (i.e FdSc or BSc) and can commit to a 2 month block placement.

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years or over.

  • Applicants should be studying, recently finished or taking part in work experience as a 'sandwich' or 'gap' year.

  • We must be notified of any medical problems, allergies, disabilities etc. which may affect the student’s work at the application stage.

  • Applicants must provide a letter of recommendation from their course tutor.

  • Successful candidates should confirm their acceptance of an approved placement as soon as possible.

The work at the centre is very physical and we expect students to be able to work independently as well as under supervision. 

We are only able to offer work placements after a successful interview and we ask that you understand that not all candidates are suitable.

Please note that all work placement vacancies are voluntary and unpaid.

Please also note that work placement positions are in very high demand and therefore it is essential that you contact us as early as possible!


Hours of Work

Students will work a full time rota (5 days/week) between the hours of 08.00 and 17.00, although these may be subject to change seasonally. Days off are selected by the appropriate line manager. Occasionally there may be times when students are asked to work with staff outside of normal hours.

We ask for a minimum notice of two weeks should students wish to apply for holiday.



Spending time with our animal staff and working on the animal sections will allow students to experience first hand the day to day running of a zoo and gain direct experience with a variety of animal species, and will involve work along the following:

  • Assisting with routine tasks on the designated animal section such as food preparation, cleaning, feeding, behavioural observations, enclosure maintenance, upkeep and decoration and watching veterinary procedures should any occur.

  • Learn practical husbandry skills including- nutritional requirements, environmental requirements, behaviour, reproductive management etc.

  • You will also deepen your knowledge and understanding of species biology and conservation issues relating to the species that you work with, and the collection as a whole. 


Our Commitment to Students

The HCC will produce and organise a programme of work that is practical and relevant to the course being studied. This will ensure that we are delivering a programme that offers educational oppurtunities to learn about captive animal management and conservation of their species. We will also provide assessments of the student's work, should their college or university require it. In return, we ask that students present and conduct themselves professionally and work to the same standards as employed staff.


Research Projects

We support the proposal of research projects relevant to the animal collection that con contribute to the advancement of animal husbandry, welfare or conservation of the species. These will need to be approved by the line manager that you are working directly under.

All projects will be subject to scrutiny and amendments may need to be made before we can approve the project. If a project is required as part of your course, we require you to complete and return one of our project proposal forms.

Research projects need to be completed during your placement, unless they are purely observational (behaviour study for example).

We require a copy of any publications, articles, dissertations, reports or publications which are the outcome of work conducted at the HCC.



We will provide polo shirts, fleeces and coats. We also provide wellington boots for students, unless they wish to wear their own footwear (which must be left at the centre each day). Students will have to provide their own black 'combat' style trousers or shorts. Again, all uniform must be washed and stay on site in line with our bio-security programme.


Places to Stay & Accomodation

If you are travelling a distance for your placement, we can put you in touch with local places to stay.


If you would like to apply for a placement please fill out the application form below.



The easiest and quickest way to get in touch with us is via email!

For all general enquiries-


For all experience related enquiries-

For all volunteer and work placement queries, please click here

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