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Zoology & Animal Management14-17 years

This intensive two-week programme is perfect for future Veterinarians, Zookeepers, Animal Biologists and those with a love and passion for animals. It provides a superb opportunity for those pupils who wish to work with animals, wild or domestic, or who wish to have something unusual to sit alongside their scientific qualifications. Students will be able to move on to study veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing, zoology, conservation – and many other courses not directly connected with animals. This course takes place at Dicker centre (Bede's Senior School) which is located in the village of Upper Dicker in the heart of the Sussex countryside, just north of the seaside town of Eastbourne which attracts both domestic and international tourists. The school is based on a former country estate and has a unique, homely feel, ideal for young teenagers.

The Programme

Bede's Zoo

Situated at Bede’s Senior School, Dicker, the Zoo is home to about 70 different species of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish and invertebrates. Catering for their individual enrichment needs can be quite a challenge as each animal has different requirements, as a snake isn’t going to need the same enrichment as a Squirrel Monkey. As a school, we are enormously lucky to have such a facility in our portfolio. In animal management, students look after a range of zoo animals, and help with the dormouse breeding programme to increase numbers in the wild.

View Bede's Zoo Guidebook

Animal Husbandry

Students learn about animal welfare and ethics, animal health and disease, animal behaviour, practical animal husbandry and work experience in the land-based sector.

Animal Care & Behaviour

We feel that a connection with animals is enriching, calming and fulfilling. Feeding meal worms to a gecko, trying to exercise a kinkajou, or listening to the calls of our primates – brings something to the lives of the young people who are privileged to be able to enjoy these opportunities.

Animal Handling

Students look at wildlife conservation, both in captivity and in the wild, the ethics of keeping
animals in captivity, how to health check their pets, and perhaps most enjoyably – take part
in animal handling and feeding sessions, e.g. they are able to spend time feeding the white faced owl, cleaning out the Royal Pythons’ vivarium, or rearranging the branching in the home of the Siberian Chipmunks. 

Research Project

Working in small groups, students complete daily research tasks based around their chosen topic of interest and linked to a species they have learned about. They then present their findings and conclusions within the class on the last day of the course.



After tuition, students participate in a range of sports and recreational activities. This provides the opportunity to carry on learning outside the classroom in small, supervised groups at the same time as having some fun. Sometimes, students will be able to choose their preferred sport or activity.


  1. Enhance students' fluency in English.
  2. Awaken students' curiosity by explore new sports, activities and games.
  3. Enhance students' skills and technique in sports.
  4. Encourage participation and self-confidence.
  5. Teach students new vocabulary related to sports, games and popular leisure activities.


Aerobics, Badminton, Basketball, Bootcamp, Card Games, Chess, Circuit Training, Cricket, Dance, Dodgeball, Drama, Fashion Design, Football, Model-Making, Netball, Painting, Rounders, Rugby, Set Design, Singing, Squash, Stoolball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Yoga, Zumba.



A full programme of organised and supervised social events is offered every evening to encourage students to make new friends and develop their social skills. By actively encouraging the mixing of nationalities, we are helping to create a harmonious international community in which students can live, study in a safe and comfortable environment and enjoy themselves.


  1. Promote students' relaxation and enjoyment.
  2. Explore some typically English social events, games and activities.
  3. Nurture social skills in an environment of different cultural traditions.
  4. Use English in natural real-life speaking situations.
  5. Forge new friendships.

Bede’s Got Talent, Disco, House Competitions, Fashion Show, Formal Dinner & Dance, Karaoke, Messy Games, Music Quiz, Musical Workshop, Pool Party, Soft Ball Sports, Tennis, Tournaments.



Excursions are a mandatory part of the programme. We offer students the opportunity to visit places of cultural and historical interest, as well as the chance for sightseeing, shopping and amusement.


  1. Deepen students' cultural experiences.
  2. Create opportunities for interaction with the real world in fun, relaxed and genuinely interesting ways.
  3. Enhance their knowledge of England and the UK.


Wednesday trips are a half-day afternoon visit to a local Zoo with behind the scenes access and hands on animal experince. 


Saturday excursions are a full day trip and include a cultural, touristic or recreational visit to London or another place of interest such as British Museum, Buckingham Palace, London Dungeon, London Eye, London Zoo, Madame Tussauds, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Thorpe Park, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey.

An alternative sightseeing tour of London will be available every Saturday.


Sunday excursions are often more relaxing trips to a local seaside town, such as Brighton, Chichester, Eastbourne, Hastings or Worthing, where students can stroll along the beach, have lunch in the park or do some shopping. Sometimes students will partake in off-site activities.



Our Academies Programme offers expert instruction to students looking to develop their skills, technique and confidence in certain sports and leisure activities.


  1. Increase students' competencies and technique in the sport/activity.
  2. Offer inspiring coaching and instruction to motivate students to practise sport.
  3. Learn specific vocabulary relating to the sport/activity.

Academies Available

Public Speaking

Essay Writing

Contemporary Dance

Performing Arts

Drawing & Painting

Pottery & Ceramics

Adventure & Water Sports

Clay Pigeon Shooting


Rugby Skills

Horse Riding



Further Information

The Academies Programme is suitable for all abilities from beginner to advanced level.

Instruction is given by qualified Bede's staff or external sports' coaches.

Students can choose 1 Academy option per week.

Academies take place instead of the regular afternoon Sports & Activities.

Dates & Fees

The programme runs for 2 weeks in total, from 14 to 27 July 2024. Students arrive on Sunday 14 July 2024 and depart on Saturday 27 July 2024, unless additional weeks of English Plus are booked.

The minimum stay is two weeks. To maximize the benefit of your experience, you should consider a 3 or 4 week course and supplement with English Plus. 

The fully-inclusive course fee is £1,845 per week for a residential student. This includes a return transfer (see Terms & Conditions) and travel insurance. There is no supplement for collecting a UM.

The Course


Age range 14 to 17 yrs. Maximum 20 students per week from different countries. Limits for each nationality to ensure a good mix


There is a full programme of Zoology & Animal Management tuition, sports and activities, social events and excursions, all of which are mandatory and included in the fee.


There are 20 hours of tuition per week including learning about Animal Husbandry, Animal Care & Behaviour, Animal Handling and Research Project. Maximum 20 students per class. 


We accept levels from B1 (Intermediate) to C2 (Proficiency). We cannot accept Complete
Beginners or Beginners on this course. Students whose mother tongue is English are welcome on this course.


Zoo Visits

The programme also enables students to look beyond our own school campus. Students will get the opportunity to visit at least two Zoos locally in the duration of their course, where they will have the opportunity to take part in talks and get a unique behind the scenes access on visits.

Academic Academies

Essay Writing and Public Speaking. Supplements are payable. Academies are subject to availability and a minimum number of enrolments.


Adventure & Water Sports, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Contemporary Dance, Drawing & Painting, Golf, Horse Riding, Performing Arts, Pottery & Ceramics, Rugby Skills and Tennis. Supplements are payable. Academies are subject to availability and a minimum number of enrolments.

The centre


Tennis courts, sports hall, swimming pool, gym, squash courts, astro-turf, playing fields, drama theatre, dance studios, IT suites, art studios.


Separate accommodation on campus for boys and girls. Most bedrooms have 2 to 4 beds (some single and larger bedrooms are available). Storage space is available. Bathrooms in most houses are shared, there is one boarding house with en-suite accommodation. Students share their bedroom with children of a similar age and from different countries. Every boarding house has its own communal space for students to relax.

Dicker Accommodation Leaflet


Bede’s staff provide excellent care for students 24 hours a day and live in the same sleeping areas as the students. Dedicated House Parents look after the students in each boarding house. Excellent staff:student ratios (typically 1:5). Individual attention provided. There is a surgery led by a qualified nurse a couple of times a week and students have access to a doctor if required.


Healthy meals with a mix of English and international dishes served in the Dining Room. Vegetarian options are always available. Special dietary requirements are accommodated.

Meals Leaflet


Internet is available and an extensive Wi-Fi network across the campus. Students can make and receive telephone calls. The Village Shop is available for refreshments and snacks. Laundry is done for students at least once a week. 24 hour emergency contact service for Parents.

Transfer Service
Transfer Service

Transfers from/to Heathrow and Gatwick Airports and St Pancras International Train Station are included in the fees between 09.00 and 18.00 (10.00-17.00 for St Pancras). Students are met by Bede's Staff and Bede's Airport Coordinators provide extra care.


London: 68 miles/109 km

LGW: 44 miles/70 km

LHR: 82 miles/133 km

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Course Aims

  1. Learn the basics of Animal Management
  2. Develop the students' understanding of Animal Husbandry, Care & Behaviour and Animal Handling
  3. Build confidence to speak English more fluently
  4. Have a better understanding of the British way of life.
  5. Develop personal and social skills
  6. Motivate students to continue learning English after they leave Bede's

Course Outcomes

Attendance Certificate
Academies Certificate (if applicable)
Any special Awards or Prizes
Nationality Mix
What Students Thought in 2023
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