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College launches new vet nursing courses ahead of application to become a zoo

News overview

A College in Suffolk has launched a new vet nursing course amidst some ambitious plans to open a zoo.

Suffolk Rural – based eight miles north of Ipswich – officially applied for a zoo licence last year.

The campus – that already has a host of different species on site including dogs, rodents, horses, livestock, meerkats and alpacas – has created these new programmes (and applied for a zoo licence) to help cement their status as being one of the top places to study animals in the country.

Jess Bewley, 31, from Debenham is helping set up the new courses in conjunction with Central Qualifications, the awarding body of these programmes based in Elmswell, Suffolk. Jess said: “This is one of the most exciting times to be involved in animal studies in the history of the College. We already have amazing facilities and a long-standing history of animal pathways. These new courses will be another valuable string to our bow.

“We will be working with local vet practices and many other external charities and organisations including the army – as all students will need to be on a work placement whilst studying on the programme. There is currently a huge need for people to work in vet nursing so we will be teaming up with partners to help fill those skills gaps. We already have great facilities and a wide range of animals but we are planning on further investment by purchasing an X-Ray machine and other equipment for training, simulations and demonstrations.”

Jess – who has been ‘obsessed’ with animals as a toddler, came to vet nursing later in life after gaining a media degree and spending time working in libraries. She added: “Vet nursing is a skilled profession and it’s a career to be proud of – it’s very rewarding and satisfying to help care for animals.”

One of the other tutors behind the new course is former student of the College, Megan Mckenzie, 32, from Ipswich. Megan said: “I studied on a foundation degree at the College and it’s great to be back. Although I’m a teacher now, I still work in practices during my spare time and I’m a great advocate for this course and the profession. You get to have a real connection with animals and you get to interact with clients. Every day is different and it’s a brilliant profession.

The courses start in April and September 2023. For more details you can visit:

Posted 12 April 2023