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Animal Unit

Housing over 250 animals and more than 70 species on an idyllic 200-hectare farm and woodland estate, there's no better environment for the study of small and larger animals than the animal unit at our Brackenhurst Campus. It's designed to facilitate a range of courses, from Veterinary Nursing to Zoo Biology, and to give you the knowledge and practical skills you'll need to secure a job in the industry.

Animal Unit facility tour

Our animals

We constantly strive to ensure the Animal Unit is fully stocked with a diverse variety of animals, providing the opportunity for students to gain experience of becoming confident handling, moving, understanding and caring for a huge range of species.

You’ll get the opportunity to study with companion animals such as reptiles, birds, fish, as well as larger animals including donkeys, horses and goats.

Animal handling in reptile room

The animal rooms

Within the Animal Unit we have a range of modern enclosures  designed to exceed RSPCA floorspace recommendations, providing exceptional welfare standards. This includes our rodent room, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates room and a rabbit and guinea pig room. The Unit is also home to our cattery, aviary and isolation room.

Student feeding goats

Our outdoor spaces

As well as our indoor animal rooms, the Animal Unit is also home to our ferret enclosure, an outdoor tortoise enclosure, poultry paddock, goat paddock, donkey paddock and an outdoor research area for animal training. Here students can also explore enclosure use and design.

Student using thermal camera on horse


You’ll find a variety of equipment available at the Animal Unit to support your research project including:

  • Thermal camera
  • Digital camcorders with specialist software
  • Time lapse camera
  • Mammal traps
  • Digital video recording facilities in some animal rooms

Explore our Animal Behaviour, Performance and Welfare research areas.


Why not broaden your horizons and give something back by taking part in our animal unit's successful volunteer programme? Also known as VolPro*

The 'VolPro' is an extra-curricular opportunity open to all students at Nottingham Trent University. You'll get the chance to work closely with our skilled team of technicians on a variety of tasks such as maintenance, health checks, medical administration and behaviour management such as enrichment and training.

Previous sessions have included taking the goats on harnesses around the estate, foraging walks, teaching novel behaviours, and even making ice lollies for the animals and taking the rats swimming.

These sessions are recognised and verified by the Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) to support your CV and boost your employability. To get involved speak to your course leader.

*It has not been feasible to run VolPro during 2020-21, due to Covid-19 restrictions. More information will be available soon.

Animal Unit

  • Subject area: Animal, equine and wildlife
  • Category: Learning tools and spaces; Research; Science including labs; Teaching facilities; Animal/Veterinary
  • Location: Brackenhurst Campus

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418