Houghall Campus

Welcome to our Houghall campus, a truly unique place to study right here in the North East!

Found on the outskirts of Durham City Centre, our Houghall campus is a specialist land-based provision. That means that we offer loads of courses you won't find anywhere else in our area, including animal care, farming and so much more!

Houghall has been delivering high quality land-based education for over 80 years. In modern times, we've invested several million pounds into making Houghall a place fit for the 21st century, with even more future investment coming soon to further improve on our initial development.

The Houghall campus has several state-of-the-art facilities, including a small animal care centre housing a wide range of animals, specialist dog grooming studio, dedicated farming facilities with acres upon acres of land and a stunning equine centre with indoor and outdoor arenas, stables and so much more.

Courses Available at Houghall


Whether you're from a farming background or brand new to the industry, our Houghall campus is the perfect place to start your career in agriculture!

Houghall was founded over 80 years ago based around the study of agriculture, and in modern times, this tradition continues!

Our state-of-the-art farming facilities include air-conditioned pig unit, cattle sheds, sheep unit and acres upon acres of land at our stunning Houghall campus.

Click here for more information on our agriculture courses >>

Animal Care

Love everything about animals? This is the course for you!

You'll be studying at EDC's fantastic Small Animal Care centre which is home to a wide variety of different animals including common mammals such as rabbits, mice and guinea pigs, up to more exotic creatures including a gecko, a skunk, raccoon dog, snakes, tarantula and much, much more!

Our Small Animal Care centre includes specific temperature-controlled rooms and enclosures for all of our residents, and you'll be responsible for helping to look after them all as part of your course!

For more information about our animal care course click here >>

Arboriculture & Forestry (Tree Surgery)

Affectionately known in the biz as 'arb', tree surgery is a fantastic skill to learn with amazing opportunities when you leave and go into the world of work.

This course is all about teaching you the science behind and the practical skills for the upkeep of trees and other associated plants. The work of a tree surgery is filled with exciting tasks and equipment; it's not uncommon to see tree surgeons halfway up a tree, using a chainsaw to expertly chop down branches!

If you fancy a job where you'll be outdoors regularly, using practical skills and making a different to our natural environment, this could be the course for you.

For more information about our tree surgery courses, click here >>

Dog Grooming

Please be aware that dog grooming courses are part-time courses, only available for adults over the age of 19.

If you love dogs, why not make your career all about keeping them in tip-top shape?

Dog grooming popularity is constantly on the rise, and if you love working with your hands, working with dogs and getting the satisfaction of happy owners seeing their pampered pooches, this could really be the job for you.

Our dog grooming courses are taught part-time at our Houghall campuses' dedicated dog grooming salon in our small animal care centre.

For more information about dog grooming courses, please click here >>

Equine & Horse Care

If you're passionate about all things horses, you'll be amazed by our absolutely incredible equine centre at Houghall.

Completely revamped just a few years ago with a multi-million pound investment in the new facilities, the equine centre boasts an outdoor menage, large-size indoor arena, classroom facilities, an automatic horse walker, tack room and a large stable block which houses all of our resident Houghall horses.

As part of this course, you'll learn how to care for horses, improve your riding skills, learn horse physiology and so much more.

For more information about our range of equine courses, please click here >>


There are few courses quite as creative as floristry! 

Another great one if you love working with your hands, floristry is all about making beautiful blooms. You'll learn everything from how to make stunning hand-tied bouquets perfect for weddings to complex floral designs (our floristry team once made a highland cow entirely out of flowers and wire - which won a gold medal at the Harrogate flower show!).

Floristry courses are available for both younger learners above the age of 16 and are also an ideal course for adults as we offer a wide range of part-time floristry course options. 

For more information about our range of floristry courses, please click here >>

Foundation Studies

East Durham College is a highly inclusive college, and our dedicated foundation department was set up to support young people with a range of special educational needs and disabilities.

As part of foundation, students will learn everything from independent living skills to maths and English, supported by our unique curriculum areas at the Houghall campus too. 

This might mean that some days students get to visit our small animal care centre, agricultural farm facilities and get involved in other projects around the huge Houghall estate.

The foundation department will help your son or daughter to thrive and develop as part of their time at East Durham College.

For more information on our foundation studies courses, please click here >>


At EDC, we offer a range of part-time horticulture courses ideal for those who have green fingers (or would like to get green fingers!).

These courses are suitable for professionals already working in the horticulture industry, but we also offer several introductory horticulture courses for adults too which are ideal for keen gardeners, or those who'd like to get into gardening.

We currently do not offer a full-time horticulture study programme at the college.

For more information on our horticulture courses, please click here >>

Land & Wildlife Management

Fancy a job where you get outdoors and make a difference to the nature around you? Take a look at Land & Wildlife management!

This exciting course is all about conservation, the art of caring for our natural environment. You'll learn both the theory and practical skills to care for plants, trees and associated wildlife, taking advantage of Houghall's stunning estate with acres upon acres of woodland, fields and even our own large-size Houghall pond.

This course is perfect for anyone who is practically-minded and doesn't mind getting their hands dirty!

For more information about our Land & Wildlife Management courses, please click here >>

Veterinary Nursing

An essential part of the veterinary team, veterinary nurses support veterinarians as they care for a wide range of different animals. 

As part of EDC's veterinary nursing course you'll both study at college to learn the theory and practical skills behind this job, but also you'll be working at an extended placement in a veterinary practice to get real, hands-on experience in the job too.

It's worth noting that the placement is the responsibility of students to organise before they start the course - if you don't have one by the time you come to enrolment, unfortunately you can't do this course. Not to worry though - our animal care course is also an excellent route into veterinary nursing too!

If you love animals and want to help nurse them back to health, this could definitely be the course for you. 

For more information about our Veterinary Nursing courses, please click here >>


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Featured Facilities

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Houghall Campus

East Durham College
Houghall Campus