Deer Stalking Certificate

What is special about this course?

DSC1 is an initial qualification for deer stalkers and managers. It is a largely knowledge-based qualification which enables candidates to demonstrate their understanding of basic deer management principles and meat hygiene, and to show competence in safety and shooting at simulated targets. 

There are a number of Assessment Centres offering DSC1. Once registered candidates, have three years to complete the assessment modules, it is possible under exceptional circumstances for them to be completed in one day. 

The DSC1 with Wild Game Meat Hygiene (WGMH) assessment is a mandatory prerequisite for DSC2. 

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements but knowledge of the subject area would be beneficial.

The DSC1 assessment tests knowledge and skills in the following areas: 

  • Deer biology and ecology. 

  • Legislation. 

  • Stalking techniques and taking the shot. 

  • Deer identification. 

  • Safety. 

  • Shooting. 

  • Large game meat hygiene. 

The DSC1 assessment has the following 5 modules: 


This has 50 multiple-choice questions which are taken from a bank of written questions. To pass, at least 40 questions must be answered correctly. 


Candidates are shown 20 images covering the 6 species of wild deer in the UK. The species and the sex have to be identified for each image, and both must be correct to gain a mark. To pass, candidates must obtain at least 16 marks out of the possible 20. 

Game Meat Hygiene:

This has 40 multiple choice questions taken from a bank of Wild Game Meat Hygiene questions. These cover areas such as recognising normal and abnormal behaviour, common diseases, signs of ill-health, possible sources of contamination and hygienic working techniques. There are also food hygiene questions on risks to human health, use of veterinary medicines on wild deer, food safety and notifiable diseases. To pass, at least 32 questions must be answered correctly. 


Candidates are walked around a safety assessment path during which they are shown 4 deer targets and asked to specify whether they would shoot at them or not. Candidates are additionally asked nine other questions on safety and all must be answered correctly to obtain a pass. 


Assessment of shots from various distances and positions. More information can be provided upon enquiry.

If you do not pass any of the 5 modules in the DSC1 assessment you will have to re-sit only those modules you did not pass. You can do such re-sits with any Assessment Centre with their agreement. You do not have to use the Centre you are registered with. You can expect to pay a fee for a re-assessment, which must be completed within 3 years of the date of registering for DSC1. 

How will I study my course?

  • Short course
  • Open Learning

How long will my course last?

3 Days

Where can I study my course?

      Please note, UHI North Highland will be changing its name to UHI North, West and Hebrides in August 2023. This will not impact on your choice of course or how and where you will study.

    Start date

    Contact for upcoming course dates.


    For the latest information on fees please see our Tuition Fees information.

    What can I do on completion of my course?

    On completion of DSC1 you can progress to DSC2 at another DMQ approved centre. 

    Is there more information available online?

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    Apply for Deer Stalking Certificate

    We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI North Highland. Please note, UHI North Highland will be changing its name to UHI North, West and Hebrides in August 2023. This will not impact on your choice of course or how and where you will study. UHI North Highland operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.

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