top of page

Animal behaviour and sentience

Course accredited by UKRS

Course fee: £425.00

UK Rural Skills
Nature Photographer

Our Animal Behaviour and Sentience online course will equip you with the knowledge and techniques to carry out a behavioural study according to standard methods.


In this comprehensive course, you will learn from experts in the field who are passionate about animal behaviour and welfare. By completing the final unit, a double unit which includes carrying out a behavioral study, analyzing data and reporting your findings, you'll gain practical experience and be prepared to put the theory into practice.

Animal behaviour and sentience provides the chance to study at an advanced level equivalent to level 5 study. You should be able to demonstrate the ability to produce work that matches the requirements of university entrance standards via alternative learning.


You may not need this but the course will also support professional development in an existing role, career change or personal interest.

Our Animal Behaviour and Sentience course will expand your knowledge and understanding of animal behaviour and cognition.


Learn about the fascinating world of animal awareness and welfare, using peer-reviewed, published articles from academic journals. This course can be used as evidence for higher education applications, according to the standards set by colleges of Further and Higher Education, making it a valuable addition to academic portfolios.

Lion with kill

Course fee: £425.00

Start this course for £42.50

Instalments: these are made by standing order and can be tailored to individual requirements starting at around £42.50 p.c.m.. International transactions will incur additional fees. You can try unit 1 for £62.50 before committing to the whole course.


Course materials are sent via email but paper copies are available for an additional fee of £15 per unit. Postage charges may need to be added depending on your location.

Individual unit fee £70.83

Click here for payment options


Time limit to complete this course?

Please access the

How our courses work page


Important section

Click here for your right to cancel and questions

Course content

Unit 1

Innate and Learned Behaviours

Learning outcome:

Clarify the nature of innate and learned behaviours in non-human animals.

The content of unit 1 includes imprinting, a critical examination of past experiments into species-specific needs and psychology and the theories behind learned behaviours.


The ethology of behaviour is introduced with research into why a behaviour is expressed, what causes the behaviour and, development of behaviours. There is particular reference to how dog training has changed from negative to positive reinforcement and the cognitive approach.


Terminology and factors that affect learning are explored together with an examination of how behavioural responses from non-human animals are exploited.

Unit 2

Physiology & Behaviour

Learning outcome:

Describe, explain & discuss the relationship between the nervous & endocrine systems & their influence on behaviour.

All behaviours stem from responses of the nervous and endocrine systems to various stimuli. Unit 2 examines and tests understanding of the links between these systems to provide a basis for justifying better treatment of the non-human animal.

Unit 3

Behavioural Case Studies - Animal Sentience

Learning outcome: 

Describe, assess and evaluate evidence of animal sentience.

Unit 3 is delivered in the form of a series of case studies into various aspects of animal behaviour. The rat, the cat, dog and reptile are included as is the Corvidae family that demonstrate significant cognitive abilities. The rat is included as new research has shown clear and quantitative evidence of empathy between conspecifics. Animal sentience is introduced in unit 3.

Unit 4

The Study of Behaviour

Learning outcome:

Compare and contrast published work of animal behaviour investigations & identify methodologies to formulate a study.

Pre-planning, subject choice and behavioural events to be recorded are explained in unit 4 as an introduction to observation methods. In all behaviour studies the ethics of the process must be determined, stated and reported.


The aim of the unit is to provide the groundwork to understanding how different works approach behavioural studies thus the assignment includes examination of published works. The final part of the assignment is to produce a plan for a behavioural study based upon your understanding of the content in the unit.

Unit 5

Behavioural Study (Double unit)

Learning outcome:

Plan, carry out and evaluate a behavioural study involving a non-human animal.

Learn how to carry out a study into one or more aspects of an animal's behaviour. This double unit covers the full planning of the study and then, how to carry out and report the study. You will carry forward the learning from unit 4 to select a study method and investigation after evaluating your plan. Statistical analyses will be examined and practiced for the presentation of the final report from your study.

bottom of page