Animal behaviour and sentience

Animal behaviour and sentience advanced course

Set at level 5 equivalent

UK Rural Skills -UKRS -accredited courses and training
Gannet colony
cat marking territory

In this animal behaviour course you will study innate behaviour and learning theories, touch on ethology and approach the topic of animal sentience i.e. self-awareness. You will also learn that physiology and behaviour are interlinked.

Learn how to carry out a behavioural study according to standard methods.There is a double unit in which you will carry out a behavioural study, analyse data and report your findings'


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


Animal behaviour and sentience is one of our courses that can be used as evidence for higher education applications according to the standards set by a college of Further and Higher Education.


There are six units with the final unit being a trial run in using statistical analysis of behavioural data. The course uses peer-reviewed, published articles from academic journals which form part of the reading and reference list.

Course fee: £625.00

Start this course for £62.50

Instalments: these are made by standing order and can be tailored to individual requirements starting at around £62.50 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 £110.00

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Call 01953 600070 or 07936536823
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Course content

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Unit 1

Innate and Learned Behaviours


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


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


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


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.

Animal behaviour and sentience course at level 5  are non-human animals self-aware? Investigate animal sentience in this advanced diploma course

Unit 5

Behavioural Study (Double unit)


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.