Animal behaviour

CA5 Think Ethology - the Science of Animal Behaviour and How to Study it


A course for behaviourists, vets, vet nurses and trainers wanting to understand how to study the science of animal behaviour.


This course can be successfully completed by anyone who is genuinely interested in studying the intriguing science of animal ethology. It will also provide an excellent foundation for further study, and successful students automatically fulfil the qualification requirements for the CDP COAPE Diploma Course.


This constantly updated course is demanding, and experience of study in a biological subject would be an advisable pre-requisite if you are to get the most out of it and enjoy its demands to the full.


The knowledge gained by the student from this course can greatly enhance the pleasure that you can get from any pet/human relationship and your understanding of how all animals survive, whether in a domestic or wild environment.


Former student Helen Reynolds says about this course...

"I would highly recommend this course if you are interested in learning about animal behaviour, and the feedback from tutors gave me the confidence to apply for my MSc in Animal Behaviour at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Completing a distance-learning course requires dedication, passion and being very organised, all qualities which will definitely stand you in good stead in both a professional work career or if you go on to further studies. As my MSc comes to an end, I have just secured a full time job as an Assistant Training and Behaviour advisor for the Dogs Trust. During the interview process for this job, the fact that I had completed this COAPE course was received very positively."


What the student will learn

Unit 1: Introduction. The Nature of Science. A short introduction to how scientists study, work, record and read. Studying Animal Behaviour. How and why scientists study animal behaviour. What do animals do, how they earn their living in terms of foraging for food, avoid hazards and reproduce.


Unit 2: Basic Ethology. The ethograms: a measurement of motor patterns in terms of quality, frequency and sequence. Behavioural Ethology. What do animals do and how well do they do it over time? How do an animal’s motor patterns of behaviour aid or enhance its survival? Understanding energetics.


Unit 3: Cognitive Ecology. The study of the mental abilities of animals: mental tool kits, mind and intelligence.


Unit 4: Evolutionary Development. Shape and Behaviour. Understanding behavioural development, genes and species typical behaviour. Three Kinds of Behaviour: Intrinsic, Accommodative and Emergent. Understanding and applying the ‘Rules’ of development.


Course Information

Authors and Tutors: Professor Ray Coppinger, Peter Neville. PLEASE NOTE: Professor Ray Coppinger passed away on 14 August, 2017. This course will be marked by Peter Neville.


Course Type: Distance Learning. This is an unaccredited course. See our qualification-accreditation jargon-buster HERE .


Course Format: Each Unit of the course notes is e-Mailed out to students as a separate e-Book.


The coursework for this course is conveniently completed online. We also supply you with a specially designed ‘template’ to assist you in completing the components of the coursework that require more application and writing so you can use your own computer and preferred word processing software. Your can then submit these components to your tutor via the internet, which are marked and returned back to you the same way.


Course Duration: Start in February and September of each year. The duration of the course is 9 months.


Abilities Required for This Course: None.

Course fee: £534.00

ALL fees shown include VAT (registration no. 187211800).