Animal behaviour and training

Qualification Number: 600/7265/9

Qualification Title: Certa Level 6 Diploma in Applied Clinical Pharmacology Neurophysiology and Therapeutics in Companion Animal Behaviour and TherapyDipCABT (RQF Level 6)



Year 3: Applied Clinical Pharmacology, Neurophysiology and Therapeutics in Companion Animal Behaviour Therapy


This course is taught over one academic year and is open to graduates of any appropriate Level 5, or above Qualification.


Certa RQF-Listed Regulated Qualification

Level 6, Credits: 84

Comparable in Level to the third year of a degree, but different in content and smaller in size. Click HERE for more information.


This qualification is particularly targeted at those students who are:

  • Considering a career in companion animal behaviour therapy or have already started in companion animal behaviour therapy as a career option.
  • Wish to further develop their existing knowledge and skill base.
  • Seek to gain a firm understanding of good working practice.
  • Want a practical skills based national qualification in recognition of their learning.
  • Wish to work in a variety of organisations and settings.


Specific entry requirements

This Level 6 Qualification is equivalent study level to the third year of a degree and is designed for learners who already hold:-

  1. EITHER: The Level 5 Diploma in the Practical Application of Companion Animal Behaviour and Training (600/7110/2).
  2. OR: An alternative Level 5, or above qualification in an appropriate or relevant field of companion animal training and behaviour.

Students must have:

  •  Sound literacy skills
  •  Sound communication skills 
  •  Academic study skills 
  •  Ability to think analytically


What does passing the CDP Year 3 achieve for you?


On successful completion you will have reached a degree level qualification in companion animal therapy and training. You then have the relevant experience and evidence of academic study  to apply to an appropriate university to study for a Master's degree/PhD in a specialist aspect of companion animal behaviour and so pursue an academic career in the field as well as a practical one.







What the student will learn

The course consists of the following 8 RQF-listed Units at Level 6:-


Unit Unit Title Credit Value
1 The Neuroanatomy of Companion Animal Learning 9
2 The Neurophysiology of Companion Animal Learning 12
3 The Intelligence of Companion Animals 12
4 The Principles of Behavioural Pharmacology in Companion Animals 9
5 The Epidemiology of Behaviour Problems in Companion Animals 9
6 Behavioural Pharmacology in Companion Animals 9
7 Psychopharmacology and Therapeutics in Canine Behaviour Therapy 12
8 Psychopharmacology and Therapeutics in Feline Behaviour Therapy 12


As you can see, there is an emphasis on pharmacology, hence its inclusion in the title of this course.


The course is delivered over 1 academic year. The 8 Units of this course are taught in four residential modules along with non-residential self-study and discussion sessions. In order to pass the course you must attend the full lecture programme taught over 4 residential weekends and satisfactorily complete all assignments and distance learning elements of the course.


At its core, Level 6 is an applied course, and the knowledge you will gain will build on what you already know and have direct and immediate practical relevance to you as a companion animal behaviourist.


We have planned a very open and fun format of delivery which will include a lot of student participation. There will be formal lectures of course, but do not expect these to be timetabled as all-day affairs.


All of the 8 Units include an individual and formal written component. However, we will not be expecting you to complete entire Units of the course in this way because this approach is counter-productive to what we expect you to gain from completing this course. We have taken a much more organic approach that allows us to mix and match Learning Outcomes across different Units, which is the same approach you would take if you were assessing a behaviour problem. To evidence this for the qualification, we will be using a number of different formats including asking students to work together, both in pairs and as a group to prepare and present presentations, and also lead class discussions. This format can only work effectively with small groups so we do limit numbers on this course. We will use video to record these sessions and they will become the evidence for those particular assessments.


All the coursework will be completed over 6 Assignment Workbooks. Each of these documents will become a compilation of ALL the work you have done to cover the Learning Outcomes allocated to that Assignment. Units 1 to 6, listed above, will be covered off in 4 of these Workbooks. Units 7 and 8, the case studies, will be covered in the remaining 2 Workbooks.

During the residential weekends, you will be expected to document EVERYTHING you are doing in the relevant workbooks. For all collaborative work, you must document your individual preparations for your contributions and also keep a record of the collaborative sessions themselves. This includes a summary of the contributions made by the other students and tutors along with any additions to existing work that arises from the discussions, presentations and so on. The video recordings we make over each of the residential weekends will be made available to you to help you complete these tasks afterwards. You will be required to submit your updated Workbooks 2 weeks after each residential weekend for assessment, and formative feedback if necessary, to make sure that you are all keeping up to date with meeting all of the Assessment Criteria in a timely manner. During the time between the weekends, discussions, tutorials etc. we have on the support group, or individually with you, must also be dated and logged into these Workbooks. Finally, you must also use these Workbooks for all of your more formal individual essays etc. You will be given specific deadlines to complete these longer pieces of work, along with additional resources to point you in the right direction.


Units 7 and 8 are case studies. What we would prefer is that you re-explore a case of each species that you have worked with before, but you can also work with new cases from scratch if you prefer. The reason for this approach is that we want you to concentrate the time re-working these cases using what you will be learning from the other 6 Units of this course. With this in mind, we would ask you to start thinking about which 2 cases you may want to revisit right from the start, and we will be expecting you to expand these as we progress through the year.

Workbook 1 is the largest in terms of Learning Outcomes. This is because it essentially forms the backbone of the entire course and we will be starting with it at the first residential weekend. When the course starts (see timetable below), you will be expected to undertake some preparatory work over the 4 weeks leading up to the first residential weekend in March. We will provide you with guidance and a number resources to help you with this.


We would very much want you to bring a computer or tablet enabled to access wifi with you to each of the weekends. We will ensure that reliable wifi is always available for you to connect to.



The course will run over a 12-month period commencing in September, 2018 and finishing at the end of September, 2019. We have allowed a month off for Christmas and New Year 2018 - 2019. The dates we have scheduled are:

  • COURSE START: 1st September 2018. Orientation and preparatory documents for first residential weekend sent out.
  • WEEKEND 1: November 03 - 04, 2018.
  • WEEKEND 2: March 2019 (TBA)
  • WEEKEND 3: May 2019 (TBA)
  • WEEKEND 4: July 2019 (TBA)


Course Information

Authors and TutorsCOAPE Behaviour, Veterinary and Nutrition Experts, Reseach Scientists.


Course Type: Residential component held over four weekends along with written coursework to be completed throughout the course.


Course Duration: 1 academic year. The course commences in September each year. Students have up to 12 months to complete the course to allow the flexibility to complete each Module to a high standard within the time contraints of other family and professional commitments.


Venue: To be announced (TBA)


Additional Information: Course materials, coffee, tea, breakfast, lunches, refreshments through the day and one night's dinner and accommodation included for each residential Module. The start date shown above is subject to sufficient numbers of students and may change.


Abilities Required for This Course: This course contains practical assessment activities which involve sight, hearing observation and physical interactions/handling skills. Physical ability Evidence and assessment will take place in physical environment, requiring a demonstration of practical skills.


Course Cost: An early bird discount of £250 is available for registration and payment in full for the course made prior to 31st July 2018 and we can offer interest-free payment by instalments on the full cost price for those who wish to spread the cost. Please contact the Registrar in the first instance for more information about both possibilities.


Course cost includes all teaching materials, access to the online resources, accommodation and meals.

A deposit of £500 is required in order to secure a place on the course as numbers are strictly limited. This includes the CERTA registration fee.


Course fee: £6,495.00 + Registration Fee of £500.00 = £6,995.00

Deposit: £500.00

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