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 only to graduates of the COAPE Higher Diploma at Level 5.


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

It is equivalent study level to the third year of a degree and is only available to students who have successfully completed the CERTA Level 5 Diploma in the Principles of Companion Animal Behaviour and Training (QCF). 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?

The course offers an exciting and invigorating programme to enable you to develop an integrated understanding of applied companion animal behaviour and therapeutics. The programme includes ‘state of the art’ cognitive science, neurophysiology and companion animal ethology, applied clinical pharmacology, and the psychology and social dynamics of the human family and its influence on the behaviour of their companion animals. Specially organised and challenging real case studies are presented to help you learn how to make complex behaviour case assessments and learn the techniques of integrated treatment programmes.


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.


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.


FACT: No organisations, professional bodies or qualifications exist in the United Kingdom that govern, restrict, protect or bestow the legal right to practise pet behaviour therapy in the same way as veterinary and human medicine. Click Here for more...


What the student will learn

The course consists of the following 8 QCF-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


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 as detailed below.


Module 1
22 - 23 October 2017
The biological basis of companion animal cognition part 1: comparative neurophysiology as the foundation of companion animal cognition

  • Advanced concepts in the development of emotionality in companion animal learning.
  • Advanced concepts of learning and memory in companion animals.
  • The epidemiology of complex behaviour problems in companion animals
  • Advanced concepts of mood and emotionality and their influence on complex behaviour problems in companion animals.
  • Behaviour problems of companion animals related to clinical disease such as neurological disorders, endocrine disease etc.


Module 2
Date to be confirmed
Principles of behavioural pharmacology in companion animals

  • Advanced concepts in the mechanisms of pharmacological agents in behavioural medicine.
  • Advanced concepts in the application of pharmacological agents in behavioural medicine.
  • Advanced concepts in the mechanisms of physiological and psychological drug dependency.
  • The pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drugs – absorption, metabolism, excretion, mechanisms of side effects.


Module 3
Date to be confirmed
Complex behaviour problems in cats and dogs

  • Assessing complex behaviour problems.
  • Behavioural variability.
  • Psychology and social dynamics of the human family and its influence on the behaviour of their companion animals.
  • Behaviour modification plans for complex behaviour problems.
  • The practical application of psychopharmacology and therapeutics in behaviour therapy.


Module 4
Date to be confirmed
The biological basis of companion animal cognition part 2: comparative neurophysiology as the foundation of companion animal cognition

  • The influence on behaviour of reproductive physiology and developmental biology.
  • Advanced concepts in genetic and environmental influences on behaviour.
  • Advanced concepts in companion animal cognition such as perception, communication, consciousness, etc.
  • Advanced concepts in comparative cognitive science – humans, cats and dogs. What can the latest science teach us?


Non-Residential components of the course to be completed as self-study

Commencing September 2017 and runs for 12 months
In addition to the four residential Modules of the course, students will be expected to conduct their own literature searches etc. in order to complete additional written assignments, and there will be a number of organised complex case studies to work through. Throughout the course there will also be a number of interactive tutor- and student-lead study and discussion sessions where many of the ideas, concepts, cases etc. will be explored and discussed in greater detail.



Course Information

Authors and TutorsCOAPE Behaviour, Veterinary and Nutrition Experts, Reseach Scientists, Dog Handling and Training Experts


Course Type: Residential component held over four weekends along with written coursework to be completed between Modules.


Course Duration: 1 academic year. The course commences in September each year. Students have up to 15 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: Woodland Grange Conference Centre Click Here for more information


Additional Information: Course materials, coffee, tea, breakfast, lunches, refreshments through the day and one night's dinner and accommodation included for each residential Module.


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 1st July 2017 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 Student Resource Centre, 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.


2017-18 Course fee: This is the same full fee as for your Year 2 Studies that we guaranteed at the time in either 2017-18 or 2018-19. + Registration Fee of £500.00. Deposit: £500.00. Please contact the COAPE office to confirm your rate.