Advanced Diploma in Canine Behaviour – Pay By Module


Fee: £120 per module

The ISCP Advanced Diploma in Canine Psychology & Behaviour is equivalent to level 6 and requires intensive study. It is theory-based and involves a great deal of science and referencing, so you will need to have already carried out formal study in order to enroll on this course. Students are required to have a minimum qualification at level 4 from a recognized education provider, and you will need to send a copy of your qualifications to Teresa Tyler, the course tutor, at You can also contact Teresa directly if you have any questions about the course or its suitability for you.

Your coursework assignments will include citations and referencing, and guidelines are given on this along with the PDF file of your course textbook. Your final thesis will be 10,000 words.

If you would prefer to pay the Advanced Diploma course fee in single modules as you progress through the course, please enrol through this page. You will need to enrol on each module separately and sequentially. Alternatively you can enrol in the full course here.


The course involves 360 to 400 hours of study. Each unit should take most students 4 – 6 weeks to complete, studying part time, and a timescale of 2 years is allowed for completion of the course.


Any questions?

Please contact us before enrolling if you have any questions about the course or if you’re unsure whether your qualifications will be suitable.

Course contents

Behaviour Theory

  • Learning theories
  • Evolution
  • Neuroscience
  • Theory of mind & intelligence
  • Physiology of behaviour

Applied Behaviour

  • The human animal bond
  • The human factor-people skills, personal impact
  • Behavioural diagnostics
  • Allopathic & alternative treatments
  • Ethics

To graduate: You will submit a 10,000 word Dissertation.

Refunds: There is an optional 14 day cooling off period during which you can ask for a refund on your course fee. However, as the course files are sent electronically, this means we would need to delay sending the course files until after the 14 day period is over. If you wish to take advantage of a cooling off period please send an email to our secretary at to inform her of your decision, immediately after purchasing. If you do not email the secretary we will assume that you have chosen to receive the files immediately and that you are happy to waive your right to a 14 day cooling off period and the option of a refund. Our secretary will send your files as soon as she receives your form if you have chosen to start the course immediately.

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Study Modules

Behaviour Theory

What is ethnography?
Learning processes
Types of conditioning & reinforcement
Habituation, play, observation
Innate behaviours v’s learned

Evolution of the domestic dog
Genetics and the influence on behaviour
Pet keeping

Anatomy & Physiology of the brain
Voluntary & Involuntary behaviours
Stimuli and senses

Animal emotions
What is intelligence?
How does theory of mind impact the work?

Normal and abnormal physiology
Impact of stressors on the body-what factors might change the normal homeostasis
Development of puppies into adulthood
Factors that can cause behavioural problems; socialisation, early life experiences, diet, health, rescue dogs.

Applied Behaviour

Anthropocentrism and ecocentrism
The canine as family and anthropomorphism
Dogs as healers
Animal abuse and domestic abuse: the links between human/animal violence

‘Tea & sympathy’ – empathy and listening skills
Personal impact & compassion fatigue
Emotional intelligence

Causes of behavioural problems
Assessment processes
Collecting data
Treatment planning
Feedback from carers

Traditional pharmacology
Alternative medicine and other treatments

Brief history of animal welfare legislation
Morality of animals as pets
Cultural considerations

You will submit a 10,000 word Dissertation.

Samples from three coursework essays. These give an indication of the content and style of writing expected.

Compassion has deep evolutionary roots, and along with the emotion of empathy, can be found by neuron activity within the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. Mirror neurons react when we sense another’s emotions, and oxytocin is released through trust and social bonding. Specific genes and receptors also predispose us to altruism, there is a real health benefit for us to act with kindness and compassion. Our empathy with others which allows us to understand how they feel, also allows us to momentarily mirror their feelings. However, our somatic empathy, that which we unconsciously feel deep within ourselves, is a major factor in compassion fatigue. The right side of our brain which is involved in regulating our emotional lives becomes repeatedly overused, and ultimately we can become dysfunctional showing symptoms of depression, anxiety, hypochondria, combativeness and the inability to concentrate (Smith 2009).


The hypothalamus is pea-sized and weighs (in a human) around 4g (Nevid, 2016). It is located below the thalamus at the base of the brain (Boreree, 2015 cited in Tyler et al, 2017) and receives information that is linked with the fight-flight response such as increased heart rate and changes in blood flow (Tyler et al, 2017). The hypothalamus therefore plays a major role in the body’s response to stress. It is the corner stone of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis (Genes to Cognition Online, 2009) and also controls the endocrine system and hormonal release (Nevid, 2016).


One of the key issues around this debate is sentience and the ability to recognize that animals do have it. Current European law recognizes animals as sentient beings, able to feel pain, suffer and experience joy, and in 1998 a directive was signed putting into place five rules, better known as the “five freedoms”. These were composed of freedom from hunger and thirst, freedom from discomfort, freedom from pain, injury and disease, freedom to express normal behaviour and freedom from fear and distress. This in effect the animal equivalent of human rights. In 2009 the European Union recognized that animals are sentient beings and an extract from this article states. ‘With Brexit looming Compassion in World Farming are concerned that if the repeal bill is passed as it currently stands, future UK governments will have no obligation to treat animals as sentient beings’.

Additional information


1. Learning theories, 2. Evolution, 3. Neuroscience, 4. Theory of mind & intelligence, 5. Physiology of behaviour, 6. The human animal bond, 7. The human factor-people skills, personal impact, 8. Behavioural diagnostics, 9. Allopathic & alternative treatments, 10. Ethics