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Level 4+5 Diploma in Animal Psychology

Oxford Learning College

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Important information

Typology Foundation degree
Methodology Online
Duration 2 Years
Start Flexible
  • Foundation degree
  • Online
  • Duration:
    2 Years
  • Start:

Entry Requirements

All students must be 17 years of age and above. Students should have completed a Level 3 Diploma or an A level standard course (or equivalent) before the Level 5 qualification.

Please note that you can enrol on this course anytime.

Study Hours

Approximately 60 hours per unit

Assessment Method

16 tutor marked assessments

You will receive a certificate from Edexcel. These fees are included in the course fee.

The course can be enrolled on by students internationally.

There are no deadlines for enrolments.

To view the differences between our qualifications, please click HERE

What's Included?

Online study materials to enable the student to successfully complete the Higher National Diploma.

Full support is provided by a personal tutor via the online system for the entire duration of the course (2 years).

All coursework marking and moderating.

Examination board certification upon completion.

Course Fee


Payment by Instalments

You may pay the course fees in monthly instalments. Click HERE to download our instalment plan.

Further Information

The course is delivered online via the Oxford Learning 'On Campus' website.

In the student ' 'On Campus' area you are able to take part in the student chat room and forums as part of our online student community.

After enrolling online you will receive your username and password to access the 'On Campus' area within 3 working days.

Materials and support provided by Oxford Learning.

A paper copy and/or a PDF copy of the course materials are also available to purchase during the online enrolment process.

Important information

Where and when

Starts Location
Starts Flexible


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What you'll learn on the course

Self assessment
Writing Skills
Basic IT

Teachers and trainers (1)

Teaching Staff
Teaching Staff

Course programme

BTEC Higher National Diploma in: Animal Psychology

Unit 1: Using information, communication and technology ICT in the study of Animal Psychology

1 Applications of ICT in the study of Animal Psychology

  • Information, communication and technology (ICT) comprises core skills for learning.
  • Utilisation of methods , tools and strategies of ICT to establish and maintain a sound working relationship with tutors and the college.
  • Development of ICT skills in order to communicate effectively and maximise study progression.

2 ePortfolio constructs

  • Setting up an ePortfolio for use during the lifetime of the course for storage of files including coursework, self-assessment activities, independent research notes and reflective journals.
  • The ePortfolio may be requested from time to time by tutors and moderators. Learners will be asked at various points in the course to upload files for this purpose.
  • A structured system of unique information but once completed can be used as a resource for continuing professional development (CPD), and a body of revision for future studies.

3 Independent web based research

  • Independent research to equip students with confidence to source and evaluate information relevant to the core course topics within Animal Psychology
  • Develop tools and strategies with which to begin to undertake independent research and integrate this into coursework activities, for example suggesting ways to read research articles and assimilate types of information from these.

4 Principles of self-assessment and reflective writing

  • The development of knowledge and understanding through writing skills for communicating ideas and arguments to tutors and other readers of written work.
  • Reviews of writing skills
  • Reflective writing skills and practice
  • Promotion of pro-active implementation of skills enhancement through tutor feedback and self-assessment

Unit 2: Putting Psychology into Perspective

Unit content

1 Historical emergence of modern psychology

  • Historical perspective: from scientific origins; Ancient Greek philosophy; 19 th C scientific discipline; Wundt, James, Pavlov, 20 th C Watson and Sinner; etymology; German experimental psychology; early American, French and British psychology; 2 nd generation - Gestalt

2 Theorists who helped shape psychological practices

  • Jung, Freud, Rogers, Ellis, Maslow, Skinner, Pavlov
  • Behaviourism (origins relate to animal studies; psychoanalytical; humanist

3 Psychology specialisms

  • Branch/specialism: clinical psychology; behavioural; forensic; cognitive; health, comparative; educational; sports; developmental; social; abnormal; cross-cultural and allied therapeutic branches including animal behaviourism and therapy
  • Exploration of the link between animal and human behaviour
  • Models: learning, cognitive, psychoanalysis; behaviour modification

4 Draw comparisons between traditional and current theories

  • Modern theorists (examples): Piaget, Kholberg, Bowlby; gardener; The Big 5 (personality), including exploration of their work relating to animals and how this has shaped animal psychology
  • Theories for exploration (examples): Cognitive dissonance; attachment (humans and animals); behaviour analysis; trait theory; personality theories

Unit 3: Approaches and constructs

1 Biological approach in psychology

  • Physiological psychology: relationship between anatomy and physiology of the brain and sense organs (plus other body systems) to psychological response; stressors related to hormone production and release – physiological response – flight/fright response, raised blood pressure, slow digestion etc.; relationship between external environmental stimuli (psychological as well as physical) to response and behaviour
  • Exploration of how these connections and relationships were originally made using animal studies, and discussion on the relevance to animal psychology applications

2 Evolutionary approach

  • Evolutionary approach : critical evaluation of evolutionary theories (example Darwin), natural selection, adaptation, phenotype and genotype related to behavior traits and inherited characteristics (physical and psychological); influence of social, cultural and environmental factors

3 Scientific research

  • Aims and objectives of scientific research: biological and chemical investigation of living organisms;, systematic and objective examination of the subject matter
  • Types of scientific research: research paradigms, methodologies and methods; philosophical stance; relevance to psychological and behaviour models
  • Evaluation and dissemination: analysis of scientific research, applications of data and findings; routes of dissemination; trends and probabilities; observational applications

4 Relationship between the different approaches and integration

  • Comparison of psychological approaches within specialism and branches of the field.
  • Integration of therapeutic interventions and applications, and how these therapeutic interventions have been transferred and adapted to animal psychology/therapy

Unit 4: Research methods and techniques

Level H1

Unit content

1 Study design in psychological research

  • Study parameters; research methodology related to design; aims, outcomes, hypotheses; study environment

2 Principles of quantitative research

  • Quantitative data: numerical basis, countable, assignable; identification of trends and probabilities; objectivity; validation and rigor; study design; participant recruitment; aims and objectives; methods, analysis and evaluation; ethics

3 Principles of quantitative

  • Qualitative data : non-numerical; observational and interpretative; examines complexities of human behavior for example; validation and rigor; study design; participant recruitment; aims and objectives; methods, analysis and evaluation; ethics

4 Advantages and disadvantages of different research methods

  • Presentation and evaluation of advantages and disadvantages of research paradigms, methods and analytical strategies related to study design
  • Evaluation of similarities and differences related to rationale and review of practice application of research findings as strategies and models

Unit 5: Classification and taxonomy

Unit content

1 Classification system

  • History: all species are categorised or classified according to their similarities. Scientific classification; used by biologists to group both extinct and living species of organisms ; system developed in the 18 th century, and involves comparison the anatomy of different species in order to group them together. Kingdom; Phylum; Class; Order; Family; Genus; Species
  • Changes: groupings of organisms linked physical appearance and descent; ancestry; genetic revisions

2 Sub-categorization of domains

  • Domain structure: each classification is divided into domains; physical and genetic characteristics of species related to domain kingdoms; reconstruction, classification of structure, function, system; three domain system shift

3 External resources relating to classification

  • Independent research: exploration and evaluation of classification and domain structure, relating to theories such as Darwin, Lamarcke. Wallis

4 Comparisons between species

  • Differentiation : between mammals and reptiles; cellular level; species and functional level
  • Cycles: nitrogen, water and oxygen
  • Characteristics: evidence for influences such as environment, habitat and evolution, adaptation
  • nt theory examples and evaluation

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