A minimum of 64 UCAS points
With over 12.5 million dogs in the UK and 33% of households now owning a dog (Pet Food Manufacturers Association, 2021) there is an ever growing demand for a range of canine related services including professional dog trainers, behaviourists, groomers, dog walkers, sitters and kennel managers as well as the rehabilitation of rescue dogs, and specialised training for assistance dogs.
The canine behaviour and training sector also has great scope for self-employment and business opportunities.
Full-time: 2 years
This foundation degree programme aims to develop the knowledge and skills which are necessary to professionally and ethically undertake canine behaviour and training roles. We do this by balancing theoretical study with applied practical experience.
As a student on this foundation degree youwill work in the college kennels with a range of dogs from different disciplines, breeds, sizes and temperaments. You will have the opportunity to undertake training for different purposes, including pet dog training andobedience gaining industry experience with a number of demonstrations from working dog professionals (including Drug, Tobacco and Explosives detection dogs, sheepdogs, Medical Detection Dogs, personal assistance dogs, and many more). We have a specially-designed on-site professional grooming parlour, if students wished to gain additional grooming qualifications to broaden their career.
This course is aimed at students who wish to develop a career within the canine industry, but specifically those involving aspects of canine behaviour and training.
As a student studying canine behaviour and training, you will have regular access to the animal-centre facilities at University Centre Reaseheath, which boasts two kennel blocks, and both indoor and outdoor training arenas.
Additionally, students can expect an interactive and personable learning experience that draws upon the expertise of our team of dedicated staff, with whom students can engage in study through the use of our first-class facilities on campus.
There is also the option to complete a further year’s study and top-up to a BSc (Hons) degree upon successful completion of your FdSc.
University Centre Reaseheath is an academic partner of the University of Chester. Foundation degrees, Honours degrees, and Cert Ed are awarded by the University of Chester.
What will I study?
This course is aimed at students who wish to develop a career within the canine industry, but specifically those involving aspects of canine behaviour and training. Students are provided with a combination of academic study with practical learning opportunities to develop a range of academic and professional skills, knowledge and practical competencies associated with working in the canine industry.
As a student studying canine behaviour and training, you will have regular access to the animal-centre facilities at University Centre Reaseheath, which boasts a kennel block and outdoor training arena.
Additionally, students can expect an interactive and personable learning experience that draws upon the expertise of our team of dedicated staff, with whom students can engage in study through the use of our first class facilities on campus.
Students are expected to study and complete 120 credits per year, which comprises six modules of study per academic level/year. All modules are mandatory study, which reflects the essential underpinning skills and knowledge required to apply across a variety of contexts within the canine industry.
In Year 1 (Level 4), you will develop essential knowledge and skills in canine husbandry & handling, canine anatomy & physiology, canine training & behaviour, and the role of dogs in society. A heavy emphasis at Level 4 study will also be placed on the development of academic skills via regular tutoring with an assigned course manager.
Year 2 (Level 5) sees a shift in emphasis towards more industry-specific skills and research-informed knowledge, including canine sensory perception, canine behavioural issues, and fitness & performance of canine athletes. A four-week (equivalent) work placement is also completed either full or part time.
- Scientific Data Collection & Analysis
- Canine Husbandry & Welfare
- Introduction to Canine Anatomy & Physiology
- The Dog in Society
- Introduction to Canine Training
- Introduction to Canine Behaviour
- Modification of Canine Behavioural Issues
- Fitness and Performance of the Canine Athlete
- Canine Sensory Perception & Behaviour
- Further Dog Training & Instructing Skills
- Work Based Learning for the Land Based Industries
- Experiential Learning
- Research Methods
Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity, plus field trips. Your actual contact hours may depend on which optional modules you select, but the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each year of the course:
Year 1: 30% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
Teaching, Learning and Assessment: 360 hours
Independent Study: 840 hours
Year 2: 23% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
Teaching, Learning and Assessment: 270 hours
Placement: 100 hours
Independent Study: 830 hours
Class sizes average between 8-40 for modules exclusively delivered on the programme. For those modules offered across several programmes, class size could be as high as 90 individual learners.
Assessments are designed to encourage both academic skills and skills valued in the workplace. They include a combination of coursework and examinations. Coursework may take many forms including: essays, reports, data processing, case studies, presentations, academic posters, seminar discussions, interviews, critical reviews, portfolios of evidence and practical competency assessments. The examinations vary, depending on the nature of the module, but may take the form of multiple-choice papers, essays, practical assessments, data handling questions, short answer quizzes, and in-class examinations.
The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by coursework is as follows:
25% written exams
21% written exams
Opportunities for feedback on your progress will be available throughout your course. This will be provided in many formats, including written and verbal. Feedback on graded work is supplied via Turnitin or directly from the module tutor. The majority of assessment submissions are made via Turnitin and feedback for coursework is provided within 20 working days after the submission date. If for unforeseen reasons this is not possible, the reasons will be communicated to the students within 2 weeks and the feedback prioritised within the department.
Written feedback will be supported verbally should the student require clarification. Formative assessment feedback will be provided at the time of completion where possible, with more detailed summative feedback for reports.
Students are given the opportunity to study a module at level 5 (yr 2) entitled Work Based Learning for the Land Based Industries. Students are expected to source their own placement, and complete a minimum of 100 hours of work, which can be accrued either in a block or cumulatively over weekends and holiday periods. When selecting a placement, students should consider the financial implications associated with accommodation, travel/commuting and the possible need for a Disclosure Barring service (DBS) check, as UCR is unable to subsidise such costs.
*Travel arrangements at your own cost.
- A minimum of 64 tariff points from A and AS levels. A Science subject is preferred
- Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) – a minimum of grade MPP in an Animal or Science related subject
- Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) – a minimum of grade MM in and Animal or Science related subject
- City & Guilds Level 3 Technical Advanced Extended Diploma (1080 – first awarded in 2019) – a minimum of grade MPP in an Animal or Science related subject
- City& Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma (720 – first awarded in 2019) – a minimum of grade MM in an Animal or Science related subject
- Access to HE – a minimum of 64 tariff points
- Mature students (aged 21+) will be considered on an individual basis on their prior knowledge and experience. This may be assessed by interview, completion of coursework/essay or other methods. There may be a requirement for a formal qualification to be completed first e.g. Access to HE course
Additional entry requirements
- Practical experience working with dogs is preferential
- Interviews will be used to help make decisions on borderline applications and those where the Programme Leader needs to gain further information
- There is an option of studying for a third year to top-up to a BSc (Hons) Degree in Canine Clinical Behaviour.
- Professional Trainer
- Kennel Manager
As a Higher Education student you will have two main costs to meet; your tuition fees and living costs.
Our full-time tuition fees for UK and EU students, entering University, can be found on the student finance page. These fees are charged for each academic year of a course and are set by the college annually.
If you are an international student or for the latest information on tuition fees visit the student finance page on our website.
Additional costs may include the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in order to undertake practical activities on the animal centre. These should include at least one pair of overalls (preferably blue/green) and a pair of steel toe-capped work boots/wellington boots. Additionally, students may wish to purchase other suitable outdoor wear in preparation for bad weather (i.e. waterproof/windproof coat). The above items can be purchased either independently or through the online shop.
Additional costs are likely to include the purchasing of canine-specific training equipment (training lead, button clicker and treat pouch) for students to use during training sessions to avoid the sharing of equipment.
Although typically not associated directly with their canine studies, students have the opportunity to engage in both domestic and overseas learning opportunities with which to enhance their classroom-based learning experience. These may include opportunities to study zoological collections in Europe, but also undertaking conservation field courses within locations such as Southern Africa, South America and the UK.
The main emphasis placed on these field courses is the development of professional skills and the application of students’ knowledge in a novel, stimulating, yet challenging environment. Costs associated with the field courses range from £500 – £1000 (UK & Europe), and between £2,200 – £2,800 (South America & Southern Africa). Please note that precise pricing of all field courses is subject to change, pending availability and recruitment.
Students may also wish to purchase their own personal copies of recommended set-texts to assist them with their studies. A full list of recommended texts is made available prior to enrolment, however, our campus library boasts sufficient stocks of all major texts to support student learning, and the purchasing of texts is therefore advised but not compulsory.
Approximately £20 for all equipment (prices of equipment are subject to change dependent on retailer).
Halti training leads (large)
Treat training pouch – whichever type you prefer (costs vary). You can use anything from a bumbag to a custom dog training pouch:
University Centre Reaseheath is committed to providing additional financial support to those who need it. To find out about the bursary schemes available visit the additional financial support pages on our website.
All Higher Education students are given the opportunity to apply for residential accommodation. First year students are guaranteed accommodation and this offer is made to all applicants who live more than a reasonable daily travelling distance from Reaseheath and who apply before the 31st July of the year they intend to start their course. For full details on our halls of residence visit the accommodation pages.
We have a team of dedicated professionals on hand to offer you support when and if you need it during your time with us. These include our Student Services team, Higher Education Support Team (HEST), Library and Learning Resources and the Reaseheath Careers Service. You will find more information on the support provided at Reaseheath here.
Before you apply you can come and visit us at one of our HE Open Events to see what we have to offer. Once we have received your application we will invite you to attend an Offer Holder Day.
Applications for part-time courses should be made directly to University Centre Reaseheath. When you have chosen your course, complete our online Part-Time Application Form.
For students to get the best out of their time at University Centre Reaseheath, we must both recognise that we owe obligations to each other. These obligations are set out in our Higher Education Student Contract. Before you accept an offer of a place at University Centre Reaseheath, it is important that you read these contract conditions. If you are going to be living in Halls of Residence, you will also need to read the Student Accommodation Licence Conditions. Both of these contracts can be found here.