Animal Behaviour Course Online

Monkeys are a great animal to study in our animal behaviour course online.
Full Fee $595.00 incl GST - Best Value!
Payment Plan $800.00 incl GST
Duration 100 hrs (12 months)
Exam Optional
Tutor Support Yes unlimited by email
Qualification Certificate

In this online animal behaviour course you will learn to understand why animals behave the way they do. This course was written due to the demand from adult learners who want to understand animal behavior but don’t want to commit to an expensive and long term degree to do so.  Learn to understand difficult behaviour and techniques on how to deal with it. This is a very useful qualification for anyone working with animals or for someone wishing to set up their own business. Learn about the different influences on animal behaviour such as genetics, biology, environmental influences, the part played by instinct and the difference in behaviour in domesticated versus wild populations.

What is Ethology?

The study of animal behaviour (ethology) is of obvious importance in the practice of training animals especially in considering their natural behaviour and how it may be suitable for specific tasks. Additionally, understanding animal behaviour contributes to animal training by means of understanding how to encourage desirable natural behaviour and discourage behaviour traits that are undesirable.

Who is this Animal Behavior Course For?

Careerline’s Animal Behaviour course online is suitable for anyone interested in/or working with animals, trainers, pet carers, pet shop workers, zoo keepers and so on.   If you want to study more, check out our bundle of four animal psychology courses and get this course plus equine behaviour, dog psychology and cat training modules at a discounted rate.

What you will do:

  • Identify factors affecting animal behaviour.
  • Describe the influence of genes on animal behaviour.
  • Explain how animals perceive and how they respond to various stimuli.
  • Explain the influence of environment factors, such as circadian rhythms, on biological clocks, reproductive cycles, orientation and other animal behaviours.
  • Explain the social influences on animal aggression, play, sexual behaviour, communication and other behaviours.
  • Describe different ways that animals learn (such as conditioning and habituation) and some effects of learning on behaviour.
  • Discuss psychological implications of different handling techniques.
  • Identify abnormal animal behaviour (eg. psychotic, neurotic behaviour) and ways to reduce dependence on humans

What do our Animal Behaviour Students say when asked about studying this course?

C. Bierman

Yes, my tutor was very helpful with her comments and feedback as well as the communication when I needed help.
B. Bourrillon
Yes I found it a great experience. I learnt so much from the course material and my own research which had to be conducted for assignments
Yes Karen Catchpole was excellent and providing feedback on my work highlighting things to be changed and useful tips.
I really enjoyed this module and am looking forward to completing the other 3 in my Advanced Zoo Keeping Course
J. James
Yes, I was able to learn about something I was interested in in my own time and in my own way.
K. Mawson
i took on this course as i have a great interest in animal psychology. it was a valuable learning experience as i now know alot more than i did 6 months ago.
Thankyou very much for this course, I have learnt alot and would do it all over again if i could!
C. McGhie
Yes, it has taught me a lot of valuable skills that will allow me to be a great zoo keeper.
M. Reid
This has been a very valuable learning experience for me. This module covered exactly what I need to know for animal behaviour and has given me some great tools to continue working with for future courses/volunteer work.
My tutor was fantastic and helped steer me in the right direction. Karen’s prompt replies to my enquiries ensured that I kept up the momentum with each assignment. Thanks Karen, look forward to starting Animal Health Care.
K. Romeo
This course has taught me a large amount of information I will need to become employed in my chosen profession
All feedback from Karen is constructive and helps me understand certain things more clearly
Christopher Stitt
Yes I was able to consolidate my knowledge of animal behaviour through the readings and assignments
Yes my tutor was excellent and I really appreciated her feedback. I have learned a lot working with her and think she has been a reason for my success and enjoyment of the course
I have enjoyed the courses I have studied and wish I was able to afford to do more as you offer an excellent and diverse range of subjects
S. Toon
I found the course provided new knowledge into animal behaviour that I was unaware of and really made me able to think of the processes of animal behaviour.
Well build out course that provided some good sound knowledge on the topic of animal behaviour and really makes one think outside the box.
K. Window
This course was a fantastic learning experience for me. It has helped me to grow my understanding of animals and their behaviours.
The comments i’d receive with my feedback on my assignments really encouraged me and helped me to stay motivated. They made me feel like I was doing well and learning.

Detailed Course Outline

This course is made up a number of lessons or units. Each having self assessment questions, set tasks (practical homework), and an assignment which you can upload online.  Click below to read about each of the lessons and what you will learn.

There are 8 Lessons in this course:

Introduction: Influences and motivation

  • What is behaviour.
  • Causes of behaviour (e.g. genetics, learning, external and internal influences).
  • Reactive, active and cognitive behaviour.
  • Conditioning.

Genetics and Behaviour

  • Understanding biology.
  • Natural selection.
  • Genetic variation.
  • Development of behaviour.
  • Behavioural genetics.

Animal Perception and Behaviour

  • How animals perceive things.
  • What stimulates them and how do those stimuli function.
  • Instinct.
  • Neural control.
  • Sensory processes, sight, sound, hearing etc.

Behaviour and the Environment

  • Coordination.
  • Orientation.
  • Homeostasis.
  • Acclimatisation.
  • Circadian rhythms.
  • Biological clocks.
  • Reproductive cycles etc.

Social Behaviour

  • Animal Societies.
  • Aggression.
  • Social constraints.
  • Social order.
  • Play.
  • Biological clocks.
  • Communication.

Instinct and Learning

  • Conditioning and learning.
  • Extinction and habituation.
  • Instrumental learning.
  • Reinforcement.
  • Operant behaviour.
  • Biological and cognitive aspects of learning

Handling Animals

  • Psychological affects of different handling techniques.
  • Training animals (horses, cats, dogs, etc.).
  • The student has a choice of which types of animals to focus on, though a variety will still be covered.

Behavioural Problems

  • Abnormal behaviour (e.g. psychotic, neurotic).
  • Domestication of animals.
  • Reducing human contact.
  • Reducing human dependence.

When you have completed the lessons of your Certificate course, you will be given the option of taking the optional exam. It's okay if you don't want the exam, we still issue your Careerline Certificate. For Advanced Certificates however, the exam is compulsory (per module) and are included in the course fee.

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Melanie Reid

This has been a very valuable learning experience for me. This module covered exactly what I need to know for animal behaviour and has given me some great tools to continue working with for future courses/volunteer work....Stop thinking about it and just do it!! I have been putting off going back to school due to work commitments, I thought I would not have enough time. I also kept thinking that I had missed the boat to start a course as I am now 30. I ended up getting sick of my self saying I had no qualifications and decided to do something about it! Careerline Courses offer such a variety of courses, there really is something to study for everyone.

Melanie Reid Animal Behaviour Graduate

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Kristie Romeo

This course has taught me a large amount of information I will need to become employed in my chosen profession.

Kristie Romeo Animal Behaviour Graduate

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Course Tutors

Dr Karen Catchpole  B.VSc. (Hons)

Karen brings to Careerline great experience and expertise in animal Science. Karen is a practicing veterinarian, now in her own small animal hospital, after working in varied roles over 17 years since graduation from Sydney University with first class honours.  Karen continues to maintain active involvement in education in both professional development and in tutoring both vocational and university students.  Karen's field of expertise is in internal animal medicine & surgery of cats & dogs.

Dr. Karin Dreyer-Haasbroek  B.V.S.   M.Sc.  (Parasitology)

Karin’s love and passion for animals stem from growing up on a farm in South Africa. After gaining her Veterinary Science degree she worked in mixed general practice while completing a master’s degree in Veterinary Parasitology. Living and working in South Africa exposed Karin to a vast range of experiences in the clinical veterinary field: treating patients ranging from marmoset monkeys to lions to the everyday cat, dog or horse. Two years as a Laboratory Vet resulted in helping farmers tackling livestock health problems in a variety of farm production systems. Since her move to Western Australia with her family, Karin has been working in a small animal practice.  During her 20 years as a vet, she has been involved in several research projects and the tutoring of students in various fields of animal science. She enjoys mentoring students and sharing her knowledge and she loves helping students flourish and realise their full potential.

How It Works

1. Learn Online

Get access to your course content anywhere, anytime and study at your own pace.

2. Get Help & Support

Connect with other like-minded students and get help from the teacher whenever you have a question.

3. Receive Certificate

Graduate from your course knowing that you have what it takes to reach your next step.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pay in installments?

Yes! We offer great payment plans, however full payment up front is the cheapest. You can choose the best payment plan for you from the course page, or call us on 07 55368782 to talk to one of our course consultants for a custom plan.

Can I study from anywhere in the world?

We have many international students. Careerline's range of courses are suitable for any one, anywhere in the world.

Do I get a discount if I enroll in a second course?

Yes. You may claim a 5% fee discount when you enroll in a second course, and a further 10% off a three-course package.


Do I have to sit an Exam?

No. If you are enrolled in a Certificate course (100hrs), the exam is optional. You will be issued with a certificate which proves that you are competent in all units, if you choose not to sit the exam.

Do you have set start dates?

There are no set start dates, you may start at any time. Our courses are all self-paced. As our home page says, ‘Courses for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime’. ‘Anytime’ includes the start time of your choice. However, we do encourage our students to submit assignments on a regular basis. Wherever possible, we suggest developing a study routine.