Bsc Hons Canine Training And Performance

Canine Training and Performance

BSc (Hons) Level 6 entry

Develop your passion for training dogs, enhance your skills with the latest technologies and top-up your existing qualification to a full BSc degree.

This course will present you with the key scientific principles at the forefront of animal training, performance and rehabilitation. You’ll tailor your learning to your interests, analyse performance, and develop training plans, all underpinned by the strictest ethics and supported by the latest scientific evidence.

Key Information

Course Duration: 1 year full-time; part-time available
UC UCAS Code: C869
Part or Full Time: Full Time / Part Time
Level of Study: Undergraduate Degrees
Typical Offer: A pass at Foundation Degree or HND in animal science or management related subject

Course information

The course will focus on dogs, but you’ll also study other animals. With access to over 70 domestic and non-domestic species on-site, you'll be provided with plenty of opportunities to develop your experience with different species.

You’ll benefit from our excellent industry connections with dog trainers, behaviourists, scientists and athletes across the UK. There may also be opportunities to learn from inspirational guest speakers.

You’ll also have the opportunity to undertake an independent research project focussed on canine science. This will enable you to delve deeper into an area you care about and contribute to research that’s making a positive difference to the lives of animals.

Academic requirements

  • A pass at Foundation Degree or HND relating to animal structure, function, nutrition, exercise physiology, management practices
  • We may interview mature applicants and those with non-traditional qualifications to ensure this is the right course for you
  • We welcome students with equivalent qualifications; please contact us to discuss
  • Previous learning towards a university-level qualification or relevant work experience may count as credit for this course

Non-academic options

  • We may interview mature applicants and those with non-traditional qualifications
  • Previous learning towards a university-level qualification or relevant work experience may count as credit for this course.

International students

  • We welcome applications from international students and accept international qualifications at equivalent levels to the above
  • You may also need to evidence proficiency in English language

Please contact us for further information.

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Your career

Industry opportunities on this course are diverse to ensure you develop the skills, experience and connections needed for your graduate career. Many of our students secure graduate roles with their work placement employers.

Industry experience

Though not part of our compulsory or optional modules, further industry experience will be encouraged through work placements and additional volunteering where possible. Our students have previously worked with organisations such as the Blue Cross, West Midlands Safari Park, Guide Dogs for the Blind and BSAVA.

Field trips and guest lecturers

Field trips and industry professionals in lectures form an important part of your learning, enabling you to experience different businesses, careers and best practices.

Recent field trips have included to places such as Crufts, Guide Dogs for the Blind and Cotswold Wildlife Park. Extra fees are required – please see the fees tab for more information.

Recent guest lecturers have included dog training professionals, animal biomechanics researchers and zookeepers.

Graduate destinations

You may go on to work within zoos, charities, animal rescue centres, boarding kennels and laboratories. You’ll also have the transferable skills you need for other graduate careers. Our careers team can support you to find and prepare to secure your perfect role.

After graduation students can achieve ABTC recognition as an Animal Trainer (AT) and Animal Training Instructor (ATI) via an ABTC Practitioner Organisation. This will allow you to join the ABTC Practitioner Register.

You may go on to work as a trainer or join behaviour teams, and progress on to:

  • Service dog handling
  • Animal warden/officer
  • Performance analyst for competitive sports (such as agility, greyhound racing, cani-cross)
  • Assistance work
  • Rescue and rehabilitation
Success Stories

Your support network

You'll benefit from a strong support network from day one to be the best you can be. This will range from your personal tutor and specialist academic support team (our Achievement and Success Centre) to dedicated wellbeing and employability (Innovation, Careers and Enterprise) centres.

Academic support

You’ll have your own personal tutor while you’re here who will support you to succeed in your studies. You’ll also have access to our academic and wellbeing support teams who run regular workshops and one-to-one sessions on campus and online.

Alongside this, we have a comprehensive bank of online study skills resources to help you make the most of your qualification.

Your learning experiences

You'll experience a range of teaching methods to strengthen your digestion of topics, including lectures, workshops and practical sessions.

Your career

Your course will be made up of two semesters, within which you’ll study compulsory and optional modules on different industry-focused topics, enabling you to develop your own unique portfolio of knowledge, skills and experience, ready for your career. The course is taught in English.


What you'll study

This course builds on the knowledge you have gained in previous studies, to reach the level of a BSc (Hons) degree.

You'll study both compulsory and optional modules, which you'll be able to choose from to suit your interests and career goals. Optional modules change each year in line with student, industry and research demands; recent topics studied have included animal therapy and anthrozoology. You can attend introductory sessions for optional modules before deciding which ones to study.

Module credits

On successful completion of your modules, you’ll gain academic credit that accumulates towards your award. The marks you gain over the course of your programme will contribute towards your final degree classification.

You’ll advance your understanding of the key principles in canine training and performance. You’ll be exposed to contemporary challenges in the subject area, for example, in the Management and Rehabilitation of the Canine Athlete module, where you’ll devise training regimens, manage health and rehabilitation programmes in canine sport and recreational sectors. Studying advanced theory, you'll gain an insight into where current research is focussing.

In addition to our other compulsory modules, choose from either an Undergraduate Dissertation or Investigative Skills and Applied Research Project. Further details are included below.

Compulsory Modules

Advanced Animal Performance Analysis

You'll be given the opportunity to use advanced analytical methods to assess animal performance.

Advanced Animal Training

Learn about the theoretical and practical methods used in the advanced training of animals and the coaching of trainer, client and animal.

Management and Rehabilitation of the Canine Athlete

Devise training regimens, manage health and rehabilitation programmes in canine sport and recreational sectors.

Animal and Agriculture Dissertation

Choose between this module OR Investigative Skills for the Successful Undergraduate AND Applied Research Project

This module involves independent research and analysis in an animal or agriculture‐related field with one-to‐one support from an academic.

Investigative Skills for the Successful Undergraduate / Applied Research Project

Choose between these two modules OR Animal and Agriculture Dissertation

Investigative Skills for the Successful Undergraduate

Prepare for undertaking a research project.

Applied Research Project

Independent research and analysis in an animal-related field with one-to-one support from an academic. Utilise our on-site animal facilities or work with an industry partner to ensure your project is addressing a real-world issue.


Optional Modules

Animal Therapy 2

This is the second module specifically exploring the details of types of therapies used within the animal industry.


Anthrozoology is the study of human-animal interactions, exploring the impact animals have on our lives, and the impact they have on ours.

Applied Business Management

Understand the essential operations of a small business, including, organisational culture and marketing.

The modules contain a mixture of scheduled learning – lectures, workshops and practical sessions – alongside independent learning. Students are expected to dedicate at least two to three hours of independent study per contact hour.

Year Contact learning Placement learning Independent learning
Level six (year one) 22% 0% 78%

You'll be assessed through a mixture of written exams, practical exams and written assignments. Many of the modules will be marked based on a mixture of assessment types, whilst others will be based solely on one type of assessment. Feedback will be given via a mixture of written bullet point-style feedback and/or oral feedback.

Year Written exam Practical exam Coursework
Level six (year one) 22% 19% 59%

Each year of this course is taught over two semesters, normally consisting of 12 weeks of scheduled teaching and then assessment weeks, with an overview below:

  • Scheduled teaching takes place between 8:30 to 20:30 Monday to Friday
  • Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities
  • Work placements may entail different days and hours
  • Part-time students may need to attend learning activities five days each week, depending on modules selected
  • Timetables are available during enrolment week
View term dates

Please visit our student finance page for information on tuition fees and student loans, as well as non-repayable grants, bursaries and scholarships, eligible to different groups, to support with study costs.

Clothing and footwear (circa £100)

You’ll need to purchase appropriate clothing and footwear before you enrol, or during enrolment week. We’ll let you know exactly what you need to purchase in your enrolment guide – everything is available from our supplier’s online shop for approximately £100.

Optional field trips (up to circa £500)

Opportunities for students may require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check that is paid for by the student. Students are encouraged to engage in various trips and visits as part of the programme. While many of these are included in the course fees, there is the opportunity to engage in optional trips with additional costs involved.

Accommodation and living costs

Please visit our student accommodation page for details.

Fees & Finance

For further details about this course, including the programme specification and module descriptions, please visit our document library.

Resource library


Settle into an accommodation option to suit your taste and budget – at Hartpury University, undergraduate students can choose to live on-campus surrounded by Gloucestershire’s beautiful countryside or off-campus in the heart of Gloucester City centre. Enjoy the best of both worlds.

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We can help you understand how it all works, and what you need to do next. Find out everything you need to know about tuition fees, student loans and bursaries and scholarships. In 2021/22, we provided assistance to over 1/3 of our students through bursaries, scholarships and grants, totalling a little under £1million.

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When you become a student at Hartpury, you become part of our community. As a small university, we provide personalised support based on your individual requirements and aspirations. Our teams cover wellbeing, achievement and success, learning support, careers, and more. From wellbeing, safety and employability, to finance, accommodation and IT, our staff will answer your questions or get you set up with someone who can.

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TEF Gold

Our undergraduate provision has been awarded Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold in all aspects - Overall, Student Experience, and Student Outcomes.

GUG 2024 Top 10 Teaching Quality Landscape

Teaching quality

Ranked in the top 10 universities for teaching quality (The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024).

Graduate Outcomes 2023 97Pc

Graduate employability

97% of our graduates are in employment, further study or other purposeful activity (Graduate Outcomes, 2023). 

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Academic support

We’ve been named as the top university in England for academic support (National Student Survey, 2023).

Skai Walker
“It's amazing that Hartpury offers the opportunity to work with different species as part of the degree. As part of the course, I did a 40-hour internship in the Animal Collection. I’ve been getting hands on with exotic animals – meerkats, skunks and prairie dogs. ”
Skai Walker
BSc (Hons) Human-Animal Interaction

Turn your passion into your career

The physical and emotional needs of animals is at the heart of everything we do. Working with research-active staff, our students contribute to studies that are helping us understand animals like never before.

Put theory into practice and boost your CV with access to over 70 species, laboratories, animal therapy and hydrotherapy centres, a new Equine and Animal Assisted Activities Area on a 360-hectare campus that provides an ideal environment.

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Female Student In Lab Using Microscope

Meet our academic team

Get to know our dedicated and passionate teaching staff who’ll help you achieve your very best. We’re proud to have been awarded Gold in all three areas of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF): Overall, Student Experience, and Student Outcomes. This places Hartpury University in the top 15% of published institutions in England. Plus, we're ranked sixth in the UK for Teaching Quality, in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

Important information

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are reviewed and developed regularly. Changes or cancellation of courses may be necessary to ensure alignment with emerging employment areas, to comply with accrediting body requirements, revisions to subject benchmark statements or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make necessary changes and will notify all offer-holders of changes as and when they occur.