Course at a glance


With an increasing number of dogs within society it is important to protect their health and welfare and care for them appropriately. This course will give basic knowledge on dogs, their health and their behaviour. It will provide knowledge on the terminology associated with canines and their history and development throughout the years. Students can develop their understanding of issues such as nutrition, reproduction and diseases and complete research and reading around the subject areas to build on a general understanding of canines. This diploma will provide the student with knowledge, skills and understanding to help better care for dogs.

Assessment Objectives (AO)

AO: 1

Students must select and demonstrate clearly relevant knowledge and understanding through the use of evidence, examples and correct language and terminology appropriate to the course of study. In addition, for synoptic assessment, students should demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the connections between different elements of their course of study. This assessment, involves two written assignments: one halfway through the course and following the final unit. Both are assessed and graded by the assigned tutor, according to college procedures.

AO: 2

Students must critically evaluate and justify a point of view through the use of evidence and reasoned argument. In addition, for synoptic assessment, students should relate elements of their course of study to their broader context and to aspects of spiritual human experience.

Quality of Written Communication (QWC)

In addition, OLC require students’ to produce written material in English, candidates must: ensure that text is legible and that spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPG) are accurate so that meaning is clear; select and use a form and style of writing appropriate to studying a complex subject matter; organise information clearly and coherently, using specialist vocabulary when appropriate and Harvard referencing of citation and sources. In this Specification, SPG will be assessed in all tutor marked assignments (TMAs)

To ensure that we maintain quality standards; all our students written assignments are subject to our plagiarism policy and procedure.

Accredited Level 3 Canine Studies Diploma Entry Requirement

Entry to this Accredited Level 3 Canine Studies Diploma requires that potential students have gained GCSE/IGCSE or equivalent qualifications and have, good English oral, reading and writing skills.

Advice on enrolment and guidance of prior learning (APL) can be obtained through out contact centre. The course is a rolling programme and can be started at any point in the year. Successful students can go on to Higher Education, including remaining as students at OLC to complete courses in our portfolio of higher awards.

All students must be aged 16 or over.


The coursework is assessed through continuous assessment with no formal exit examinations.

Study Hours

Approximately: 200 hours of personal study time for the entire course is recommended. All of which is supported by the OLC Course Tutor, who we greatly encourage students to access support from throughout their course.

Quality Assurance

This course has been developed by the College’s professional team of tutors to meet the needs of sector based employers and employees. It is also part of the College’s validated level three Diplomas’, recognised internationally, as verified and moderated Centre for Interactive Education (CIE Global). Further details of our accreditations are provided on our website.

Accredited Level 3 Canine Studies Diploma Course Length

1 Year.

Awarding Body


Accredited Level 3 Canine Studies Diploma Course Content

Accredited Level 3 Canine Studies Diploma Module 1 – Introduction to Canine Studies

This introductory module will delve into the history and evolution of dogs over the years. Taxonomy will be one of the first areas to be looked at with particular reference to how dogs were classified within the Animal Kingdom. This module will then progress to look at the history of domestic dogs and how canines originated. A step by step description of the history of canines throughout the years will then be looked at and the key links between the wolf and the domesticated dog. The many similarities, differences and evolutions will be compared and contrasted to give a deeper understanding of the domestication of dogs today. To further enhance knowledge on canines the various different roles that dogs undertake for example assistance dogs scent, dogs and sport dogs will be discussed in detail. This will give a better understanding of the importance of dogs to humans and the evolvement occurring within this area.

Accredited Level 3 Canine Studies Diploma Module 2 – Canine Anatomy and Physiology

During this unit the anatomy and physiology of canines will be studied taking into consideration a brief overview of many features of canines. Key body systems of canines will be studied such as the nervous system, circulatory system, and immune system as well as the key areas of the body such as the head, neck and withers. Definitions and terminology associated with anatomy and physiology will be included other key areas to be studied include:

  • The musculoskeletal system of dogs – emphasis on the skeletal structures, joints and muscles.
  • The endocrine system – this focuses on the functions of hormones that are produced within the canine body. Glands and target organs are also mentioned and their role in the process is explored.
  • The respiratory system, including inhaling, exhaling and how dogs use lungs for other purposes.
  • The urinary system, such as how excretion of waste products occurs, and what kidneys are responsible for within dogs.

Accredited Level 3 Canine Studies Diploma Module 3 – Canine Nutrition

Having a balanced nutrition for your canine is very important and is vital in ensuring your dog has good health. Changes in diet or not having a balanced diet can affect a dog’s physiology. This module looks at the science of food, importance of nutrients and quantity that should be given to a dog. During this module you will study digestive systems and organs and the process of digestion. Furthermore you will look at nutrients that a dog requires to give them energy, and how respiration has an effect on the release of energy. Vitamins and minerals will also form the basis of this module where you will be able to understand the most important vitamins and minerals for dogs such as Vitamin C and Calcium. The types of dog foods will also be highlighted and you will learn how to calculate the amount of food to give to a dog depending on their life stage. Health problems and ailments will also be highlighted along with harmful foods to feed to a dog.

Accredited Level 3 Canine Studies Diploma Module 4 – Canine Diseases

Diseases in dogs can vary from mild to detrimental to the dogs health. In some cases a disease can potentially be fatal to the dog and therefore having knowledge on the causes, effects and remedies are very important for those caring for canines. This is a follow on module from some of the previously studies diseases within the Canine Nutrition module. This module further explores in depth infectious and non-infectious diseases. Particular attention is placed on the many causes of diseases such as fungi and bacteria, and the immune system as a method of defence for the dog. Many diseases commonly associated with dogs are listed and discussed in depth, some examples range from fleas, ticks to cancer and arthritis.

Accredited Level 3 Canine Studies Diploma Module 5 – Canine Health and Veterinary Care

In a continuation on from the canine diseases that were explored in the previous module, this module considers how diseases are diagnosed and the treatment and prevention measures that can be put in place. The following areas will be covered:

  • Signs of ill health being portrayed by the dog such as weight loss and coughing.
  • First aid – where shock or wounds occur, important procedures have been described.
  • How illness and injury can be diagnosed and the techniques associated with this such as blood and allergy testing.
  • The treatment plan and methods of treatment that can be used such as drugs and how to administer pills to dogs. Further to this there are many diagnostic and treatment procedures that will be covered within this module to give a general overview of veterinary care for canines.

Accredited Level 3 Canine Studies Diploma Module 6 – Canine Genetics

A continuation of unit one, this unit delves deeper into the understanding of evolution and genetics associated with canines and how it has developed over time. Selective breeding plays an important role in developing desirable traits in dogs and this will be studied in detail within this module along with the science of genetics which focuses on reproduction and mutations. Some of the genetic disorders that can occur within dogs will be explored such as Collie Eye Anomaly and Hip dysplasia. Finally, the theories surrounding natural selection will also be studied and the comparisons to artificial selection along with inbreeding and outbreeding. Genetic testing of dogs will also be looked at and its effect on breeding programmes.

Accredited Level 3 Canine Studies Diploma Module 7 – Canine Reproduction

Breeding of dogs is a process which requires significant knowledge and preparation. This module focuses primarily on reproduction and care of a bitch and puppies. This module begins with highlighting the importance of genetics and choosing appropriate dogs and bitches for the process. The anatomy of both the dog and bitch is covered along with the mating process. The option of breeders to use Artificial Insemination will also be mentioned. The evolvement from conception through the whole pregnancy of the bitch is looked and a step by step process from insemination to whelping is studied. Whelping is then studied in detail and the stages of labour discussed along with postnatal care of the bitch and puppies. Some of the key complications such as abortion and problems during whelping will also be looked at to give a clear understanding of the issues faced when breeding dogs.

Accredited Level 3 Canine Studies Diploma Module 8 – Canine Behaviour Part 1

This section focuses on the behaviour of dogs and the reasoning behind what they do, for example neurological and physiological effects. As this is a large topic there are two modules covering the various areas of canine behaviour. Within this module you will look at the following areas:

  • Instinctive behaviour – the comparison to wolf behaviour and evolution that has occurred over the years. Also the role and structure of the pack of canines and the effects this has on interaction with other dogs.
  • The importance of genes and behavioural traits – looking at different breed characteristics.
  • How health and welfare can affect a dogs behaviour for example stress or changes in hormones.
  • The effect different senses such as hearing have on the way a dog conducts yourself.
  • The ability for dogs to learn in different ways will also be explored for example associative learning. Different behaviour issues within dogs will also be touched upon in this module such as aggression but will be studies in more detail in module 9.

Accredited Level 3 Canine Studies Diploma Module 9 – Canine Behaviour Part 2

This unit continues on the foundation of unit 8 where reasons for different behaviours in a dog were explored. Unit 9 however, delves into the issues surrounding problematic behaviour in dogs, the reasons and techniques that can be used to determine the source of these issues. It is important to have knowledge on reasons surrounding this type of behaviour and some of the consequences of it. Therefore this module looks at the following:

  • Common behavioural issues associated with dogs such as anxiety and chasing problems
  • The most common motives for this behaviour for example nature
  • How we can establish the cause for the behaviour

Furthermore, this module also considers methods of overcoming the behavioural issues such as obedience training and some of the key techniques such as preventing problems through the method of puppy socialisation.

Accredited Level 3 Canine Studies Diploma Module 10 – Working with Canines

Working with dogs can be a very pleasurable and rewarding job for people. Consequently, this final unit in this diploma in Canine Studies focuses on working within the canine industry. Particular emphasis is placed on the different organisations such as businesses and charities that train and care for dogs. Different organisations such as the Pet Care Trust are viewed along with the different careers that could be undertaken with canines. Some of the most prominent legislations for example the Control of Dogs Order 1992 are also studied within this module. Finally, to draw a close to this diploma information on how to create a canine business, kennels or breed dogs as a hobby or career has also been provided.


This Accredited Level 3 Canine Studies Diploma can be used to gain entry to a Level 4 Diploma or higher