Postgraduate Course in Companion Animal Behaviour and Welfare



​About the Companion Animal Behaviour and Welfare course

The Odisee University College organises in cooperation with the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and DAVALON, a Postgraduate Course in Companion Animal Behaviour and Welfare. Course coordinator is Jolanda Pluijmakers (Davalon), co-coordinator is David Appleby (AB Klinikka Finland).
The course is developed for students interested in a career in the companion animal businesses, including working as a companion animal behaviour counsellor, working in the companion animal care sector such as veterinary clinics, shelters and catteries or companion animal related enterprises and organisations. 
In this course you will learn about the welfare of companion animals and why it matters. Develop an understanding of some of the main welfare issues companion animals have to cope with, as well as gaining an insight into the behavioural needs, problem behaviours and emotions of dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents and horses.
Programme descriptions
The course takes 2 years to complete, with a course workload of 46 ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer System) or study points at level 7. Each study point is equal to a workload of 25 study hours (*). The first year consists of 24 study points and the second of 22 study points.
(*) 1 ECTS credit is comparable to 2,5 UK CAT points at level 7)
The theoretical concepts of the field will be introduced in five e-learning modules.
The practical skills in handling, training, behaviour modification techniques and communication are taught in two modules consisting of practical workshops and a one-week internship at a behaviour clinic or shelter in the Netherlands or Belgium.
The first year is a general year. The course content is equal for all students regarding the content for dogs and cats. You choose an additional species being either horses or rabbits and rodents.
Course learning outcomes

At the end of the course you:

  • Have an in-depth understanding of the normal behaviour, behavioural needs and welfare of companion animals.
  • Have the expertise to assess the behaviour and welfare of companion animals. To identify factors contributing to welfare and behaviour problems and provide advice to owners and professionals on how to offer good welfare and prevent behaviour problems in companion animals.
  • Have the theoretical knowledge to diagnose behaviour problems and to compose behaviour modification programs.
  • Have the practical handling and training skills to implement behaviour modification programs in practice, either in the context of offering behaviour consulting services or within a shelter context.
  • Have professional skills in client counselling and effective communication.


Course content

See attached document under heading 'Brochure'.


Timetable and fees

See attached document under heading 'Brochure'.



After successful completion of the course you will receive a Postgraduate Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour and Welfare of the University College of Odisee. This diploma is an academically recognised qualification.
Entry requirements and application
The normal entry requirement is a bachelor degree with a good command of the English language. You are a EAA national (insurance reasons).
To register, please complete and return the registration form for the Postgraduate course in Companion Animal Behaviour and Welfare you can find here. Registration is possible until 11 September 2017.
If you do not have a bachelor degree you can apply for admission to the course through an evaluation of your CV and a motivation letter. Please complete and return the application form for the Postgraduate course in Companion Animal Behaviour and Welfare here. You find information on how to apply for admission and how to write your motivation letter below.  
More information
If you have any inquires regarding the course, please contact Jolanda Pluijmakers at 
Timing registration
Number of participants for this postgraduate course is limited. Registration is possible until 10th September 2017. Late registry is only possible with permission of the course coordinator. We will probably split the group in two for workshops and internship. We will inform you as soon as possible if you are accepted. 
To register or apply for the course please use the links provided under the heading ‘Entry requirements and application’.

Praktische Info

Start: maandag, 25 september, 2017
Studiegeld voor de opleiding: €5.750 (€3.000 first year; €2.750 second year) €


Inhoud van het programma:
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