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Science & Research

Feline Studies Diploma

The Feline Studies Level 3 Diploma course is aimed at improving the knowledge base of pet owners, breeders/exhibitors and those involved with cats professionally.

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Level 3 / Quality Licence Scheme / ODL67

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over 12 months and £ deposit

over 12 months and £ deposit


Course summary


Expert Tutoring

12 months tutor support


24hr Access to

Course, assignments & tutor


Endorsed by the

Quality Licence Scheme


NUS Card Eligibility

Enjoy student discounts

Course introduction

It delivers a wide syllabus of topics to provide the student with an introduction to the width and breadth of the subject area.

Students will expand their knowledge and understanding by studying a whole variety of topics, including historical, practical, legal and scientific aspects of the field of feline studies. These will vary from examinations of folklore, anatomy, genetics, cattery management and animal law.

The Level 3 Diploma in Feline Studies will be awarded to those students who satisfactorily complete all 10 Units of this course and a final online examination. Materials can be studied online or students have the option to print the documents once, there is also the option to have the materials delivered for an additional charge.

Required knowledge

No previous knowledge or experience is essential to study this course.


Final online multiple choice examination counts for 100% of the final grade. Throughout the course there are ten SAPs (coursework) and a thesis. The course clearly states that this is not mandatory to complete as it has no bearing on the final grade. We do suggest that students complete these as this will not only assist them in examination preparation but also will give the student the skill set should they wish to continue their studies (continuous professional development) at a higher level.


At the end of this course successful learners will receive a Certificate of Achievement from Quality Licence Scheme and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the components the learner has completed as part of the course).

The course has been endorsed under the Quality Licence Scheme.The Provider has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet defined quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to a regulated qualification* but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills gained.

The Learner Unit Summary may be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this subject. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at QLS Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

The Quality Licence Scheme is part of the Skills and Education Group, a charitable organisation that unites education and skills-orientated organisations that share similar values and objectives. With more than 100 years of collective experience, the Skills and Education Group’s strategic partnerships create opportunities to inform, influence and represent the wider education and skills sector.

The Skills and Education Group’s knowledge and experience of working within the awarding sector enables them to work with training providers, through the Quality Licence Scheme, to help them develop high-quality courses and/or training programmes for the non-regulated market.

*Regulated qualification refers to those qualifications that are regulated by Ofqual / CCEA / Qualification Wales.

Course modules

Module 1: Origins of the domestic cat
This module will form a sound basis for the rest of the course by examining how the modern domestic cat came to be uniquely important to the people of the world. The module covers the following topics:

- Evolution
- Domestication throughout the world
- Cats and religion
- The rise and fall of cats in Europe
- Folklore, legends and magic

Module 2: Anatomy and Physiology
This science based module examines the cats' physical body from the cellular level to its external anatomy. It introduces basic biological principles which can be applied to all other animal species although it focuses specifically on domestic felines. Body systems such as the neurological, digestive and reproductive systems are included in their own later modules. Module 2 covers the following topics:

- External points of the cat
- Cells, tissues, organs and organ systems
- Locomotory system, including skeleton and musculature
- Circulatory systems. Heart, blood and lymphatic systems
- Urinary system
- Endocrine system

Module 3: Neurophysiology and sensory systems
Building on the knowledge in module 2 this module examines how information about the internal and external environment is transmitted around the body. The topics in module 3 include:

- Homeostasis. How the body maintains a constant internal environment
- Structure and function of nervous cells and tissues
- The brain
- Sense receptors, light, chemical and Sound

Module 4: Nutrition
Adding to the knowledge gained in modules 2 and 3 this module examines how a cats body gains the substances needed to grow and maintain life. This may appear to be an uncontroversial subject, but pet food is a big business and the module will also examine how this business emerged and some of the debates it engenders. The module includes discussions of biology, husbandry and a debate about the commercial industry.

- Classification of nutrients/signs of deficiency
- Digestive system anatomy and physiology
- Feeding cats
- Commercial food industry

Module 5: Reproduction
The cat is a prolific species, in the wild in spite of its status as a predator, its relatively small size means that it is not safe from other predators. Its reproductive strategy involves producing many young in order to ensure some survive to adulthood. This module will examine feline reproduction from oestrus to weaning. Other subjects connected with reproduction such as genetics, breeding systems, and preventing reproduction will be dealt with in future modules.

- Male and female reproductive anatomy
- Breeding cycles and puberty
- Pregnancy and birth
- Kitten development
- Controlling breeding

Module 6: Behavioural science
As cats have become increasingly popular as companion animals during the last century, the relatively new interest in their behaviour has resulted in increased research into their behaviour, both endearing and problematic. This module will examine how cats interact with each other, (communication, territorial and dominance behaviour) and discuss behavioural development in kittens. It will also discuss feline behaviour problems from a human point of view.

- Feline communication. Body language, expression, scent and posture
- Behaviour development. Newborn reflexes to social animal
- Problem behaviour. Urine marking, middening, aggression

Module 7: Genetics
This module will examine the subject of genetics and inheritance from the basic building blocks of the genome, to the determination of a particular individuals characteristics. An understanding of genetics is necessary for anyone thinking of breeding cats as well as determining the reasons why certain cats have particular characteristics. Colour, pattern and coat length will be discussed in detail as examples of obviously recognizable characteristics, although the principles described are equally applicable to body form/size, temperament and in certain cases behaviour. Although concentrating on scientific aspects of the topic, a brief review of breed specific mutations is included.

- Genome and definitions
- Inheritance of specific characteristics ( colour/pattern/coat length)
- Breed specific mutations

Module 8: Health
Cats, like all other living organisms occasionally suffer from ill health, although many domestic cats will only meet a veterinarian for routine check ups, vaccinations and neutering. Nevertheless ill health can occur in even the most well cared for animal and this module will explore the various diseases and conditions which bring about poor health. Broadly speaking these conditions/diseases can be divided into 2 groups, those a cat catches e.g. as the result of infection/parasites or those that are non-infectious, encompassing genetic problems, cancers and nutritional disorders (module 4). Specific examples of diseases, their symptoms and prevention will be discussed but this course is not intended to be, not should be considered as, a substitute for veterinarian diagnosis and treatment.

- Infectious disease. Viral, bacterial, fungal infections, vaccination, and parasites
- Non infectious disease (cancer/genetic disease)

Module 9: Husbandry
Although many cats live out their lives in 1 or two animal pet home, many others live together in larger groups, either due to specific planning by humans, or as a result of neglect. Many cats will experience such conditions in their lifetimes, either by being bred in a cat breeder's establishment, falling on hard times and being 'rescued' by a charity organisation or living out their lives without close human contact as ferals. This module will examine the practical way in which larger numbers of cats can be cared for on a regular basis. It will examine procedures used in rescue/feral control organisation and the care and procedures used in boarding and breeding catteries.

- Rescue organisations (history/procedures, feral colony management)
- Boarding/pedigree catteries (Procedures, breeding programs, line-breeding, in-breeding and out crossing)

Module 10: Rules and regulations
Cats inevitably are included in the rules, laws and regulations our societies need to function due to their close association with humans. This module will examine some of the history behind animal legislation around the world, as well as current and proposed regulations. It will also discuss the sometimes widely differing rules surrounding 'pedigree' cats within different governing cat associations and the implications for the animals belonging to the members of those organisations.

- Animal welfare/abuse legislation, history and worldwide 
- Pedigree organisation regulations. 
- Different breed recognition, ethics, showing, and breeding

Learner support

12 Months Tutor Support. Tutors are available to answer student questions relating to course materials and to comment on the assignments that are sent in to state how well students have understood the unit content.


What is distance learning?

Distance learning is the most flexible and convenient approach to studying. There is no need for you to attend college and, therefore, you can study anytime, any place, anywhere that fits in with your lifestyle. Distance learning programmes are ideal for people who may have a full-time job, or other commitments, that won’t allow them time off to study.

What do I need to do to get started on a course?

You'll need to be able to commit the required time to your studies. We recommend that you choose a course you think will interest you, and help you to achieve your ambitions. If you would like some advice, or further information, please call our helpline free on 0333 3445 690.

To purchase a course, simply click on the ‘Buy now’ button against your chosen course and follow the on screen instructions. Alternatively if you would prefer to purchase the course over the phone, call 0333 3445 690 and speak to one of our expert course advisors.

How does the distance learning/home study method work?

The course operates through a study pack and access to your own personal tutor. Once you have chosen your course we will send you your study pack, which you will be required to work through before completing the course.

Depending on the course you have chosen, you will either be required to complete assignments and submit these for marking as the course progresses and/or be required to sit an end exam. The end exam could be in the form of multiple choice questions, or be an invigilated exam at a registered test centre.

Your completed assignments will need to be sent to your tutor for marking/assessment, you will then receive written feedback and guidance. It may be possible to submit your assignments by email, however you will need to check this with your tutor. Please be aware that your assignments will be maintained by NCCHL for moderation and audit purposes.

These requirements will always be listed on the course description page, so please refer to this for details of what is required for each individual course.

How long should it take to complete a course?

Depending on the course you have chosen, and the amount of time you can commit, it could take from 6 weeks to 12 months to complete your course.

The duration of the course is largely down to you though. The beauty of home learning is that it allows you complete flexibility to fit your studies around your lifestyle and other commitments. You can dedicate as much, or as little, time as you want to your studies - no one will be chasing you for your work or asking why you haven’t submitted an assignment.

We do strongly recommend, though, that before you purchase a course you assess your ability to commit the necessary time to completing the course in a timeframe that will not leave you losing your motivation.

How quickly will I receive my course material?

We guarantee that you will receive your course materials within 5 days of purchase, but for many courses we would anticipate that you will have to wait no more than 48 hours.

The course materials are always sent to you via a tracked courier service, to ensure that you receive your study pack within our stated period.

How much will it cost?

The cost is largely dependent on the type of the course. The longer the course is the higher the cost will be, due to the size of the study pack and the nature of the qualification.

All prices are clearly stated on the course description page and will always be displayed prior to you committing to purchase a course.

Please note that there may be additional fees required should your course have an external assessment, such as A Levels, ICB qualifications etc. To clarify, please speak to a course advisor.

What support will I receive?

You will be allocated your own personal tutor who can be contacted via e-mail, telephone, fax or post for help and advice on any aspect of the course.

Many courses require that you submit work to your tutor during the period of study and your tutor will assess your work and pass comments back to you. Your tutor is available to you as much as you need them.

Please be aware that officially the tutor support provided with the course is for a period of 12 months, although if you need longer let us know and we’ll endeavour to extend that.

Will I have to sit an examination?

All of our courses are accredited, so you need to show that you have acquired the knowledge to pass the course – this may involve sitting an examination, but it depends on the course you have chosen.

Some courses require you to be continually assessed throughout the course, while others may require an end of course exam or assignment (which may be completed at home) to be submitted to your tutor.

Certain types of qualifications, A-levels and GCSEs for example, do require you to sit an invigilated exams at a registered test centre. You will need to organise and pay for the examinations yourself, however full details of what you need to do will be available from the centre who are delivering the qualification.

If in doubt, please email ‘’, NCC can then discuss or put you in touch directly with the course provider.

Can I study from outside the UK?

Yes, there are no geographical limits to where you can study.

You just need to be aware that all tutors are based in the UK and work may need to be submitted to them via post, although in most cases e-mail can be used.

Where the course requires that you sit an invigilated exam at a test centre, there are many exam centres outside of the UK. However, we would advise that you check with us before purchasing one of these courses if you want to study from abroad.

Will I receive a qualification when I complete the course?

All of our courses are accredited and you will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the course.

For more information about this please see the section of the website that details how awarding bodies work and what the different types of qualifications are.

Can I take more than one course at a time?

Yes, you can take as many courses as your time allows. But we would recommend that you clearly evaluate how much time you can commit to your courses of study.

The good news is though that if your circumstances change you can always take a break and come back to your studies.

Additionally, discounts are available if you buy more than one course at the same time.

How long will it take for my work to be marked by my tutor?

Your work will be marked and feedback returned to you within 12 working days after submission. This is because our tutors are required to provide detailed, considered feedback to our learners that may take a while to formulate. We find that by working this way, our learners actually complete their course in less time, as they rarely need to submit an assignment more than twice.

Whilst it is possible to submit multiple assignments at the same time, we advise that our learners submit only one at a time. We want our learners to develop as they progress through their course, and find this is best achieved when a student embarks on a new module having taken into account tutor feedback from the previous submission.

Do I need any additional books or equipment to do my course?

No, we provide everything you need to pass your course.

How do I enrol?

Once you have chosen your course, you can either purchase the course online which will enrol you, or you can call our helpline on 0333 3445 690 who will sign you up for the course and arrange to have all your learning materials sent to you.

What if I’ve chosen the wrong course?

If, after receiving the course, you decide it isn’t the right course for you, you can simply return the goods within 14 days and we will send your money back in full for the majority of courses (excluding postage and packaging) or you can choose another course that you feel would suit your needs and ambitions better.

What is the difference between the online and paper versions of courses?

Our online courses are completed through our online learning system after receiving login and access instructions. You will not receive any course materials through the post. The paper based version is posted out in a binder to your home or place of work and requires completion of a portfolio of work that is submitted to your tutor for marking.

Where can I find your Equality and Diversity Policy?

All NCC policies and procedures can be provided on request from NCC directly by emailing or calling 0333 3445 690.

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