FdSc Equine Science and Management

This programme is subject to a validation for a September 2022 start.

Course Details

  • Department

  • Qualification

  • Course Type

    Full Time
  • Length

  • Location(s)


Course at a glance

University Centre Askham Bryan has an established equine centre with a strong relationship with the British Horse Society. It is a registered training and examination centre for horse care and riding and already runs a range of professional training for those who take part in equine sports.



Centre Code


What you will learn

The equine centre has expanded in recent years and now includes three indoor yards.

The FdSc Equine Science and Management degree programme will help you develop knowledge about the systems and structures of the horse and how the horse’s body responds to exercise, injury and rehabilitation. You will also learn about key business management skills, marketing and issues facing the equine industry today. Additionally, you will benefit from being able to develop your practical and horse husbandry skills within a British Horse Society approved training centre.

The equine industry continues to develop and therefore the need for employees with appropriate technical knowledge and skills continues to evolve. This programe is designed to give students the scientific, management and technical knowledge and skills essential to support employability in the equine industry and specifically to develop careers in equine management.

Progression through the programme is achieved by moving from a general equine industry theme to a more in depth and focused consideration of equine science and business management. Importantly current skills gaps within the equine industry include management and planning, ICT and technical, communications, literacy and numeracy skills, all of which will be developed through the generic aims of this programme.

Year 1 Modules

• Academic Skills

Essential elements of success at Higher Education are to: find, evaluate and critique academic texts, present in an academic format and demonstrate the conventions of writing within Higher Education. This module aims to develop and enhance the key academic skills and competences which enable students to study effectively on higher education programmes.

• Introduction to Business

Foundation Degrees are vocational qualifications intended to prepare students for work in a globalised business arena. This module is intended to introduce the business environment as an exciting, competitive, globalised and financially driven place to work. Students are then challenged to develop the appropriate understanding and basic skills required to function within a business context.

• Equine Anatomy and Physiology

This module provides knowledge of the fundamental concepts of anatomy and physiology which underpin biological sciences. The anatomical structures of animals and adaptations present in a range of species will be covered. It provides knowledge on cell ultrastructure and the structure and function of a range of tissues and organs and the roles they play in body systems. The role of the nervous and endocrine systems in the control of body processes and homeostasis will be covered. This module will provide knowledge of the structure of animals and how they function which underpins health, management and breeding of animals. An understanding of anatomy and physiology will enable the selection of management techniques that promote animal welfare.

• Industry Skills

Students will complete a minimum of 150 hours in a relevant approved industry placement, enabling them to relate academic study to the types of work they will be expected to undertake for an employer. The taught component of this module is designed to support students’ skills development as well as developing an awareness of industry health and safety.

• The Future Equine Industry

The Equine Industry is rapidly expanding and changing. The sector is impacted by many external technological and economical factors and in certain areas struggles to keep abreast of these changes. Equine graduates will need to understand the key factors driving this transformation and develop appropriate business knowledge and commercial skills to become successful managers in this industry and mitigate these impacts whilst maximising opportunities for change. This module aims to develop the learners’ understanding and appreciation of emerging industry themes and trends and identify the implications of this change to their future career.

• Equine Behaviour and Welfare

The management of today’s domestic horse is very far removed from the environment in which it evolved. Management practices are often designed to fit in with the horse owner’s lifestyle and do not respect the proximate needs of the horse. This module explores the evolution of natural equine behaviour and investigates management as the cause of so-called ‘abnormal’ behaviours. Students will use this knowledge to interpret the behaviour of the horses they work with and to consider changes in their management in order to improve equine welfare through provision for ethological needs.

• Coaching Psychology and Rider Performance

This module aims to develop the students’ knowledge and ability to analyse rider performance. Whilst understanding the impact that physiological and psychological factors that lead to improved rider performance through coaching skills and techniques which covers the industry qualification standards of BHS preliminary and UKCC syllabus.

• Management of the Performance Horse

The management of performance horses is multi-factorial and many aspects of stable management need to be considered in order for the horse to perform optimally. There are many management skills required in order to maximise performance of the equine athlete. Correct turnout and fitting of tack and equipment for a given performance is needed so that the performance horse can compete efficiently and to industry standard. A theoretical understanding of equine husbandry practices including transportation and passporting of equines ensures that the stable manager is contemporary and can apply practices in a variety of situations. There are a number of factors that over time will inevitably undermine the performance of the equine athlete. This module evaluates equine specialist topics such as saddle fitting, farriery and dentistry in the management routine of horses to promote athletic ability and the use of paraprofessionals, such as vets, physiotherapists, saddle fitters, dentists and farriers, to support the horse’s performance. A range of equine husbandry skills are needed to ensure that the performance horse is able to develop, maintain and prolong a competitive career. Skills that will be developed include understanding saddle fit, bitting as well as correct preparation and turnout of the horse for a given performance.

Year 2 Modules

• Personal Research Project

This module introduces students to the key components of the research process, set in the context of their own specialist discipline. Students plan and prepare a research proposal, critically appraising the research literature from a wide variety of sources. They will then apply research methodology to their chosen subject area to undertake and complete their own individual research project. Skills of analysis and synthesis will be supported in the level 5 module ‘Academic Development’

• Academic Development

Developing further the skills and competences required for study in higher education to enable critical writing and reflection. Underpinning knowledge of sampling and experimental design, statistical techniques and advanced IT skills will develop the competences required for undertaking research projects and presenting work in a professional manner.

• Professional Development

Students studying this module will complete an approved placement of at least 150 hours duration. Students will be able to critically appraise their own abilities and vocational skills within the context of a working organisation. The taught component of this module is designed to further develop students’ employment skills to enable them to reflect on their continuing personal and professional development needs for the future.

• Business Enterprise

This module encourages the learner to develop their business, employability and entrepreneurial skills. In addition this module challenges the learner to consider enterprise (self-employment) as an alternative to traditional employment.

• Equine Rehabilitation and Injury Management

This module aims to improve the learners’ awareness of the possible injuries that can affect horses, particularly competition horses. Different equestrian disciplines predispose horses to different types of injuries and it is important that students recognise this in order to take preventative action.

• Equine Nutrition

The module is designed to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the principles of animal nutrition. These are fundamental to the management of any animal. Students will examine the processes involved in the intake and use of nutrient substrates by animals, including the biochemical principles of the reactions of digestion and metabolism within the body. Nutrients of feedstuffs will be considered in relation to animal requirements, and changes to requirements, based upon the health and developmental status of the animal.

• Applied Marketing for the Equine Industry

This unit aims to provide equine students with an introduction to the fundamental concepts and principles that underpin the marketing process. This broad-based unit will provide all learners with a concise and contemporary overview of marketing and give them the knowledge and skills to underpin further study in the specialist field of marketing. Students will be able to understand the planning needs of organisations, review marketing activity and develop a marketing plan which outlines specified strategic marketing objectives.

Elective Modules (elect one)

• Equitation Science and Coaching

The aim of this module is to focus on equine sports coaching performers in a variety of equine disciplines. It will explore the requirements of the modern equitation coach, including further development of the students’ knowledge of the theory of equitation science, teaching and learning.

• Equine Breeding and Reproduction Technologies

This module aims to provide the learner with a broad overview of approaches taken to breed the modern performance horse and to evaluate current issues which may impact upon this process. The equine reproduction industry is constantly evolving in response to veterinary and technological advances. Learners will study a range of breeding technologies and explore ethical considerations surrounding these.

• Performance Horse Evaluation

This module focuses on the evaluation of the performance horse, by the student and in industry and research. With the increase in the high health, high performance horse research and needs, the students will be able to recognise a suitable horse and gain insight into how this horse can be encouraged to stay at a high level of competition for years. The module will focus on the event horse but will also allow students to research and case study racehorses, dressage horses and show jumpers.

Key Information

Applicants should have achieved 48 UCAS points plus 5 GCSEs including English, Maths and Science at grade C/4 or above. Equivalent qualifications may be accepted in lieu of GCSEs. In addition applicants must have successfully completed a minimum of one year of Level 3 study and/or have significant industry experience.

An initial assessment process may be used to inform the College of your current status. Some students may be asked to attend an interview.

Applicants who believe they may be eligible for Accreditation of Prior Certificated and/or Experiential Learning (APCL/APEL) will be considered on an individual basis. If you have any queries in relation to entry qualifications, then please contact the University Centre team directly.

On successful completion of the FdSc Equine Science and Management, students may wish to consider progressing on to the University Centres BSc (Hons) Equine Science and Management Top Up. Allowing students to graduate with a BSc (Hons) Degree.

Alternatively, students may wish to consider careers in a variety of industries focused on equine health and management as well as business and events management.

UK/EU, Isle of Man and Channel Isles Students on BSc Honours Degree/ BSc Ordinary Degree/ BSc Top up/ Foundation Degree/ Extended Foundation Degree – £9,000

Non-EU Overseas Students on Honours Degree/ Ordinary Degree/ Foundation Degree/ Extended Foundation Degree – £14,000

This programme requires students to undertake 300 hours of work placement, with 150 completed each academic year. For the first academic year the work placement hours are completed within the licensed and BIAZA accredited Askham Bryan Wildlife and Conservation Park. This work placement is likely to involve some weekend work, as well as days within the half-term breaks. Second year work placement is completed with an external provider which is arranged by the student.

All work placements are subject to a health and safety check by the college to ensure that placements are suitable and safe. Support can be made available via the module tutor to help locate a suitable placement.

If you are already working in the sector, it may be possible to APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning) this element of the course. Evidence of such employment will be needed, outlining duties etc for consideration at the APL panel, where applications will be considered on an individual basis. If you have any queries in relation to this, then please contact the University Centre team directly.


Assessments will be designed to give students the opportunity of performing tasks that they would be asked to do in employment. There are a range of assessment methods used, including reports, case studies, presentations, Viva -Voce, continual assessments and exams. Typically each module involves two assessments.


Extra Curricular

BHS Stages


HE Riding Team

In addition to tuition fees and accommodation if applicable. Students will need to budget for some extra costs as part of this course, which you will need to pay for yourself. Below is a list with approximate cost to help with your budgeting. However, it is important to speak with the course manager as you may not be required to ride during this top up degree. Lab PPE will be required by all students.

Riding hat standard £40- £100

Body protector £80- £100

Protective riding gloves £7- £20

Hair net £1

Breaches £25- £40

Whips £5- £15

Suitable long-sleeved top (not a hoodie) £10- £20

Warm waterproof coat £30- £100

Yard boots £30- £50

Lab safety glasses £10

White lab coat £10- £20

Optional course trips £20 – £2000 (Dependant on the trip/tour)

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